The Last Jedi was mostly crap, because it wasn’t written by ME!
The Last Jedi was crap! Search your feelings NEEEEEERDS(TM), for even you know if to be true. Rian Johnson dared to do something different, and failed spectacularly.
I’m not about to delve into a breakdown of everything that went wrong with the final product. For that, hell, nothing tops Red Letter Media’s detailed take. But if you ask me, which you haven’t but I’m gonna tell you anyway, where it all really went wrong was the day that Kathleen Kennedy failed to hire ME to write the script!
Let me present to you story ideas I’ve been haboring since walking out of the theater in abject disgust of the state of the Star War franchise (an utterance a 12 year old Braniff could never comprehend coming from his lips) and figured I better get them down on the record before the trailer for Episode IX drops, and either my dreams of a dollar not squandered at the multiplex are dashed even further, or worse, NEEEEERDS(TM) accuse me of pilfering Disney’s ideas. Buckle up, baby, cuz you’re in for a ride. Let’s do the damn thing!
The Last Jedi (L!FPZ Edition)
First and foremost, there will none of this twists-for-the-sake-of-twists crap (and if you don’t think that’s what happened, just watch some behind-the-scenes footage with Rian Johnson). To be quite frank, Star Wars at its core has always simplistic and predictable tale of good vs bad, played out by cliched archetypes, and largely devoid of nuance. Formulaic recycling of familiar and easily identifiable narrative beats is the Star Wars storytelling way, and there’s no shame in that. The formula works! Sometimes folk just want to be taken on a cinematic ride from A to B to C and have a good time doing it. And just as The Force Awakens was a spiritual rehash of A New Hope, The Last Jedi (L!FPZ Edition) will play upon the narrative beats of The Empire Strikes Back, while continuing to build upon the characterizations established in the previous movie, because that’s basic storytelling AND I’M NOT A FECKLESS HACK.
WARNING: Occasional emotional outbursts ahead!
The Resistance will be on the run BUT NOT DEPICTED AS AN INSIPID REAL-TIME CHASE AS IF THEY WERE IN A CARAVAN OF WHITE FORD BRONCOS! At least a month or two has passed since end of TFA. In this latest encounter with the First Order, the action fairly plays out in the same fashion in TLJ, you remember, before it devolved into a travesty strewn about a canvas of celluloid. Poe Cameron leads a costly assault against the First Order Dreadnaught and Rose will still be introduced in some fashion. She’s a good kid.
The Resistance is planet-hopping in an effort to stay one-step ahead of the villainous fleet in pursuit, wondering how the First Order has manages to show up at every turn. They just can’t shake them! How can this be? Well, I assure you, it won’t be because the First Order can now track the Resistance ships through hyperspace BECAUSE ADHERING TO ESTABLISHED RULES OF THE FICTIONAL UNIVERSE IS AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT TO QULAITY STORYTELLING!
Rather, the First Orders persistence will simply be due to some good ol’ backstabbing. The Resistance has a traitor in the midst, and that traitor will ultimately be revealed to be none other than ol’ Pinky Lee herself, General Holdo. Why the turn? Holdo is more politician than soldier (JUST LOOK AT THAT DRESS!), hasn’t any faith that the Resistance can be victorious after the destruction of the New Republic, and is selling out while the selling out is good.
Speaking of betrayal, just as the baddies in The Empire Strikes Back, were bent on pursuing the principals responsible for the destruction of the Death Star, The First Order has a particular bone to pick with Finn, especially Captain Phasma. Not only did one of her Stormtroopers go rogue, said trooper was instrumental in the destruction of Starkiller Base. The humiliation! The indignity! The gaul! Finn must be dealt with and brought to heel as a gruesome display as to what fate awaits any and all traitors.
Meanwhile, Rey is on Ahch-To training with Luke Skywalker. When Rey first meets Luke, he spurns her. Luke’s still down and depressed by the destruction of his Jedi school, moreso once Chewbacca tells him how Han Solo met his end. Luke’s best student, who was also his nephew, went off the reservations and killed his best friend. IT WILL BE AN EMOTIONAL SCENE THAT WE WON’T CUT AWAY FROM, AND I CONFIDENTLY PROCLAIM THAT IT WON’T BE A DRY EYE IN THE HOUSE!
Undeterred, Rey will train on her own, sloppily swinging around the lightsaber, flailing all about. There’s raw talent there, but it’s unrefined. Luke will occasionally mutter grumpy old man witticisms, slowly coming out of his shell. He may be withdrawn, but at the end of the day he’s still the good ol’, noble, earnest Luke Skywalker THAT PEOPLE HAVE BEEN WAITING TO SEE AGAIN FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS, AND 30X THE PRICE OF A MOVIE TICKET IN 1983!
