Feminist Has Difficulty With Character Arc

Kimberly Kerasali writes at The Mary Sue:

Perhaps the greatest failing of Star Wars is its treatment of Leia Organa (and, by extension, Carrie Fisher), despite how much we love her. Though a feminist icon and one of the great female characters of the saga and beyond, Leia was never given much focus or a defined character arc over the first three movies, and she still deserves better now, even though Carrie Fisher is gone.

Well sure she did.  Princess Leia started out as spoiled royalty who went out on “diplomatic missions,” and ended up getting her hands dirty engaging in battle for the Rebellion on the front lines.  She started in one place, and ended up in another.  That’s a defined character arc.

A New Hope’s portrayal of Leia is still lauded as revolutionary, and I am inclined to agree. While she does kiss Luke twice and has sexual tension with Han, their relationships are mostly based on friendship, and her main goal is always the rebellion, with her being a representation of what Luke aspires to be: wise, courageous, clever, selfless, heroic, and a symbol of hope. Many Star Wars story leaders and fans also cite Leia as the whole reason the saga started, with her being the reason the plans/R2-D2 got to Luke and Obi-Wan. However, despite seeing her planet destroyed in front of her, no time whatsoever is spent on her emotional trauma, while she comforts Luke over Obi-Wan’s death and Han’s abandonment, instead.

She’s not that kind of person.  She almost confides in Han on Endor, but ultimately tells Han that she can’t tell him what she was talking to Luke about, and just wants him to hold her.  She doesn’t whine.  She keeps it inside.  She’s stoic.

Empire Strikes Back is arguably the best of the Trilogy when it comes to Leia’s treatment, though that isn’t saying much. This is the movie in which Leia has the closest thing to character growth, but even then, it’s mostly a “defrosting ice queen” arc, with hints of the typical romcom trope that growing to love a man is the most important thing in life. The Leia/Han romance is also peppered with predatory undertones, as outlined by Pop Culture Detective (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWoP8VpbpYI).

It’s a little deeper than that.  She reveals the reason behind her reluctance to get involved with Han when she says to Han, “Then you’re as good as gone, aren’t you?”  She doesn’t know if she can really trust him to stick around.

He made passes at her.  That’s predatory now?

That brings us to the worst of the worst: Return of the Jedi. I could go on for a millennium about everything wrong with the gold bikini, from how it was used to silence both Carrie and Leia, to how it poisoned relations between Star Wars and its female fans for years to come by attempting to brand it a boys’ story.

You could, but you’d be incorrect.  What feminists are apparently incapable of understanding, is that the gold bikini was a reflection of the gangster Jabba the Hutt who forced her to wear it when he held her in captivity.  I’m not sure that the Jabba character would have been quite as ruthless if he had feminist sensibilities.

But perhaps the worst part is how, after Luke got focus in Empire and Han got his arc in A New HopeReturn of the Jedi should have been Leia’s movie. 

All three characters received a full arc over the course of the three films.  I explained Leia above.  Luke started out as a naive farm boy, transitioned into a hot headed impatient fighter, and ended as a wise Jedi.  Han started out as a unreliable rogue, but after being frozen and rescued by his friends, volunteered to become General of the ground forces at the Battle of Endor as a changed man.

She should have been leading the charge to get Han back. She should have been the General in charge of the assault on the shield generator (there are implications in the new Canon that she was a ranking General at this point, but that’s not shown in the movie), and most importantly, she should have had some reaction to Darth Vader being her father, as she arguably has spent more time with him than Luke.

Well, no.  She shouldn’t have been.  Because the Original Trilogy was an ensemble piece, and didn’t focus on any one character.  But for goodness sake, she strangled her captor with the very chains that he held her captive with while in the gold bikini that he forced her to wear.  How much more feminist can you get than that?

After the Original Trilogy, there came a period of retroactive recognition for Leia.

Some would say that it was merely the next logical step in the character’s development, rather than anything as dramatic as “retroactive recognition.”

Now, we have the ongoing Sequel Trilogy. In The Force Awakens, we don’t get to see Leia being a General until the third act. Even then, a good portion of her character is still based around her relationships with men, whether it be a sister trying to bring her brother home, a wife trying to repair her relationship with her husband, or a mother trying to save her son. All worthy pursuits, but also somewhat unsatisfying from a feminist perspective, especially for someone who started out as independent as A New Hope Leia.

Are you arguing that Leia shouldn’t have any relationships with men, like Holdo?

