Retraction: The Last Jedi

I watched Star Wars: The Last Jedi for the first time on Boxing Day of 2017. I went with friends, and I regret to say that I enjoyed the film at first, not realizing the ideological dribble that was being presented on the silver screen.

That is, until I saw the video by a YouTuber calling himself “No Bullshit”:

I’m not going to repeat anything that No Bullshit says in the aforementioned video, but I am somewhat kicking myself for not noticing the SJW aspects of this film. Sure, I was already aware that Marvel Comics, another property currently owned by Disney, has fallen to social justice -as has the rest of Hollywood – but I for some reason I turned my skepticism off when going to watch the Last Jedi. Perhaps I had a lapse of reason, thinking that this one film would be different; that the screenwriters, directors, and producers would focus on simply entertaining the crowd, rather than using a popular franchise as a soap box for ideological views.

Looking at the film for a second time, it becomes increasingly obvious what those ideological plot devices were. For starters: All 4 female leads (including Princess Leia) are a walking Mary Sue; Rey (Daisy Ridely), Princess Leia (Carrie-Anne Fisher), Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran), and Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (Laura Dern, complete with pink/purple hair) are basically goddesses, and that’s not me putting them on a pedestal. These four characters are too perfect.

Let’s use Rey as an example: at first, it seems that her past, which she seems to be unaware of, serves as a very important plot device to be explored later on in the film. And then, Kylo-Ren drops the ball: her parents gave her up for drinking money.

THAT’S IT?

This was a plot device that was building up from The Force Awakens. Remember The Empire Strikes Back? Luke wwasn’t sure who his father was, just like Rey in the modern movies, only to learn that his father was Darth Vader himself. That struck a huge chord with the audience, let alone film history, and yet Rey’s backstory is handled and/or tossed away carelessly, in a very anticlimactic fashion. There’s no attempt to uncover the whole truth, like Wolverine in X2. Nor is there an attempt to seek closure with the past and finally let it go (ie, the Bebop crew in Cowboy Bebop). It’s just there to be thrown away like a spiked napkin.

Furthermore, one of my biggest gripes about The Force Awakens is the fact that Rey, an orphan from the middle of nowhere and with little to no Jedi training, was able to beat Kylo-Ren with ease. Then, in this film, she beats Luke Skywalker effortlessly. We later see Luke project an avatar of himself in a distant planet to face Kylo, the boy he himself trained, and yet he can’t beat a young girl with little training.

This is an obvious attempt at inserting a “girls rules boys drool” narrative into the Star Wars mythos. Whereas Luke requires extensive training, not to mention his father before him and Obiwan, Rey can master both the force and the use of a lightsaber in a few short days.

Which brings me to Holdo…

As if the pink/purple hair wasn’t a dead giveaway, the “anything a man can do, a woman can do better” ideology is very present here. Holdo not only lacks a past, but she is a Mary Sue in every discernible way. She has a brilliant plan that ends with her own self sacrifice, one that Ok is either to hasty or shortsighted to see… until Princess Leia has to explain it to him. That’s right, his military experience not only lacks any discernment of his female counterparts, but it actually serves to make him out as incompetent from the beginning of the film.

To be specific, a man in charge will get his whole fleet killed, but a woman in charge will save the entire crew, and the man will be too slow to see it.

And speaking of Princess Leia… it’s funny how, like Rey, she has little if any training in the ways of the force, is able to cheat death and survive the vacuum of space, whereas all the main male characters (Obiwan, Darth Vader, the Emperor, Quigon Jinn, Mace Windu, and even Snoke) all succumb to their fatal injuries.

And for Rose, well, let me put it this this way… if she was completely removed from the film, what difference would it make? It seems that the film executives were so desperate to tap into the Chinese market by casting an East Asian woman (which apparently backfired), that they forgot to make her relevant to the plot. If you remove her, nothing changes, and the same goes for Finn, which makes his failed sacrifice all the more unnecessary.

All in all, both Rose and Finn seem to be in the movie to be seen doing cool things, but if you replaced them with anything else, the plot would just progress as usual. So in other words, they exist just to be the token character, and little else.

All in all, the changing demographic seems to be the most telling sign of the new Star Wars era. The only white males left are the ones who are evil, and the heroes are either female or a racial minority. To be fair, the original empire was inspired by the Nazis, but the main cast in the original trilogy was never meant to be a political symbol of identity politics. In other words, the characters were well rounded, had depth, trials and room for growth, and they existed to entertain their audience, not to preach a message at them via a fire and brimstone message of diversity.

Besides, this is the Star Wars universe. You already had diversity: ALIENS.

Aliens who spoke different languages and had very different appearances. People who spoke English could communicate with people who could not, as if the Star Wars galaxy was a giant United Nations meeting. The masterminds behind this film took something that was broke and fixed it, only to make it broken and unfixable.

That said, I retire myself as a Star Wars fan, just as I’ve done with the Marvel comics (save the classics before the political correctness).

I should thank No Bullshit, for playing the role of captain obvious.

1 thought on “Retraction: The Last Jedi”

  1. […] Now, while the comic is enjoyable, there are a few nitpicks that I would like to address, before I end up writing a retraction like I did regarding The Last Jedi. […]

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