iOr, as I like to call it, Shuri: The Movie, Part One.  

Guys, I saw this movie almost a full-ass week ago, last Friday, and I’m just now getting around to writing my review of it because I’ve been waiting for The Giddy to go away so that I had at least a little bit of a chance of writing something that didn’t sound like I was pausing every couple of sentences to wipe drool from my mouth.

(One possible solution to that problem: long-ass sentences.)

I can’t do it.  Giddy is all I’ve got.  I loved this movie.  Loved loved loved loved loved loved loved this movie.  Every single fucking second, every character, every scene, every setpiece.  Every single character in this movie is amazing, every single actor and actress is gorgeous (I have identified myself as a cishet man for my entire life and fuck it I am making an exception for the Black Panther cast) and goddammit if Shuri doesn’t show up for at least a cameo in every Marvel movie from now on, if for no other reason than to make fun of Tony Stark, I will be gravely disappointed.

I said this on Twitter, I’ve said it in person to half a dozen people, I’m saying it again here: I already knew that Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira and oh holy god Angela fucking Bassett were goddesses and superior actresses and that I was going to love the hell out of them being in this movie.  I was wholly and entirely unprepared for Letitia Wright, who is absolutely amazing and steals every single scene she is in.  I have a Shuri Funko Pop sitting on my desk right now that I bought at the comic store yesterday and I am eagerly anticipating something with a better mold coming out soon.  I want a statue.

(Okay, one tiny flaw: I didn’t realize how much I want a Riri Williams movie until I saw this one, if only because I want Riri and Shuri to have whatever the teen girl equivalent of a Science Bros movie is.  Picture the stinger at the end of Avengers 4: We look over the shoulder of a young black woman as she reads an article on her computer about Tony Stark’s heroic death in battle with Thanos.  The camera stays behind her as she stands up and opens her closet to reveal a suit of gray armor inside it.  Come on.  Make this happen.)

I’ve had a few people ask me if this is my new favorite Marvel movie, and I’m not sure.  It’s top-tier, absolutely, up there with the first Iron Man and Avengers and Civil War.  And even of those three I’d put it above Civil War just because only Iron Man and Avengers got me to this level of long-term giddiness after I saw them.  So, how about this: as of now, after one viewing, it’s my favorite Marvel movie that I didn’t literally spend decades waiting to see before it came out.  I think that’s probably fair.

Go see it, right now.  And then go see it again.  It’s wonderful and you’ll love it.

Unreasonable and unfair early impressions of the Nintendo Switch

Nintendo-Switch-Console-Docked-wJoyConRBI am, it seems, a miserable old man.

I’ve had the thing right around 24 hours at the moment and have spent maybe three or four of those hours playing games– mostly Zelda– so take this with as much salt as you feel necessary, but it’s interesting that this is the first game system that I’ve ever played that didn’t feel like it was for me, if you know what I mean.  And actually, seconds after typing that, it’s already not true, because I’ve owned a Nintendo handheld at a couple of points and those felt the exact same way.  The last Nintendo system I really embraced was the GameCube; I’ve felt like everything I’ve touched since then was too gimmicky to be worth a damn and right now that’s the vibe I’m getting from the Switch.  The Joy-Cons are godawful (and I don’t have especially large hands) and Zelda in particular has a really butt control system.  Mario’s feels a lot more natural most of the time but the Mario game really wants you to hold a Joy-Con in each hand with nothing connecting them and that feels really, really weird.

Also I fucking hate the cartridges.  Hate them.  Can’t wait until one gets lost; it’s inevitable.

I’m at the point where I can leave the first landmass on Zelda and past the first boss fight on Mario; I think the Mario game is going to get a lot more play out of me and the boy certainly seems to enjoy it quite a lot too.  I think the Zelda game has too much reading for him just yet and too complicated of a control system, which is a bit of a shame as the original Legend of Zelda was the first Nintendo game I ever actually beat.  The fact that so far it’s actually kind of boring and frustrating (whoever came up with the “weapons should break after fighting one enemy” thing should never work in video games again; I don’t care if it was Shigeru Miyamoto himself) isn’t helping at all.  That said the game’s gotten 10/10 review scores basically across the board so I’m going to assume it gets a lot better and keep playing for a bit longer.

Or maybe I’ll go back to Nioh again.  I paid, what, $80/hour for my Switch so far?  That’s worth it, right?

