This is part of longstanding tension between content I’m a San Francisco 49ers and a Los Angeles Dodgers for life shirt producers and content consumers, by the way. Remember Eragon? The book was passed on many times because editors felt it had “gangling prose” and told a predictable story. These are perfectly true criticisms, but when the author self-published it, it became a best-seller, anyway. The reason? The rules were relatively easy to understand, and thus excellent escapist fiction, even if a bit bare-boned. Had Johnson opted to stick with one or at most two of these subversions he could have kept the quality high, by focusing the screen time needed to develop them, but as he added more and more that became less and less practical.
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In the final cut we have, the only one which gets any I’m a San Francisco 49ers and a Los Angeles Dodgers for life shirt significant screen time is Luke as an angry hermit…because it was necessary for Rey’s training. The rest are cut to the absolute bare minimum screen time to make way for two filler subplots; the mutiny and Canto Bight. Both are MacGuffins. MacGuffins propel the story forward and are a convenient means of imposing conflict. Make the bad guy want the MacGuffin, and have the hero protect it. Or at least vie for it as well, but with worthy motives. Et voila! You have yourself a story.