Lucasfilm Rep Crosses Out Luke Skywalker In Red Ink

There is an image appearing which some are claiming comes from within the Lucasfilm cubicle farm.

The narrator says that it comes from some Facebook page, though I can’t make out specifically what he says and there is no link in his description.  If this is genuine as claimed, then it would appear that the Lucasfilm Story Group is treating the Luke Skywalker character in the same manner that an immature teenage girl treats old phases in their Teen Beat magazines.  Or like a serial killer marking off their latest victim.  You decide.

In any case, this seems to dovetail nicely with the rumor that Kathleen Kennedy and Rian Johnson wanted to kill Luke Skywalker off at all costs.

LukeCross

Persona non grata.

Maybe it’s not that the audience has a problem with women as JJ Abrams stupidly suggested, but rather, maybe it’s that Lucasfilm Story Group has a problem with men.

UPDATE:

Here’s the original video that the image comes from:

Here’s some more commentary on it:

Here’s the original post from the Grand Master Luke Skywalker Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FGrandMasterLukeSkywalker%2Fposts%2F912086508958582&width=500

UPDATE:

Geeks and Gamers provides a different viewpoint.

He makes some valid points in regards to the possibility of this just being an internal office joke.  It most certainly could be just that.

On the other hand, some folks have been quoted as saying things like:

“…so my first reaction was, “wow, two more white guys.” And that’s a really lazy reaction to have — honestly, I’m getting sick of it — but it was an honest reaction. Two more white guys. In 2018.”

Disney Lucasfilm reps have made disparaging remarks against “white males” in the past, as has their like-minded cheerleaders in the media.  So it’s also possible that this isn’t necessarily a “cross out” of Luke Skywalker specifically, but a symbolic crossing out of the “patriarchal white male” that feminists like those currently employed in the Lucasfilm Story Group seem to dislike so much.

UPDATE:

Lucasfilm Story Group employee Justin Bolger who sits at this cubicle tweeted a response to the image, crediting it to his cubicle decoration style; Imperial Couture…

UPDATE:

Thanks to SC Reviews for the Shoutout:

SC Reviews also makes some valid points.

With zero real evidence of any kind of motivation one way or the other, other than the employee’s own word, I’m inclined to suspect that it is just an innocuous office prank, or something of that nature.

However, I’m also open to considering other motivations, given the track record of how Disney/Lucasfilm has treated the franchise, its fans, and its critics.  After all, as Dave Stewart put it, if The Force Awakens was a love letter to the fans, then The Last Jedi was hate mail:

So whether it’s fair or not, the fact of the matter is that small details like this will now be scrutinized through the lens of Disney/Lucasfilm’s attitude towards its fans and critics.  The following video is a perfect representation of the fan sentiment that Disney/Luicasfilm has created, and now has to contend with:

UPDATE:

SC Reviews provides a video update:

He makes an observation that the picture isn’t really posted on the inside of the cubicle, but rather on the outside of it, so that everyone else passing by can see it.  This doesn’t strike me as particularly problematic,. It’s similar to how teenagers put posters on the outside of their bedroom doors because they want everyone to know whatever it is they want everyone to know.

But what does strike me as odd about the whole “Imperial Couture” defense, is that if this were some style of decoration, one would think that Lucasfilm would have the internal resources to easily photoshop an Imperial “wanted: dead or alive” poster of Luke, or something along those lines.  The red X through Luke’s face is just strange, and doesn’t really convey a sense of an over-arching decoration style.

UPDATE:

Here’s something else that may be interesting to consider in the context of all of this:

Solo Receives Rian Johnson’s Stamp Of Approval

Apparently, Rian Johnson has seen an early rough cut of Solo, and is giving it thumbs up.  He stated:

“I knew it was coming, but I was still…I was clicking, clicking, clicking, ‘yeah, yeah!’ And I think it looks so beautiful. I can’t wait for people to see more of the film – it’s so fun, it’s so funny. The cast is so charismatic, and I think they all just did a great job with it.”

