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  • Spoiler-Alert! About Themes and the Beautiful Brilliance of the Ending of Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    2 hours ago


    I was going to wait to write a spoiler post about Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi early next week, but I'm seeing some catastrophically horrible takes from the movie on Twitter (what else is new, I know) and in my limited back and forth there I got a little bit fired up and decided it would be better to write out some thoughts on the themes and character arcs of The Last Jedi instead of arguing vaguely with strangers on Twitter.

    I know not everybody has had the chance to see the movie yet, so if that is you don't read this article. I will be talking about the finale and some structural and thematic arcs that require heavy spoilers. In fact, I'd go so far as to tell you to get the hell out and not come back until you've seen this movie. Love it or hate it on first blush that initial experience should be your own, untainted by knowing some key things in advance. Below I'm going to be talking like I would to a buddy who just watched the movie with me, which means everything's on the table.


    So, now that it's only people that have seen the movie here, let's dig into this thing, shall we?

    Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi makes some bold, Galaxy-changing moves. Not everybody is going to be all in on these choices and that's okay. As a matter of fact I'd even say some of these choices were purposefully made to throw the audience off balance.

    There's a small moment in the middle of the movie where Rey reaches out with the force, thinking she's grabbing her lightsaber away from Snoke only to have the lightsaber fly over her shoulder, zip around the room and clunk her on the head before floating back to the side of the smiling Supreme Leader. By now we know that the end result for Snoke is the same, but the way we get there isn't the path we think.

    For many fans they are Rey in this scenario and the lightsaber is their expectation. They think they know what they're going to get only to have it fly over their shoulder. After all the condemnation this same group threw at JJ Abrams' The Force Awakens for feeling too familiar you'd imagine they'd be overjoyed to see a movie that defies expectation, but you'd be wrong.

    Johnson is a Star Wars fan who also happens to be a very thoughtful filmmaker, so he knows what you're expecting when a conflicted Kylo Ren is taking Rey before Snoke. He even shoots the elevator ride up to the Throne Room with the exact same framing of handcuffed Luke and Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi. There's a reason for that. He wants you to think this is going to be a redemption sequence when in reality it's exactly the opposite.


    Some have been mad at Snoke's exit from the franchise, but that moment had to happen, and happen that way, to make Kylo Ren a fully realized character. He has now killed two father figures and is hellbent on killing a third.

    What's great about this sequence is Johnson takes your expectation (redemption) and gives you a hot second where you think you have it. You get the thrill of Rey and Ben Solo fighting back to back, working together and then you realize, about the time Rey does, that, as Luke warned her, things aren't going the way she's thinking.

    Kylo needed to not be a lapdog anymore. It's way more interesting to watch him make the choice to become the full-throated leader of the First Order than to see him get a hasty redemption. The other option would be to keep Snoke a mystery until the third film and then that would force JJ Abrams to copy Jedi's structure. I see why he was eager to come back for IX. He has a wide open world to play in now, thanks in large part to Johnson's decision to kill Snoke.

    One of the themes of the movie is about letting go of the past. It's seen in most major characters and in the overall arc of the film. Luke has to get over his mistake with Ben (and the even worse mistake to stop training the next generation). Rey has to move past her abandonment by her parents and realize they don't define her. Finn has to wrestle with his instinct to save himself/his friends and to serve a larger, grander purpose... and to live up to the image he wants to project, that of a Resistance hero. Poe has to come to terms with the fact that his gut instinct isn't always right, no matter where his heart is. Kylo literally repeats this theme in dialogue. He takes it a step farther. “Kill it if you have to.”

    With that in mind, yes the ending of the movie is quite beautiful, not just in Luke's exit but in the lead up to it. His moment with Leia is all about letting go of the past, but unlike Kylo he doesn't want to destroy it. He gives her Han's dice from the Millennium Falcon (even if it's just a mental projection of it). Remember the past. Cherish it. But it's time to move on.

    Luke said he came to that island to die and that's what happens. On a filmmaking level does it make sense to shoot it the way they do, by giving you that false sense of hope that Luke isn't going to Obi-Wan himself? That I find harder to argue against, but I can tell you that on second viewing the emotion of the moment hit me harder than wondering why they chose to have Luke give himself over to the Force alone on Ahch-To. It fits thematically with the whole letting go of the past thing and perfectly sets up the biggest, best emotional through-line of the whole movie for me.

    Above everything else this story is about hope. Not hope in some prophecy or chosen one, but one that can be found in anyone, whether they're a slave child or a pure-hearted low-level resistance engineer. It's about goodness and light inspiring the next generation. That is represented the best in the new character of Rose, played by Kelly Marie Tran, and it's the reason why I scratch my head at people dismissing the Canto Bight section of the movie. Sure, there's some iffy composite shots here and the highest concentration of CGI creatures, but this section is the linchpin of the entire movie.

    It's ultimately not about the search for the master codebreaker, it's about the downtrodden seeing kindness from the dying Resistance. The Resistance is fading. The First Order is close to winning. Not only have they all but wiped out Resistance forces, but they've successfully put enough fear into the galaxy that nobody comes to aid of the remaining handful.