#REVIEW: JADE CITY, by Fonda Lee

34606064Every so often, shit ends up working out the way I want it to.

I bought Jade City effectively at random– I was at a Barnes and Noble with a gift card burning a hole in my pocket and desperately searching for anything at all in the sci-fi section that looked like it had been written by a person of color.  Jade City was on my Amazon wish list, so I’d come across it the title before somewhere, but at the time couldn’t remember where– and, in fact, still can’t.  So I really bought the book for no other reason other than it was there, and it took me a while to get around to reading it.

You should go grab it and read it right now.

A Goodreads friend asked me the other day what “flavor of fantasy” this book was.  It’s a trickier question to answer than one might think, because here’s the thing: this isn’t really all that much of a fantasy book.  The best comparison I can make for it, honestly, is The Godfather.  Except in pseudo-Japan, which in this book is called Kekon, and while the Corleones were pretty explicitly all criminals, the No Peak clan, which all of the main characters in the book are members (or aspiring members) of, is almost more like a local governing agency than a mafia family.  The trappings are there, sorta?  And no one in the book is ever averse to using violence or various other forms of street mayhem when it’s necessary?  But there’s really no element in this book of having to hide from police, and if anything the book goes out of its way to emphasize how the clans help regulate the actual criminals.

So, the fantasy element: Kekon is the world’s only source of jade.  Jade, in this world, provides superpowers to certain people, known as Green Bones, who keep it in contact with their skin.  The more jade you can handle, the stronger you are; powers include strength, invulnerability, speed, enhanced perception, the usual bundle of Superman-esque abilities, more superhero-style than magical.  Not everyone can use jade, though; some people are simply immune to its effects where others (including most foreigners) are quickly driven crazy by exposure to it.  Jade exposure can also harm veteran Green Bones if they wear too much jade or go too far when using it.

So, yeah: Kekon is controlled by clans, and the clans tightly regulate the supply of jade and how much each clan has access to, and also how much can be exported to other countries.  There’s also a drug, called Shine, that cuts down on jade’s negative effects somewhat, allowing foreigners to use it at high doses and cutting down on jade sickness in Green Bones in smaller doses.  The drug is also pretty tightly regulated, although other countries are working hard at synthesizing it so that they can have their own Green Bones.

Take all of this and drop a clan war on top of it, along with a subplot hinting at no small amount of international intrigue– like, I can see future books in this series easily incorporating spy elements– as one clan begins smuggling jade to other countries without the others knowing and the other countries make plans to take control of Kekon’s jade production entirely.  Throw in a pretty damn compelling intergenerational family story that doesn’t even need the fantasy elements, a couple of awesome woman characters, and a subplot involving a petty street thief and you have what is easily my favorite book of the year so far, and an early frontrunner for best book of the year.   Fonda Lee is the shit, guys, and I can’t wait for the second book in this series.

Go read it.

Some short #reviews


SHORT REVIEW THE FIRST:  Raven Stratagem, by Yoon Ha Lee. Funny story about this book: it’s the second in a series that is going to run at least three books– I think the third one was just formally announced– but it was the first one I bought because occasionally I’m an idiot.  One of the disadvantages of ordering damn near everything I read from Amazon is that once in a very long while I order a sequel to a book I haven’t read without realizing it.

So, anyway: the first book?  I three-starred it, once I ordered and read it, mostly because I couldn’t wrap my head around the technology in the book to save my damn life (all of the tech in the book depends on a common understanding of the calendar, except fifty times more complicated and weird and unique than that sounds) and as a result I didn’t get the book all that well.  It was one of those things where I didn’t blame the book– it’s not the book’s fault that it’s smarter than me– but I wasn’t looking forward to the sequel.

Well, despite still not really being able to wrap my head around the technology, I’m either used to it or it’s backgrounded a bit more in this book, because I’ve blazed through it and I’m enjoying the hell out of it.  I’m not quite done, so I suppose things could still go to hell– but I’m liking Book Two enough that I’ll probably revisit the whole series once Book Three comes out, and I think you should start with Ninefox Gambit and go from there.

