Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Peter Spiliakos, "Star Wars And The Culture War Vortex"

This is pretty good, IMO...though a bit too fair-minded and even-handed for my taste.
   I like women and non-white characters in sci-fi. OTOH, when we're in the midst of the insanity we're currently in the midst of, I think it's easy to be cynical about e.g. Star Wars jumping on the PC/SJ bandwagon. But, as Spiliakos notes, it's all complicated by the fact that the prequels and sequels just aren't very good. I mean, the first hour or so of The Force Awakens blew me away. And Rogue One is solid, IMO. But really, as much as I love love love Star Wars, the whole thing's been kinda in decline ever since the first Ewok appeared on screen. IMO, anyway. The prequels have some great stuff--most of the best lightsabre duels in the whole series. And, as I noted, I think that the sequels started off great. (Though I may just have had a particularly good movie-going experience that day--which matters.) Rey's a good, solid protagonist. And Finn had a lot of potential...which, as Spiliakos notes, has been completely squandered. That's something I thought was really good about his essay. I could never put my finger on what it was about Finn that hasn't worked out.
   But, anyway. We start with scripts and stories that, in most ways, just aren't that good. (Which is unforgivable, really.) Given the place Star Wars holds in some people's hearts, that generates frustration. Add some genuinely idiotic, sexist, racist, and otherwise defective and repulsive internet trolls and orcs. Then add some mindless PC/SJ bandwagon-jumping and frustration therewith...and you get what we've got now. I could barely stay awake through the end of The Last Jedi. That was just not a good movie IMO. Star Wars deserves better.


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