    At the end of the movie all that remains of the Resistance is enough people that can fit on the Millennium Falcon and a broken lightsaber. But that's okay. The Resistance's time is over, much like the Jedi (as we know it) and the Sith (as we know it). The new Rebel Alliance is born in this film. It doesn't exist on the Falcon, but in the newly kindled fire in the hearts and minds of the people of the galaxy. Ordinary people. Extraordinary people who think they're ordinary.

    The word “spark” is used many times in the movie, even in the opening crawl. And that's exactly what Rose and Finn do on Canto Bight. They spark that hope in those children. In the final shots of the movie we see two things play out: one, the myth of Luke Skywalker standing alone against an army told with enthusiasm from one child to another, and two, the ring carrying the symbol of the Rebellion on the finger of a force-sensitive slave child.

    Kylo has it wrong, Luke had it right. Don't kill the past. Embrace it. But look ahead, not backwards. Look to the stars. Look to the double sunset one last time. Have hope for the future and the fire in your belly to bring it about. Don't run from your failures, acknowledge them and move on. Don't run from compassion and love and hope. Inspire it. Every victory the Resistance his comes from a place of love and self-sacrifice, never attack. Even the exhilarating, aggressive space battle at the beginning ends up costing the Resistance more than it does their enemy.

    That little boy on Canto Bight represents that future. He so off-handedly uses the force that he probably doesn't even realize he has any special abilities, but we know for damn sure which side he's going to fall on should the call come again. And it's all because he saw two human, non-super powered people show kindness and bravery. The myth building of the Jedi Knight is cool and inspirational, but it's different seeing something with your own eyes. Surely that kid has heard of Jedis before, but what has he actually experienced? Cruelty 24/7.

    That's why Rose is so important to this film and why that visit to Canto Bight is thematically the richest part of the story. If you write it off you're doing so by willfully ignoring the larger themes at play.


    The Last Jedi leaves us with a wide open playing field for Episode IX. If it really is closing out the Skywalker Saga then it has to be about balance. That's the key theme throughout all the prequels, original trilogy and, now, this new trilogy, especially this movie. Anakin Skywalker was supposed to bring balance to the force and that balance seems to be paying off now. Everything light and dark as we know it is going to be over by the time IX concludes. Leia will be gone, Kylo's pretty much got to go at this point. That will end the Skywalker bloodline and for the ultimate prophecy to be fulfilled that means everything has got to be in balance.

    On second viewing I found The Last Jedi to be even deeper and richer than I did on my first go around. I get that some people feel robbed of seeing Luke being a cool badass force warrior. I think that would have been cool, too, but would it have been right? Definitely not for this movie. That would have betrayed the core theme at play and I'll take smart story structure and strong thematic writing over “cool” any day of the week. The Darth Maul duel in Phantom Menace is cool as shit, but what does it mean in the grand scheme of that movie? Not much other than “oh, shit. The Sith are still here.” and “I guess you gotta be the one to train that Anakin kid now, Obi-Wan.”

    As Rose says it's not about fighting someone you hate, it's about saving someone you love. That is what spawns true good in the galaxy. Luke realized that at the end and that's why he finally found the peace he's been seeking for years and he found it in a way that doesn't put yet another black mark on Ben Solo's soul.  


  • Unofficial Rooster Teeth Bowl Pick Em Group

    4 hours ago

    Schwartzanicker Broadcast Nick

    Hello all! 

    I made a group for picking all the bowl games on ESPN's website! Go see how you stack up with everyone!

  • Happy Nondescript Holiday!

    17 hours ago

    da1barker da1barker


      Here is the progress on my birthday present from Azure Props, my gf! The SogeKing mask from the anime One Piece. He is King of the Snipers and I am super hyped for its completion.

      Today I got to do some voice acting for RWBY! It was just one line but it was exciting to know that I didn’t just build the environment for this line, I voiced it too. It was also cool to see Miles in his element. He was excitedly directing for just that one line. It’s nice to know so much passion goes into every voice line in the show.


      My Secret Santa did good! For a 3D Environment Artist, a boat model from One Piece, was the perfect call. I have been at RoosterTeeth for almost half a year now and it has been a great experience. I feel very lucky to be working with such a tight team of talented people and at such an exciting time. Happy Nondescript Holiday!

  • Big Switch sale

    1 day ago


    It looks like Nintendo has rolled out its first holiday sale for the Switch. 

    There are a bunch of good games on sale currently, like the excellent SteamWorld Dig 2 for $15, and Overcooked: Special Edition for $16. There's also Shantae: Half-Genie Hero for $13.39 and Party Golf for $10. Party Golf!!

    Head on over and check it out for yourself. We don't know when the North American Sale ends but the UK eshop sale ends on Dec. 28. 

  • Top 10 Dragon Ball Fights - Editor Notes

    1 day ago

    JoshuaKazemi ScrewAttack Editor

    Hey everyone, how's it going? 

