Transcript: Not Now, I’m Watching The Last Jedi

C: Welcome back to episode 26 of Not Now, I’m Reading, your one-stop shop for all things genre. My name is Chelsea.

K: And I’m Kay.

C: Happy holidays, friends! We are here for our episode on Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Both: Yay!

C: We saw a Star War. We had a feeling! We’re so excited friends.

[Kay laughs]

C: We have many things to say. The vast majority of them are good things. But before we get any more into it than that, we’re gonna go ahead and talk about what we are currently reading or what we’ve just finished up. I’ll go ahead and go first. I talked in the last episode about how I had finished a short story collection by Tiffany Reisz, and so that set me on a really deep downward spiral into her entire The Original Sinners series.

K: Oh my god.

C: So [laughs] since the last time we’ve talked I have read six of the eight books. [Laughs] In her Original Sinners series.

K: Fam. Fam.

C: Fantastic.

K: I just.

C: So good.

K: This was not a long period in-between recording.

C: No.

K: I know you guys don’t know the behind-the-scenes magic all the time. Sometimes we record a lot in a row and sometimes it’s a while in-between. It’s really not been that long since the last time we recorded. So I wish you had seen my face.

C: It’s been maybe ten days.

K: When she said she’d read the whole goddamn series.

C: It’s been a lot.

[Kay sighs]

C: Guys, I forgot how much crazy shit happens in these books.

[Kay laughs]

C: No spoilers, but there are kidnappings, and mistaken identities, and murder plots, and so much fucking. And everybody is just fucking everybody all the time. And it’s so good. And so angsty. And I love them so much.

K: This is so bizarre to me. Because the only things I’ve read by her were, I read her time travel romance.

C: I don’t think I’ve read that one. Is that The Night Mark?

K: Yeah. I read when of her Harlequin titles. I think it was the Thanksgiving one. I will look it up and have the title in the show notes. Which was fairly standard Harlequin category romance. And then I read The Red, which was like fantasy erotica and like what? What?

C: Which you. Because of that, you may not know that, but The Red is actually a book that’s written by the character Norah Sutherland that’s mentioned heavily in the first book of The Sirens. So there’s some heavy meta-text stuff they’re going into.

K: That’s meta af.

C: It’s super great.

[Laughter]

C: So these books are totally batshit, friends, but I love them so much. They’re so great I had so many feelings.

K: Her prose is gorgeous. I’m not saying her writing’s bad, it’s just not really my jam.

C: Yeah, exactly. And not everything in the books will work for you, but if you can hang in there, something in there will. And they’re just great. And then the other published book I finished was on audio. I listened to Code Name Verity.

[Kay makes sobbing sounds]

C: Friends, this is the first time I have read this book or experienced it in any way. And I got to look forward

K: You were warned! By like everyone you knew. So.

C: I literally got on twitter at 30% through this book and was like oh. Okay. So this is the thing that we were all talking about when we were talking about this book.

K: Yeah.

C: There are still times when, like, granted, I just finished it four or five days ago so it’s not like it’s been ages, but in the past couple of days scenes from the book have popped up and I’ve just been like oh god, my emotions. So good. So good!

K: I really want them to make this into a movie, because–

C: So good. And I’m on the waitlist for Rose Under Fire, which is the sequel, right? Or companion book or something.

K: Which is not as good.

C: That’s alright, it would be very hard to be as good as Code Name Verity.

K: It’s a very high bar. Very high bar. [Laughs]

C: But anyway, a lot of the things I’ve been reading have been really kind of emotionally heavy.

[Laughter]

C: As is my wont, when it comes to balancing out my reading, I also took to some fic. This first thing I’m gonna recommend, Kay, I’m gonna ask you to not have any liquid in your mouth and to take a step back from the microphone.

K: Kay.

C: Cause the snort noise you’re gonna make is gonna be real loud and I don’t want you to spike unnecessarily.

K: I’m legit gonna mute my microphone, okay?

C: It’s called Every Time We Touch by oblivioncastro. It is a Barisi fic, so Rafael Barba and Sonny Carisi from SVU. This is a soulmates and five and one fic that was published as part of the Barisi Gift Exchange for this year. And the summary is: In a world where a touch from your soulmate leaves you in pain, Sonny wonders if it’s worth the ache. Or, five times there’s pain in being together, and one time there’s pain in being alone.

K: Didn’t I link this to you?

C: Yeah, you absolutely did.

K: Because one of the tags on this fic?

[Laughter]

C: Sorry, I’m literally. She sent it to me because the tag is ‘y’all should know ANGST is my soulmate’ and ANGST is in all caps and when she DMed it to me she literally said ‘I won’t read this, but you will probably love it.’ [Laughs] And she was so right, friends.

K: This is our relationship in a nutshell. [Laughs]

C: it was so good. If you don’t know from any amount of time knowing me on the internet at all why that exact summary is a thing that just reached out to every part of my brain and latched in.

[Kay laughs]

C: Then we can chat about it later. The other fic that I read is also a Barisi fic, it was. Man. Okay. So it was a bed sharing fic which was also part of the Barisi Gift Exchange. It’s only 2000 words. It is just crack. It was so. It was just the best in all of the worst/best ways. It was a snowed-in bed sharing fic. So just combing in all of my favorites.