1. A Leia anthology movie about her early days in the rebellion. Leia, Princess of AlderaanStar Wars RebelsRogue One; and even the upcoming Han Solo movie have already laid the groundwork for this to work. This would be a difficult one, as it almost feels blasphemous to continue Leia’s story after Carrie’s death, since she and her character are in many ways a “Möbius striptease,” as she once said.

That’s actually not a bad idea, but it would be a mostly political movie, since Leia didn’t engage in battle until she fired that blaster on the Death Star.  To depict her as battling before then, would undo the defined character arc that she had in the Original Trilogy.

 

Help Us, Wall Might, You’re Our Only Hope

Megan Fox from PJ Media reports:

The creators of the surprise runaway bestseller Thump! The First Bundred Days are at it again with the first comic book written by an openly pro-Trump team of comics professionals. My Hero MAGADEMIA, a parody of the Japanese hit My Hero Academia, hits comic shops on Wednesday, March 28, and is already stirring up all kinds of outraged angst on Twitter.

In My Hero MAGADEMIA, the Trump figure is named “Wall Might,” a nod to the Japanese manga hero “All Might.”

Screen-Shot-2018-03-26-at-11.01.25-PM

Help us, Wall Might, you’re our only hope.

“Wall Might is America’s mightiest hero!” reads the description, “Wielding the cumulative power of E Pluribus Unum, he was summoned by the Deplorables to fight the forces of the shadow government and their minions. When the forces of evil punch him, he punches back twice as hard!” The book is full of hilarious jabs at the Deep State, including some pretty side-splitting depictions of familiar swamp dwellers.

PJM reached out to Timothy Lim, creator of Wall Might, for his opinion of the online hatred being flung at him over this project. “Our publisher, Antarctic Press, has made numerous books before and after the election that poke good-natured fun at Trump,” he said. “Yet it is only now when they give a right-leaning creative team a fair shake at their own spoof that the rabid, SJW Left is in a tizzy about it.” Lim continued, “From their terrible lack of understanding of parody, satire, and fair use laws to their hyperbolic statements and screeching about our work, it is very telling of the double standard that these ideologues have. Unlike other properties whose characters have been altered beyond recognition by agenda-driven scribes in an official manner, ours remains solely a comedic, independent, and divorced work.”

What makes the upset especially fun is that the SJWs at Marvel, DC, and Image Comics have for years taken official beloved characters and turned them into unrecognizable, virtue-signalers pushing transgender and queer agendas. When Marvel took away Captain Marvel’s buxom figure and gave her man-boobs, SJWs applauded and called it progress. Any comics fan who no longer finds the flat-chested Carla Danvers attractive or interesting is a “sexist.” When IDW comics creators turned a popular G.I. Joe male character into an overweight woman, hilarity ensued.

Comics aren’t the only properties where agenda driven activists have taken beloved characters and turned them into social justice propaganda tools, as Star Wars fans now well know.  Maybe a future issue of My Hero MAGADEMIA could have Wall Might tackle the new Disney-era Star Wars franchise and all its unshowered social justice stank.

Check out the creator’s Twitter page, where they take delight in mocking SJW hysterics in reaction to their satirical comic.

You can order My Hero MAGADEMIA here.

Screen-Shot-2018-03-26-at-10.58.00-PM

The same SJWs have barnacled themselves to Star Wars too.

Anonymous Actor Spills The Beans On Solo

Chris Lee from Vulture interviews an anonymous actor from the Solo set in a piece entitled, Solo: A Star Wars Story Actor Shares New Details About the Troubled Production.

He writes:

Vulture spoke to an actor who worked on Solo — for four months under the direction of Miller and Lord last year, and beginning in October with Howard — who provided a blow-by-blow. Although not one of the film’s marquee stars, this source was in a prime position to observe the directors’ contrasting on-set modi operandi. And according to his description, the production was divided into two distinct chapters: one disorganized and chaotic, the other controlled and efficient.

This runs in stark contrast to previous statements made publicly by the cast.

“Obviously, it was a surprise. I love Phil and Chris — everybody loves Phil and Chris — they’re so brilliant.” ~Thandie Newton

“I will tell you this much though,” Williams adds. “What saddens me most is I was very proud of the work that I did. What I believe I have created with Emilia Clarke and Woody Harrelson and Alden [Ehrenreich, who plays Solo]… I thought it was some great work. We was on the spaceship, and we all had these amazing scenes together, and I thought it was a great opportunity, and I thought it was some great stuff. It’s unfortunate the world won’t get to see it.” ~Michael K Williams

So who’s telling the truth here?