    10 - Everybody vs Broly - Am I going to use this entry as an opportunity to make a DORM LIFE reference. Broly.
    9 - Vegeta vs Android 19 - Getting "Goku'd" should be the new thing. Whether it's the reboot of Punk'd or it just takes the place of "Kobe!" it should become a thing. 
    8 - Gotenks vs Nazi Army - This b story looks amazing. Bravo. 
    7 - Tien vs Semi-perfect Cell - While I do love Gohan vs Cell, I've always hated Cell's character design. It kinda taints the whole saga for me. He looks ridiculous!
    6 - Goku vs Jackie Chun - I've never watched Dragon Ball. 
    5 - Goku vs Vegeta - Here's hoping Jack Black sees this video. 
    4 - Goku vs Beerus - Ah, my opus. It's all downhill from here. Sorry. 
    3 - Goku vs Krillin - I always liked Krillin. Seeing him become a less relevant fighter was a bummer. But at the same time it was awesome that the show was willing to go there and let things evolve.
    2 - Goku vs Frieza - Goku going Super Saiyan was everything for me as a kid. You knew it was coming. Was it this week's episode? No. Next week. Next week. When it finally happened, it was amazing. My favorite moment from the show. 
    1 - Gohan vs Cell - Gohan was always my favorite character. This was also a great moment born from such anticipation.
    11 - Krillin vs Jackie Chun - So silly. 

    Next week, I write a Top 10! 

    Watch the video: RT | YT 

  • Nintendo Switch and Xbox One X Top Google Searches

    1 day ago

    Eddy Writer - The Know

    2017 was definitely a big year for the video game industry -- not only because of all the great games we've gotten to play, but also because of the release of two brand new consoles thanks to the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One X. If there was any question as to whether or not these systems actually made a splash, look no further than Google! 

    The company released their annual search report this week, detailing some of the most searched-for terms on the entire internet. And it seems that both the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One X were in the top 5 search terms for consumer technology -- at number 3 and 5, respectively. That's fairly impressive in a category that is normally eaten up by smartphones (and for reference, the other 3 items were the iPhone 8, the iPhone X, and the Samsung Galaxy S8). 

    Considering what we know about the Switch, all that consumer interest has definitely translated into loads of sales. We're still waiting on Microsoft to release some totals for Xbox One X -- but this is another pretty good indication that consumers have been very much interested. 

  • Book Recommendations?

    1 day ago

    Steffie AH Social

    I'm building up my TBR list for 2018. Any recommendations? Love memoirs, journals, and sci-fi. I'm such a huge sucker for time-travel stuff especially if there's romance. (Not Outlander tho. Like fuck that book. Also already read Time Traveler's Wife which I loved.)

    My GoodReads:

  • On community, staff participation, platforms, and general ramblings

    1 day ago

    kickme444 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RT Community

    In a forum on the site I was asked why the staff isn't participating.  There was also general concern about the direction of community on Rooster Teeth.  I wrote up a reply there, but I thought it would be generally useful for other people to read as well.  Here it is:

    As far as community goes, here's a few remarks, note I am full of meetings today so I don't have enough time to write a novel, though you KNOW I want to! :)

    Bimbie, you are correct that in order for community return, we need to use our own site.  This is 100% correct.  However, there are a few things that need to happen, namely:

    1. With an organization as large and complex as RT, it takes a lot of education and coordination to make this happen.  To do this, it requires resources ... I am working on that, it takes time.

    2. With the current state of the site, even when staff participate, it goes largely unrecognized, thus discouraging the staff from participating.  This is human nature, it's the same reason the community has stopped participating.

    Acknowledging these two things puts us in a point of transitioning.  We are transitioning from an old platform to a new platform.  This takes time and resources (which we have now on the development side).  We have started an initiative to get more staff involvement on THIS site.  This requires people who understand that they may receive little feedback on their contributions.  So, we are finding the right people and will be ramping up this effort in the coming weeks and months.

    That being said, if we could magically flip a switch and get all ~300 employees active on RT, while it would help a lot, the platform is in such bad shape that it would not bring back the community or do much for growth.  

    The path to success, simplistically, looks something like this:

    Work on a new product -> increase staff engagement -> release new product / get existing communities on the new platform / get staff and talent using the site actively -> set a cadence of community improvements so that we are constantly improving (this includes building the platform on all devices, adding new features for communities and moderators, adding new features for end users, adding new features for staff)

    This process will take all of 2018.

    With all of that being said, we need to address Eric's concerns.  I'm afraid to say/guess that there is no way to return to the past.  It's very hard, maybe impossible, possibly futile, to try to get an old community to return.  If you acknowledge that, you have to look to making something new and making it what you want it to be.  That's going to mean that there will be NEW users finding communities and making something new.  It's up to us (RT employees and you, the community) to make sure we're building and growing something that is what we want.  It will undoubtedly look and feel different than anything that has existed before, and will have a new set of users, but I believe we can make something great.  I'm just afraid we can not expect to return to some previous form of glory.

    Can it be done? Yes! Why? Because as a website we have a LOT of new users who visit the site every months.  Many millions of users.  We also have hundreds of existing communities here, and elsewhere that really want a central place to exist, be found, and ultimately flourish.  Can we fail? Yes, absolutely.  It is HARD to build community.  Harder than most people would ever guess, even with the advantages we have.  