An approval from Rian Johnson may mean that like The Last Jedi, Solo has a paper-thin plot, 1-dimensional characters, and is dripping with social justice silliness.

As I’ve mentioned previously here, here, and here, expect Solo to be the story of how Qi’Ra made Han Solo the man he became.

Rian Johnson

Approves of schlock.

This Man Gets It

I’ve written previously about the incredibly thoughtless comments from JJ Abrams, in which he attacks a portion of the fanbase with bogus insults.

The gentleman at the MLKKAEFEnterprises YouTube Channel has posted what is perhaps the best summary of fan sentiment towards JJ Abrams’ inappropriate comments, and Backlasher sentiment towards the current state of the Star Wars franchise in general.

Wiser

He would do far better than Kathleen Kennedy.

Feminist Invents Problems That Don’t Exist

A feminist activist on the appropriately named blog Bitter Gertrude, wrote an amusing hissy-fit which attacked criticism of The Last Jedi.

It’s too draggy and long
It’s too fast-paced
It is magically both draggy and fast-paced
It’s too much about one family
It’s not about family
The plot is terrible
The plot is fine but the acting is terrible
The plot and acting are fine, but the pacing is terrible
The plot, acting, and pacing are fine but the characterizations are terrible
It needed more humor
It needed less humor
It needed a different kind of humor
Not enough character development
Too much character development
The stakes were too low
The stakes were too high
It’s too much like the original trilogy
It’s not enough like the original trilogy

I’m skeptical that some of these were actually expressed.

Usually, when a film is genuinely bad, we’re all in agreement about at least a few areas of obvious badness.

Not necessarily.  This assumes that there’s a heated disagreement as to why The Last Jedi is bad.  Rather, what this merely shows is that there’s multiple reasons why The Last Jedi is bad.  Moreover, movie viewers are allowed to have differing opinions as to why they might not like a film, just as they are allowed to have differing opinions as to why they might like a film.  This really isn’t evidence of anything more than the existence of differing opinions.  Differing opinions are what happens when people aren’t forced to comply with the consensus of the collective.

“If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.” ~George Patton

There’s not much controversy about the general awfulness of Jar Jar, Hayden Christiansen’s acting, or the wooden love scene dialogue of the prequels. Sure, there’s the occasional outlier insisting they love Jar Jar, but on the main, these are obvious, agreed-upon flaws.

In fact you’ll find a wide variety of opinions about the Prequels, particularly among those who grew up watching them as kids.   The widening of these opinions increase as time goes on.  Many of those who saw the Prequels as kids, who are now adults, like these films despite their often noted flaws.  In fact, you’ll find folks in this age group quoting those movies.  For myself, I find the Prequels to be a mixed bag.  There’s some things they did very well, and other things they did very poorly.

Yet there’s no agreement about The Last Jedi. Instead, I’ve seen dozens of contradictory opinions, and at least half of them are stated like this:

“I’m fine with female-driven films, but I just hate this particular one for reasons.”

The Last Jedi has become the Hillary Clinton of filmmaking.

And thus we come to the crux of your real issue with criticism of the film.

Yes, WE ALL KNOW YOU HAVE REASONS. So many reasons, all of which were no problem when they were part of male-driven films, but are now somehow egregious, film-ruining faults. And yes, we know you all know a real, actual human female who ALSO TOO did not like TLJ so HOW COULD THIS POSSIBLY BE ABOUT GENDER EVER QED.

Actually, they were ensemble driven films.

And actually, there are multiple women, who are also complaining about The Last Jedi.  Are you attempting to marginalize their opinions?

It’s about gender.

No.  It’s not.  There have been strong female characters in Star Wars for 40 years.  This is nothing new.

What this is really about, is feminist ideology.  Remember, the female gender and feminist ideology are now two separate things in the modern era.  I explain the distinction here and here.

And, because these issues are intersectional, it’s also about race.

What isn’t about race for the race obsessed SJW?  That might make a shorter list.

