Feminism Ruined “The Last Jedi”

By | 2017-06-02T18:30:05+00:00 January 3, 2018|
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Beneath the orgiastic CGI spectacle, campy writing, and poor plotting in “The Last Jedi” is a mythological grotesquerie that fails to rise to the level of art and instead wallows in the realm of ideological fanaticism and propaganda.

Ideology corrupts art. Modern feminism, like the Marxism that preceded it, seeks a radical break from tradition to achieve “liberation” from “systems of oppression.”

In “The Last Jedi,” as in “The Force Awakens,” this feminist contempt for the past results in a spiritual rot in what ought the most crucial element of the story: the hero. Rey is a failure as the central character. She is, according to The Atlantic, not the first feminine “Star Wars” hero but the first feminist one. And because her creative foundation is ideological rather than mythological, she is inauthentic and unappealing.

As the feminist girl-power archetype, Rey is a strong empowered independent woman who doesn’t need a man. In fact, she doesn’t need anyone. When we first meet Rey, she’s a loner without friends, without family, and even without a last name. Yet she’s also somehow an expert fighter, mechanic, and pilot. The first time she picks up a lightsaber, she defeats a trained dark lord. She learns no lessons, needs no instruction, and never faces any real crisis, external or internal.

For Rey to truly struggle, to encounter an internal crisis that would develop her as a character, would be to make her vulnerable and thus more of a woman but less of a feminist hero. So screenwriter and director Rian Johnson purged her of weakness and dependency. In the filmmakers’ desire to paint her as a feminist badass and girl-power “boss bitch” who can take care of herself thank you very much, Johnson leaves us with a lonely and utterly rootless woman crammed into a hyper-masculine role.

This portrayal doesn’t work because men and women are not interchangeable. Neither are the masculine and feminine hero myths. The feminist effort to shove Rey into the masculine journey results in an essentially transgendered, unnatural, and corrupt character.

What the Original Trilogy Got Right
Compare Rey’s journey to Luke Skywalker’s in the original trilogy. Luke starts as an optimistic but immature farmhand thrust into an adventure far beyond his own horizon. He faces off against evil and wins, destroying the Death Star in the process but with plenty of help from his friends. He is not without flaws, however. In “The Empire Strikes Back” he goes to Yoda, the wise sage, who instructs and molds him, but he fails to heed this needed guidance and his impetuousness and immoderation nearly kills him. His defeat at the hands of Darth Vader, who reveals he is Luke’s father, confronts him with a new crisis. In “Return of the Jedi” Luke finally develops enough as a warrior and as a man that he can face the monster/father in order to redeem him.

Rey, on the other hand, never encounters failure. In “The Last Jedi,” instead of being instructed by a wise sage, Luke, in the tradition of the mythic hero, it is she who teaches him. Luke is thus deprived of the opportunity to pass from the warrior-hero into the mentor-teacher. At the end he is still impetuous, still myopic, still being lectured by Yoda. But Rey—she’s perfect. As Yoda tells Luke as the last Jedi archive burns, there is nothing in “those books that the girl does not already possess.”

In other words, she does not need the lessons of the past or a mentor to guide her. She already knows because she’s empowered. You go, girl! But beyond her inauthenticity as a masculine hero, Rey’s perfection and her cross-dressing deprive the film of another crucial element: a romance.

There are no princesses to rescue in the new “Star Wars.” There is no need for the traditional heroic story of the triumph of good over evil ending in love and children. It is in romance that the masculine and feminine hero journeys unify, resulting in new life. By making Rey a female character in a male role, the movie reveals its own contempt for life-giving femininity and its symbiotic relationship to strong masculinity.

Feminism All the Way Down
But Rey’s crisis of identity is not the only ideologically generated problem plaguing “The Last Jedi.” The ruin wrought by Leftist gender politics extends far beyond the central hero.

Men as a whole, have little role in the new film other than as villains (Kylo Ren and General Hux), dutiful side characters (Finn), or incompetent hot heads (Poe Dameron). On that last count, “The Last Jedi” goes to great lengths to shame and embarrass Dameron, the only token white male among the new batch of “good guys.”