    What can you do to help us succeed? First, you have to want us to succeed.  I read everything that is written on the site, and while I know that people are passionate about RT and the community, I also see that the large majority is disillusioned and largely negative about most of our efforts.  There is no way that I as the product lead for community can release a product that is going to solve all problems for all people.  I can work with you guys to understand the problems that we're trying to solve, and then implement what I see as the best solution.  I can put that product in front of y'all and then iterate to make it something that actually works.  What's this going to require from you? An open mind.  An understanding of iteration, improvement, and a willingness for change.

    We're working hard for you guys, you will see what we're working on when it's to a point that it makes sense, and I'm trying to be as transparent as humanly possible through the process.  Hang in there, together we can make something great!

  • George Lucas weighs in on The Last Jedi!

    2 days ago



    If you watched the spoiler-free video of Ashley, Jon and myself talking about The Last Jedi I brought up the question "Do you think George Lucas would like this movie?" My gut was telling me he just might because if there's one thing Lucas respects it's a singular vision and love or hate The Last Jedi it's clearly not a movie made by committee. 

    Lucas may respect the auteur but remember singular vision or no this is still someone else playing in his sandbox. He made a ton of money selling Star Wars to Disney, but he's an artist at heart and it's gotta sting seeing someone else play with his universe. 

    Well, we don't have to guess anymore. Lucas has seen the movie and, according to The Hollywood Reporter, is a fan. He called the movie "beautifully made" and was highly complimentary towards director Rian Johnson on a phone call after his private screening. 

    Don't forget Lucas was publicly critical of The Force Awakens for being "a retro movie" that relied too much on being like his original Star Wars, so him giving the thumbs up to Rian Johnson's vision wasn't guaranteed. 

    Take it as you like. Is this the director of Star Wars and the main creative force behind Empire and Return of the Jedi or the director of Phantom Menace-Revenge of the Sith saying it's good? The answer is all of the above and, as someone who has seen Johnson's movie, I can tell you that it is definitely the artist respecting another artist. 

    Does this make you feel better about The Last Jedi or do you have visions of Jar Jars dancing in your head? 

  • World of Warcraft guild beats boss after wiping 320 times

    2 days ago


    A top World of Warcraft guild beat the final boss of World of Warcraft: Legion -- Argus The Unmaker on mythic difficulty -- and, um, it sounds like a bit of a chore. 

    Guild officer George Georgiadis of the EU-based guild Method tweeted that they accomplished this after wiping 320 times. Which, I'm not sure if it's amazing or horrifying. He tweeted that Argus wasn't quite as hard as Tomb of Sargeras boss Kil’jaeden but he added that it was “still quite a tough one—heart was going BOOM BOOM BOOM.” 

    The victory came after the mythic version of the boss had been released for about a week -- and of course all the top guilds were racing to see who would be first.  

    Here's a Twitch clip of the Method crew screaming in nerd joy after beating the boss.

  • Programming Team Community Service Day

    2 days ago

    ebregman Evan

    This is my second holidays at RT, and the first when my team has been more than just me and one other person! That meant it was time to do some team bonding, and my favorite way to get closer to folks is good ol' fashioned volunteering.

    This year we spent time with the fine residents of the House Rabbit Resource Center, where one of our team members volunteers every week. Yes, we pet bunnies all morning (and fed them!).

    Couldn't help but share this familiar face who we met as soon as we walked in - a sassy Californian rabbit named...Yang. Can't make this up guys.


  • How Many People Watched The Game Awards

    2 days ago

    Eddy Writer - The Know

    Some of the early numbers are in for last week's Game Awards -- and it looks like this was a record year for the show. According to the organizers, 11.5 million tuned in to check out the ceremony this year, which is way, way up from 2016's event. That show brought in just 3.8 million in comparison, which makes this a 202% jump. As for some other stats released about the awards, it seems more than 70% of the viewers on Twitch interacted by voting, and Steam viewers clocked in at around 70 minutes of watch time each. 

    So hey, great job on getting watched by lots of people this year, Game Awards. We look forward to the trailers, announcements, Death Stranding trailers, and memes waiting for us in 2018. 

  • PUBG Xbox

    2 days ago


    Played a couple of rounds of PUBG last night. It's a pretty steep learning curve going from PC to console. The inventory system seems like they did their absolute best put there's no way they can make it as quick as it is on PC. However, I do like that you can attach/equip items straight from the ground with one button. That's pretty convenient and would be cool to have on PC.

  • Player Unknown's Battlegrounds out now on Xbox One

    2 days ago


    If you don't know a gaming PC and want to know what all the fuss is about, when it comes to Player Unknown's Battlegrounds -- today is your day. Well, if you own an Xbox One, that is. 

    A port of the game is now available on Xbox Game Review (meaning that it's still unfinished) and reviewers say that it's clunkier than PC, but still worth a shot. 

    The Verge said: "PUBG is one of the most brilliantly designed shooters of recent years, and that design remains intact on console. You don’t have to be an experienced online shooter fan to have fun with PUBG. It certainly rewards skill, but the way that each game has an element of luck keeps you coming back to see if you can do better next time."