ROSE TICO. Kelly Marie Tran, the actress who plays Rose Tico, has been harassed and threatened by angry internet men, so this seems like an obvious place to start.

Is this anything like the purely imaginary black stormtrooper nontroversy?

What do so many men hate and fear about Rose Tico? In short, Rose Tico is played by a woman of color and isn’t constructed solely to please the men in the audience. She wears practical work clothes, not Hollywood’s version of “practical work clothes” for women (skin-tight coveralls with a low-cut top). The camera didn’t linger over her ass as she bent over; she doesn’t suggestively hold her tools. She’s not presented as women are usually presented– from the straight male characters’ point of view, as a proxy for the straight male audience members’ point of view.

Are you sure you haven’t been watching Star Wars burlesque instead of the actual films?

Forthright, awkward, brilliant Rose Tico is presented as a real, well-rounded person exactly the way we portray male characters.

Brilliant?  I explain the very deep stupidity of Rose Tico’s social justice lectures here, here, and here.  But let’s be clear, this is the woman who sentenced the Resistance to death, when she stupidly collided her fighter into Finn’s, in order to save what she loves, or something.  Without that monumentally stupid act, the First Order’s battering ram weapon may have been rendered inoperable, allowing more than a couple dozen Resistance fighters to survive.  The word brilliant simply doesn’t apply to the Rose Tico character on any level.  Unwise would be far more accurate.

Because she’s a woman who isn’t presented as an event in the life of a man, she’s everything from a flaw in the filmmaking to an affront to fragile masculinity.

I would argue that sabotaging what could have been Finn’s tragic hero moment was quite the event.  So was the decision to free space horses rather than enslaved children.

When Rose declares her love for Finn, people complained because it wasn’t presented the way we have come to expect– telegraphed through presenting the female character as the object of male desire. Because she wasn’t objectified through Finn’s admiring gaze, their relationship has been criticized for “lack of sexual tension” and a “lack of chemistry.” If he had been chasing her throughout the film, her declaration of love would have fit neatly into the sexist trope of men “winning” women. Instead, her declaration of love comes as a surprise, but this, again, is an extremely common trope in filmmaking– when the declaration comes from a man. If the sudden declaration of love had come from Finn, it would have passed as unremarked as it has been in literally thousands of films.

Or because the silly scene was written with cringe-worthy on-the-nose dialogue.  Much like those in Attack of the Clones which also was raked over the coals.  Finn’s disinterest in her, which you describe as lack of objectification, might have played a role in that as well.

There’s nothing particularly unusual about this character, the way she’s used, or her sacrifice apart from her gender.

Except for her unusual command decisions which lead to the death of all but a dozen or so Resistance fighters.

“Why is Holdo’s sacrifice seen as brave and Finn’s seen as foolhardy?” The parallel sacrifice to Holdo is Luke, not Finn.

Especially when we don’t want it to be.

Both Poe and Finn ignore orders from women to stand down and escape in favor of chasing glorious, but pyrrhic, victories.

And, again, all but a dozen or so Resistance soldiers are led to their deaths as a result.

The Last Jedi spends an enormous amount of time and care on the theme “sometimes escape is the more sensible option, and glorious victories too often come at such a high cost they become failures.” 

A higher cost than destroying your only heavily armed capital ship, leading to the deaths of all but a dozen or so Resistance soldiers?

Women in the Resistance are constantly fighting against cocky young men chasing glory, constantly trying to save lives that these cocky young men would sacrifice for that glory. 

Yes, I know.

This is a film about discretion being the better part of valor.

That’s because it was written by people who know nothing about warfare.

It doesn’t take much analytical skill to see why some men are so upset by that, and Holdo is one of the characters at the center of that narrative. 

Or much imagination for that matter.

The angry male internet was, evidently, outraged because “suddenly” Leia could use the force.

Well no.  The more educated fans were laughing because Leia was flying through the cold empty airless vacuum of outer space like Superman.  The reaction would have been the same were it the very male Admiral Ackbar performing the same ridiculous feat.