Poe Dameron emerged in “The Force Awakens” as a gutsy rebel pilot in the spirit of Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles. But in “The Last Jedi” his plot to save the Resistance fleet is both mutinous and disastrous. It ends up leading to the deaths of nearly all of his fellow fighters.

Dameron hatches this plan behind the backs of Vice Admiral Holdo, a purple haired, LGBTQQIA, #WomensMarch, leader of #TheResistance who takes command when Princess Leia, excuse me, General Organa nearly dies. Holdo is as bitchy as she sounds. Instead of revealing her plan to Dameron when he first asks, she kicks him off her bridge, calling him a “trigger happy flyboy” that “we don’t need right now.”

Yaaaaassss! Slay, Queen! Bitter, blue-haired feminists everywhere stood up and cheered at her “savage clapback” to Dameron and his “mansplaining,” I’m sure. But the effect on the film is horrendous. This Hillary Clinton clone, complete with the shrill moral superiority, exists for no other reason than to provide a ham-handed moral lesson about the importance of female leadership.

But Holdo is seriously flawed in her own right. While the film wants us to blame Dameron’s toxic masculinity and inability to bend to strong female leadership for the fleet’s destruction, it is Holdo’s arrogance and petty desire to shield her plans for trivial reasons that leads the patriotic Dameron to come up with his own solution to save his friends from certain death.

A Waste of Character—and Warped Taste
Much like real life, the petty feminist desire to attack the “patriarchy” at every turn trumps basic human concerns. Here again ideology triumphs over art.

Holdo ultimately sacrifices herself to save the #Resistance from Donald Tru . . . er . . . the First Order. But once more, the gender politics of “Star Wars” subsumes tradition and meaning with political fanaticism. Admiral Ackbar, a character long beloved by fans, dies an ignominious and unmourned death in the film. Instead of placing him in the sacrificial role where his death might have an actual purpose, “The Last Jedi” chooses a purple-haired lesbian Tumblr meme to take his place.

The original trilogy captured the spirit of courage and optimism of the West in the face of the fascist and Communist totalitarians of the early 20th century. A stark contrast to the spiritual malaise and cynicism growing out of the late 1960s and 70s, Luke Skywalker was an epic hero that Western boys could look up to, much as I did.

“A New Hope” was an antidote to its time. “The Last Jedi” is a reflection of it. The feminism prevalent in the film perverts its artistic value, twisting the epic tale of good and evil into a two-and-a-half-hour diversity training video. For the creators of this bloated mess passing the Bechdel test was more important than writing a good story. Though, unfortunately, their failure won’t harm them much. Fealty to “correct” political causes ensures the good graces of critics. And despite rumblings from the fan base, “The Last Jedi” will certainly become another golden teat on Disney’s latest cash cow.

This is not proof of the film’s intrinsic value but of our own warped taste.

We in the West have lost the ability to distinguish between spiritually healthy and rotten art. That is a far greater tragedy than the ruin of “Star Wars.”

About the Author:

Wayne Isaac
Wayne Isaac is the pseudonym of a citizen, a patriot, and a Midwesterner.
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  • tz1

    From a New Hope to beyond hopeless.

    I’m waiting for the total vandalism of Beethoven’s Fidelo (cue Leonora #3) into a Trannysaurus wrecks.

    You can even have a female lead get a fighter like in True Grit.

    But “The Last Jedi” is aptly named. We can only hope there won’t be any more.

  • Joel Mathis

    “Bitter, blue-haired feminists everywhere stood up and cheered at her “savage clapback” to Dameron and his “mansplaining,” ”

    Why seek evidence of your proposition when you can merely assert it?

    • Joel Mathis

      But more to the point: What a miserable, narrow little life you must lead that demands all your cinematic heroes be men. Apparently dominating 95 percent of blockbuster culture isn’t enough: The other 5 percent must be attacked, mocked and “Yaasssss Queened.”

      It signifies a … lack of confidence, really, and a lack of generosity at the very least. And how unselfaware you are, to criticize art for serving ideology, when really you’re demanding that it serve *your* ideology. Real manliness is a little more assured of itself than this piece is.

      • Joel Mathis

        “Wayne Isaac is the pseudonym of a citizen, a patriot, and a Midwesterner.”