K: Some peak Canadian Shack shit right there.

C: It was so good. And it’s literally they don’t have enough beds and Carisi’s like it’s cool, I can sleep on the floor and Olivia makes a joke that you could share the bed with Barba. And Carisi’s like I’m down. And Barba’s like uh, um, sure, but begrudgingly. Except not! And it’s so good. And that’s The Right Side of the Bed by Robin Hood. I don’t think I actually got that in at the beginning. And then the very last one I have to talk about is not a Barisi fic, you guys.

[Kay gasps]

C: I know! It’s called I’m Gay and You Can Too by paramountie and it’s Boy Meets World fic.

K: Literally all of these are my fault.

C: They’re all your fault.

[Laughter]

C: This one especially, cause I was not even on the lookout for Boy Meets World, I haven’t hopped into that fandom since that OT3 I was writing.

K: In a hot minute, yeah.

C: Popped back out to the 90s for a hot second. But basically this is, this fic is adorable in all the ways that late 90s/early 00s sitcom is adorable cause the premise is kinda ridiculous. Which is that there’s this kind of how-to guide/self-help book going around that has convinced Cory that he’s gay. And that has convinced everyone that they’re gay.

K: Everybody. [Laughs] There’s a checklist involved.

C: Yeah, and literally how to tell if you’re gay from this checklist and everybody’s coupling up and it’s tough because Shawn actually is gay or he’s bisexual and so it’s like, he’s kind of like no, Cory, you’re not. And Cory’s like I looked at the list and I am and Shawn’s like it doesn’t really work like that, but it was just super great. Paramountie does a really great job with their Shawn and I think that’s my thing, he’s my favorite character. That’s where my bread and butter is and I really liked this fic. Yeah, that’s my trash pile, Kay. Please redeem us with something better than all of those things I just talked about.

K: I apologize if you can hear my nephew in the background. We’re gonna go and I apologize if you hear a toddler in the background. He’s fine, he just doesn’t wanna go to bed. I have been doing mostly audiobook reading, plus fic, which seems to just be my modus operandi for the last several months of the year. I’m fine with that. That’s fine. Unfortunately both the books I’m reading are white dude books again, so sorry about that, but it’s what I already had on audio slash could get from the library immediately when I wanted to read something. So first up we’ve got Redwall by Brian Jacques. I always that it was Jacques [pronounced Jocks], but on the audiobook they definitely said Jacques [pronounced Jacks].

C: I always thought it was Jacques [pronounced Jakes].

K: I’ve apparently been pronouncing that wrong for more than twenty years, so that’s good to know.

C: I’ve always been saying it wrong.

K: If you are unfamiliar with the Redwall series it’s about anthropomorphic animals.

C: Mice! Medieval mice!

K: I think they’re straight-up children’s books, but they read like more young adult. And they’re really fucking long. I can’t imagine. This is the first one and it’s 354 pages. And I think it’s one of the shorter ones. I was just looking on Audible and they are almost all really old-ish audiobook recordings, and some of them are read by him and not very good, judging by the samples.

[Laughter]

K: But it looks like they’re starting to redo them and this one they have redone and released within the last year.

C: Oh, sweet.

K: And the audio was very good. So I do recommend that if you can get your hands on the new recording of Redwall. They are sort of epic fantasy, but the only fantasy element is that they’re animals. [Laughs] How do you explain the Redwall books, you read these, right?

C: These are some of Mark’s favorite books. We listened to the first five of these when we drove to Colorado the weekend that we got engaged. We listened to like all of these books that weekend. They’re all super long.

K: It’s honestly historical fiction, but it’s all animals. They’re basically just really well-researched historical fiction with the addition of animals rather than people as the characters. And I think there’s some weird racial stuff going on.

C: Yeah.

K: But you can’t really be sure cause they’re all animals? But pretty sure there’s some weird racial stuff going on.

[Laughter]

C: There’s certainly some intra-animal bigotry happening and I’m pretty sure that’s coded as racism.

K: And they do eat some kinds of animals and not others. They eat fish and that’s fine, but you wouldn’t eat, like, other specific types of animals? And certain types of animals speak in a very specific — like the moles? Have very specific speech patterns.

[Chelsea laughs]

K: And all of the hares are British even though no one else is.

C: It doesn’t make any sense.

K: And the birds, like, there’s sparrows and stuff that live on top of the abbey and they’re this wild warrior race that is very uncultured compared to everyone else? [Laughs] I don’t really wanna examine that too much, but I’m sure there’s some weird racial shit happening. Just don’t examine it, don’t examine it. I didn’t put it in the notes, but I will find it. There was someone who put on AO3 a whole primer about foodstuffs in this universe and food sources and how they made things. It’s very interesting and they talked about how they have bread and how are these animals making their bread and where are they getting their crops and stuff from. It was super fascinating.

C: Oh, that’s interesting!

K: And it was less than 5,000 words. I also just finished reread/relisten, cause it was the audiobook of ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King.