In the original trilogy force ghosts, space stations that have the power to destroy planets, and people with powerful telekinetic abilities who still somehow need to fight with swords are all accepted without a peep. 

There’s a significant difference between what you’re listing here, and flying through space like Superman.  Even in fantasy worlds like Star Wars, you have to work within established rules or suspension of disbelief is shattered.  For instance, why not team Rey up with Mickey Mouse?  Both characters belong to Disney, and after all, it’s a fantasy?  Why can’t we have a Star Wars movie like Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

A world with exactly zero female pilots, techs, or ground troops is accepted without a peep.

That’s because war is predominately fought by men.  Sign up for Selective Service and then we can discuss your peep.

A world where Biggs Darklighter’s mustache makes sense is accepted without a peep.

Bigg’s Darklighter’s mustache?  Really?  Are you sure that your problem here isn’t your own misandry?

The most common complaint from the angry male internet is “REY IS TOO POWERFUL.” She is no different than Luke was in the original trilogy in that respect. She is naturally gifted in the force, just as Luke was, yet Luke’s power is accepted without complaint while Rey is begrudged hers. Luke, a farm boy with no fighting experience, receives a bit of training from Yoda that seemingly contains zero combat skills, then leaves before his training is complete, but is still somehow able to stand against Vader for a lengthy lightsaber battle before escaping. Rey begins TFA at least knowing something about fighting, and is shown practicing with a lightsaber in TLJ. Yet once again, where Luke’s combat prowess was unquestioningly accepted, Rey’s is held up as a flaw in the filmmaking.

Pure poppycock.

When we first meet Luke, he’s a naive inexperienced farm boy, who complains about wanting to hang out with friends, gets scolded by his Uncle, gets knocked unconscious by a Tusken Raider, gets pushed down in a bar by a drunkard, has to be defended by an elderly Jedi, gets his hand slapped by Han when pointing at the flashing light on the dashboard of the Falcon, gets condescended to by Han when saying that he could pilot a ship, gets insulted by Leia for being too short for a stormtrooper uniform, gets mauled by a wampa, and gets his hand cut off during his very first lightsaber duel.

Not Rey though. She gets to skip the first phase of the hero’s journey in The Force Awakens so hear her roar! Somehow, she can pilot the Millennium Falcon and use a lightsaber all without any training at all. Sure she fumbles a bit getting the Falcon off the ground, but in only a couple of minutes, she’s evading Tie Fighters and deftly flying through the tight spaces of wrecked Star Destroyers. Not only is she Han Solo, but she’s Luke Skywalker too! Effectively fighting off a trained Knight of Ren, whatever that is, in her very first lightsaber battle. But don’t you dare question her girl power you misogynist, even though it doesn’t leave much left for Finn to shine with. At least Disney will be selling plenty of Cover Girl Star Wars make-up.

When she finds Luke in The Last Jedi, rather than be trained, she lectures him about what he’s done and why he did it, as though she were there.  She then bests him in a lightsaber battle.  No training necessary.  It’s silly, silly stuff that one would expect to find in the multitude of Star Wars knock-off films from the 1978 to 1984 period.

Writing about the films requires watching them.

There’s much to be said about race in the new trilogy. 

Only because SJWs can’t seem to talk about much of anything else.

We can always do better, but the diverse Lucasfilm story team, currently headed by a woman of color, is pushing everything in the right direction. What I consider to be the “right direction” is definitely at odds with a sizable number of white men. You’ll see white men all over the Resistance as pilots, techs, bridge officers, and soldiers, but because there are no white male leads by the end of the film but villains, many white men have complained they are being pushed out of the series entirely. They forget that, even now, the vast majority of films star white men, and women and people of color are expected to enjoy those films despite a lack of representation. When women and people of color discuss issues of representation, they’re denigrated as “feminazis,” “snowflakes,” and “whiners,” and even met with harassment, threats, and coordinated attacks like Gamergate. Many white men see themselves as rightfully at the center of all narrative, and believe any narrative that doesn’t feature them as heroes, even when they are featured in supporting roles, has displaced them.

