Yep, beyond the break:
The joy of seeing a movie for the second time is things slow down. You might be thinking: hey, Last Jedi was long and now it will feel longer? No, not really. But one does see, hear and realize stuff that was missed the first time. I saw the kid use the force at the end of the movie to get his broom. Subtle but clear. The destruction of much of the First Order fleet is clearer, which makes me wonder where they got all of that equipment they put down on Crait at the end.
Luke's railing about hubris was supported by much evidence here. Anytime a force-user sees something, they think they know the future. Snoke sees stuff and expects Rey and Kylo to play specific roles, but he misread what Kylo was thinking. When Rey saw stuff about Kylo, she was right, kind of. He was conflicted but not so much between good and evil but which evil path to pick--with Snoke or without Snoke. Kylo saw them fighting on the same side, which they did for a moment. The only force-user that was humble when trying to see the future? Yoda. In Empire as Luke gets bits and pieces about his friends in danger, Yoda looks and says (if I remember correctly), in motion, the future always is. Which puts Yoda into the same view of the future as Doc Brown. One's destiny is not yet written--the future is yours to write.
Speaking of which, is it just me or is the tracking device just a super-big flux capacitor?
The Porgs work better the second time--just great big sad-eyed facial expressions. Does Rian Johnson have a bloodhound with big sad eyes?
The plot hole with Poe and the Admiral (Laura Dern) not telling each other what was going on was still there and still unjustified. There must be much Laura Dern stuff on the cutting room floor.
But I am more convinced now that Rey's parents are really unimportant people. It is not just Kylo saying this but Rey, too. She knows. So, let's hope JJ Abrams does not screw that up.
College Spew informed me that some folks are upset because of some bias--that the Latino is a hothead. Poe has more of an arc in this movie, and, yes, it is one where he fails and gets people killed, but the character development is clearly on an upward swing. And the slurs they use are not about his ethnicity but about being a flyboy. I am pretty confident that he will be a great leader in the third movie because that is how trilogies work. Still, I could see why that depiction wrankled. Finn? I think he was tertiary in this movie but still got some character development--finally accepting his role as more than just Rey-admirer: rebel scum and proudly so.
I liked Luke much more in this second watching, knowing where his arc was going. The first time I saw the movie, I was very frustrated--help Rey, damn it! But he ultimately does, just not as we were expecting him. He is a frustrating mentor, but he got his message across. Hopefully, Rey will be less arrogant, as she has learned that her visions of Ben Solo were misleading and misread.
I was also glad to see the alien pilots among the rebels live--including the one who is of the same species as Lando's co-pilot in Return of the Jedi. There are more alive rebels at the end than I thought the first time, although the average rebel is, indeed, dead.
I wonder what I will see the third time I watch it.
One thing that I will try to keep in mind in my own future spews about US politics (and elsewhere): we don't fight to destroy the enemy, we work to save that which we love. Not a bad framework for a rebellion... after all: