“‘Their problem isn’t Star Wars, their problem is being threatened… Star Wars’ is a big galaxy, and you can sort of find almost anything you want to in ‘Star Wars,’…If you are someone who feels threatened by women and needs to lash out against them, you can probably find an enemy in ‘Star Wars.’ You can probably look at the first movie that George [Lucas] did [‘Star Wars: A New Hope’] and say that Leia was too outspoken, or she was too tough. Anyone who wants to find a problem with anything can find the problem. The internet seems to be made for that.”
Okay, okay, there’s a lot to cover here, so let’s get started. There have been a lot of criticisms levied at J.J. for his comments in regards to fans being threatened by women. Both sides are right and both sides are wrong.
SOME Star Wars fans have been awful.
I’m not kidding, many people have lobbed a ton of hate at Admiral Holdo and Rose Tico. Now I personally don’t have an issue with this, I personally can’t stand Rose. That being said, lobbing horribly racist and sexist statements at the actor is not going to solve anything for anyone and basically empowers a victim narrative and emboldens a lot of the wrong people to continue pushing their narrative.
I’ve found a lot of sites saying that J.J. is basically saying that ‘everyone who hates the Last Jedi, has a problem with women. I didn’t get that from his commentary at all. I feel like he was talking about the people who actually do feel that, and yes they’re out there.
However, right now… it seems J.J. is pulling a bit of a Paul Feig. Those people that I mentioned above are a very small minority and the fact that J.J. is taking the time to call them out, kind of paints the narrative that he’s basically dismissing the majority of the criticism as sexism and that’s not really fair.
Yes, people can’t stand Rose Tico, she’s basically the Jar Jar Binks of the new trilogy. Yes, people (myself not included) think Admiral Holdo is basically a feminist portrayal. However, that is not the majority of criticism. I’ll address that more below…
Now onto Kathleen Kennedy. I don’t know what she’s talking about. I knew girls growing up who loved Han Solo, some dressed like him for Halloween. Others did dress as Princess Leia and… one did a surprisingly good Mon Mothma Costume. However, the girls that liked Star Wars didn’t just gravitate to Princess Leia.
The problem for Kathleen is that she seems to have convinced herself that people are not going to live characters that are not ‘like them’. We’ve seen this proven false many times over. (Go to Comic-Con and see how many girls dress up as Loki. Nuff said.) I agree with Kathleen when she says that it’s her job to tell a story, that’s fine. Tell a story, and if you want to push a narrative, fine push a narrative. However, do it in a way that doesn’t bring the damn story to a screeching halt. The Last Jedi would have been perfectly fine had the Canto scenes been cut.
So by now you’re probably wondering what any of this has to do with my chosen title and image. Well…
A few nights ago, Ahsoka Tano reappeared in Star Wars Rebels and it is now known that she survived her fight with Vader and was a major part of this episode.
The internet EXPLODED!
Article upon article came out talking about the return of the ‘beloved’ and ‘fan favorite’ character. Now, what do Ahsoka, Admiral Holdo, and Rose Tico, have in common? They’re all female.
So how does this punch a hole in what J.J. and Kathleen are saying? Well in J.J.’s case, it shows that the majority of Star Wars fans do not have a problem with women and are not threatened by them. Given how many Star Wars fans are boys, this also punches a hole in Kathleen’s theory too as the majority love Ahsoka.
So what’s the issue then? Honestly… the issue is extremely poor writing. It seems like everyone was so preoccupied with driving its narrative forward, that they didn’t stop and look to see if their characters were any good or if they were written well.
There’s nothing wrong with writing strong female characters. Nothing at all, I write strong female characters… or I try to. The problem is that these characters have little backstory, little in the way of motivation, and very little in the way of likeability. Give us a reason to like Rose, actually make her strong instead of an annoying fan girl. Surprise us by having her do something amazing in the next movie and you’ll bring the fans back behind her. You can’t really do the same with Admiral Holdo… but I really didn’t have an issue with her.
So, sorry JJ and Kathleen, you can paint whatever picture you want with a broad brush, but you’re not going to get the great Star Wars of the past as long as you keep this up. If that’s even your goal. If you’re hoping that the crowd which Marvel seems to pander to will save you, they won’t. Most of them aren’t into these types of movies anyway.
But that’s my two cents, what do all my readers think?
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