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).
Okay, okay, I read VICE’s article, “The Marvel Cinematic Universe Is Not Art,” today. I mean, the title is clearly clickbait, and the whole article itself is a lot of gatekeeping. And it draws an elitist line between “art” and “content” without really telling us what art should be. It reads like the screed of an angry 40-something guy who really wanted to insult the MCU and everyone who’s ever watched one of its films. And looking at the author Patrick Marlborough’s Twitter page, it seems like he is an angry 40-something guy who wants us all to leave the MCU and Star Wars behind and…watch Mad Men? Uh, okay, Patrick.
Okay, so we FINALLY got a trailer for the Disney+ Obi-Wan Kenobi series. I’m so excited! Obi-Wan is one of my favorite Star Wars characters and has been since I was seven years old. I’m glad that the rest of the Star Wars fanbase is excited for this show, too. Unlike Boba Fett, Obi-Wan is a major supporting character with an established personality, so he has an actual character to explore, especially when he’s now in the throes of defeat while the Empire is at its height.
However, I’m confused about the quote that most online Star Wars fans associate with Obi-Wan: “Hello, there!” …That’s it? Obi-Wan is the blueprint for most mentor characters in live-action speculative fiction, and the quote the fanbase most associates with him is a simple greeting?
What about “These are not the droids you’re looking for,” or “Mos Eisley: You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious”? Or my very favorite: “If you strike me down, I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”
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?
Okay, folks. We are one month away from the election that could save or damn the United States’ soul. We just had the presidential debates. I did not watch them, though I saw some clips from it on social media. Instead, I read Too Much and Never Enough by Mary L. Trump, Ph.D. She’s Donald Trump’s niece, and she’s a psychologist who specializes in trauma, so she has a lot of fascinating insights about her awful uncle and her family at large. (To sum up: Donald Trump and his siblings are very strange people who were raised by a sociopath and his emotionally needy wife. They don’t trust or even like each other.) Between reading this book and just paying any attention to Trump’s antics over the past four years, I realized he reminds me of several prominent fictional characters.
Before I begin, I want to point out that these character are similar to Trump, but they are not exactly like him. In fact, I plan to point out the differences between Trump and these characters as well as the similarities.
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.
So we’re approaching the 2019 Oscars (sorry, the 91st Academy Awards), and this is the time when various entertainment journalists post their Oscar picks. I’m not going to do that because I haven’t seen enough of the movies, and I would either choose only the safe bets or only the long shots. Instead, we’re going to talk about why and how none of this matters in the long run.