A Movie Where Leia And Holdo Spend Most of The Time Talking About Poe Passes The Bechdel Test?

Rosie Fletcher writes a piece at Digital Spy entitled, How Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the first truly feminist Star Wars film.

In it she contends,

Who run the worlds? Girls.

Is that how all but a dozen or so Resistance fighters get led to their deaths?  What happened to gender equality?

While the original trilogy was a classic battle between good and evil, things are just a bit more nuanced than that this time around.

Yes, I’ve discussed the multi-layered nuance of the alien nipple milking sequence.

Within these changes, Rian Johnson has introduced the first truly feminist instalment to the franchise.

But people keep telling me that accusations of feminism in the franchise amount to nothing more than a conspiracy theory.

The original Star Wars trilogy featured one awesome female character, but she was reduced to a bikini-wearing slave in Episode VI…

Which was a reflection on the gangster Jabba the Hutt, who forced her to wear it.

…and she never got to talk substantively to another woman (unless she had an off-screen chat with ill-fated, green dancer Oola).

Probably because she was in the midst of a war, which are predominately fought by men.

Leia notwithstanding, the original trilogy’s women (er… Mon Mothma? Sy Snootles?) were vastly outnumbered by men. The prequel trilogy had Padme and… nope, just Padme. Oh wait: Shmi! Yay.

Again; war.  As in Star Wars.

The Force Awakens redressed the balance, comfortably passing the Bechdel test – ie, it (a) had more than one woman (b) those women talked to each other (c) about something other than a man.

The easiest way to pass this test is to simply not have any men at all in the film.  Then there’s no men for women to talk about.

But I wonder if this entirely worthless test is ever applied to men?  Do men in movies talk about anything other than men?  Probably it’s not if it’s a war picture, since wars are fought mostly by men.  War pictures such as Star Wars for instance.

At any rate, does The Last Jedi actually pass this test, since Leia and Holdo spend most of the movie talking about Poe; a man?  Unless we’re not qualifying Poe as a man here.

The Last Jedi takes things much further. It’s the first time we can comfortably say that a Star Wars movie is actively feminist.

What would a passively feminist movie look like?

OK, Holdo doesn’t tell Poe her plan, which arguably could have solved a few issues, but hell, she doesn’t owe it to him to explain herself – Leia left her in charge for a reason. 

Generally speaking, commanding officers inform their subordinates of their plans in the form of orders and battle plan presentations.  Episode IV and VI practically had Power Point presentations so that the rebel soldiers could all get on the same page in their assaults on the Death Stars.  Communication aids coordination.

And later Holdo manages to destroy the First Order ship by sacrificing herself for the greater good.

I’m not sure that destroying their only heavily armed capital ship would qualify as the greater good.  Particularly not when they could have had a droid pilot the ship anyway.

Rose even risks her own life to keep Finn from sacrificing himself, explaining that the real Resistance is about saving those you love, not killing those you hate.

While the First Order batters down the Resistance’s blast doors and proceeds to kill all but a dozen or so of them.  Love hurts.

If the Universe was run by women, The Last Jedi‘s clear subtext runs, things would be kinder, more humane, better organised and a lot more peaceful.

They organized two days worth of failed missions that led to all but a dozen or so Resistance fighters to their deaths, all because the women in charge forgot to gas up.  That’s the real subtext.

Now all we need is an actual female director for a Star Wars movie…

Maybe then we can finally get a Han Solo/Mr. Mom mashup.


I wonder if Apocalypse Now could pass this test?

3 thoughts on “A Movie Where Leia And Holdo Spend Most of The Time Talking About Poe Passes The Bechdel Test?

  1. Pingback: Male Feminist Accidentally Focuses On Male Privilege Phantoms | Disney Star Wars is Dumb

  2. Pingback: Is Disney/Lucasfilm Slut Shaming Princess Leia? | Disney Star Wars is Dumb

  3. Pingback: 20 Points That Slumming Through SJW “Think” Pieces Teaches Us | Disney Star Wars is Dumb

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