Now let me be clear. I don’t think everything in TLJ was ill-conceived tripe. There’s quite a bit that will be left intact even in the L!FPZ Edition. The aforementioned battle against the Dreadnaught for instance. And I’ll also preserve Rey and Kylo Ren’s personal connection though the Force.
But what I won’t do in the L!FPZ Edition is just flippantly discard the Finn/Rey romance angle established in the previous outing! Even the NEEEEEERDS(TM) couldn’t have been oblivious to all the flirting. In TFA, Finn was undoubtedly smitten by Rey, to the further dismay of a’many racist troll I’m sure who were further horrified that Rey showed that she cared for him too. Rey was hurt when Finn abandoned the team at Maz’s Castle, but was touched when Han remarked that it was Finn who lead the charge to Starkiller Base in order to rescue her from the clutches of Kylo and the First Order. It is here where we build the foundation of our Finn/Rey/Kylo love triangle.
Kylo is an impetuous turd who worships and glamorizes grandpa Darth Vader, because like most impetuous youth, he mistakenly thinks that might makes right. He also feels an attraction to Rey. Is it because she too is strong with the Force? Kylo will interpret their Force connection as being “love” but when he tries to tap into her thoughts in an attempt to take a stroll down affection avenue, all he finds in Rey’s mind are visions of Finn.
This being Star Wars, Rey will the only female around, so by default Kylo must have her. Furthermore, Kylo can’t understand why Rey would spurn someone “strong” like him for a “weakling” like Finn, and is pisses him off something fierce. Kylo is incapable of comprehending that mercy and compassion are more powerful than any physical abilities provided by aligning oneself with the Dark Side.
Exploitation is the name of the game. Upon learning about the bond between Kylo and Rey, Supreme Leader Snoke will wish to exploit it so that Rey can be used to either goad Luke out of hiding or lead his forces to him. Kylo in turn suddenly plays the part of a team player, eagerly offering his services to General Hux in the capture of the Resistance, but with the secret intent of doing so only so that he can use Finn to lure Rey into another encounter.
The second act will conclude with the desperate Resistance attempting to hide amidst the hustle and bustle of the casino planet Canto Bight. In particular, a lavish establishment operated by the legendary Lando Calrissian, who has been dipping into casino funds in order to help fund The Resistance and his old friend General Leia. No pauper children. No space horses. But someone working for Lando will betray him and expose his efforts. And that someone will be a repurposed DJ, because why not? DJ is working in concert with Holdo, and it’s during these event where Poe uncovers Pinky as the traitor (I mentioned it in the first act, because a good story knows its ending and works backwards).
We’re in need of an action sequence, so here comes the The First Order, to lay waste and ransack Canto Bight! But this is Lando’s domain, and he knows secret ways in-and-out that even DJ isn’t aware of. The Resistance is about to give the bad guys the slip, but during the chaos Finn is captured, because he went back to save the street urchins. Forget what I previously said about excluding them, because like Master Fagin I found some use for the ragamuffins. I told you the name of the game was exploration!
Amidst the mayhem, The First Order begins to snatch up orphans, but Finn frantically fights for the youth because he is desperate to save them from being inducted into the life he managed to escape. Child soldiers… see—more exploitation! The children make it to safety, but Finn is captured. Got it? Good.
Finn, prisoner of The First Order. Phasma mocks the failure of his desertion. In defiance, Finn mocks her right back. It is The First Order that will ultimately fail, just like the Empire before it!
Before The First Order disembarks to take Finn back to their new stronghold, Kylo countermands General Hux’s order and directs the fleet to the salt planet of Crait. He broadcasts an open communique to all channels boasting about what horrible torture awaits all those who defy the First Order, which is a veiled reference to the Finn. Leia, Poe and Rose know it’s a trap, but they can’t just leave Finn to his fate and set course to Crait.
Even from across the cosmos, Rey feels Finn’s suffering and will not be deterred from going off to save him. Luke warns her not to rush off, for she’s not ready to face Kylo Ren again, who Luke cautions won’t ever underestimate her skills in combat again. But Rey tells Luke that she has to save Finn. She proclaims that it’s because Finn did the same for her on Starkiller Base, but Luke can see in her eyes that there is something more. Luke remembers how he felt the when Han and Leia were captured by Darth Vader, and he remembers he had no regrets racing to their aid either. Friendship and love isn’t wrong, and Luke would tell that to Yoda if he could, and lo and behold he can, because Yoda’s Force Ghost suddenly appears and says he’s been watching all along.