    But yeah, it's definitely not as smooth of an experience on the console. Kotaku said: "The console’s more casual feel benefits players who prefer a more strategic, slow-moving pace, but that’s in part because the game’s signature jankiness is significantly jankier here—it’s hard to play ambitiously when everything from switching weapons to jumping off the airplane is just a little more finicky. If you were hoping for a more polished Battlegrounds experience, I’m sorry." 

    Still, most agree that it's worth playing if you haven't checked it out on PC. You can buy the preview version for $30 starting today. 

  • Breakdancing game 'Floor Kids' now out on Switch

    3 days ago


    The Switch has been filling out its lineup of games nicely ever since it released in March. And now it's getting a genre that you didn't even know you needed -- a breakdancing game!

    Floor Kids is now out on the eShop and it's described as "a unique freestyle game featuring fresh rhythm challenges and multiplayer sessions." 

    Here's a trailer if you want to check it out

  • Update on RT Store Orders and Customer Care

    3 days ago

    Chelsea RT Community Manager

    Hi everyone!

    I've got a very important message to deliver today regarding our Customer Care Team for the Rooster Teeth Store.

    I know many of you are affected by orders being delayed and all around confusion on if you’re going to get your order in time for Christmas. We understand that you are looking for information on your orders and we haven’t done the best job in answering them quickly.

    There are a few concerns that many of you share. So we’d like to address those and let you know how we are handling them.

    1. Extra Life Orders: Due to the insane support that you brought to us #forthekids we had to enter a second production run for some of the items, particularly the pin set, which has caused a delay in order processing.

    How are we fixing this? If you had an order with EL merch and OTHER items, we're going to be shipping the non-Extra Life  items immediately. Once the EL items are in our warehouse, we will ship those to you separately. You'll be contacted directly from either myself or the RT Store via email with more information about this. We apologize for the delay in getting these items to you.

    2. Oversold Items: Due to a glitch in our warehouse system, a few items were oversold.

    How are we fixing this? We are cancelling the oversold items, refunding you for those items and pushing the rest of your order through. You will be contacted directly by either myself or another member of the CS team with your new order number and additional information if needed.

    3. Shipping Status: All orders placed before the shipping cutoffs will be delivered before Christmas. As a reminder, these are the shipping cutoffs for those of you located in the United States:

    Dec. 15th - Last Day to Ship Standard UPS Ground - Order by 6 a.m. CST
    Dec. 20th - Last Day to Ship via UPS Second Day Air - Order by 6 a.m. CST

    Dec. 21st - Last Day to Ship via UPS Next Day Air - Order by 6 a.m. CST
    * The shipping deadlines listed above only apply to US shipping destinations.

    If you ordered internationally, the last day to ship International Standard was Dec. 5th 6 a.m. CST. As a note, carriers do not guarantee delivery times for International Shipments.

    4. All other inquiries: This includes questions about order status, tracking, product information, and more.

    How are we fixing this? We have hired ADDITIONAL HELP to aid the Customer Care Team in responding more quickly to all inquiries.

    All of us sincerely appreciate your support and patience as we work through the holiday traffic. Please let me know in the comments below anything that we can do better moving forward.

    Much Love,

    Chelsea + RT Store Team

  • These are not the posts you are looking for...

    3 days ago

    Qholtz VFX Artist Rooster Teeth

    Kylo Ren stopped a blaster mid air in beginning of Episode 7.  You can call him emo, whiny, baby, angsty, and a brat, but if you are going to looked me dead in the metaphorical eyes and tell me you didn't feel the force in that scene, boy do I have some comments to type back to you.  Kylo is one of my favorite villains in any movie?  Maybe its just the cool mask and saber but hey, I like what I like.

    Friday night I am scheduled to be with my wife and friends enjoying Episode 8 and I can't wait to see the Star Wars text scroll across the screen.  Being in the FX industry, These are the types of movies that get me going.  I'm in awe visually the entire film.  The fact that the whole nation gets behind these releases is so awesome to see!

    What are yalls plans this week?  Midnight showings?  Are you going to risk spoils waiting til the crowds calm down?

    I hope everyone is having an awesome Star Wars week!

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi is an assured, cheer-worthy, fantastic entry into one of my favorite franchises!

    3 days ago


    Star Wars: The Last Jedi isn't an easy movie to talk about without digging into deep spoiler territory, but by God I'm going to give it a shot!

    I was lucky enough to see the film at its world premiere at the gargantuan Shrine Auditorium in LA this past Saturday, so take that into account. Being in a 6,000 seater surrounded by the cast, crew and random celebrities in the first audience in the world to watch this movie can certainly have an impact on how the movie worked for me. I have tickets for Thursday and Friday nights (because I don't mess around when it comes to Star Wars) and will be able to test just how much being in that audience had an effect on my opinion, but here are some immediate thoughts on Rian Johnson's middle film in the new trilogy of Star Wars films in the meantime.

    The Last Jedi isn't a passive film. Big, big things happen here. By the end of the movie the galaxy as we know it is in a much different place than it is at the start. The film opens just after the events of The Force Awakens. It's actually a pretty great choice to start so close to the ending of the previous film. It gives this story an urgency as the remnants of the Resistance flee their base, the First Order determined to stomp them out once and for all.