The Vulture interview continues:

Vulture’s source, who declined to be identified because he is not authorized to publicly discuss the movie at this time, felt Lord and Miller were out of their depth, more cut out for light comedy — like The Lego Movie and 2012’s big-screen adaptation of 21 Jump Street, the movies for which the pair earned their reputation for delivering surprise hits — than the kind of big-budget, galaxy-questing action that Lucasfilm required.

Which is interesting, given that this also runs contrary to statements made by Jon Kasdan, who remarks that the screenplay specifically contained comedy.

For screenwriters and father-son duo Lawrence and Jon Kasdan, the film’s roots are heavily vested in one of the most central relationships in the universe’s mythology: the friendship between Han and Chewbacca (played in “Solo” by Joonas Suotamo). “To me, this is a love story between Han and Chewie,” the younger Kasdan told the outlet. “Their relationship has always been my favorite part of the saga, and the fact that only Han understands what Chewie is saying, I find a very funny possibility for comedy.”

The Vulture interview continues:

To hear our source tell it, the main difference between the co-directors’ filmmaking style and Howard’s boiled down to efficiency. Where Lord and Miller would typically demand more than 30 takes of a given scene — seemingly unsure of what they wanted other than a delivery “different” from the last — Howard got the job done in no more than two or three takes. “Phil and Chris are good directors, but they weren’t prepared for Star Wars,” says our source. “After the 25th take, the actors are looking at each other like, ‘This is getting weird.’ [Lord and Miller] seemed a bit out of control. They definitely felt the pressure; with one of these movies, there are so many people on top of you all the time. The first assistant director was really experienced and had to step in to help them direct a lot of scenes.” (Joy Fehily, a spokesperson for Miller and Lord says: “This information is completely inaccurate,” but declined to cite specific inaccuracies. She also declined to make the directors available for an interview.)

And it took 80% of the film to be completed before Kathleen Kennedy figured this out?  Were it just Lord & Miller that were let go, I might buy this.  But given Lucasfilm’s track record with directors under Kathleen Kennedy, I don’t.

In addition to shooting dozens of takes, which slowed the pace of filming, the two failed to compel the desired performance from their leading man. In March 2017 the studio took the nearly unprecedented move of hiring an acting coach to help star Alden Ehrenreich more convincingly channel Ford’s swashbuckling affect in the original three Star Wars movies.

But who’s fault is that?  Watching the following clip, Lord & Miller don’t look too pleased with being forced to take Kathleen Kennedy’s hand picked choice for the Han Solo role:

And if they were going to reshoot in part because of Alden’s poor performance, why not replace him?  They did it with Back to the Future.

Heck, the biggest challenge the film faces is convincing people that the new actor is Han Solo.  They had a Force Doppelganger of Harrison Ford in the way of Anthony Ingruber ready to go.  The counterargument is that just because Ingruber could do a Ford impression, didn’t mean that he could act.  But look where they ended up anyway with Alden if the rumors about acting coaches are to be believed?

So, are the reshoots quantitatively making Solo a better movie? 

I suspect that’s exactly what this interview with the anonymous actor is meant to make fans believe.  Of course none of this matters, because people will still be able to see what Disney puts up on screen.

solostory_1_2_large

The proof is in the pudding.

He also points out that the financial underperformance of the last Star Wars installment — which fell $200 million short of analysts’ predictions, according to The Wall Street Journal — has incentivized the studio to make the Force strong with this one. “They have to make [Solo] good after The Last Jedididn’t make as much money as expected,” he says. “If they want to keep making Star Wars movies, it has to be good.”

Really?  Because we keep getting told how spectacular The Last Jedi did at the box office.

UPDATE:

Chris Miller responds:

Maybe don’t believe everything you read

— Chris Miller (@chrizmillr) March 27, 2018

Indeed.

Chuck Wendig’s Morning Meltdown

As to be expected, Chuck Wendig is busying himself blocking anyone that voices an opinion contrary to his own. It’s highly entertaining to read Chuck’s mental meltdown.  He desperately tries to convince himself and others that the more than “6 shitty people” who are responding to his tweets are nothing more than trolls, sock puppets, and bots, in order to maintain his delusion that the backlash doesn’t exist.  That’s right, they’re still fantasizing about bots.  Enjoy!

image001

Chuck discovers that there’s more than six shitty people out there.

I’m sure that Chuck’s hilarious hysterics will continue throughout the day.

Happy Monday, Kathleen Kennedy!

Chuck Wendig Mindlessly Parrots John Boyega

Previously, John Boyega was quoted as saying that the backlash is:

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

Well, it seems that this particular bit of silly rhetoric is now making the rounds among other Lucasfilm representatives.