Why do you hate the white men who predominately fight wars?

While not every white man who dislikes The Last Jedi overtly dislikes its gender balance or diversity, many feel a level of discomfort with this film that they can’t name, and that expresses itself through a wide variety of odd, conflicting complaints about its filmmaking.

I can name it; it’s the pure unthinking idiocy of feminist ideology.

What solidifies this for me is the apparent need for men to publicly pronounce their dislike of the film.  Hollywood releases dozens of mainstream films a year, and the only films I’ve seen men rush en masse to publicly criticize in the past few years, all for their “flawed filmmaking,” were the all-female GhostbustersMad Max: Fury RoadWonder Woman, and The Last Jedi. I saw hundreds of men openly loving deeply flawed projects like Stranger ThingsDeadpool, and the Blade Runner remake. We all love things that are sloppily constructed, politically problematic, or internally inconsistent. Hell, Hamlet is all three of those and you’ll have to pry Shakespeare from my cold, dead hands. But when you see thousands of men all rushing to the internet to publicly denounce something for its “flaws,” all of which contradict each other and all of which are routinely tolerated in male-driven films, including the original Star Wars trilogy itself, something else is afoot.

Apparently you’ve never heard of Battlefield Earth or Waterworld.  Or indeed, of Ishtar or Cabin Boy.  Honestly, you’re focusing on the criticism that displeases you the most, while excluding criticism that doesn’t conform to the narrative you’re crafting here.  It’s fairly transparent.  Wonder Woman was widely well received by all sexes.  Only the feminists seemed to have an issue with itMad Max: Fury Road was criticized for the feminism, not for the female characters.  It was also criticized for the bait and switch nature of the marketing.  The all female Ghost Busters was criticized for being a reboot rather than continuation of the original GB universe, not for having female ghost busters.  Blade Runner 2049 has received much criticism.  Criticizing bad films online is as common as running tap water.  For gosh sakes, where were you for the 7 years or so that the Prequels were raked over the coals?  Probably in your mother’s arms getting poop wiped from your butt.

The real problem here is that like the shell shocked soldier, you’re fighting a cultural war that was fought and won 40 years ago.  You’re not blazing a trail.  Rather, you’re on a very well worn beaten path.

What about Terminator, or the Alien franchises which both showcase prominent strong female characters and both which are highly thought of by men?  What about Firefly that has a strong female of color lead?  What about the V miniseries from the 1980s that had both strong female heroes and villains?  What about The Fifth Element with Lela?  The list goes on and on.  Why aren’t you mentioning any of these films?  Because they don’t conform to the narrative you’re crafting.  Or you’re just unaware of them.

I don’t think every human who disliked The Last Jedi is an evil, evil misogynist. I do think that we have so deeply internalized sexist narrative tropes that we see them as “correct” and “good filmmaking” while seeing their absence as “flaws.” We read female characters differently than male characters, and we have internalized expectations for female character arcs. Instead of seeing this film for what it is, people are criticizing it for not conforming to the expectations they have of female characters. It’s fine to dislike something, but we should all spend a little more time thinking deeply about why before we charge onto the internet with “I’m fine with female-driven films, BUT . . .”

Or maybe some people just like to wring their hands over problems that don’t exist.

Rey2

If she can fart like a man too, then maybe she can Force Fart Kylo Ren away. How’s that for a new Force power?

Boyega Dismisses Backlashers

John Boyega, the man who plays the Finn character in the Sequel Trilogy, and who played a role in the purely imaginary black stormtrooper nontroversy, tells The Daily Telegraph that criticism of The Last Jedi comes on from:

“…one tweet from a guy with three followers and then a lot of people react to it.”

Ilara Brophy and Jessica Arrowsmith at The Daily Mail stupidly wrote:

The latest installment in the Star Wars franchise has bizarrely been called too ‘politically correct’ because of its more diverse cast.