    Starkiller Base may have been destroyed, but it did its job in wiping out the central government of the galaxy, leaving the Resistance little but a tiny militia way out-gunned and out-manned by the First Order.

    The spark of the Resistance is dying despite their victory in The Force Awakens. The big question is whether or not the Resistance's actions can inspire the rest of the galaxy to stand up to Supreme Leader Snoke, Kylo Ren and the rest of the First Order because as we begin this new movie the Resistance is down to about 400 people and the First Order won't rest until all of them are eliminated, determined not to make the mistake the Empire did and let the Rebels grow in power.

    Once again they place the hope of igniting that passion in Luke Skywalker. It worked before, surely it would work again, but Rey quickly finds that Luke isn't exactly gung-ho about returning to the spotlight and for good reason.

    Writer/director Rian Johnson has placed every single one of these characters into situations where they have to face their worst fears. Poe has to come to grips with the fact that following his gut has consequences and being good at blowing shit up isn't always enough. Leia has to face the very real possibility that she has failed with the Resistance. Finn found his courage in TFA, but only when it comes to his friendship with Rey. What about his devotion to the movement? That is tested here. Luke has removed himself from the equation completely because he fears he will do (and has done) more bad than good. Can he open himself up to the force once again? Rey confronts the dark and the light within herself.

    People expecting a remake of The Empire Strikes Back are in for a surprise. In fact, surprise seems to be the modus operandi here. Johnson constantly defies expectation, resulting in some of the most cheer-worthy moments of the entire saga. He also makes strong choice that will surely enrage some hardcore fans, delight others and result in hours upon hours of debate, deconstruction and conversation.

    I believe every single one of his choices are inspired and meaningful. Nothing is done cheaply here, every choice is earned and shows a deep insight into character complexity and thematic clarity. The final shot (don't worry, I won't spoil it), for instance, is atypical of this franchise, but sums up every single thing this movie's about in one beautifully composed image.

    The Force Awakens was a rollercoaster ride that re-introduced us to the Star Wars many of us felt had been gone since the Original Trilogy. The Last Jedi has some big moments, but is a little more introspective and actually makes The Force Awakens even better.


    We get a better insight into Kylo Ren in particular. He got criticized for being too emo in the last film, something I didn't really buy. I loved his set up as a lost character, his dark and light nature constantly fighting within him. He desired to be Darth Vader, but had to force himself into the darkest aspects of his grandfather's persona. It didn't come easy. That's interesting to me. In The Last Jedi that struggle is magnified and a choice has to be made, one way or the other.

    Snoke is handled so much better here as well. His power is shown, his intelligence is revealed and the CG work on him is infinitely better than hologram dude from the last film. He's a real threat now and as powerful as he's shown you're not sure how the hell the dwindling Resistance has a chance against him.

    Rey's character growth is actually much more subtle than you'd think from the trailers. Much like Kylo she's trying to figure out just who she is, hanging so much on her parentage to give her a clue what kind of person she is and what her place in the world is, which weirdly mirrors the fandom surrounding the character. The answer to that question is wholly satisfying to me, but I'm not sure how the rest of fandom is going to take it.

    Leia is done very, very well here. She has some meaty stuff to work with. What Johnson does with her character here is some of my favorite stuff in this new film. I love it so much I'll just leave it at that and pick up the discussion after everybody has had a chance to see the movie.

    Luke. It's tough to talk about his character in any sort of detail without putting you ahead of his story, but I will say that Mark Hamill totally brings his all to this part. Luke is frustrating, inspirational, likable, grumpy, dickish, compassionate, cowardly and brave all at once. He's beautifully written and expertly performed. Much like with Harrison Ford's return as Han Solo in the last film there are moments of pure nostalgic magic when you see glimpses of the Luke Skywalker from the OT poke through this older version of the character.


    The new characters likewise benefit from Johnson's rich character writing. Rose Tico, played by Kelly Marie Tran, in particular shines as a lowly grunt that has the heart of a Rebel fighter. She's a true believer and her enthusiasm is the kind that changes hearts and minds. She's a crucial character to this story because she embodies everything good about the Resistance and the Rebel Alliance before it. She's kind, proactive, loyal and doesn't take any shit.

    Benicio del Toro's “DJ” is a murkier character, a rogue in every sense. He's shaped in the Han Solo mold of a pirate that's out only for himself, but Johnson knows that you'll recognize this exact Star Wars character type and makes sure not to take it in the direction you're expecting.

    Laura Dern's Vice Admiral Holdo is not at all what I expected. She's a figure that is quite prominent in the Resistance and ends up carrying some of the most emotional weight of the movie. It's so damn nice to see Dern in this universe and the only problem with casting her in this movie is that she's not in every frame and you kind of want her to be.

    Porgs. What to say about the Porgs? I love 'em. There's an especially awesome scene around a campfire and that's all I'll say about that, but yeah, they're adorable and you're going to either love how cute they are or they'll annoy the hell out of you. Thankfully Johnson doesn't overuse them, so either way you'll be fine.

