SPOILERS for Star Wars – Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. ALL OF THE SPOILERS.
I really enjoyed The Rise of Skywalker. In fact, I loved it. However, I know that the Star Wars fanbase won’t like it because not all of their questions were answered, and because it won’t make sense with the continuity and backstory laid out in various tie-in materials that only the most hardcore fans care about. It also doesn’t give logical explanations for certain things that I’ll mention below the cut because SPOILERS.
But you know what? I think that’s completely acceptable because Star Wars doesn’t need to make sense to be an effectively told story. Why? Because Star Wars is a modern mythos.
Okay, we’ll get into the spoilers after the cut, and just so I don’t spoil anyone before the cut with images, here’s Baby Yoda:
Anyway, I want to talk about why Star Wars has stayed culturally relevant for the past 40 years. It’s not because of any internal logic or strict adherence to continuity. Only a vocal minority of Star Wars fans care about those qualities and judge the stories by them. No, Star Wars has stayed relevant because it taps into both universal storytelling strengths and cultural anxieties, which is what all good myths do.
Today I read Alison Herman “As Disney+ Looms, ‘The Boys’ Is Sweet Relief”, and I have a few issues with the points she tries to make. Her article falls into some of the common critical pitfalls that I have covered in other posts: mainly the idea that you’re somehow superior (and even kind of oppressed) if you don’t like the big, inescapable mainstream thing that’s really popular for whatever reason. She also tries to narrow the satire of Amazon’s The Boys into being just a critique of Disney’s acquisition of massive franchises in recent years, and she also makes brief generalizations about Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman without taking into account what their adaptations mean for female representation in blockbuster film.
The entire St. Louis area is currently blanketed with snow and I am recovering from a cold that has stolen my voice and hidden it in a seashell somewhere, so on Friday afternoon, my mom, my sister, and I decided to watch Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, which is the third film in the series.
A certain type of masculinity has been in the news recently, and really, it’s been in the news ever since a certain orange fellow decided to run for President in 2015. It’s a type of masculinity that is brash, bold, angry, vicious, and really doesn’t account for the wants or needs of anyone except of the person performing it. It’s a macho masculinity for guys who’d love to have thrown a punch, but are afraid to actually fight anyone.
This post is NOT about that type of masculinity.
Today, I’m writing about an alternative masculinity that can pop up in fiction and in real life: the masculinity of the Cinnamon Roll. And I don’t mean the breakfast pastry.
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.