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Men are hating Star Wars for all the right reasons

Contains spoilers for The Last Jedi

Star Wars, The Last Jedi has raised the ire of certain quarters of the internet. There is even a petition against it, proving, if proof were needed that petitions truly are the last refuge of the feckwit. Having seen it, I can understand why. It removed the final defence of the assorted hive of villany who like to believe it is  unavoidable circumstances which have caused them to be failures.

The rest of this post will contain major star wars spoilers, if you have not seen the film yet, do so, then come back, I will play with my porgs until you return.

First some back story, In the original three films we discover that our farm boy hero is in fact anything but. Luke Skywalker is the son of the “Chosen One”  who was possibly immaculately conceived by the force itself, and his mother was the Queen of an entire planet. Along with his sister Leia, Luke was destined to rule, and to be powerful in the mystical force which plays such a pivotal role in the Star Wars universe. We basically have aristocrats, people who by accident of birth are in their roles (yes I know Padme was voted in, but she is presented to us as aristocratic and Leia is always a princess).

This is the Great Man view of history, and it is a view of history which provides consolation to those looking for excuses about their personal choices. Be it MRA-s or Brexiteers the idea that the dice was inevitably stacked against them from the first is one they cling too. This is not to erase the different oppressions and privileges we all face to a greater or lesser degree, but the important word there is all. Those with a chip on each shoulder about political correctness gone mad or social justice warriors they believe they are not only the most oppressed, but the only oppressed. They are also very good at finding those who apparently are benefiting, immigrants, people of colour, women, people who from simply being born are being showered with the benefits denied the cis het white male. The Great man view of history allows them to say that if not for the circumstances they were born into they would be happy, successful, loved and remembered. It also excuses those women like Leia who make their way into the pages of the history books. She does so not through talent, or ability, but by accident of birth.

Fast forward to the Last Jedi, and we have the uber aristo, Kylo Ren, champion of the dark side, powerful in the force, and kinda lonely in a teenage boy in a bedroom kind of way. (Actually the character is far more rounded than in TFA and very well-played). It is OK if you are not as powerful as Kylo, after all, look at the advantages he had over you, just by being born,

A huge amount of speculation had been put into whether Kylo and Rey (the Luke character of the reboots) were brother and sister. The new films have echoed the original three, from chance lines through to huge plot points. Kylo and Rey being separated twins would make sense under this reading, It would also explain the fact Rey is very very good at pretty much everything.

The film plays with this idea quite a lot. Rey and Kylo have some kind of connection, which allows them to reach out to each other. Just as Leia senses Lukes presence at the end of Empire Strikes Back, so Kylo and Rey have a form of force facetime which allows them to communicate. These conversations show a growing bond as each realises there is actually someone who understands them. Which is I believe the first reason this entry in the franchise has so enraged the MRA’s. Kylo is not a lonely incel, he seems quite capable of not only making friends, but winning the trust of someone who learns to care about him. Frankly, Kylo is not stuck in his mum’s basement wondering why no girl will fuck him.

The second reason that the right, in all its iterations is so enraged about TLJ is that Kylo and Rey are not brother and sister, far from it. Rey has been searching for her parents from the opening seconds of the first film of the reboot. Kylo knows her, and knows the lie she has been telling herself. Her parents are not resistance fighters, Han and Leia, Lando, even Jun and Cassian (as I saw suggested). They are literally nobodies, two junk hunters who sold her for water. She is nobody, from nowhere, with no advantage of lineage or aristocracy, and she is still a kick ass Jedi as powerful as Kylo Ren.

The great man view of history, the defence of every whine of “If only I had been born with his advantages” from men who need an excuse has been kicked out of Star Wars and into the furthest reaches of the galaxy. I need to write something here about the idea Rey is somehow too good, the sexist mary sue claim. This from a fandom that accepted that Luke, with zero training, was fighting off Tie fighters within days, and raised an entire x wing after a short time with Yoda.

Ordinary people can make history, people like Rose, and Finn, and Rey. It is down to the choices they make. Kylo Ren, after helping Rey defeat the last of the Sith, and Snoke had a choice, he could have chosen happiness, and got the girl, but instead, chose not too. Perhaps this is what is making the some men the angriest, the idea that they too will have to live with their choices.

 

 

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2 comments on “Men are hating Star Wars for all the right reasons

  1. redpesto
    December 29, 2017

    “[Rey] is nobody, from nowhere, with no advantage of lineage or aristocracy, and she is still a kick ass Jedi as powerful as Kylo Ren”

    Yet the reading that the hostile males are engaging in is through gender more than class? In the absence of a female Dark Side character (Phasma doesn’t count since her job is to lead the Stormtroopers), the dark/light dynamic plays out along gender lines that make it (too?) easy to read according to one’s politics. Maybe the Jedi had to die as a quasi-religious aristocratic order rather than just end, full stop.

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  2. ValeryNorth
    January 5, 2018

    Point of information: Luke didn’t raise the X-Wing. Yoda did, prompting Luke’s famous exclamation “I don’t believe it!” and Yoda’s retort, “That is why you fail.” He also clearly has some piloting training (the exchange with Han Solo in the Mos Eisley bar, “Who’s gonna fly it, kid? You?” “I’m not such a bad pilot!”).

    What intrigues me is how Rey might have acquired the basis of her abilities: persuasion, and hand-to-hand combat. We see her skill with her staff so that answers one, and we see her negotiate hard from her scavenging for the other. The awakening Force presumably fed those abilities, and that’s no different from Luke’s experience as a pilot.

    And Rey in Episode VIII learns much more – the difference between natural talent and training being made clear (a point also worth mentioning with young Anakin).

    Ordinary people can make history, people like Rose, and Finn, and Rey. It is down to the choices they make. Kylo Ren, after helping Rey defeat the last of the Sith, and Snoke had a choice, he could have chosen happiness, and got the girl, but instead, chose not too. Perhaps this is what is making the some men the angriest, the idea that they too will have to live with their choices.

    This is definitely what I liked most about Episode VIII (and VII for Finn). Rey, whatever her background, has an unusual ability. But Finn and Rose are just ordinary people making extraordinary choices.

    Like

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This entry was posted on December 23, 2017 by in A young ladies patriarchal primer and tagged , , , , , .

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