SHORT REVIEW THE SECOND: The-WitnessI’ve talked about The Witness a bit here already, but now I’ve beaten it, or at least played it to the point where it does something that is so bullshit that I decided I wasn’t playing it any longer.  It ends poorly, but the hundreds of puzzles that lead up to that poor ending are of generally entertaining and challenging caliber, with most of them proving a level of difficulty and feeling of achievement that keep me moving and playing.  There were definitely a few that I cheated on (I don’t have ego about this shit any longer) but for the most part it’s one of the most solid puzzle games I’ve played in quite a while.  The ending is bullshit, but the game saves itself right before it pulls the bullshit on you, so if you’re of the type to be able to wait once you know the game is beaten, do that and go solve all the other puzzles that aren’t in the main, objective-based walkthrough.  Not a 10/10, but you should still try it out.

Horizon Zero Dawn.jpgSHORT REVIEW THE THIRD:  Now this one is a 10/10.  Despite the stupid name, Horizon: Zero Dawn is one of the best games of this generation.  I got it at a stupid-deep discount for only $20, but I’d gladly have paid full price.  The premise is laid out pretty clearly on the cover there: you’re fighting robot dinosaurs with a bow and arrow.  If you don’t reply “I’m in!” after reading that, you and I really can’t be friends.  The combat took a little getting used to but gets really interesting and deep after a while (any game that can have me regularly using five or six different weapons at different points of a big fight is a game with a good combat system) and literally my only complaint about it is that some of the animations are a little janky.  I never did get used to watching Aloy walk anywhere; they probably should have cleaned up that basic animation a bit.  The plot itself is dense and multilayered and fun, post-apocalyptic pre-apocalyptic done right, and they managed to remember that people of color will survive along with the white folk.  Extra points for Aloy herself, who is as compelling a character as I’ve played in a video game in quite some time– probably since Joel in The Last of Us.  This game is worth getting a PS4 for if you don’t have one, guys.  That good.

Oh God He’s Still Talking: Part 2 of the Spoiler #review of STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI



So, yeah, I’m going to try and finish this before I go to bed tonight, probably to pop tomorrow morning since I’ll be at work all day and why not.  In case it’s not obvious, there are probably going to be places where my memory of the film isn’t quite perfect (I saw it a week ago, after all) and chances are I’ll mix the order of some shit up every now and again.  If there’s anything especially egregious, let me know, or maybe I’ll fix it myself once I see the movie again, which is basically inevitable.

Okay.  Is that long enough to avoid accidentally spoiling something for the Facebook people, who get a little blurb from the first part of the post every time something gets shared?  Cool.  Onward!


Item #2 in the I Know More than You About This Because I Read Books series is Amilyn Holdo.  This lady right here:


The remnants of the Resistance are meeting, with Leia incapacitated and Ackbar dead, and it turns out that now-Admiral Holdo is the new at-least-interim leader of the Resistance.  And she, it seems, is not Poe Dameron’s biggest fan.  Now, I know all about Holdo, because I read Claudia Grey’s excellent Leia: Princess of Alderaan, where she’s a major character.  You may not know anything about her.  That’s okay!  Just be aware that she and Poe ain’t gonna get along… which she basically makes clear immediately by reminding him that one of Leia’s last acts as a non-blown-up person was to demote his ass and that arrogant, order-ignoring flyboys are not going to be any part of her chain of command.

(Did you hear that?  It’s important.)

So Poe pisses off and this is one of the parts where I told this out of order, because it’s after he meets with Holdo that he and Finn and Rose come up with Plan #2.  Plan #1, as it turns out after a while, is to get everybody on the flagship (which, the internet tells me, is called the Raddus) before the other ships die and then use the remaining fuel on the Raddus to get everyone off of it and headed somewhere else, basically in escape pods, before the First Order blows the Raddus out of the sky.

Er.  Space.  Can you blow something out of space?  Before they blow it up, at any rate.  Escape pods are tiny, see, and hopefully the First Order won’t notice them since they’re focused on the Raddus.

Poe does not like this plan.  Poe does not like this plan one bit!  Not that he told anybody about his plan, mind you, because he’s the Arrogant Flyboy and his ideas are better.  But he gets super pissed about the idea that everyone’s abandoning the ship to fly off who-knows-where and he fights back by staging a goddamned mutiny while everybody else is trying to load the ships up.  He and a few others literally hold Holdo and her never-named, beak-nosed lieutenant at gunpoint and try to take over the ship to give Finn and Rose and Slicer Dude some more time to sabotage Snoke’s ship.


This is a bad decision, as Holdo manages to break free of her captors pretty quickly and starts taking her damn ship back.