You may know Chuck Wendig as the author of the Star Wars novel Aftermath, which was celebrated for showcasing a gay character, and not known for much of anything else.  Recently, Chuck Wendig decided to tweet his own variation of the commonly parroted “tiny vocal minority” rhetoric:

What’s actually hilarious and sad, is that an adult like Chuck Wendig isn’t following the news of his own industry.

I’ve discussed how the $1.3 Billion dollar figure isn’t at all what it seems.  World Class Bullshitters confirmed this with their own independent commentary.  I’ve discussed the total failure of The Last Jedi in China.  I’ve discussed the waning toy and merchandise sales, as have others.  All of these discussions contain links to source articles from which the information comes, articles which Chuck Wendig apparently hasn’t read.

WendigAxe

Too busy chopping bugs out of his beard to read news articles.

Backlashers inevitably responded to Chuck Wendig’s tweet, and Chuck reacted:

Now, Chuck clearly knew that his original tweet would elicit a reaction.  How could he not?  So what’s equally clear, is that he had these two sentences pre-fabricated and ready to post the moment that he received six reactions.  He probably thought it would make him appear prescient and clever.  Ironic indeed.

Chuck is the guy who once said, “A small group of characters can change the entire galaxy.  You don’t need this colossal movement to change everything.  Sometimes you just need you and a couple of your scoundrels, friends, and wookies.”  Chuck apparently no longer believes this.

Chuck waffles though between claiming that there is no backlash, and subtly suggesting that Backlashers are bigoted:

We’ve all heard the age old question, “If a tree falls in a forest and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”  Likewise, if Backlashers don’t exist, then how can they be bigoted?  Chuck makes very little coherent sense.

But Chuck does follow the predetermined SJW behavior, by pretending that the backlash doesn’t exist.  The next phase will be to ignore the backlash, in a transparent attempt to depict himself as above it all.  When that doesn’t succeed, what follows will be seething, frothing, frustrated SJW barking involving an unintelligible overuse of  adjectives.

The great thing about this, is that further agitation of the backlash will serve only to amplify the scope of any potential boycott.  So in that regard Chuck is to be thanked for his essential efforts here.

It will be interesting to see if Lucasfilm pressures Chuck to delete his tweets.

Thanks to Geeks and Gamers for catching these tweets before they vanish.

UPDATE:

UPDATE:

Jeremy from Geeks and Gamers posts an update in the comments section of his video:

Well yes.  It’s what Chuck Wendig needs to do in order to maintain his delusion that you don’t exist.

Disney Purportedly Responds To Solo Poster Blaster Controversy

I previously discussed the removal of guns from the Solo movie posters.  It appears that Disney may have made a statement on the matter.

Han-Solo-Brazil-and-Spanish-Poster-No-Gun

Maybe they carry concealed in Brazil.

Stephen M. Colbert from ScreenRant states that the blaster-less posters are specifically for Brazil:

First of all, the posters arent for the United States. They’re posters for Brazil. Brazil has had its own recent national debate over firearms, but that’s not even the reason their posters look different. Screen Rant has spoken with Disney about the posters in question and they’ve verified that the posters are specific to Brazil, and they are likely that way because Brazil is trying to push a more family-friendly image for Solo (or “Han Solo” as it’s marketed there) in that region. The posters aren’t distributed in the US, and the change has nothing to do with the gun issues in the US.

That’s really quite interesting, if that’s what Disney is claiming.  Because according to an article entitled, People Are Ready to Buy Some Guns in the World’s Murder Capital, written on March 20th 2018 by David Biller at Bloomberg:

Desperate Brazilians are wondering whether they’d be better off armed, given that around 60,000 of their compatriots are killed each year. Polls show support for gun ownership gaining ground. In an election year, politicians are paying attention.

“Everyday, everywhere you look, the criminal is armed with a high-powered weapon as the citizen tries to hide,” Rogerio Peninha Mendonca, the lawmaker behind the proposal, said in an interview. “What we want is for the citizen to be more capable of defending himself.”

The idea runs counter to recent calls in the U.S. for greater gun control, as well as the global trend towards restricting access to firearms that’s seen Australia, the U.K, Canada, New Zealand and Germany tighten their laws in recent decades.

Forty-two percent of Brazilians believe gun ownership is a citizen’s right, according to a November survey by pollster Datafolha. That’s up from 30 percent four years earlier. And of the lower house lawmakers who have expressed opinions publicly, slightly more than half support the proposed legislation, according to a scoreboard maintained by Peninha’s staff.