C: More King, huh?

K: I’m just kinda on a roll.

C: I was really tempted to start The Stand, but that’s so long.

K: I was gonna do The Stand next, cause I do also own that one, but I was like if I don’t do that one I’ll for sure hit 100 books this year.

C: Yeah.

K: And that would be nice.

C: That’s a good call.

K: So I’m leaving that till after the new year and then I’ll probably listen to The Stand because I do like that one.

C: ‘Salem’s Lot is really good, too, though. It’s a good book.

K: I do, ‘Salem’s Lot is one of my favorite Stephen King books. I don’t recommend either of the miniseries based on ‘Salem’s Lot.

[Chelsea laughs]

K: They’re not good. Neither of them is any good. Despite some great people being in both of them. They’re really bad.

C: They’re so bad.

K: And I don’t really wanna say anything about ‘Salem’s Lot, even though it’s old, I don’t want you to have nay spoilers. It’s good.

C: it’s so good.

K: Just go read it. And then I have a couple of fics I wanna recommend. First we’ve got hello, my friend, are you visible today? by, I never know how to say your user name, I’m so sorry, but it’s Josie backwards and a 5. So it’s eisoj5. And I do know that she listens to our podcast, so hi Josie!

C: Hi, Josie, we love you!

K: We love your fic so much. Massive spoilers for The Last Jedi.

C: Oh, yeah.

K: So I’m not gonna go too much into what it’s about, but it’s a Bodhi/Luke fic.

[Chelsea sighs]

C: it’s so good.

K: It’s so. Like, crush your soul in 2000 words or less. [Laughs] But the summary, the summary’s all you need to know if you’re gonna be in our out. Soulmarks, Luke thought, were a strange sort of hope in an otherwise arbitrary and cruel galaxy. And I just!

C: Oh, I’m sorry, Josie.

K: It’s so good!

C: Did you just want me to hand my heart to you? Would that just be easier than ripping it out of my body? I feel like it probably would be. Oh my god.

K: Scooped it out with a dull spoon and then handed it back to me like a gift.

[Laughter]

K: I just.

C: To which I said thank you and can I have another. It was good.

K: Please, sir, can I have some more? It’s so good!

[Laughter]

K: it’s so good! And I am not an angst monster, unlike some people, but it was just so good and you should go read it. The next one is a crossover fic between several Jane Austen works and Temeraire and Cooper is so angry.

C: Freaking out, dude.

K: So angry.

C: He sounds like he’s gonna burn the entire house down around you.

K: Anyway, so this is a crossover between several Jane Austen works and Temeraire, which is the Naomi Novik series that’s basically Master and Commander with dragons. And this is The Rich Are Always Acceptable by AMarguerite. It’s so good. It’s basically one of the main characters from the Temeraire series inherits in a fairly unlikely fashion, as one is wont to do in a sort of Austen universe, and it’s what happens when he settles into an estate near Netherfield. And runs into some of our old faves. And there’s all sorts of wonderful, you get Jane Bennet and Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Bennet and Mary Crawford and a bunch of dragons and there’s a ball and it’s just wonderful and charming.

C: I am making all my nope faces.

K: You’re making all your nope faces and I know Austen is not your jam.

C: No, it is not.

K: And I know you’ve only read, what, the first Temeraire book?

C: Yeah, I read the first one cause it was in the Hugo packet.

K: I don’t think you’re even familiar with Tenzing Tharkay.

C: No, no idea.

K: he’s like my favorite character in the series. But it’s really charming. It’s less than 8,000 words and it’s kind of a comedy of manners thing and it’s really hilarious. And then last one, I still, I was going to put together a Merlin primer for Chelsea and our friend Megan. And I realized it would be much easier for me to just do it in person when Chelsea and I are in the same place.

[Chelsea gasps]

K: And do kind of a rewatch of just episodes she needs to see when we’re together.

C: I mean, it worked for Stargate, so. I’m down.

K: It worked with Stargate, so I’m gonna put that off until we are in the same physical space. But I did accidentally con myself into rereading a bunch of my favorite old Merlin fic. It’s super charming, it’s not a great show guys, but the cast is pretty excellent. A lot of our favorite shows are not great. This one has an excellent fandom with lots of wonderful fic. So this fic is called Three Tasks by, I’m not positive how you say this writer’s name, it’s syllic. Obviously I will have the show notes to help you. It’s just over 30,000 words long, so it’s not short, this is novella length. But it is insanely charming and the summary is: Arthur is the Royal Arbiter for Suitable Suitors’ Disputes. He and his trusty companion, the golden dragon tasseled hat, alone can determine who is fit to woo royal servants and other assorted courtiers in Uther’s court. In light of the preceding sentence, the following may not appear to be a truthful statement, but not as cracky as that makes it sounds. Really. And it’s so funny. That’s all you need to know. I don’t want to spoil it, but this is an Arthur/Merlin fic.

C: And pennyplainknits did the podfic, so I’m here for that. Yes, please. That’s awesome. That sounds delightful.

K: Yeah, so you need to get on that. I think you’ll be fine after you watch the first part of the first season to read this. I don’t think it’ll have other spoilers past that.

