Every Last Jedi

Every Last Jedi

This is a spoiler-filled first set of reactions to Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

The ultimate courage of what Rian Johnson has done here, is that he fully embraced what it is to be a director who obviously grew up as true fan of Star Wars, and retconned the whole universe into a new understanding of The Force. It’s the kind of revolutionary rethinking of the most successful pop culture franchise of all time that I would have thought would not be possible by anyone but George Lucas, and certainly not under the auspices of Disney. But here we are.

Though it’s well-grounded in the first definitions of The Force that we were introduced to in the original trilogy, The Last Jedi presents a radically inclusive new view of the Force that is bigger and broader than the Jedi religion which has thus-far colored our view of the entire Star Wars universe. (This is also why lost-cause diehards will likely always hate this film.)

On a personal level, it really makes me smile to know that in Carrie Fisher’s last film, in her most famous role, she’d get to know that the vision of what the franchise was about would be broadened to include everyone. Now, every kid who ever picked up a broomstick and pretended to be Luke Skywalker with a lightsaber is canonically one with the Force. It’s a wonderful summation of what Star Wars, at its best, represents in culture.

It’s also a brave film for its willingness to subvert the expectations of the most hardcore fans. In many ways, The Last Jedi is anti-fan service. Tonally, it’s totally different than the other films in the series. Flashbacks and editing sequences like when Rey first sees the Force feature a wildly different direction style than Lucas ever would have tried. Jokes like the initial Poe-Hux call are completely out of character for the voice of the other films (especially the prequels). And the Jedi are no longer an infallible inherited priesthood, but a religion of self-absorbed, usually short-sighted monks who neglect the beauty of the Force in favor of exploiting it for their own power. Any one of these would antagonize those who were overly invested in the old order; all of them together is rank heresy.

But for an open-minded viewer, there are wonderful touches throughout. Rey gets to be a whole person, who grounds the film and is brave and grows, without ever being reduced to a love interest or damsel in distress. Similarly, Rose gets to be not just the first Asian American woman to be featured in Star Wars, but the avatar of the theme of the entire film. The porgs porg it up. Lots of stuff is red. The sound design uses silence more effectively than any blockbuster film since Attack of the Clones. There’s not much Threepio. It’s all pretty great.


Most of all, The Last Jedi sets us up for a third film where, for the first time in 37 years, we don’t know what’s going to happen next with Star Wars. Restoring our sense of wonder or mystery or surprise about the most culturally dominant franchise of all time is one of the toughest challenges any mainstream director could pull off. Succeeding in that challenge makes The Last Jedi a wonderful gift to every kid who ever swung a broomstick lightsaber.

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Since anyone radically different from you inevitably won’t act right (like you), you get a priceless opportunity to see your biggest hot buttons as you react

You can practice turning moments of potential miscommunication or friction into opportunities to speak to each other’s good intent — and feel the satisfaction of “doing what you should be doing.”

Why And How To Cultivate Conviviality At Work

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Instead of dwelling on your growing feelings, move to a de-escalating action and leave room for everyone, especially the person in the wrong, to save face and self-correct

Step 1:

Acknowledge that you heard the person, followed by a pause. That buys time for you both to cool off

How to Not Act Like a Jerk When With Someone Who Is

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Clickbait works for a reason: Because people click on it

Even if only a few people use precise words, employ thoughtful reasoning and ask difficult questions, it still forces those around them to catch up. It’s easy to imagine a slippery slope down, but there’s also the cultural ratchet, a positive function in which people race to learn more and understand more so they can keep up with those around them.

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2017/01/the-candy-diet.html

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Everything that happens in the material world is created first on the level of thought

Political propaganda seeks to affect the way people perceive the world in order to affect they way they behave. Political propaganda is the biggest tool in the extremist’s arsenal. It’s at an all-time high today in terms of sophistication and effectiveness, as Madison Avenue public relations acumen has been insidiously and nefariously applied to the political sphere. Our problem is not just that some politicians flat out lie; our bigger problem is the power of their propaganda to dismantle the ability within many people’s minds to even realize they’re being lied to. People are vulnerable to extremism not because they like extremism, but because in too many cases today extremism is hugely successful at posing as something else.

http://marianne.com/may-6-2017/

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If you are a commodity service, clients will want to pay as little as possible, and you won’t be able to make a living.

If you are a commodity service (your customers see no differentiation between you and someone else), clients will want to pay as little as possible, and you won’t be able to make a living.

http://www.carolroth.com/blog/agency-and-the-gig-economy-dont-be-an-idiot/

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If we see Cuba as a representation of our essential human need for connection, it’s clear that loving and leaving someone still happens in person

even though we live in a digitalized world where our screens are glued to our hands, human connection is all-powerful: at some essential level we still need to meet someone, to talk to them, to interact, especially in order to seduce them.

https://www.estherperel.com/love-in-the-age-of-cuba/

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Natural Language + Artificial Intelligence / Languages

It just needs to be two-way.

On the James Altucher Show

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You may find glorious freedom on the other side of a decision

It is easier to make a choice when you acknowledge that there isn’t just one person for you, nor is there just one relationship and one life we can lead. We simply pick one.

http://www.estherperel.com/the-paradox-of-choice-how-to-choose-a-partner

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You have nothing to lose

Engage in the delicious play of flirting and teasing your potential date through words but also try accelerating the meeting process. Send a message

https://www.estherperel.com/how-to-deal-with-online-dating-fatigue

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