Stephen M. Colbert at ScreenRant continues:

Second, the “changes” to the posters aren’t actually changing anything. The controversy is mostly based on the comparison of two sets of posters (example above) that appear identical other than the fact that one set features the characters with guns and the other doesn’t. Not only were these posters released at about the same time, but the posters in question are the first Solo posters for Brazil, meaning it’s impossible for them to have been “changed” as there were no previous Brazillian posters to change from. The only reason people think they were changed is because they’re comparing them to the Spanish posters, where the characters all still have blasters. The casual eye may not be able to differentiate between Spanish and Portuguese, but it’s clear they’re different languages as one movie is titled Han Solo: Una Historia de Star Wars and the other is Han Solo: Uma História de Star Wars. Other words are also different, such as the Spanish “cines” and the Portuguese “cinemas.”

Nonsense.  If the posters really were specifically for Brazil, then they were changed (or customized if you prefer that word) to appease like-minded SJW bureaucrats in Brazil who oppose loosening their guns laws in the midst of a contentious public debate.  The last thing they want to do, is give their political opposition potential inspiration through a movie like Solo.

It’s worth noting that Stephen M. Colbert doesn’t really supply any direct quotes or official statements from Disney, only claiming that they’ve “spoken with Disney.”

Further food for thought:

Latest Solo Banner Evokes The Partridge Family

James Burns from jedinews.co.uk shows us the new Solo banner:

The colors on individual posters look okay, but presented like this it reminds me of a combination of the letters in the LIFE Cereal logo, and some of the old Partridge Family marketing material.

s-l500

Whoa, the colors…

From the material that’s been released so far, we can surmise that a big chunk of the plot for Solo involves a train heist.  Given the film’s connection to the old westerns in that regard, is there not one designer at Lucasfilm that thought to come up with some type of wanted posters for the characters?

Han1_original

Apparently too obvious.

Solo: A Love Triangle Story, With a Half-Human/Half-Mountain Lion Twist

Lawrence Mozafari from Digital Spy reports on a conversation with Michael K Williams, who was cast in the Solo movie, but replaced with Paul Bettany when Ron Howard took the film over from Lord & Miller:

Speaking to Sirius XM’s Jim and Sam Show, Michael explained his character was “half mountain lion, half human” and was competing with Han Solo for the affections of Qi’Ra (Emilia Clarke).

“He was extremely sophisticated. Very rich. He’d been around the world, older guy, and it was sort of a love triangle between Emilia Clarke’s character, Qi’ra, and the young Han Solo.

“Not where it was overtly a love triangle, but there was definitely some pissing contest going on for the girl’s attention. And [Vos] is old and [Han] is younger so it was that thing also going on, like, ‘Young buck, I’ve been around the world.’ But he’s like, ‘The young chick wants the young buck.’

“So there was a little bit of that energy going on. But the relationship on paper was definitely with Qi’ra and Han Solo.”

CatFight

Cat fight!

Before Luke discovered that Leia was his sister, there was a bit of a love triangle between the Big Three in the Original Trilogy.  And some have suggested that there was also a downplayed love triangle between the three primary players in the Prequel Series.  So this wouldn’t really be anything new in Star Wars.

Also, we’ve seen multiple science fiction properties depict human/alien relationships.  So that too really isn’t anything new.

But this is Lucasfilm in the Disney era.   Williams does state that the love triangle wasn’t overt, but that was the Lord & Miller version that he worked on, and all of his scenes in that had to be reshot.  Who knows what the Ron Howard version holds in store.

Rian Johnson Is Sticking To His Guns

Echoing JJ Abrams comments regarding his own work on Episode IX, Rian Johnson too won’t let the backlash against Star Wars affect the direction of his work on his own trilogy.

Adam Chitwood of Collider reports on a quote from Rian Johhnson:

Speaking with Fandango’s Erik Davis at SXSW where the incredible making of documentary The Director and the Jedi premiered, Johnson said he’s not taking into account fan criticisms over The Last Jedi for his new trilogy:

“No, not really. I feel like every Star Wars thing that ever gets made has a big, loud response because Star Wars fans are passionate and that’s what makes them awesome. But no, and I don’t think it’s possible—if you’re really telling a story you care about and having it come from your heart, it’s just not possible to be intellectually processing what everyone else wants. Nor would it be a good thing, a healthy thing. I don’t think that’s a good way to tell a story.”

And what’s Rian Johnson’s “good way to tell a story?”

“It’s Star Wars. Let’s not worry. Let’s move on.”

rian-johnson

He’s not listening to a word you’re saying.