C: How, really, I’m pretty decently familiar with Arthurian and Merlin canon. How relevant is any of that?

K: It’s fairly different from actual Arthurian canon.

C: I assumed it probably was cause it’s supposed to be a kids’ show.

K: To begin with, Arthur and Merlin are the same age in the show, slash Arthur is slightly older.

C: Obviously Merlin is not a 400 year old wizard.

K: Except when he is.

C: Shut, god, dude. Arthur shit is so weird. I had to take so many Medieval Lit classes in college.

K: Anyway, we can’t go on about this forever even though I would like to, because we have to talk about The Last Jedi.

C: It’s time for Star Wars!

[Funin’ and Sunin’ by Kevin MacLeod plays]

C: Alright, friends. Buckle in.

K: I just need a minute to do a little happy dance and get that out.

C: I’m just, guys, I’ve been so deep in my feelings since I saw this movie on Saturday.

K: Guys, this movie could’ve been a steaming pile of crap and we would’ve had such a joyous experience anyway, because it’s a Star Wars movie.

C: So good. So good.

K: So think about how relieved we were when it was not a steaming pile of crap.

C: Yeah, it was. Oh man, friends.

K: It’s definitely not my favorite Star Wars movie.

C: No.

K: It’s not even my favorite of the newer Star Wars movies, because The Force Awakens is, like, so, so very dear to me in so many ways. And this one has deep structural problems. [Laughs]

C: Yeah.

K: I liked it a lot, but The Last Jedi has deep structural, story problems.

C: Yeah, so.

K: And some directing issues.

C: We’re gonna go ahead and assume you have seen the movie or are okay with spoilers.

K: Yeah, we’re getting into spoilers like right now.

C: So just, that’s a thing. And then so let’s, because we have mostly nothing but love for this movie, let’s start with some of the things we did not love as much or that definitely probably could’ve been improved. I, where was the editing in some parts of this movie, man? Where to go?

K: Just. So this movie was two hours and thirty-two minutes long and it did not need to be.

C: It felt that long.

K: There was a solid ten minutes of white people with the Force staring —

[Chelsea bursts out laughing]

K: — into the distance saying nothing in this movie. And I wish to fucking god that I was exaggerating. That is an accurate number, because I have now seen this movie twice, and I was timing it the second time. [Laughs]

C: Do not get me wrong, I love a good John Williams scored white people looking off into the sunset scene.

K: [Kay starts singing Binary Sunset from A New Hope] We are suckers for that shit.

C: I looked at Mark and glanced at my watch and said there’s still an hour left of this movie and he was like oh, there’s gonna be some shit that happens and I was like yeah. It’s a little long.

K: Guys, the second time I saw this I took two bathroom breaks. Like, that’s how long this movie is. [Laughs]

C: I had to will my bladder into complete and total submission.

[Kay laughs]

C: In a way that I have never had to, before. I risked a potential UTI. That’s how goddamn long this movie is. Cause I wasn’t gonna miss it.

K: I mention that this movie has some deep structural and storytelling problems, like, that doesn’t mean we didn’t love this movie. Cause we love this movie. There are truly some great performances. I would say it’s arguably the greatest performance of Mark Hamill’s career.

C: Without a doubt. Surpassing all of the first movies like tenfold. He was brilliant.

K: But in spite of this script, okay. All of these people were giving good performances in spite of the script, not because of it. And this is not just standard hokey Star Wars dialogue. Because I am here for your standard hokey Star Wars dialogue, okay? I am in it to win it.

C: This dialogue was really bad.

K: Some of this was just bad. [Laughs]

C: It was just bad, man.

K: Some of it was just bad. And I wish there weren’t just lazy storytelling choices here. Just, literally, you could’ve cut out huge chunks of this movie by having the characters speak to each other. Which, communication failure as plot device is one of my biggest pet peeves in any medium.

[Chelsea laughs]

K: If an entire plot line can be cut out by Admiral Holdo being like, ‘Yes, Poe, I have a plan.’ Literally half of this movie doesn’t happen!

C: I am weaksauce for a gumptiony cowboy.

[Kay laughs]

C: Who gets reined in by thinking that he knows shit and making assumptions and then being like boom! Truth bomb! Everything’s not what you think. You need to learn to sit down and shut up. But also it was too fucking long

K: But was that a lesson he needed to learn? From the characterization and the things we know about all of these characters from where we’ve seen them before, it was like this movie was trying to teach all of them very specific lessons that there was no previous evidence they needed to learn. It was stuff they had visibly showed us they knew, before. Because he’s been taking orders from General Leia and shit. He knows how to follow orders!

C: The entire thing hinges on the fact that Leia ‘demotes’ him right before Holdo steps in, which I’m pretty sure everyone in the context of that scene would agree that was basically bullshit because she was pissed at him for how the bombing mission went. Granted. And there’s some shit there they could’ve gotten into for Poe, cause he does need to learn to reign that shit in and not cost them their whole bombing fleet. But that’s way more interesting than this oh, does Holdo have a plan? Holdo has a plan? It turns out she had a plan all along. But like, why wouldn’t you tell him that? I just. It just didn’t make any sense to me.