    The film looks like a million bucks thanks to Steve Yedlin's gorgeous photography. The battle scenes are especially spectacular. John Williams is still on his game with a driving, yet delicate, score that sits shoulder to shoulder with his best Star Wars work. ILM does a great job with the VFX, with only a few wonky comp shots on the casino planet of Canto Bight that stuck out to me. Snoke in particular is an impressive feat considering that he's photoreal and shaped in a way that absolutely can not be makeup yet doesn't land in the dreaded Uncanny Valley. There is one other bit of CG weirdness that is a tad off-putting, but ultimately successful. Vague, right? Trust me, you don't want me to say more than that.


    The practical effects are righteous, too, especially when it comes to some of the creature work done.

    There's some deeper stuff I'm dying to talk about, especially when it comes to some of the main themes of the movie, but even bringing those up could get your geek brains firing in ways that'll put you on the path to figuring out the movie before you see it and I don't want to do that. I will say some of the themes of the movie have to do with Hope and Nostalgia or the lack thereof and to me that's the real interesting thing about this movie, but I'll write something next week that dives deeper into that after everybody's had a chance to see it.

    On the whole, The Last Jedi is a fantastic film that really moves the Star Wars Saga into some unexpected territory. It's not a retread of Empire, but does borrow a little bit of Empire's structure which really keeps the flick moving through its 2.5 hour runtime. All the characters are interesting and complex and there's absolutely no pussyfooting around some real deal consequences to actions taken.

    In short, The Last Jedi is an assured film. If you had any doubt that Johnson wasn't able to make his movie the way he wanted to without being forced into safe territory by some kind of committee then this film should put your doubts to rest. This is a bold, emotional, surprising entry into the Star Wars franchise and one that I can't wait to watch over and over and over again.

  • TV Shows

    3 days ago


    TNT has been killing it. I fell in love with Good Behavior (Mary Crawley has a dark side!) and just started watching Claws (Niecy Nash, whoop whoop!). I have heard good things about Animal Kingdom, so that will be up next. Non TNT shows I have been hooked on: The Gifted, Vanderpump (Come on Jax!), Below Deck, American Horror Story, Lost Girl, Search Party (I think that is TNT again), Voltron, Seven Deadly Sins, and Marvel's Inhumans (it kinda sucks, but it's Marvel so I'm in).  What are you guys watching? Anything I can't miss?

  • Kojima Dishes Out Tons of Death Stranding Info

    3 days ago

    Eddy Writer - The Know

    After multiple super confusing trailers, it looks like Kojima is dishing more on his mysterious game, Death Stranding. In a new interview with IGN, Kojima reveals tons of cool lore and gameplay details... like the fact that the underwater sequence seen in the most recent trailer is actually the game over screen? 

    Yeah, apparently so. Kojima says when you die, death isn't the end. Rather, you hang out in that purgatory type space and can collect items or go back to your body, during a countdown timer. Once you go back, the game doesn't reset you to before the point you died -- you pick back up in the game world. He also commented on the rain that seems to age people -- it's apparently called Timefall and it's super important to the story and lore. And if you're wondering where this new trailer falls in with the actual game, Kojima revealed that it's pretty close to the game's prologue, and happens fairly early on. 

    So yeah... maybe that'll make Death Stranding make some more sense for you. Or not. There's actually plenty more to read about in the IGN interview, and I highly recommend giving it a read -- it also goes into Kojima's love for fan theories, and some of the struggles they went through because of the recent voice actor's strike. 

  • Introducing the Rooster Teeth community development team!

    4 days ago

    kickme444 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RT Community

    Hello friends!

    I’m really excited to be making this post.  For the past few months, as you know, I’ve been working on a plan for working on the Rooster Teeth community platform.  I’ve hinted that development has started and want to use this opportunity to tell you that yes, development is fully underway, and moreover, we have a whole team working on it!

    This team is (mostly) new to Rooster Teeth so I really need your help here.  In order to make a great product, we need to hear from you about the great things about the Rooster Teeth community.  If you can spare a minute, write a comment up about your favorite moment or two in the RT communities, whether here on the site, on another site, or in real life.

    And now, I’d like to introduce you to the team who is building this for you, please give them a warm welcome:

    Janet Wang - @janetwang

    Hi! I'm a User Experience Product Designer for Roosterteeth, based in Los Angeles, California. I am an astrology enthusiast, fan of outdoor walks, and collage hobbyist (magazines + exacto knives are my jam). I'm looking forward to working with our team to build an awesome community experience for you all =D

    Crystal Jackson - @ckjxn

    My name is Crystal (call me CJ).

    I'm a product designer for Rooster Teeth and Fullscreen.

    RT I'm into: RWBY.

    Favorite games: Sims 4, Minecraft and Mario Kart (Switch).

    Fun fact: Was always picked last in gym. (Turns out life is not like kickball.)

    Jimmy Chen - @jimjimjimmy

    Hello, my name is Jimmy, people call me Gandalf because I am old and look good in gray.

    When I am not watching reruns of Hobbits, Armageddon or animal fail videos, I am a product designer for Rooster Teeth.

    My favorite game is tic tac toe and beer pong.

    Fun fact: I was tested with a IQ score of 45 when I was in 3rd grade. My IQ never improved.