Oh, and Finn and Rose done got their asses captured and Benicio del Toro is busy pissing off with a couple of giant crates full of, presumably, First Order cash, with not a drop of regret upon his countenance, so pretty much everything Poe Dameron has done in this movie has turned out to be bad decisions..  Turns out dressing like a First Order officer and infiltrating the ship isn’t clever enough to get past BB-H8, BB-8’s no-I’m-not-kidding evil counterpart.  More on them later, but needless to say Dameron is practically trying to hotwire the ship when Leia, of all people, bandaged head and all, breaks into the command deck and shoots his simple ass with a stun blaster.

Yeah, turns out the plan isn’t to just, y’know, flee.  There’s an old Rebel base nearby on a planet called Crait.  That’s where everybody’s going.  Oh, we didn’t tell you that specifically, Poe?  Why the fuck would we have told you specifically?  Maybe your recently-demoted, face-slapped, stungun-stunned ass could, I dunno, follow fucking orders?


But before I go any farther there, let’s go back to Rey.  And that Kylo Ren dude I’ve barely mentioned at all so far.


I happen to be listening to The Offspring at the moment, so please don’t assume that secondary subtitle has anything do do with the actual movie.

So, yeah.  This chick.  She’s been busy:


What with Luke refusing to train her in any sort of proper fashion, Rey’s basically decided to pick up his lightsaber and train herdamnself.

I love this character, guys.  I love Rey.  She’s the best thing Star Wars ever did.  Luke doesn’t wanna train her?  Fine.  Fuck ‘im.  She’s off lightsabering and jumping directly into the Pit of Evil that Luke has warned her away from and shocking the hell out of him with the visions she’s having during the rare occasions when he deigns to show her something.

Oh, and occasionally she finds that she and Kylo Ren are sharing a mental link that neither of them can explain, and they can talk to each other and see each other as if they’re in the same room.  The movie even goes so far as to give us a shirtless Kylo scene just so that they can demonstrate that Rey can actually see him.  That scar?  Goes all the way down, if you know what I mean and I sure as hell don’t.

Anyway, Rey kinda hates him, and it’s unbelievable how good of a job these two actors do of “acting” in a “scene” “together” when they are in fact not even in the same solar system.  Over time, though, Rey’s frustration with Luke sort of boils through, and Kylo sort of gets into her head a little bit– at least to the point where she’s not trying to blow his spectral head off anymore, as she does the first time she “sees” him.  The frog-nuns who protect the island are super pissed about the hole she blows in the wall of her hovel.

This happens several times, and eventually– and I’ll admit I’m losing the chronology a bit here– the question of What Happened With Luke comes up.  Rey gets three versions of the story.  First, Luke tells her that he was worried about how Ben was clearly being tempted by the dark side, went to talk with him, and Ben attacked him and burned down his Jedi school and fled.  Rey confronts Kylo Ren with this information.

And Kylo tells her point-blank that Luke had his lightsaber ignited when he went to see him, and when Kylo woke up, his master was standing over him preparing to kill him.

And then Luke’s version of the story changes when Rey confronts him about it, and it’s another one of those moments where Mark Hamill being an outstanding actor all the sudden is critical, because Luke describes igniting his lightsaber as a brief, terrible personal failure: that he’d had a vision of Ben Solo’s future as galactic supervillain Kylo Ren and, just for a moment, contemplated killing his apprentice, his own nephew, to prevent that terrible future from coming to pass– and, in doing so, destroyed everything he had ever worked for and guaranteed that future.



There are a couple of good Luke moments that I haven’t mentioned yet, and we’re chronologically past them in the movie now, so lemme just throw them in real quick: Luke initially basically hides from Rey, who goes and gets Chewbacca to literally knock in the wall of Luke’s hut.  Luke takes one look at Chewbacca and immediately asks him where Han is.  It’s the first hint we get of how he’s isolated himself from the Force; I don’t believe for a second that Jedi Master Luke wouldn’t have felt Han die.  They cut away after the question and we don’t see his reaction to the answer.

Also, the brief, involuntary smile on his face when he sees R2-D2 for the first time– one of only maybe aa couple of times he smiles in the movie– is wonderful.


So, speaking of Kylo Ren:  he’s not wearing his mask anymore.  He only gets one really good Get Mad and Wreck Shit scene in this movie after several in FORCE AWAKENS, and it’s after being summoned up to Supreme Leader Snoke’s very, very red throne room and basically mocked roundly for not being the evilest evil dude who ever eviled evilly enough.  Snoke, who I briefly thought might be a reincarnated Darth Vader because of the scar on his head but it turns out is actually a gold-bathrobed Undead Hugh Hefner, makes fun of him for wearing the mask and he smashes the shit out of the thing in the lift on the way down from the throne room and we never see it again.

