SPOILERS for pretty much ALL of Star Wars, including and especially Obi-Wan Kenobi through the fifth episode.
NOTE: Bullying Moses Ingram and any other Star Wars actor (or anyone else at all) is wrong. I do not condone that kind of behavior, especially since I’m a survivor of years of bullying and verbal abuse from my peers growing up. However, the responses from Lucasfilm and Ewan McGregor and other actors out there seem to treat this as a problem and an experience unique to Moses. It’s not. That’s why I’m writing this post.
The Star Wars fandom has a problem. Or at least, a certain segment of it does. Whenever a piece of Star Wars content drops and that segment of the fandom doesn’t like it, they flip out and attack anyone they can. They often attack the actors who play the characters they don’t like. The latest actor to deal with this behavior is Moses Ingram, who plays Reva/Third Sister on Obi-Wan Kenobi. She recently posted to her Instagram story about how racist Star Wars fans/trolls have been sending her direct messages (DMs) full of racist slurs and hurtful comments.
However, she’s not the first Star Wars actor to endure such horribly charged ire. Both Kelly Marie Tran and John Boyega faced racist attacks when they appeared in the Sequel Trilogy. But this type of actor bullying goes further back than the sequel trilogy. Ahmed Best (the Black man who played Jar-Jar Binks), Jake Lloyd (the white kid who played nine-year-old Anakin Skywalker), and Hayden Christensen (the white man who played Anakin as a young man and now plays Darth Vader in Obi-Wan Kenobi).
SPOILERS for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Doctor Strange, and What If…?.
Yes, I know I still need to react to the finale of Moon Knight, but I need to talk about Multiverse of Madness first. While it’s not exactly a bad film, it’s not Character First (a phrase that Kevin Feige has said before) like MCU films usually are. Instead, the concept and the images came first, so this film felt extremely shallow compared to other recent MCU efforts. My sister said MoM is basically the Cars 2 of the MCU. And she’s right.
See, when I heard that Sam Raimi was directing this film, I was hoping we’d get Spider-Man Sam Raimi. He created the model for the 21st century superhero film. But instead, we got Evil Dead and Army of Darkness Sam Raimi, who prefers to have shallow character development that supports his pulpy horror story and images. We also got Spider-Man 3 Sam Raimi, who wants to do as many things as possible in one film and ends up barely scratching the surface of the concepts he’s trying to tackle.
Okay, so the finale of The Book of Boba Fett was fun, but that’s mainly because of the other characters in the story. Boba’s actual character arc still left a lot to be desired, and the finale helped me figure out what the story was missing.
Here’s what would have made The Book of Boba Fett a much stronger narrative:
SPOILERS for Episodes 5 and 6 of The Book of Boba Fett.
Before I start writing this, I need to say that this post is not a knock on Temuera Morrison or his performance in this show. It’s about the limitations of Boba Fett’s character, and those limitations probably hinder the performance that Temuera can give. I think he’s doing his best with the writing he’s given!
Okay, so I was going to blog about how boring and surface-level The Book of Boba Fett. I made myself watch the first four episodes of this show, and they were so dull! When I was watching those episodes, my sister would occasionally poke her head in and say, “NO ONE ASKED FOR THIS!”
And she’s partly right. Most Star Wars fans did not ask for The Book of Boba Fett. But Boba has this weird cult following of people who REALLY want to watch and/or read about Boba having various adventures. Those people read a bunch of novels about Boba during the ’80s and ’90s, and they’ve been clamoring for a Boba Fett movie. So this show exists to placate them. I hope they enjoy it.
The thing is, Boba’s not meant to be a main character. He works best as a flashy visiting character because that’s what he’s always been. Boba shows up, looks cool, and does badass stuff. Then he leaves or falls into a Sarlacc pit. I think Boba should show up every so often in things like The Mandalorian, but he doesn’t have enough of an interior (or exterior) struggle to warrant an entire show about him.
That’s why I loved Episodes 5 and 6 of The Book of Boba Fett. Instead of focusing on the (honestly rather dull) underworld of Mos Espa, it revisits characters that we love and that have some sort of struggle going on. Our friend the Mandalorian is missing his adopted child Grogu and struggling with the fundamentalist ideas of the rather extreme Mandalorian culture he was raised in. Cobb Vanth struggles to keep his town safe on a planet that inherently attracts dangerous criminals and outlaws.
Boba Fett, on the other hand, wants to be a respectful crime lord because…why not? And he went native with the Tuskens. Okay? That’s not an interesting struggle. The only interesting things was that the Tuskens were yet again humanized after years of George Lucas treating them as a violent “other” type of people. (Newsflash: George Lucas has never been good at representation.)
SPOILERS for many works,including Star Wars, Hawkeye,Loki, and other things.
I wrote a blog in the first half of 2020 about how Rey and Captain Marvel aren’t Mary Sues. Since then, I’ve seen people call other recent female characters Mary Sues. This is particularly true for Sylvie in Loki. I think this phenomenon goes on because our society is afraid of capable women and we want to separate ourselves from fans who like those characters. Also, I think many of us just can’t wrap our heads around the concept that female characters can fulfill fantasies for women, not for men.
I began thinking about this topic again after I watched the first two episodes of Hawkeye. During those episode, I found myself really enjoying the character of Kate Bishop. She’s wealthy, pretty, clever, funny, and extremely capable in combat. All of sudden, I began to worry: Are people going to slap the term “Mary Sue” onto Kate Bishop and use that term as an excuse to dislike her?
My brother told me recently that some people on the internet believe that Carol Danvers should fight Yon-Rogg at the end of Captain Marvel. When he told me that, my immediate reaction was “NOPE. NOPENOPENOPE.”
Why did I react so negatively to that idea? Because Carol fighting Yon-Rogg (the man who manipulated and gaslit her for six years) one-on-one would completely defeat one of the movie’s major points.
And what is that point? That Carol doesn’t have to conform to Yon-Rogg’s rules or standards. She makes her rules and her own decisions. She will no longer deal with his or anyone else’s gaslighting.
Resolving Carol’s story with a one-on-one fight with her supposed mentor would only conform to straight white fanboys’ expectations for how heroes’ origin stories must resolve. But Captain Marvel is a movie that actively defies their expectations, which part of the reason that those members of the MCU fandom don’t like this movie very much. Let’s break down why Carol’s refusal to fight Yon-Rogg one-on-one is the right decision for this narrative’s conclusion.
The Dark Knight came out ten years ago. I was 18-going-on-19 when the film was released*, and I was absolutely obsessed it. It was so dark, so gritty, so unlike any other superhero movie at the time. It was raw and real and got straight to the darkness in men’s souls.
Ten years down the line, I kind of despise it for what it did to superhero and blockbuster movies.
Like many other moviegoers, I felt ALL of the feelings when I saw Avengers: Infinity War earlier this year. When I got home from my screening of it in late April, my brother (who had seen it earlier that day with a friend) asked me what I thought of it. I told him, “That was upsetting.” After all, I’d been invested in these characters for nearly a decade, and I just had to sit there and watch them suffer for over two hours. And yet I still love the series, and I will gladly re-watch my favorite installments every so often.