    Moises Beltran - @bmoises

    Known as Moises Beltran, I am lead engineer working for Rooster Teeth and Fullscreen. I have worked in commerce, advertising, mapping and now media.

    Favorite Games(although I am not a gamer): PC(Doom 3, GTA 3, Halo, Bioshock, Half Life).

    Fun Fact: I like to build things, take things apart and figure out how things work.

    Amin Ali - @xeltenton

    My name is Amin, I am a Senior Engineer here at Roosterteeth. Have always enjoyed Red vs Blue but have recently added RWBY to my list of backlogged shows I need to catch up on.

    Favorite Games: Rocket League, League of Legends and Horizon Zero Dawn

    Fun Fact: Even though I can't stand the heat, I somehow continue to pick hot climates to live in. Sudan -> UAE -> Mississippi -> Texas. I might hate myself but I love Austin too much to leave. :P

    Patrick Weygand - @derduher

    My name is Patrick, I am a Senior Frontend Engineer working on the community. I've been a fan of Roosterteeth ever since you had to download the quicktime/realplayer videos for Red vs Blue. Currently watching RWBY and Achievement hunter (mostly 7 days to die).

    Favorite Games: Factorio, Skyrim, Bioshock Infinite

    Fun Fact: I am super looking forward to They Are Billions:

    In the near future, we will also be adding a few native mobile developers!

    This is all so exciting, I hope everyone will show this new team the ropes and help them really understand the greatness of the Rooster Teeth community!

  • Super Mario Odyssey beaten ... without jumping?

    4 days ago


    We've already seen some crazy Super Mario Odyssey runs, but this one might take the cake. 

    Youtuber Gamechamp3000 posted a video showing off the seemingly impossible task -- finishing the game with your jump counter at zero. No jumps, no double jumps, no triple jumps, no backflips, side flips or long jumps! Basically nothing using the jump button while Mario is on the ground. 

    Amazingly, Gamechamp pulled it off, making liberal use of cap jumps -- only to discover at the end, that the game (for some ungodly reason) counts the act of talking to NPCs as a jump. What the hell??

    But like a true champ, he ran through it again -- this time, without talking to NPCs -- and finally got a zero. 

    Check out the video, it has to be seen to be believed.

  • We took a little day trip...

    1 week ago

    Barbara this amazing cabin, to take pictures of the new RWBY Beacon collection and drink delicious hot cocoa. (PS... all the RWBY stuff is 20% off today... just sayin'...) 

    Was a really fun day shooting with @wesellis, @gisellegrayson and @coolnathan -- and being getting to pose/strut out stuff with @Miles, @coleg, and @micaburton. I know what you're thinking- "man, those are some great poses. Such realistic laughter!" -- that's because we were actually just having a really good time and genuinely laughing with each other. 

    So awesome to be surrounded by good friends. 





    Bonus @coolnathan delivering our hot beverages.


  • RTdraws -- a new home for creative community members

    1 week ago

    MicheleFeghali Graphic Design

    The design department did a new thing -- and we’re calling it @RTdraws. In case you haven’t heard yet, @RTdraws is our new Instagram drawing account where we’ll post a theme each Monday, and draw around said theme all week long. Occasionally we’ll also sprinkle in some behind-the-scenes content from the Animation dept, or merch art that never got the green light for production, etc etc.

    We’d love to see you involved if you have the time (don't forget to tag your work using #rtdraws)! Anything from napkin sketches to fully-crafted digital art are welcome.. skill level is irrelevant to us. We just like to art.

    Check us out here

    And if art's not your thing, that's cool too <3


  • Beacon Academy Line

    1 week ago

    Zac_Fox eCommerce Buyer/Planner

    Growing up I was definitely a X-Men kid, and as such I wanted nothing more than to attend Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters.  Any time I could find a shirt with just the Xavier's School emblem on it as apposed to the big colorful characters, I'd snatch that up.  I guess you can say I've always been more drawn to 'in world' merchandise.  Items that look like my favorite character might wear in their day to day life, instead of the flashy stuff worn to fight crime/save the world.

    Over the past decade or so these kinds of pop culture in world items have become a lot easier to find.  This is the stuff that I absolutely love.  The shirts, hoodies, and pieces of jewelry that subtly show off which characters and stories you connect with.  It's a much more personal connection, one that lets someone feel like they can be a part of their favorite world.

    It's that personal connection that I've been pushing over the past several months while working on the Beacon Academy Collection.  That feeling of belonging by owning the day to day wear of a hero, yourself also now becoming an incognito superhero.  A shirt or hoodie that you could buy from a campus gift shop if you actually lived in the Kingdom of Vale.  I've felt like we've been missing that part in our RWBY merch for awhile now, and that taking this idea and applying it to the institution of Beacon Academy just made perfect sense.

    Yes, Beacon Academy may be in shambles and our heroes may be miles from home, but I'm willing to bet that someone in the group is carrying one of these Academy pieces with their travel gear (my lien is on Jaune).

    I hope you all dig the Beacon Academy items, as the team and I have put a lot of love into getting these created. (And man, Wes & crew absolutely killed it with the photos!!) Who knows, if you like these, maybe another Huntsman Academy will get some love as well in the near future. ;-)

    - Fox