Spoiler Nation: What We Talk About When We Talk About Star Wars & Dissecting "The Last Jedi"
For all of its gargantuan success, Star Wars is cursed. A space fantasy series specifically designed to appeal to everybody is consistently the object of scorn and derision from many of its hardcore fans. There's a joke that nobody hates Star Wars like Star Wars fans, and to a certain extent that's true.
But The Last Jedi, more than any other Star Wars film, has fractured audiences. Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a Star Wars parade, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi rained on the parade, in a valiant effort to do something more interesting than celebrate itself; nowhere is said raining more blatant than when Luke Skywalker casually tosses his weapon of Arthurian significance over a cliff. More than any other blockbuster franchise, Star Wars, perhaps because of the singular purity of its iconography and storytelling, has been cocooned from being influenced by other blockbusters of equal splendour. This makes the series both instantly recognisable and insanely rigid in its traditions. A movie that set out to buck tradition and add some spokes of its own to the lore was always going to be fun (well, mostly fun) to discuss.
In this episode of the Spoiler Nation podcast, we attempt to make sense of the divisive reaction to The Last Jedi. We tried to discern the noise (“We didn't get Snoke's backstory!", Luke milked an alien sea otter and drank the milk!”, "Too many jokes!”) from the legit criticisms (see: the lengthy detour to a Casino planet).