'20 Shortlist Play-In #2 - Star Wars (Poll Closed)

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Poll posted 6 months ago.

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  • Warren - 5 months ago

    I voted for The Last Jedi because it is less insufferable, but shouldn't there be a 'Neither' option for this poll???

  • Marcia - 5 months ago

    Can we just not include Star Wars or Avengers? I may lose all hope in Filmspotting if either pulls off what Fellowship of the Ring did this year.

    To quote Alan Moore ""It looks to me very much like a significant section of the public, having given up on attempting to understand the reality they are actually living in, have instead reasoned that they might at least be able to comprehend the sprawling, meaningless, but at-least-still-finite 'universes' presented by DC or Marvel Comics. I would also observe that it is, potentially, culturally catastrophic to have the ephemera of a previous century squatting possessively on the cultural stage and refusing to allow this surely unprecedented era to develop a culture of its own, relevant and sufficient to its times."

    If we really believe that the rehashing of these stories is more than an enjoyable adrenaline filled popcorn flick, I fear that we have resigned ourselves to be noted as the least noteworthy generation thus far.

  • Cliff - 5 months ago

    First, let me say that I am a huge Star Wars fan. I anxiously await each new release and am always there on opening night. That being said, I have never had a Star Wars movie in my top ten. They entertain me, but they do not challenge me. Like Flash Gordon before it, the Star Wars movies consists of characters that move around from place to place with plotty details to connect the scenes in between. These events are usually entertaining, but the characters rarely change because of them. Star Wars is high on character, but low on character development.

    There are only two Star Wars movies that have altered this formula: The Empire Strikes Back and The Last Jedi.

    The Force Awakens was entertaining and introduced new characters, but The Last Jedi made me care about them. In The Last Jedi, each character experiences failure and must learn how to move forward. Poe gets demoted. Finn runs away. Rey is unable to convince Luke to join the Resistance. Rian Johnson made a movie that punched me in the gut and I applaud him for that. And yet despite all the failure, Luke Skywalker still arrives to save the day at the end of the movie. This is Star Wars, after all.

  • Heather N, Beavercreek, Oregon - 5 months ago

    You know what was really the best Star Wars movie of the 2010s? Rogue One. Stop debating which of two decent/serviceable films was better and go with the one that was actually good.
    You guys love your other category, where is it when I need it?!

  • Aaron Crabtree - 5 months ago


  • Joe from London UK - 6 months ago

    Both these films are fine but Rogue One is clearly better than both and neither should be anywhere near top 100 films of the 2010s territory.

  • Michael Green Dover DE - 6 months ago

    I know Force is a rip off of the 1977 plot, but I actually think it might do it better and is a hell of a lot of fun. When that lightsaber goes to Rey I get chills.

  • Joe Boyle - 6 months ago

    I really am not trying to be a hater, I promise. I love the original trilogy but can recognize their flaws...maybe with the exception of Empire (perfection!).

    The love for Last Jedi completely baffles me. I honestly consider it the worst film I have seen in the past few years. I saw it in true theatre with my family and we all left the theatre with a ‘what the hell was that’ look on our faces. And not in a good way. I can appreciate upending expectations but that by itself does not make a film good.

    Luke milking a cow, Laura dern (who I love) saddled with an awfully written character, the entire subplot where Finn and Rose ride ridiculous looking cgi horse things....Rose (ugh). Seriously what do people see in this thing?? I do no understand it, I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!

  • Leland, Charlottesville VA - 6 months ago

    This is honestly not even close. The Last Jedi is my personal favorite Star Wars movie of all time. To me it just has so much more to say than much of the franchise and in my opinion, deviated from the originals in all the right ways. Don't get me wrong, I adore the original trilogy (especially Empire) and do like The Force Awakens quite a bit, but if there's one Star Wars movie that will be haunting me for years to come it will be Rian Johson's.

  • Dan Wessler - 6 months ago

    I love both of these films in very different ways.

    The Force Awakens is a perfect re-boot of the Star Wars franchise, a swashbuckling adventure story with fun, relatable characters that moves at a swift pace. Say what you will about it being a New-Hope-retread; maybe it shares a similar plot structure, but as Roger Ebert said, "It's not what a movie is about, it's how the movie is about it." And The Force Awakens is "about it" in the best way.

    The Last Jedi swings for the fences and attempts to re-shape the Star Wars template, being the first Star Wars film to do more than just tell a great story: it weaves thematic threads between the characters and their actions and actively takes some left-turns regarding expectations of what one would expect from a Star Wars film. But I don't think it succeeds in every one of its goals; there are some mis-steps and some dead time, and it generally seems overstuffed with material.

    Out of the two, I respect The Last Jedi more for its gumption and active pursuance of evolution in the Star Wars aesthetic. But I don't feel compelled to re-watch it as often as The Force Awakens, which I love simply for its storytelling. The heart defeats the brain, and Force Awakens it is.

  • Carter Adams, Orlando - 6 months ago

    Even if I didn’t genuinely prefer Last Jedi over New Hope MK II, I’d still vote for it so Rian gets as many bites at the apple as possible (Knives Out and Looper are also in the mix) since his debut masterpiece got prematurely knocked out last time.

  • John Ananias - Orlando, FL - 6 months ago

    I'm voting THE LAST JEDI, though I have a couple of (minor) issues with it and overall prefer THE FORCE AWAKENS. TFA has taken a lot of flak for being a retread, which I don't quite agree with, but THE LAST JEDI does feel fresher and a little bolder, so between the two, I'd rather see that in the play-in or beyond. (We'll see about THE RISE OF SKYWALKER...)

  • Grant, Lexington KY - 6 months ago

    The Last Jedi is the easy pick for me here. It's my favorite Star Wars film for a lot of reasons. Luke's character arc, the beauty of the salt planet, Laura Dern's light speed warp, the return of Yoda (my favorite character in the Star Wars universe), etc. It's not perfect - the whole casino plot line was kind of dull aside from Benicio Del Toro's stuttering bandit, and the Carrie Poppins moment was awful (mostly because I had already processed her death in my mind, so I felt cheated when she came back). So, while I like The Force Awakens quite a bit, it's clearly The Last Jedi here.

  • Jeremiah - 6 months ago

    This is easy. The last jedi is a new different had things to say. The force awakens was nice and cute and said all the same things a new hope did.
    The last Jedi is by far a better movie. I rewatch it I want to rewatch it. In time people who hate it will see it different. It’s amazing!! Last Jedi all the way for the win!!

  • Margaux - 6 months ago

    The Last Jedi is a complete disappointment, and it pains me enormously to say that. Mind you, this statement comes from a fan who even admires ans respects The Phantom Menace, no matter its obvious flaws. In truth, The Last Jedi is a huge letdown. Rian Johnson attempted to create something fresh and new in the Star Wars universe but instead ended up destroying an entire franchise. The script is one of the main reasons this film failed miserably. The characters were poorly written and the story was crudely thought out. Take Luke’s character for instance. How is it that Luke Skywalker, the young man who blatantly refused to harm his father—one of the most evil people in the Galaxy, excluding Palpatine— suddenly decides to kill his nephew? Sure, he didn’t kill him, but he was close. Are you telling me it’s all because of a vision? Again, this is poor storytelling. I could go on and on talking about Leia’s character and how Rian decided to make her fly in space, a cheap and unoriginal way to save a character of such strength and resilience, but no need. The film failed to deliver well-rounded characters, humor, and most importantly, the epic ambience of the Star Wars universe. Rian completely threw away everything J.J. Abrams and George Lucas worked on, completely ignoring more than a decade of Star Wars storytelling before him. It’s a shame, truly. I hate to say this, but The Last Jedi is a failure.

  • Martin Wendelborg - 6 months ago

    This is a strange one. Nobody in their right mind would argue for The Force Awakens as one of the best movies of the 2010s. It's a completely satisfying rehash of the original Star Wars, with oodles of charm. Perfectly cast and well executed.

    Many people - some of them even coherently - argue that The Last Jedi is a travesty. However some of us absolutely adore it. For me it's an easy vote for Rian Johnson - for producing a middle chapter whose reputation will only grow, as Empire's did. I think the reason it'll grow in stature is similar in that it resolves very little, but gives all the characters additional room to grow going forward. It gives the main characters disappointments rather than triumphs. It expands the universe and the mythology in unpredicted ways. As a middle chapter, it's deliberately unsatisfying on its own, choosing rather to set the stage for a potential home run in the next episode. Whether JJ Abrams does so, or produces a Return of the Jedi 2.0 remains to be seen.

