The Last Jedi and Epic Duels

**Spoilers ahead**

But if you’re a fan of Star Wars, why haven’t you seen The Last Jedi yet?  Anyways, I won’t give too much away, but there’s no discussion of Epic Duels without discussing the fate of some of the characters.

As for the film, I’ll say I enjoyed it but it was missing something for me, something I will bring back to Epic Duels at the end of this post.  Some things I saw, I didn’t like.  Other things I wanted to see, I didn’t.  I thought the plot of chasing the Resistance to the last man wasn’t enough for me.  I wanted there to be more to the force itself awakening than what we got.

In terms of Epic Duels, I have to call it a massive disappointment.  Surely, there would be some new duel-worthy characters, and I’m not talking about Captain Phasma or Praetorian Guards that you knew never really stood a chance.  Surely, we would see some new, cool moves from Snoke in this trilogy, stuff even the ol’ Emperor couldn’t come up with.  Surely, Luke would show us some of what a Jedi Master can do.  No, no and no.

All the movie really did was mix up the decks I’ve already created.  Let’s do a run-down:

Rey
I had Rey with Finn at one point, before putting her with BB-8.  Now, I guess I should put her with Kylo Ren?  Just kidding around here.  If anything, Chewie is Rey’s new sidekick but she’s enough on her own, she doesn’t need to be watered down to accommodate having a power wookiee minor.  All in all, she’s probably still fairly well captured by the deck she has, which hints at her power without being too explicit about what exactly she’s doing.

Finn
Well, this puts a whole new paint job on things.  At least I’m glad I took Finn in a pure blaster direction because he has no trace of Jedi in him at this point.  Beyond that, Finn would probably best be paired with Rose, who doesn’t really have another place to go.  I won’t even give Rose her own heading because from an Epic Duels standpoint, I think she’s less useful than R2-D2.  She does shoot a pistol and would make a solid minor to Finn, however, should I ever split Finn up from…

Poe
Poe is probably a major character in his own right, and although BB-8 is probably the best minor for him, he’d be just fine with some pilots by his side as well.  If this keeps up, I may have to give him his own deck and put Finn with Rose, and just keep the old Finn & Poe deck around as an alternate to use.  Still, while Poe has a lot of good lines, he does little outside a cockpit, how would he actually win a fight?

Luke

Let’s be honest here, Luke was disappointing.  I knew Luke would show up for the heroes right about when he did.  When he stepped on the battlefield, I was excited to see Luke do something.  When he faced off with Kylo, I wanted to see Luke take him to school.  Luke does get the better of him, but it isn’t in combat, and I wanted to see Luke dominate in combat.  I am disappointed I didn’t get to, and won’t get to.  We’ll never truly know what epic dueling Luke is capable of.

I think it’s probably still worth creating a Luke deck around that entire fake Luke concept, but who would Luke’s minors be?  Luke with 2 Lanai caretakers?  Luke with 2 porgs, with 1 hit point each?  Fake Luke is Luke’s minor?

Leia
Leia always had some toughness to her, and was in fact the most accurate shooter in the original trilogy.  She wields a stun gun here but nonetheless, is nothing more than an administrator who coordinates an escape.  We need another administrator deck like a hole in the head.  That goes for Vice Admiral Holdo as well, no a 2-administrator deck would not be fun.

Kylo Ren
I was sort of afraid I’d see a much more powerful version of him in this film, and then feel bad for making so weak in my deck for him (which btw, his A5s were revised to A6s to make him stronger).  But no, Kylo stayed his fairly weak self.

Snoke
Was this a disappointment or what?  I was sure we would see this guy do Emperor like things, I was actually hoping for beyond-Emperor type of things.  He’s got very good telekinesis abilities, some (rather poor) ability to see the future… but that’s it.  It’s not clear why he’s in charge of anything.  He was a weak villain and I think it was a poor choice to kill him off, leaving the even weaker Kylo Ren and General Hux to succeed him.