Which of course is entirely incorrect given that Star Wars has always had a diverse cast.

So the writers at the Daily Mail would appear to be stupidly making things up.  What the criticism is about instead, is poor the film craft, and the deeply moronic social justice propaganda.

The Daily Mail also writes:

However, the ‘online backlash’ certainly didn’t deter people from seeing the film.

In fact, it did.  After the highly successful opening weekend, ticket sales waned fast.  And China showed total disinterest.  But apparently, the waning toy and merchandise sales, and the confirmed Rotten Tomatoes score, constitute “a tweet from one guy and three followers” according to Boyega.

Boyega

Unaware of reality.

“Kennedy and Johnson Wanted Luke Dead – Period”

I’ve written about subtle comments Trevorrow has made that seem to be directed at Disney’s Star Wars production, here and here.  Now,  Comic Book News reports on a rumor posted by a Redditor, which more fully describes the nature of the conflict between Trevorrow and Kathleen Kennedy.  Again, this is only an unconfirmed rumor at this point, so take this with a grain of salt.  The Redditor dasheight35 posts:

“There were two key things Trevorrow wanted to be changed – and they were not minor. These two things have been known for a while around Disney. Firstly, he wanted Luke to still be alive in 9. He strongly disagreed with killing Luke off in 8 when he had just been re-introduced. Luke and Leia were to be a pivotal part of his script, with Leia’s Force affinity revealed in a much more brother/sister way that was apparently going to be “beautiful and tragic”. Mark Hamill loved it. “We were on the same page,” as he’s said about Trevorrow’s storyline. However, Kennedy and Johnson wanted Luke dead – period. Second, he wanted Snoke to live, as his back story was to be more discussed. Fisher dying scuttled his original plan for the Leia Force affinity reveal, of course. But he still needed Luke alive for the story he wanted to tell to end the trilogy – more of a Luke handing off the baton to Rey and a Luke “walking off into the sunset” idea, in the last film – rather than Luke dying in 8. They refused. He argued. They fired him.”

It certainly puts the nature of Luke’s anti-climactic death into perspective, if the production were merely looking for the easiest way to get rid of the character.

Thanks to SC Reviews and Geeks and Gamers for bringing this to my attention:

Do Rey and Phasma Encourage Female Firearms Ownership?

rey

Feminist icon shoots gun; a contradiction wrapped in hypocrisy wrapped in irony.

Dave Rutz of the Free Beacon reports on VICE tweeting complaints that the NRA wants to put guns in the hands of women.  Here’s one such tweet:

Rey_and_Han_Solo

“There’s a little more to it than that.”

Dave Rutz writes:

The part about “women” linked to a The Trace article stating research showed a woman with a gun was more likely to have it used against her.

Wouldn’t that then mean, that our hero Rey, and our villain Captain Phasma, would be more likely to have their blasters used against them?  Should they not have blasters then?  Is it sexist and/or misogynist to refuse these strong female leads blasters?

The Trace article states,

Gun marketers, too, have pushed women to arm themselves. There are now whole stores set up to sell pink-hued firearms and accessories.

Phasma

Not pink hued.

But aren’t Disney storytellers also pushing women to arm themselves, by depicting women empowering themselves with blaster (firearm) ownership and usage?

Every credible scientific study of women and guns in the last two decades strongly indicates that a firearm in a woman’s home is far more likely to be used against her or her family than to defend against an outside attacker. Increasing gun ownership by women would only heighten that risk.

Well then shouldn’t this also mean that Rey and Phasma’s blasters are far more likely to be used against them and their families, than to defend against a First Order goon?  Wouldn’t giving these strong female characters such weapons only heighten their risk?

Is Disney putting women at greater risk by inspiring them with strong female characters that brandish firearms? Aren’t they encouraging little girls to grow up wanting to own firearms, when they sell strong female action figures with blaster rifles?

Although this raises legitimate questions, many seem oblivious to the fact that women have already been brandishing firearms for a long time: