It’s still a white, male dominated galaxy, by The Mocker.
“Remember,” said Obi-Wan Kenobi to a young Luke Skywalker in the first Star Wars film, “a Jedi can feel the Force flowing through him”.
Talk about pale, male and stale. In the 40 years since, the series has become more progressive. “The Last Jedi,” proclaimed The Guardian, “is the most triumphantly feminist Star Wars movie yet.” …
Rejoice if you will at the demise of the patriarchy in that galaxy far, far away. You probably left the cinema with a sense of satisfaction at this blow for equality, thinking this film edgy and woke. But if you search your inner feelings there is a sense of disquiet — perhaps even disgust — at what has become the series’ central message. Disney is what we in the progressive movement call a “fake ally”.
At first glance, the film projects messages that appear consistent with feminist discourse. The women leaders of the Resistance are composed and serene, patiently demonstrating to the likes of Poe that men are testosterone-fuelled dullards. A suicide mission by Finn is portrayed as an act of male stupidity averted only by the intervention of a female character, Rose. Conversely, we applaud the selfless sacrifice of Vice-Admiral Holdo, who gave her life when she deliberately rammed her cruiser into an Imperial ship. …
In reality, Disney reinforces male hegemony under the cloak of gender equality. Rey reverently caresses the sacred and ancient Jedi texts, oblivious of its misogynist tenets. They seemingly eschew anger, aggression and fear, holding that these are the pathway to the Dark Side. Instead the Jedi lauded stoicism, self-control, objective truths, and logic, but they are a ruse designed to control women.
As feminist scholars have demonstrated, logic and objectivity are patriarchal constructs. How naive was The Guardian in declaring feminism and inclusivity were consistent with the “Jedi spirit”? As we now know, subjective experience, the display of emotion, and the acknowledgment of multiple truths are the gateway to knowledge. Rey does not recognise this, but foolishly acquiesces in the Jedi’s oppressive ideology. Fail.
Rey is also oblivious to the fact that the remote Jedi island of Ahch-To is a hotpotch of misogyny and other forms of bigotry. … There is little to no acknowledgment of the fact the inhabitants are indigenous. Despite the great diversity of the galaxy, its non-human inhabitants feature only sporadically, and usually as a source of amusement. It is an offensive stereotype. Fail. …
As for the remaining prejudices, stereotypes and microaggressions, the list is endless. When are the producers ditching the lightsaber, which we all know is a phallic anachronism? As for the hundreds of characters featured in this film, how many of them are in the LGBTI category? We do not want to hear patronising assurances that it was open for the audience to speculate, for as we know all too well an absence of overt acknowledgment defaults to a heterosexual cisgender ‘norm’. Why do we have to put up with offensive binary pronouns?
Do you think it mere coincidence that the only kissing scene in the movie is one between a man and a woman?