As he and Rey are Force-talking back and forth, she eventually gets the idea that she can win him back to the light side of the Force– that, much like his grandfather, there is good in him as well.  And eventually she decides that if Luke isn’t going to help her, or the Resistance, she’s going to take shit into her own hands.  In fact, she and Luke have a brief fight scene that starts off with her going after him with her staff and ends up with her using his blue lightsaber again.  He throws her off the island (“You can’t fire me, I quit!”) and she steals the Jedi books that I haven’t mentioned yet– there are Jedi books– and splits, planning on going to Kylo Ren and confronting him, either killing him or turning him in the process.

(Oh, and in a Moment!  Of!  Foreshadowing!, Kylo comments that projecting himself across the galaxy in the manner that either he or Rey appear to be doing really ought to require enough power to kill one of them.)

That is a very red throne room.


Luke is alone and abandoned and furious, and he storms off to the Jedi Tree, which never really got explained but was where he kept the Jedi books, intending to destroy the entire thing.  And then… Yoda.

Force Ghost Yoda.

I didn’t know Yoda was gonna be in this movie.  I kinda had some feelings, seeing Yoda in this movie.  And Yoda stops Luke from destroying the Tree, by hitting it with Force lightning and doing it himself.  He’s very much the impish Yoda from ESB here, taunting Luke with the idea that old Jedi books and old Jedi trees are really something important that needs to be preserved.  I really wanted a callback to the line Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter, and didn’t get it.  And it is entirely possible that I wiped a tear or two away during their conversation.  I ain’t saying.  But Yoda kinda gets Luke’s head back on straight, and they sit and watch the Tree burn together.



Rey isn’t subtle about landing on Snoke’s ship, and Kylo Ren grabs her almost immediately, taking her up to the Red Room to meet the boss.  Snoke is insanely powerful in the Force, slapping her around whenever he likes, including one fun part where he lets her snatch her lightsaber from him, then Force-pushes it past her boomerang-style and clocks her on the back of the head on the way back to him.  She not only can’t hurt him, she can’t get close to him, and he’s pretty clear that killing her is how Kylo completes his training.  He lets her try and grab her lightsaber from him a couple more times, and then sets it next to him on his throne while he sits back and emotes evilly at Kylo Ren to kill her.

At which point Kylo ignites Rey’s lightsaber, still sitting on the throne next to Snoke, and cuts him the fuck in half.


No, seriously.  Cuts him the fuck in half.  Darth Maul-style.  And his top half slides off the lower half, and he is dead as hell, guys, they aren’t screwing around with this at all, and it’s at least the third time this movie has blown my fucking mind.

And then Snoke’s eight guards, the dudes in red armor who, as it turns out, probably should have been standing closer to their boss if they wanted to be useful, all attack Kylo and Rey, and the fight is amazing, and it ends with one of them getting sucked into some sort of… mechanical thing?  Which isn’t really very good for the ship?  And everything’s on fire, and blowing up, at least partially because of stuff going on in the A and B plots, and then there’s a brief and very intense fight and conversation between Kylo and Rey, which includes him forcing her to admit that her parents were nobodies, that they were poor scavenger trash who probably sold her for beer money, and she says it out loud, which clearly kinda kills her soul.  The fight ends with an amazing Force battle over Luke’s lightsaber, which gets stuck in between them and then explodes, knocking Ren unconscious.  Rey gets away, stealing Snoke’s personal shuttle and meeting back up with Chewie on the Falcon.

A lot of people are taking this revelation more seriously than I would think they should.  I mean, okay, my Rey is Luke’s Daughter theory is pretty much shot out of the water, but there’s no reason to believe that Ren actually knows anything here or that he’s doing anything other than screwing with her head here.  Dude has not exactly shown himself to be trustworthy, right?



Because Amilyn Holdo, in a last-ditch attempt to save the Resistance, has turned the Raddus around and rammed Snoke’s ship while entering lightspeed.  Let’s back up: Finn and Rose are captured, and Benicio del Toro has not only betrayed them but has dropped a dime on Poe’s stupid plan, and the First Order is picking escape pods out of the sky.  The Resistance, by this point, is down to just a few dozen people at most, and they’re on their way down to Crait.  Finn and Rose were seconds away from being executed– oh, Phasma’s alive, by the way– when all the ‘sploding happened, and Finn and Phasma fight, and for a brief second they let us think that Phasma’s dropped him into some sort of pit, because Star Wars still doesn’t have OSHA, but then he clocks her upside the face with the butt of a rifle or something and actually breaks her mask open, and then the ground opens up beneath her and she falls to her death.