K: There was just literally no reason for any of that to happen.

C: And we could’ve spared the entire Canto Bight scene and I know it was beautiful. And I love Rose and Finn and I’m here for as much of them on screen as possible, but that entire scene could’ve just been gone.

K: Both of us would lay down our lives for literally almost this entire cast and these characters, but Kelly Marie Tran and Rose? I just. Do not say anything wrong about my beautiful children.

C: I feel like what Kelly Marie Tran and Rose Tico are, for Star Wars, what every fan needs to be. Just, like, that bright hopeful shining.

K: She’s effervescently joyful as a human.

C: She just continues to have this hope and this resilience that I love so much. All that being said. You still could’ve cut out all of Canto Bight and I would’ve been fine with it.

K: There’s also the fact that Rey gets sidelined for basically the whole movie. Cause she’s supposed to go find Luke and learn shit from him and doesn’t? And that’s her entire storyline for the movie.

C: Yeah.

K: And also we have this horrible FaceTiming with the Force bullshit. [Laughs] I can’t. The force bond has already turned the fic for this fandom to absolute steaming on fire trash.

C: Such trash. And you know what girl, you are doing a solid because I am trusting you to wade through that shit for the team and send me the links that you find because I do not have the spiritual energy to go through —

K: I am doing that shit for you. That’s how much I love you.

C: I love you, too, because damn girl. I just do not feel up to that. And can I just say, I will make this known. This is a personal concern that I have that other people do not share. Something about Adam Driver in this movie. I hate his face so much on the screen.

K: [laughs] Which, guys, this is not just a ‘we hate Adam Driver’ thing.

C: I love Adam Driver!

K: Because we saw Logan Lucky together and found him incredibly charming and wonderful.

C: I think he’s fascinating, I think he’s a fantastic actor. Which is part of the problem. Because I hate Kylo Ren so fucking much.

K: So much.

C: Whiny little white boy Kylo Ren is just a story I have never had any interest in. And so while I understand why he intersects–

K: Do you wanna hear my Kylo Ren analysis?

C: Yes, absolutely.

K: And why I hate him and think his character doesn’t work?

C: Yes, I do.

K: I actually made notes, because I was worried I was just gonna turn into a steaming pile of ugh rage when we got to the part whenever we were gonna talk about Kylo Ren. So I get that he’s supposed to be a modern villain for a modern trilogy, so you’ve got the whole toxic masculinity and entitlement sad scared petulant manchild with too much power shit going on. But I honestly don’t think that works out well for Star Wars as a franchise. Because Star Wars is ultimately disinterested in what makes the bad guys bad guys. They are just the bad guys. And I am okay with mostly them being just space fascists!

C: Hm, yeah.

K: Which is why I find Hux a much more terrifying and interesting villain.

C: Hux is terrifying.

K: And not just because I think Domhnall Gleeson is wonderful and should have a bigger role in everything that he’s in. I love him in everything. I’m sorry. We love our precious child. He was hilarious in this, by the way. The Poe Hux scene?

C: We’re gonna get into it, but the call?

K: Actual stitches.

C: Mark and I will still quote that scene to each other. Hux, with an H? Hux with an H!

K: I find him much more terrifying than I would ever find Kylo Ren. Cause Kylo Ren is a petulant manbaby and Hux just actually wants to take over shit and he’s basically a eugenicist fascist like shouting about purity and purges. He is much more scary to me. And if we were gonna do most of this storyline the way that it panned out in The Last Jedi, but instead of things shaking out how they did, Kylo Ren went with Rey? And became, like, you don’t know if he’s a double agent or not and Hux is the one in charge of the bad guys?

C: I’m so much more here for that.

K: I would’ve found that far more compelling storyline than whatever is probably gonna shake out in the next movie.

C: It’s gonna be super dumb.

K: I’m not preemptively judging, cause who the fuck knows?

C: I’m judging, because I hate Kylo Ren and whatever it is gonna be dumb. But as much as I don’t like Kylo Ren, I do like that they don’t give him a redemption arc in this story. Or they did, but he didn’t take it or chose to continue to be super evil cause that’s the one thing I didn’t want.

K: He’s definitely gonna get a redemption arc. Because that’s just a thing that happens in Star Wars. But I need him to die. I actually think there’s no way for him to have any kind of even remotely satisfying redemption arc without him ultimately dying. I think that whole family just needs to be gone. Wiped from the galaxy and start anew. Don’t you think?

C: I think so.

K: That’s the only way.

C: He’s the only one left, fight?

K: Well, I mean, our precious Carrie has not actually died onscreen, yet, but obviously she’s not going, you know.

C: Yeah, I am really, really interested/nervous to see how they handle that. Because she is not dead by the end of the movie. So they’re going to have to do either some kind of —

K: I want the next movie to end with a giant state funeral, is what I want to happen.

C: I’d be here for that.

K: But I doubt that’s what’s going to happen.

C: I’d be okay if we get, I don’t want the creepy CGI like we got with Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One.

K: They’ve said they’re not gonna do that.

C: Which is good.

K: Which is good.

C: If we could get a body double over the shoulder voice shot kind of thing like Leia’s gonna establish something. I dunno. All my ideas would be really stupid, but it’ll be interesting to see how they handle it. It’s gonna be really sad.

K: Can we take a minute to talk about deaths in this movie? Cause there are quite a few.

C: Mmhmm.

K: And some of them are more and less satisfying.

C: Remember how we read an entire book that was decently okay and then it didn’t fucking matter because that character got five seconds of screen time and then was murdered? Died in battle.

K: Why the fuck would you —

C: Why the fuck would you kill Phasma?

K: — cast Gwendoline Christie in your franchise and give her nothing to do? And then kill her character?

C: You didn’t even get to see any of her face? You don’t even get Gwendoline Christie’s awesome face. I was so pissed.

K: You got to see her eye. You got to see an eye.

C: And it was a good eye, but I was so pissed, dude. I was like is that it? Is that seriously it?

K: Pissed forever. Pissed forever.

C: Pissed forever.

K: Also, why kill off Rose’s sister? I wanted onscreen sibling shit, okay?

C: Me, too.

K: And we did not ever get to see them onscreen, together.

C: Although, cheers for a person of color in a big hero moment, I don’t understand why it had to be her, why it had to be Paige?

K: I am always here for a Big Damn Hero moment and I did not think she had to die. I think the entire story would’ve been more interesting if we had a pair of siblings doing shit in this move.

C: And this is part of the bigger thing that’s frustrating. Now that Star Wars is, not that it hasn’t always been this big thing, but now that it’s becoming this bigger behemoth there’s so many other branches and facets of the tie-in stuff and you’re not getting that, you can read the Cobalt Squadron that just came out and you’ll get your Paige and Rose, but not everybody’s gonna read that.

K: I want that shit onscreen!

C: Yeah, and not everybody is as big of Star Wars nerds as we are. We need it on the screen and it could’ve happened, and it didn’t. And forever sad.

K: Speaking of things that could’ve happened onscreen but didn’t. So you know how we’re talking about how the Force is awakened and there’s all these new people with Force powers in this galaxy. Why the fuck would you end with the scene with a little white boy being the person with Force powers, when there were all those other kids around him to choose form.

C: I know, dude!

K: That were not little white boys! There was a little girl, there was a black kid, I’m just like, I just. It did not need to be the little white boy. And there’s not even any lines. You literally, all you had to do was just have a different kid grab the broom with the Force!

[Laughter]

K: Literally, so easy! Those kids were probably still onset! [Laughs]

C: Just be like we gotta swap that out, real quick.

K: Not hard. Not hard to fix things. It was just so thoughtless, you know? Which, speaking of little thoughtlessnesses in this movie that drove me crazy. Poe made at least three different gendered insults towards people.

C: It was not cool.

K: I don’t remember the specific wording of any of them, because I was so angry and then immediately other things were happening. But I was like that seems very out of character for someone who fucking worships the ground Leia Organa walks on.

C: yeah, and serves with several onscreen, although unnamed, female fellow fighter pilots and x-wing commanders and soldiers and support staff. There are clearly lots of women in the Resistance

K: He actually makes a ‘your mom’ joke in the phone call bit. And no! That was so unnecessary! Why? No!

C: And like you said, more so than what bothers me other than the obvious stupidity, that doesn’t read as in-character for Poe.

K: Which, obviously, we have not had actually that much screen time with Poe, but there’s a lot of tie-in material we’ve consumed of the last two fucking years.

C: That’s the flipside of the tie-in shit! If you’re gonna set all that up, you have to take that with you. Yeah. I just got so mad I hit my mic.

K: Awesome. Oh, can we also talk about I love Rose and Finn, I love them so much. What the fuck is up with everything that happens in Canto Bight? Why could you not come up with something better for them to be arrested for than a parking violation? Why was there an intense multi-helicopter security force chasing after some people who just had a parking violation?

C: I don’t understand.

K: Why did they conveniently find a hacker in their same cell? Everything was so fortuitous. There were so many lazy writing shortcuts in this that if you read them in a book you’d be like that’s too fucking convenient! You know?

C: I was way too distracted by Benicio del Toro. [Laughs]

K: Why did we have to call Maz and tell her there’s only one person in the entire galaxy that can fix this hacking problem for them and then they magically found someone else in the place where she told them to go but it wasn’t he person she told them to go find?

C: I can only imagine that Benicio del Toro is gonna show back up and there’s gonna be some kind of conflict between him and Finn in the next film. Because they had discussions about war profiteering and I think that’s something that the series is shifting more towards.

K: He basically got 90% of their remaining people killed, so he can’t be redeemed. That’s not fine.

C: Well, no. I don’t think anybody’s going to be redeemed. I just wonder if he’s gonna show back up as another minor, like, villain that Finn has to confront.

K: Probably. I would think so.

C: And because the writing and directing of this movie was so ass backwards it ended up, they were like we have to do this thing to get here, so let’s backtrack it and retcon it to this other way they have to meet, but it just ugh. And none of it needed to happen if Holdo had just told Poe what the fuck was going on. If she had just told him, none of it would’ve happened!  And it would’ve been fine!