    The Last Jedi is certainly the only film of the two that has any sort of emotional response. Nobody hates or loves The Force Awakens. They like it, or dismiss it. The Last Jedi is at the very least SOMETHING. For me, it's yet another confirmation of what was obvious with Brick - that Rian Johnson is the real deal as a filmmaker.

  • Alfredo Gutierrez - 6 months ago

    What I enjoyed most about the last Jedi is that I felt the stakes of every action taken in the film. I also felt like it was a wake up call for people that expect every scifi fantasy film to have a happily ever after ending. I admire Rian Johnson's effort to subvert our understanding of the force.

  • Ryan - 6 months ago

    Hilarious how butthurt all the fanboys and fan girls got over The Last Jedi because it tried something new. Now we will have to endure another copy and paste, boring remake for episode IX which is very sad to me...

  • Joseph Orlando - 6 months ago

    The Last Jedi is a hot mess. You have to admire it's desire to do something new, but it is clunky beyond all imagining. That's a shame, because Rian Johnson seems like a wonderful guy, and has done great work. There are glorious highs (the hyperspace collision and the cave scene come to mind), but they are overshadowed by arc-less characters, a low-speed chase with no stakes (people come and go as they please) and the inevitable realization that the film that was supposed to subvert our expectations ("let the past die... kill it if you have to.") is just another half-baked reboot.

    Putting aside what we all WANT The Last Jedi to be (a bold step in a new direction for a tired franchise), there is no getting around the fact that it is a beat for beat (and almost shot for shot) remake of Empire Strikes Back, borrowing a few sequences from Return of the Jedi for good measure.

    If you thought that the Jedi were going to be more nuanced and interesting, you were wrong. In the end, Luke comes and saves the day, and the Millennium Falcon carries our heroes (now a plucky bunch of Rebels grossly outnumbered by the galactic empire) off. If you thought Kylo Ren was going to be more nuanced and interesting, you were also wrong. Turns out he's just a power-hungry baddy after all.

    It's hard not to like this movie, because you wind up grouped with all of the bigots and maniacs online who resent its diverse cast. I resent having such a brilliant cast given nothing to do. Ray and Kylo are given the most to work with (and there are some great moments there). But Finn and Poe, characters I had really come to love, learn nothing and go nowhere in this film. Poe's arc - he needs to not try to be a hero, and he should blindly follow orders. Finn's - that he shouldn't try to be a hero... that wars aren't won by people sacrificing themselves (spoiler alert... they are). Rose has a wonderful introduction, but falls apart quickly.

    The less said about TLJ embracing Empire Strikes Back's legacy of introducing a minority character just to have him turn out to be a traitor the better. At least Lando was a fully-developed character.

    Maybe we've had enough star wars movies. None of the newer SW films have been very good. Rogue One is almost certainly the best of the lot (dim praise, to be sure). The Force Awakens was a fun romp, if entirely derivative. At least it felt adventurous and exciting.

  • malachy schwartz - 6 months ago

    This has to be the easiest matchup in madness history for me. not because I love one of them, but because I hate the other. The force awakens was by no means one of my favorite star wars films, It felt like a repeat of A New Hope, but despite that I enjoyed watching it and overall I thought it was a well done film that felt like star wars and was far superior to the disastrous prequels. When I heard Rian Johnson was making The Last Jedi I was immediately excited because of my love for brick and I also enjoyed Looper, but what an utter disappointment. I left the theatre after seeing The Last Jedi arguing with my family about what an absolutely terrible film it was and in my opinion, the worst of the entire franchise. I could go on and on and ON about how much I hate this film but I'll spare you the time and just say that from the first 20 minutes when princess leia floats through space the film had lost me. I hate this film.

  • Keenan Collett - 6 months ago

    UK-New Zealand-South Africa (It's complicated)

    I never got on board with the argument that "The Force Awakens" should be praised for having reinvented Star Wars for a new generation. Just sit your kids down in front of "A New Hope" and let the magic happen. "The Last Jedi", on the other hand, is a bold and daring take on one of cinema's cornerstones. Why don't we all do what is right and give our votes to the option that really pushed the boundaries and challenged us in new ways.

  • Colton Butcher, Orlando - 6 months ago

    The Last Jedi is the second best Star Wars movie of all time. Rian did a fantastic job of disrupting the mythos and I will thank him endlessly for that. I know that Force Awakens will probably get it but I'm going to stay an elitist snob and defend Last Jedi until lit's eventually out of Madness next year.

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