I don’t care, she’s Boba Fett II.  Anyway, Rose and Finn get away and head for Crait.  Rey gets away and heads for Crait.  And Commander Hux finds Kylo Ren unconscious right next to Snoke’s bisected body, surrounded by some very messily lightsabered dead guard bodies.  Hux’s hand, very slowly, drifts to his blaster, but before he can make the decision to kill Ren, Ren wakes up.  I don’t remember Hux’s exact line– it might just be “What HAPPENED here?”, but oh God it’s totally this .gif:


Hux doesn’t believe Ren’s story about how Rey killed everybody and overpowered him for a single second, but there’s more important shit to do and the ship’s busy blowing up around him, so it’s time for the endgame.  To Crait!


Crystal foxes are awesome.

And now, the last stand of Leia Organa and her immortals: holed up in an abandoned Rebel base on the salt-encrusted planet of Crait, with thirteen rickety speeders and some heavy weaponry against this bullshit:


If you look carefully, you can see some regular AT-ATs mixed in with these new school gorilla-knuckle-walkin’ heavy bastards.  Point is, they’re huge.  And they’ve detached the cannon from some big ship bastard and are planning on using it to melt the giant metal door that is the only think in between the Resistance and certain death.

Leia sends out a distress signal.  No one responds.

Finn tries to sacrifice himself to take the gun out, and Rose stops him.  There’s a brief declaration of love on her part, but she’s damn near unconscious when she says it and I’m going to choose to pretend it’s not real, because… nah.  I like Rose too much to believe she fell in love with Finn’s dumb ass over the course of their trip to Canto Bight.  Call it headcanon if you have to.

Point is, the Resistance is screwed.

(I’m passing over some stuff.  There’s shooting, guys, this is at 3000 words again.)

And then Luke is there.  And he’s apparently had time to have a haircut.  And I swear to God he’s deliberately dressed like Anakin:


He meets Leia, and kisses her on the forehead, and gives her Han’s dice from the Falcon.  And then he goes out to meet his destiny, buying the Resistance soldiers time to follow the crystal foxes (roll with it) out of the hidden back entrance to the base.

Kylo and Hux are in the cockpit of his shuttle, commanding the battle.  And Kylo loses his mind when he sees Luke, standing alone in front of the base, his feet leaving no footprints in the salt, bare-handed.  He orders every First Order vehicle to open fire on him, and lets the shooting go on for probably a full minute.  Hux tries to stop him and is unceremoniously Force-slammed into a bulkhead for his trouble, not to be seen in the film again.

When the shooting stops, Luke is unscathed, waiting.  It’s an outstanding moment.

Kylo Ren meets him on the ground, alone.  Luke ignites his lightsaber– his blue lightsaber.  And there is a brief exchange of lightsaber blows, and I can’t honestly say I remember for sure but I’m pretty certain the blades clash at at least a couple of points.

And then Kylo Ren charges Luke, and whips his blade through his midsection… with no effect at all.  Because Luke is still on Ach-To, which he’s sworn to never leave, and where he’s sworn to die, and Ren is fighting a Force projection.  And Rey, who Luke proclaims as the last of the Jedi, is freeing the remnants of the Resistance through the back exit of the base, moving tons of rock aside to do so.

They are the spark that will ignite the hope of the galaxy, Luke’s specter tells Kylo Ren.  And then, on Ach-To, he disappears, joining the Force, his robes fluttering to the ground around him.

Elsewhere, at Canto Bight, a young slave boy is entertaining several other children, telling the story of a battle between good and evil, using straw dolls as toys.  His master comes in angry, and the boy flees.  In the faithier stables, he looks at the ring on his finger, a ring that bears the symbol of the New Republic.

And then he calls his broom to his hand and begins to sweep the stable.

Roll credits.

I loved this fucking movie, guys.  I almost don’t want Episode Nine now, because it’s JJ again, and JJ’s going to fuck everything up.  Rian Johnson gets his own Star Wars trilogy all to himself that he can do whatever he wants with.  I am so, so, so in.

And now I’m going to go ice my wrists for a while.