[Funin’ and Sunin’ by Kevin MacLeod plays]

C: If we didn’t start with the things we didn’t like, this whole podcast would’ve been nonsensical screeching for forty-five fucking minutes.

K: Yeah, we love everyone in this cast. We love all of these characters. We think everyone’s a fucking delight. This was a wonderful performance by Mark Hamill.

C: This is one of the thing I love about the Star Wars movies. Being in the theater is a kind of viewing experience that is just awesome. And I know it might not be like that for everybody.

K: yeah.

C: Not every viewing experience is the same. But I was in the theater and that scene where Holdo goes lightspeed through the ship and all the sound cuts out.

K: ugh, so good.

C: My whole theater, the breath being held. I’m getting chills just talking about it. It’s one of those experiences you don’t get a lot of places like the Star Wars movies.

K: yeah.

C: I will always love Star Wars for that feeling. Regardless of the actual film. [Laughs]

K: Yeah.

C: that feeling alone. That was there 150,000 times in The Last Jedi.

K: This still really felt like a Star Wars movie to me.

C: yes.

K: You know when people talk shit about the new Star Wars movies or the prequels or whatever and they’re like it just didn’t feel like. This felt like Star Wars to me. So I don’t want to hear anyone being like it didn’t feel like it. Just fuck you. Just because it wasn’t all white dudes? Get fucked.

C: If this doesn’t feel like Star Wars then you need to change your feelings because this is what the new face of Star Wars is gonna be.

K: I felt like nothing happened in this movie, but also it threw a lot of shit out the window to open up myriad possibilities for the next film.

C: I have no idea what’s gonna happen. And I never have ideas, it always takes me a while to start formulating theories and stuff. But I came out of The Force Awakens with several definitive okay, here’s this plot line and here’s what I think is gonna happen. And right now? I got fucking nothing.

K: I got nothing.

C: I literally could not tell you what’s about to happen.

K: We’ve got one more major criticism of this movie that I have to mention, because my friend Ann said something really hilarious about it. Ann Aguirre is a wonderful author, also, so I’ll link you to her Amazon page, because if she’s this funny in an offhand comment to me, imagine how great her books are.

C: Friends, I have never read anything more true. [Laughs] Than this thing.

K: The whole weird slow spaceship chase thing was lazy as fuck writing, just as a tool to give them time for stuff to happen while just whatever. It was lazy as fuck writing. Ann said, ‘It was like watching two old people go after each other on scooters and the second old person has some rocks, but is not good at throwing them.’ And I have never heard anything that true in my entire goddamn life.

[Laughter]

C: Friends, I am dead. I have died. You are speaking with a Force ghost.

[Kay laughs]

C: Because I am dead.

K: Speaking of Force ghosts, that Yoda scene was so fan-servicey and I loved it anyway, because it was Yoda. [Laughter]

C: No, no!

K: I love it!

C: It’s so weird to me cause I was so here for those fan-service C-3PO and R2-D2 shots in The Force Awakens. I was so here for those. But the Yoda thing? I was like ugh. Maybe it’s just cause like ugh.

K: Okay, but you’re not actually a Luke Skywalker person, though, right?

C: No.

K: Luke Skywalker has always been my precious child. I have always loved Luke Skywalker.

[Chelsea makes farting noises]

K: To the ends of the earth and the galaxy and whatever.

C: It’s alright. I know my friend Jenny out there has my back. Being on team anti-Luke. No thank you.

K: Even Jenny loved him in this!

C: So did I. I did, too.

K: even all our friends who don’t like Luke Skywalker were like I am mad that The Last Jedi gave me Luke Skywalker feelings. And I was like welcome to my world. Where we are made of desert rat stupid whiny manchild Luke feelings. [Laughs]

C: he went full-on eleventh grade black nail polish locking the door shouting don’t talk to me. He ran to a deserted island to pout.

K: My beautiful emo baby. [Laughs]

C: To pout. But damn. Fucking Mark Hamill looking silver fox fierce as hell in this movie, dude. I know it didn’t work for everybody.

K: He was wonderful.

C: I thought he looked good. He’s looking good. He was looking fantastic, especially in comparison to pasty white Kylo Ren.

[Kay scream-laughs]

C: I thought that scene was so unnecessary.

K: Put on your shirt, man.

C: literally, I’ve never had.

K: We’re gonna have to link to that Lin-Manuel tweet where someone from a wrong number sent him a screencap of shirtless Kylo Ren the day that Lin was going to go see the movie and was trying to avoid spoilers by staying offline. And someone from a wrong number texted him that picture. [Laughs] The world is a beautiful place.

C: Sometimes the universe is wonderful.

K: We have to wrap this up, because I have to take my mom home.

C: No! We still have so much of the good stuff! Okay, we’ll do it quick. Top three.

[Kay laughs]

C: Favorite scenes from the movie.

K: Oh, god.

C: Hey, you’re the one that’s gotta wrap it up.

K: Like full on scenes?

C: Top three moments?

K: Moments?

C: However you wanna do it.

K: Okay, well, the reunion of Luke and Leia, however briefly, gave me all the fucking feelings.

C: Oh my god. Just talking about it gives me feelings.

K: The Hux and Poe can you hear me now scene. Will give me joy for literal years to come. And the scene, I think Daisy Ridley is just so fucking talented.

C: I love her.

K: And I’m sad she didn’t get more to do in this movie. But the scene where she goes down to like where the Dark part of the Force is on Ach-To.

C: I did not get that weird cave shit.

K: There’s the mirror scene. I thought she was wonderful in that. And I know a lot of people really did not like that scene, but I thought she was fantastic in it.

C: I thought she was great, but I didn’t understand what was happening in it. I’m cool with it. I’m fine. I love her.

[Laughter]

C: it’s fine with me.

K: Okay, what were your three?

C: My top three would probably be the Big Reveal at the end where it turns out that Luke has been Force-projecting the whole time and he’s not even fucking there and oh my god.

K: Okay, that was super obvious from the moment he showed up to me, but apparently other people were like [GASP]

C: Oh, yeah, that was not obvious to me. And I literally lost my fucking shit. I literally yelled in the theater ‘holy shit’ and I felt bad cause there were definitely kids at this 9am showing.

K: One, there was no way for him to get in there, and two, you couldn’t see his red footprints and I just you know.

C: Get out of here with your facts.

K: Sorry.

C: And your noticing details.

K: Sorry.

C: And being good at watching movies.

[Laughter]

C: I’m not that and so it was great. I’m the perfect person for that reveal, because it was a reveal to mea and it was fantastic.

K: Beautiful. Love it.

C: Okay, the scene between Rose and Finn where she says, ‘That’s how we win. Not by killing what we hate, but by saving what we love.’ Because.

K: I love that cheesy fucking line. I love it.

C: It’s so good. It’s so Star Wars. Cheese to the max.

K: Only someone as lovely and earnest as Rose Tico could get away with saying that, though.

C: Oh, without a doubt.

K: If someone else had said that I would’ve been like please stop talking. [Laughs]

C: Without a doubt. And then my third one is probably a tie, so I’m gonna cheat. Between when Leia is basically a Force Witch and defies all physics and pulls herself back into the spaceship.

K: Space Mary Poppins. Loved it. Here for it.

C: Super great. And the part where everybody gets back and Poe is hugging everybody, but the very first thing he says is where’s my droid? Poe and BB-8 as space father and son is the best thing.

K: Everyone deserves to have someone love them and look at them the way that Poe Dameron loves and looks at BB-8. Everyone deserves that.

C: Alright, friends. Well, Kay has got to go do stuff and we have been talking for almost a solid hour. So we will go ahead and wrap it up and just. We really liked it, guys. Obviously it wasn’t perfect.

K: It was not perfect, exhibited by us babbling about the imperfections of this movie for a solid half hour.

C: I feel like people don’t need us to tell them all the super amazing things about this movie.

K: No, cause I’m sure if you were gonna listen to all this you either liked this movie enough you wanted to hear our thoughts.

C: Absolutely.

K: Or you hated this movie and you wanted us to validate you. And I guess you could take our arguments about things we didn’t like as validation of your hatred if you wanted. We wouldn’t agree with you. But to each their own, I guess.

C: Yeah, man. So there you go. Something for everybody.

K: Something for everybody. [Laughs]

C: So we will go ahead and wrap it up.

[Sunin’ and Funin’ by Kevin MacLeod plays]

C: I hope everybody out there is having a great end of the year. I hope you got to spend today with the things and the people in the places that make you the most happy. Whatever that may be.

K: And if you are having a shitty end of the year.

C: That happens, too.

K: Because this was an awful year. You have made it this far. And you only have a few days left to make it out of the hellhole that was 2017. We made it. I personally am proud of every last fucking one of you.

C: OH my god, yes.

K: You are all champions.

C: And a huge thank you to all of you.

K: All of you.

C: A lot of you have gotten in touch with us and have been our friends and we love you all so much. Thank you for joining us. We will be taking January off to recover and recuperate and to get the ball rolling on some really fun new projects. We will be tweeting and letting you guys know some of the first things we’re gonna read as soon as we decide what those are. So keep an eye out. We’ll give you plenty of time to get stuff read or watched. So until February, guys, everybody have a happy New Year. 2018’s gonna be better. I can feel it in my bones. So happy New Year.

K: Happy reading. [Laughs]

C: Take care of yourselves and each other. Bye, guys.

K: Bye!

[Funin’ and Sunin’ by Kevin MacLeod plays]

Outtakes:

K: Gonna have some really fucking amazing outtakes from this.

C: Hey, friends, I’m like 75% sure she retconned that whole being in person reason and she got distracted by reading all the fic. Instead of actually doing the list. But don’t tell her you said that.

K: We’ve been talking about this like we fucking hated this movie. We actually had such joyous experiences, both of us. And I’m going to see it for a third time in like four days. It’s not like we didn’t like this movie. It just could’ve been better!

 

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