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>Rey becomes Luke's apprentice, but often questions his teachings. Luke journeyed to the ancient Jedi temple on Ahch-To to find a way to defeat Snoke.
>Finn joins the Resistance and befriends a mechanic (Kelly Marie Tran). Leia is injured in an attack by the First Order in which Finn and the mechanic are left on their own, hunted down by Captain Phasma.
>A politician (Laura Dern) takes over the Resistance and advocates for negotiating a peace treaty with the First Order, declining to help Finn and the mechanic. Poe ultimately gets fed up and reclaims command of the Resistance in Leia's absence.
>Kylo Ren and the Knights of Ren are sent to Ahch-To to kill Rey and Luke. Rey and Kylo fight while Luke disposes of the Knights of Ren. Kylo is ultimately captured, and develops a bond with Rey, revealing something that causes her to have a falling out with Luke.
>Finn and the mechanic end up on a casino planed run by a "Man in Black" (Benicio Del Toro) on a mission for the Resistance. He appears friendly at first, but then betrays them to the First Order. When Rey finds out Finn is in danger, she forces Kylo to lead her to the casino planet. Luke refuses to follow at first.
>Rey and Finn reunite and find out Snoke is on the casino planet alongside numerous Force worshippers. They attempt to stop him and learn a secret relating to Rey and the Force.
>Poe leads the Resistance on an assault on the casino planet to rescue Finn and Rey. Finn is betrayed by the mechanic. When Phasma injures Poe, Finn kills her.
>Snoke attempts to entice Rey to the Dark Side and rejects Kylo over her. Luke arrives and confronts Snoke, who retreats. Kylo gets butthurt and kidnaps Rey, going off on his own to find the "middle ground" between the Dark Side and the Light.
>Luke rejoins the Resistance as Finn and Poe vow to find and rescue Rey.
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This article was posted last night to discredit Jen Lawrence, and rightfully so, but it raises some interesting points we ought to discuss: The notion that movie stars no longer exist, and can only exist within established franchises. And that big budget films are making less and less returns these days.
>In an era which was less franchise-driven and more star (or star+concept) driven, giving big stars the big bucks made sense. You had movie stars like Tom Cruise headlining star vehicles were the top draw was Mr. Cruise. A Julia Roberts rom-com only needed Julia Roberts on the poster.
>That isn’t the industry anymore. So-called “new” movie stars like Tom Hardy, Michael Fassbender and Chris Hemsworth can’t open a film outside of the protective franchise sheen. Most of the old-school movie stars (Hanks, Smith, etc.) are (at best) wildly inconsistent. Unless you’re Leonardo DiCaprio, whom I would argue has retained his gloss partially by avoiding franchises and pop culture properties, or the star of lower-budgeted comedies (Kevin Hart, Melissa McCarthy and Will Ferrell), you’re in a pickle. The “big” movies are now too expensive to rest on the shoulders of (most) movie stars, we’re getting a lot less mid-budget movies of all stripes, and the allure of the star vehicle has worn off in the era of the “Hey, it’s Angelina Jolie… AS Maleficent!” star+character/franchise sell.
What happened to make this so? Is it the advent of the internet? Can mid-budget films ever make a comeback? Tarantino said something along the lines of "this generation is doomed [artistically], but the next one is going to be better." What did he mean by this?