Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Salem (has not) Watched a Movie: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

That wasn't a typo. I haven't seen it yet.

Spoilers? I don't know. Can I spoil a movie I haven't seen?

I'm not boycotting it or anything. I literally don't care enough about Star Wars to worry that they're casting the wrong types of people or pushing the wrong types of messages. Hell, I was there for the prequels. Whatever they do, it can't be worse than that.

There's a woman at work who is a massive Star Wars fan and was part of the training process for my new job. She's asked me several times and gets increasingly frustrated when I tell her I haven't yet. Curiously, she's a little confused as to why she hasn't gone to see it a second time, but we'll get to that.

I meant to go on Christmas, when I had a 3 day weekend. I meant to go on New Years' Day, when I had 5 days off. I meant to go this last weekend when I had another 3 day weekend, and every other weekend in between. And granted, I'm in the middle of a major depressive episode, but I went to go see Thor: Ragnarok and Justice League. I even had a $5 movie ticket coupon that could have gotten me into a 3D showing, and I kept putting it off until it expired.

I've quite enjoyed watching the YouTube criticism videos. The memes are fantastic. Luke's Milk and Swolo Ren in particular, and I have no idea if she's a good character or not, but I get a giggle out of Vice Admiral Gender Studies.

What I haven't enjoyed are the conspiracy theories about an insidious plot to undermine western society. Granted, while there are some things to criticize (such as the one-of-each casting that looks like the attractive, yet non-threatening, racially diverse cast of a CW show - thanks, Cat Grant), I don't think Alex Jones needs to worry so much about Star Wars. On the flip side, I also do not enjoy the hyperbolic two-pronged assault of "Star Wars being a triumph in diversity" and "anyone who criticizes it is an evil Nazi Gamergater MRA Drumpfist manbaby." Seriously, knock it off. Stop being so obnoxious about your celebration, and stop attacking anyone who disagrees with you over it.

The Chinese have a word for this now, by the way: "Baizou." This translates roughly to "white lefties" and translates literally, or so I'm told, to "libtard." I don't know if it's related in any way, but despite casting an Asian in a prominent role and putting her front and center in the marketing (which China usually loves), China went to go see The Last Jedi once and never went back.

I guess you could say The Last Jedi had a little trouble in big China.

I'm so not sorry for that.

I think the thing that spurred me to write this was this incident. One guy, somewhere, anonymously edited a cam version of The Last Jedi to remove the prominence of the female characters, which probably took maybe just a few hours, uploaded it to ThePirateBay, and set off yet another internet firestorm. No declaration of intent, just a description of what he did, and some jumped-up lefty lifestyle blog gave him exactly the reaction he was assuredly looking for.

I really should go and see it sometime this week, but I can't help but shake the feeling that I've already had the Star Wars: The Last Jedi experience.

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