Luke watches Rey and Chewie fly off in the Millennium Falcon. R2-D2 has remained behind with his old master, but gives Luke a sorrowful whine. Rey’s spirited talk has snapped him out of his funk! Luke lifts his X-Wing out of the water with ease, which is another callback to The Empire Strikes Back BECAUSE WHY SHOW IT AND NOT USE IT?! The L!FPZ Edition will be peppered with all manner of callbacks from superior cinematic fare, because Rain Johnson surely can’t be left to his own devices.
Just as in TLJ, The First Order has The Resistance on the ropes. The rescue raid on Crait led by Poe and Rose is going poorly to say the least.
Then just as in TLJ, Rey arrives! After the Falcon deals with the TIE Fighters, Rey jumps right into the fray. She takes out a slew of troops and makes her way to Kylo, but alas it’s not enough. It’s just as Luke fortold, she is no match for a prepared Kylo Ren, who toys with her, growing increasingly enraged that she would sacrifice herself for someone “so common” like Finn. He has her down and orders his men to take her back to his shuttle. The First Order is in position to deal the final blow to The Resistance and Poe’s team.
Then just as in TLJ, Luke arrives just in the nick of time, but VERY MUCH UNLIKE TLJ, this ain’t no Force Projection, baby! Luke “Whomp Rat Blastin’” Skywalker is here in the flesh, ready to stomp a mudhole in some First Order ass and walk it dry! The walkers blast on him, but he brushes it off, for his defense game is unfathomable. He’s just that strong with the Force! An enraged Kylo rushes out to fight him. It’s a good back-and-forth, but Luke layeth the smack down on him as well. Let this be a lesson to all nephews everywhere! Even if you are 6’4, 260lbs of all muscle, and used to play pro football—don’t ever think you can take your uncle!
The First Order don’t stand a chance, showing us indeed why Snoke fears the return of Skywalker. The bad guys turns tail, humiliated and shaken, but still with Finn in tow. It’s a hollow victory for the good guys.
The movie concludes with Finn as prisoner of The First Order. Rey will not leave him to his fate, and is determined to get him back. But she won’t be alone. Luke Skywalker is back. Snoke is on high alert, more desperate and therefore dangerous than ever.
A sneak peak at Episode IX
Snoke is no joke, and everything about his throne room ruled, so that’s why we’ll save him, and his big bad mama jama of a ship, for Episode IX. He’ll enter the conclusion to the trilogy still as mysterious, frightening, powerful, AND ALIVE as ever.
Luke was right— Snoke plans to use Kylo up and kill him just as soon as he’s served his purpose. But with Luke back, Snoke will have need of Kylo for a biut longer, as an expendable weapon against the venerable Jedi Master. Can Luke convince Kylo to see the error of his ways before it’s too late? It’ll take the combined might of Luke, Rey, and Kylo to defeat Snoke in battle.
Maybe Snoke will still be sliced in half at some point by a wiley Kylo. But before then, Snoke will get to display levels of Force choking, Force lightning, and other dark arts the likes Star Wars fans have never seen! And no matter how he ultimately meets his fate, I can guarantee it won’t be by getting body slammed into a bottomless pit like with what befell poor ol’ Palpy. What’s ironic is that throne room on second Death Star was the one room in all of Star Wars that had a guardrail, yet that didn’t prevent Palpatine from being the only character to fall to his death!
What else….? Oh, Poe will step up as the new leader of The Resistance after the death of Admiral Ackbar WHICH WILL BE ONSCREEN AND GLORIOUS DESPITE IT’S TRAGEDY CUZ YOU TREAT A FAN FAVORITE WITH RESPECT! It’ll be Ackbar, not that cotton-candy coiffed creep Holdo, who crashes Home One into the Supremency in the concluding act, which will cause such a ruckus as to provide Luke, Rey, and Finn the distractions they need in order to ultimately triumph over Snoke, Phasma, and Hux in their respective battles.
I haven’t worked out all the details as to who is where and doing what and when, but seeing as I haven’t been paid yet, I can’t be giving away all this good stuff for free anyway!
Heck, maybe my screenplay for The Last Jedi would have also underperformed at the box and been met with critical scorn and fan derision, but at least I’d have done it for considerably less than whatever Disney paid Johnson. And that my friends is just being fiscally sound.