Crystal Bell writes a piece at mtv.com entitled, THE LAST JEDI IS THE MOST FEMINIST STAR WARS MOVIE YET.
In it, she contends that:
Except for Queen Amidala, and Ahsoka Tano. And maybe Mara Jade.
Probably because the trilogy is about wars being fought in the stars; hence “Star Wars,” the title of the franchise. Wars are predominately fought by men, which is why a wartime setting such as Star Wars logically wouldn’t be female-driven.
In fact, a revealing supercut from Vulture examined all of the non-Leia speaking parts for women in A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi and found that there are only three female characters who have any dialogue: Aunt Beru on Tatooine, former senator and Rebel Alliance leader Mon Mothma, and an unnamed Rebel controller at the Hoth base.
Yes, I’ve discussed this cut and pointed out that in order to make the point the editor wanted to make, they were required to also cut out the strong female lead.
As long as we don’t let the past die.
But I’m repeatedly told that accusing The Last Jedi of overt feminism amounts to nothing more than a conspiracy theory.
Rose is a delightful addition to the Star Wars universe, a character whose Rebel spirit is unbreakable, as evidenced by the way she stunned would-be deserters on the Raddus mere hours after her sister’s death.
Yeah, how come there weren’t any deserters who blew her away with a blaster?
Finn couldn’t mansplain his way out of a paper bag.
Meanwhile, Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (Laura Dern) is a woman put into a position of power following General Leia’s near-death on the bridge. Poe Dameron’s (Oscar Isaac) immediate mistrust of Holdo’s authority has as much to do with her feminine appearance — her amethyst hair, matching dress robes, and ornate space jewelry (at Fisher’s request), in particular — as it does his hotshot, male ego.
Well, that’s because commanding officers generally tend to wear rugged utilitarian uniforms into battle, rather than fragile hippie cocktail dresses that would be blown off of her with a stray wind.
Yes, it’s telling that the screenplay was contrived to pander to the fantasies of the 3 or 4 misandrous feminists in the room.
Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi revealed that there was less than meets the eye.
In a galaxy run by feminists, who could blame him?
“It just feels right, especially now,” Johnson told The Los Angeles Timesof the film’s diverse group of female heroes. “It’s a sea change you feel happening. The fact that it is powerful for folks who haven’t seen themselves [reflected] on screen, as heroes and also villains, all types of characters… to see how much that matters to people, and how emotional that is, has been really impactful.”
Now if only life imitated art, and we saw more females signing up for Selective Service.
But The Last Jedi isn’t just a film featuring a cast of complex female characters; it weaves multiple stories in which men not only learn to listen to women but also suffer actual consequences when they don’t.
It also unwittingly weaves the story of two days worth of failed missions that happened all because the women in charge forgot to gas up, leading to the deaths of all but a dozen or so Resistance fighters.
Poe’s storyline with Leia and Holdo is the most blatant example of this. At the beginning of the film, he’s, in Holdo’s own words, a “trigger-happy flyboy” whose reckless actions lead to a major Resistance victory at the cost of nearly their entire fleet.
But certainly not as reckless as suicide bombing your only heavily armed capital ship.
Feminists could learn a thing or two from Poe.
His contempt for Holdo is an all-too-real example of the kind of casual sexism female bosses often face. Poe is the most likable guy in the galaxy, but even he has trouble taking orders from a woman who’s not Leia Organa.
Or maybe it’s because Holdo is an ignorant hippie who didn’t realize that she could have had a droid pilot her ship.
And thanks to Holdo’s plan, all but a dozen or so Resistance fighters die.
You do realize of course, that blowing things up is the primary purpose of war, as in Star Wars, right?
Finn learns a similar lesson on his mission to Canto Bight with Rose. When he stops talking and starts listening to Rose, he sees the beautiful casino planet for what it really is: a shiny facade inhabited by ugly war profiteers. Their bonding moments on Canto Bight ultimately set up Rose’s heroic act in the film’s spectacular finale, in which she risks her life to save Finn from his ill-conceived suicide mission. Just as Johnson said, watching a female heroine finally get her moment and save the day — by saving the male hero — is impactful.
It’s just as impactful as seeing two leaders of the Resistance come together in The Last Jedi‘s most emblematic moment. “So much loss,” Leia says to Holdo, knowing she’s about to lose yet another friend. “I can’t take any more.”
“Sure you can,” Holdo smiles. “You taught me how.” (That line was improvised by Dern as a tribute to her onscreen idol, Fisher, and Leia’s lasting legacy.) This moving exchange is poignant not just because it’s an emotional goodbye, but it’s also a declaration of admiration between two powerhouse women — a rarity in Hollywood blockbusters like this. There was never a rivalry between Holdo and Leia; they were just two old friends working together for the greater good.
Too bad Leia didn’t teach Holdo how to set up the auto-pilot.