        It’s very masculine to attack movies from anonymity. John Wayne, look out!

        • psych495

          He wrote an entire essay supporting his proposition. You may find the support lacking, but to claim he throws out an assertion without evidence is sophomoric. He in fact provides a great more supporting his views than you do for your 95% hypothesis which seems utterly outdated.

          • Joel Mathis

            ” You may find the support lacking, but to claim he throws out an assertion without evidence is sophomoric. ”

            If he saw audiences of brittle feminists standing and cheering, he should say so. Otherwise, it seems reasonable to believe he’s crafting that scene out of his imagination.

          • psych495

            He’s making a rhetorical point. Again, you are free to disagree with it. Don’t be an Amelia Bedilia. People can make points using figurative language using metaphors, similes, and even hyperbole. The fact that you feel the need to scold about manliness is lame. Based on your picture, you look like someone who is old enough to know these things already.

          • Joel Mathis

            “He’s making a rhetorical point. ”

            It generally helps to have evidence to support one’s point. Otherwise hyperbole is empty and histrionic.

          • Rick

            I’m going to be perfectly honest with you, the whole one sided conversation you were having with yourself before psych interjected was quite irksome.

            While I do agree the status of masculinity and femininity is outdated in his wording, I do see where he is coming from.

            Star Wars is, in a sense, the hero’s tale. Not saying that a woman cannot be a hero, but the fact she is a woman and infallible insofar in the movies she’s been in does not do her any favors as a character or as an icon.

            She does not grow, she does not have to learn, and she most certainly has not had any major failings. While looking at the rest of the cast, Finn and Poe have both had to experience growth and failure (part of which was retconed for Finn in TLJ from TFA), Rose was a forced romance option, Luke got screwed and Leia became a Jesus metaphor. Also, he made the point that Holdo, an unknown character that was never mentioned who raided some Manic Panic from a CVS before shooting, took the position as the great sacrificial hero when Ackbar would have been the best option, especially with them attempting to seperate the new universe from the old in the most dramatic way possible.

          • Helix adastra

            Actually, hyperbole serves a literary point and as for histrionics, ” know thyself”.

          • zzyyxx

            woah don’t lose all your $4 words by shouting them into the void, you fucking cuck.

          • Joel Mathis

            I’ll talk slower for you.

          • Helix adastra

            He says that in his piece! See my comment above.

        • Helix adastra

          I suspected that part is what really ticked you off. LOL

      • Helix adastra

        It read to me as tho he would be happy with a female heroine if she only followed a character arc. This is quite clear. You can’t possibly have honestly misunderstood this.

      • zzyyxx

        You have to be functionally retarded to not see this movie is objectively bad -even as propaganda for leftwing politics

    • Helix adastra

      If you read the piece he adds z” I’m sure” immediately after those words above, which is conditional. You are being rather sly here.

  • PigFox

    Didn’t see. Won’t see.

  • Doctor Bass Monkey

    This is true of much of our pop culture, particularly genre pieces like Star Wars, Doctor Who, and Marvel (much of which has been poisoned by the rot at Disney).

  • psych495

    I think the biggest problem with these new films is that they reveal the heroes of the previous generation were all failures. Anakin did NOT bring balance to the force as Obi Wan believed he would. Han and Leia couldn’t keep their marriage together, or their kid from the Dark side. Luke could not bring a lasting peace to the galaxy, and could not raise up new Jedi Knights to stand for the good things. Yes, the ‘Girlzzz can lead too, Dammit!’ overtones are cloying, but I think the most detestable part of these films is how they treat the defeat of Darth Vader, and the Emperor as ultimately meaningless.

    • brockkm

      That’s my biggest problem with the new series as well. I’ve enjoyed them; brings out the kid in me to see the X-Wings and lightsabers, etc.

      But as you say, the entire premise since TFA is that the sacrifices of the original trilogy to destroy not one, but two death stars and kill the Sith Lords was for naught. I think the fanboys would say “go read the countless comics and books that take place since Return of the Jedi”, but that shouldn’t be necessary.

      After seeing TLJ, I still don’t know: Where the BLANK did Snoke come from? Why did the Republic fail so quickly? If our heroes are as good and just as they seem, why is their cause so easily lost?

      • psych495

        You and I are totally on the same wave length vis-avis Star Wars. the Snoke thing bothers me too. I just want to know where the bleep he came from. I’m not sure why, but it just seemed tacked on as sort of an ad-hoc Sith villain.

        I really liked Rogue One though. I thought they did a great job making it fit in with A New Hope.

    • Alejandro Vásquez Córdova

      All the heroes of the Original Trilogy represent to Disney the patriarchy, so they must be ridiculed and killed, to clear the road for the new feminist version of Star Wars.

  • President Beef Supreme

    Star Wars is mind-numbing in it’s conceptual simplicity. More fantasy than science fiction.

    • Helix adastra

      I think it more space drama than sci fi, but that is valid and as long as it uses the hero’s journey ( Harry Potter is another example of hero growth and adversity) and some sort of reflection of life lessons, it will fill the seats. For good or ill, this is our western oral storytelling now.

      • Eric Johnson

        Never underestimate the bad taste of nerds.

  • Brother John the Deplorable

    Saw The Force Awakens when it came out. Between all the relentless, obnoxious grrrrl power nonsense, the obsessive mult-racialism, and the pointless, predictable, undignified death of the last of the swashbuckling heroes, Star Wars drifted out of my observable universe. Done. It’s ruined. It was being ruined as I watched. Don’t give the slightest damn any more.

  • Frank Natoli

    When National Socialists legally took power in Germany in 1933, the former street thugs wanted to turn cinemas into lecture halls, instructing audiences appropriately. Joseph “The Poison Dwarf” Goebbels knew better. He knew that nobody would come to lecture halls, so he insisted on films that had much more subtle hatred of the Jews, etc. And he succeeded.
    Hollywood is too stupid to realize their lecturing is driving people from cinemas in droves.
    Or maybe we’re just a lot smarter than commonly thought.

  • SadCircus

    Well, to me its quite clear that all the Star Wars heroes, the new serie, the prequels and the original one as well, are “loners who do things by themselves”.
    Precisely nobody is in a relationship (except Boba Fett) (the one married couple in the whole galaxy).
    Yoda is single, Chewy is single, Kenobi is single, Lando is single, Qui Gon Jinn is single, Poe is single, Ren is single, Rey is single, etc, etc. And the only couples either didnt work (Leia and Solo) or were burned alive (Tatooine) or were an violent/abusive relationship (Anakin-Vader and Amidala) or abandoned their kids in a desert (Rey), etc.
    Star Wars is a pretty equal-opportunity at suckage, in fact.
    In the future, everybody is terminally red pilled and everybody is either Mgtow or Wgtow. Or none-binarytow.

    • AllWaysTalking

      “Star Wars is a pretty equal-opportunity at suckage, in fact.”
      LOL 10 point hit.

  • Alejandro Vásquez Córdova

    The worst Star Wars movie ever. Everything in it is completely ridiculous: Luke is now a coward, Leia is a Mary Poppins, Rey is a Mary Sue, Yoda is a cheap muppet, Chewie, R2D2 and C3PO are completely irrelevant… All men in the movie are weak and stupid, all women in the movie are strong and wise… Come on, Disney, we´re not stupid, don´t you be stupid.

  • I’m Lost

    Worth noting on the whole “Yoda says there’s nothing in those books that the girl does not already possess” — my initial reaction matched yours while watching. But in a later scene, you see in a drawer Rey opens that she had stolen at least one of the books that had been shown in the tree (my wife insists that she stole them all — my eyes weren’t that quick). I’m thinking Yoda’s quote was meant as a sort of dramatic irony, despite the heavy-handed Mary Sue action Rey has had going on all along. This would also give an explanation for Yoda torching the tree — he didn’t want Luke to realize the books (or perhaps just a critical one or two) weren’t actually being destroyed.

    But man, that Holdo stuff. They even have her wearing a halo! Talk about heavy-handed. I’m happy I don’t read EU stuff anymore, although perhaps that would explain why she has it.

  • hanekhw

    I mean today, are we SURE Rey IS feminine? CGI can cover up ANYTHING right?

  • Cambridge101

    I am Womyn. Hear me roar.