I think there needs to be a Snoke deck, so I got one started, but there’s really not a lot to work with.  He his obvious minors would be the…

Praetorian Guard
While they could be strong minors to Snoke, they also could act as a 3-major/minor deck like the Nazgul, if people were interested in that.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Praetorian Guards

Captain Phasma
So, I like Darth Wolverine’s deck for Phasma pretty well already.  Phasma says a few lines and again, I think I’m going to see something from her, but other than dancing around with a spike, we really don’t.  I’d rather play with DW’s fire concept.

General Hux
I gotta say I don’t see what they’re doing over at Disney with this guy.  He isn’t much of a threat or a villain.  I was hoping I would get some good material so I could modify his rather boring, unoriginal administrator deck, but it turns out that boring, unoriginal administrator suits him perfectly.

DJ
In an ongoing theme, I had hopes but we didn’t get much.  Ok, he’s kind of sneaky, so you could do some forced discarding and escaping and that sort of thing, but what big attacks or big moves does he use to beat you?  Who do you pair him up with?  Maybe BB-9E?  I’ll let someone else take this one on.

So that leaves us with… Luke and Snoke.  I’ll probably do decks for them, but that’s exactly where the movie fell short for me.  Luke and Snoke were to be the most powerful force users in the galaxy, perhaps the most powerful force users ever.  I wanted to see them demonstrate as much, and then capture that in a deck.  Instead, I’m reduced to using some quotes and making up abilities beyond Luke’s impressive “fake Luke” move.

After the completion of the trilogy, it’s possible that I’ll reshuffle the decks:  Rey with Chewie, Poe with BB-8 and Finn with Rose.  For now, though, I don’t particularly want to see Chewie or Rose enough to want to redesign the Rey & BB-8 and Finn & Poe decks, which I think are pretty good as they are.

I’ll do a Nazgul-style 3-Praetorian Guard deck if people ask for it, otherwise, probably not.

2 comments

  1. Darth Wolverine says:

    Glad you’re taking a look at my Phasma deck. =) I do think of any of the films, this is the least Duels-friendly because it’s philosophy is very much about deconstructing the Jedi as heroes. That said, it also has one of the coolest fight scenes in series history.

    I know you were joking about Rey and Kylo but honestly doing an Obi-Wan and Anakin deck style deck with them just to recreate that moment would be worth it. And I fulky support the Praetorian Guard idea; they’ve raised the bar for faceless mooks.

    And Hux is a joke because he’s a space nazi and doesn’t deserve anything but humiliation and disgrace.

    • Freaky Mutant Man says:

      I’m trying to think of a mechanic that would reflect Hux’s character in TLJ; an easily tricked and bullied buffoon who is a threat by merit of the gargantuan firepower at his beck and call and nothing else. (He acts as *something* of a voice of reason in the final battle, but that’s mostly just because of Kylo’s raging obsession with destroying the Falcon and Luke interfering so heavily with the battle plan; Hux may have more tactical smarts than Kylo, but that’s not saying much in the first place *and* Kylo just chokes him into submission whenever he tries to go against Kylo’s command with anything more than a suggestion.)

      I’m struggling to think of something, however. Maybe it will come to me in time, but I’ll likely much sooner be putting out decks for Finn/Rose, Poe/BB-8, Kylo and assorted weirdos from other Canon/Legends material than I will be putting out anything for Hux, so… I suppose that’ll be something for other people to take a crack if they care.

      I’ll definitely have to concur on this being the least Duels-friendly movie thus far; only one new character was introduced who really inspires card ideas (Rose, who has several moments that could translate fairly well into cards for a Finn/Rose deck), and many of the returning characters prove, well, less than epic (deliberately so). It makes for a good, interesting movie, in my opinion, but not much that would directly translate into a game about people engaging in Epic Duels (besides the incredible throne room fight, which might be my new favorite Star Wars fight, especially if we’re only taking the movies into account; Finn vs Phasma was cool too, but real short, and Kylo vs Luke wasn’t *really* a fight, in spite of great it was).

      I do hope someone makes good maps for Snoke’s Throne Room and Crait (and maybe Canto Bight) soon.

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