Film Theory: How Star Wars Theories KILLED Star Wars: The Last Jedi!
You know, you can’t get a movie that’s much more polarizing than The Last Jedi. Top critics on Rotten Tomatoes have given it a 96% certified “Fresh” rating, While audiences score it at only 49% positive. On MetaCritic, 94.5% of the reviews from critics are positive, compared to 38.2% of audience reviews. So, whose to blame for this disparity? Ryan Johnson?
Porges?! Um, as it turns out, it was….
Me??? [DRAMATIC MUSIC] *Sorry, but game theory is not here, but there is film theory.* Hello Internet!
Welcome to Film Theory! [not game theory] The only show on the internet where talking about data regression and social psychology will actually make you more popular. And speaking of popularity, you may have heard that the biggest film franchise in history had another installment open not too long ago. Ah, no. Not that one, pitches. Though I can’t imagine how they’ve come up with three movies worth of acapella puns. Female movie character: “My fellow aca-people” no puns pls Female movie character: “Oh Im Aca Gee” stop the puns Male movie character: “Listen up aca-ballers” OH MY GOD STOP WITH THE PUNS! Female movie character: “Aca-cuse me?” can i cut the pun parts out pls ugh Oh, they just shoved the word acapella into things where it really didn’t belong. So they didn’t even try Female movie character: “aca-awkward” can we this this movie again but without the horrible puns? No, I’m of course referring to Star Wars. And before I go any further,
I’m going to make two things clear 1. If you still haven’t seen the Last Jedi and have somehow avoided spoilers for over a month, but still don’t want it for you, well then, you should probably both stop watching this video now and also teach me you spoiler-repellent ways, oh intrepid navigator of the interwebs. and
2. I know that every word I’ve ever said about Star Wars to this point has been about as reliable as Hayden Christensen’s acting Christensen’s character:
“What have I done?!” well you said what have i done. But bare with me here today guys and gals because today, I’m not trying to predict Star Wars. I’ve had enough of that. Instead, I’m going to analyse it. Namely how we can explain the huge differences in response to The Last Jedi. A Lot of people loved it, particularly the critics.
“I loved it the second time.” And a lot of people hated it.
“and at this point, I hate the movie so much…” And boy! Did the haters hate it. I mean, right now, there’s a petition written for Disney to remove “The Last Jedi” Stars Wars canon and completely remake episode eight, And you would think that this is just one of those far out fringe petitions with a few dozen signatures. but oh no my friends! Over 80,000 people have signed this thing. This type of extreme divide is pretty unusual. And so I, of course, wanted to analyze what the under lying cause was. But apparently , I didn’t have to look too far for my answer.
It was me the whole time. No joke! Ryan Parker from the hollywood reporter said quote “points of disgust seem to run the gamut, but perhaps the underlying factor can be traced back to expectations borne out of wild theories stoked by fan sites and youtube channels.” Sure, but he could be talking about literally any of the dozens of great Star Wars of- Oh no wait no, it’s definitely me. quote again,
“a prime example of wild expectations not met is a fan-made video on YouTube titled “Film Theory: Rey’s Parents SOLVED” “The fan video, more than 12 minutes long, deconstructs dialogue, looks between characters and even the seating arrangement for the table read of the Force Awakens.” Yeah, okay, but surely this must be an outlier, right? Nope, nope, here’s another. From Nick Johnston at Vanyaland. Quote: “Lurking behind all of this bitterness is a poison that’s obliterating out cinematic discourse: The Fan Theory.” WOW! Not only am I, Matt Patt, small little YouTube creator bringing down the entirety of the Disney empire, I am also destroying the entirety of film criticism as we know it!
With my… Ability to OverAnalyze! Well if claims like that don’t deserve an episode, I don’t know WHAT does. At the risk of getting inception levels of meta here, today’s episode is a theory about theories. Do theories hurt movies and our enjoyment of them? Should I be looking for a new job? Why have I not fulfilled my loser’s half of the bet I made last Star Wars episode and re-enacted a scene from “The Room” yet? All in good time my friends. All in good time. So if we’re going to determine whether theories are ruining movies, let’s start with a pretty basic question. Can we prove that theories fundamentally change our experiences when we watch something? According to psychology the answer is a resounding yes, and there are three principles specifically prove it. The first is known as the mere exposure effect, which states that people tend to prefer things, people, and ideas with which they’re familiar. Heres how it works, in 1968 psychologists set up a study where they show people who dont speak chinese a series of chinese characters, and then asked them to guess what the characters meant. Some of the characters were enlisted only once or twice. While others showed up as much as 25 times, and the researchers found that a subject saw the same characters over and over again, they started guessing they meant more and more positive things. In short, the more familiar something feels, even if it’s something as foreign as an obscured Chinese character, the more likely we are to have a positive reaction to it. And this absolutely applies to The Last Jedi. With any Star Wars movie you’re gonna get a lot of new developments, new characters, new creatures, etc. But The Last Jedi gives a lot of ’em, and dedicates a lot of screen time to them. Notes: Add more Subtitles, Make timing better, and when quoting, use exact words. (Delete this when all fixed)