Sunday, December 20, 2015

When a Member of Your Own Gender Picks Up a Lightsaber

Oh, I see, the scavenger is a Strong Female Character. Who also looks conveniently appealing in a head scarf.

She knows her way around a speeder. Handy with junk, too. And her blue eyes glint winkingly in the desert sunlight. Luke's proxy, huh. Progressive indeed, J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt. Progressive, indeed.

Smart and talented scavenger girl currently accepting quarter portion from Pancake-Face alien. What is this. Maybe more Aunt Beru than Zam Wesell (RIP!).


That chemical cake looks tasty.

Why do the sympathetic and cute robots cultivate special bonds with the girls in these films? On second thought, Padmé never had a robot buddy. I guess she didn't need one, because she was buds with very early Keira Knightley.

 Sorry, hon. 60 portions aren't going to bring your parents back.

The way she wields that staff, it's like she was trained by a Tusken Raider. Spinoff idea: The Sand People: Conquest of the Moisture Farms.

It's not even taking much disbelief right now to imagine Strong Female Scavenger swallowing all of John Boyega's lies.

SFS is way more competent than John Boyega at pretty much everything. Still. He's an original character.

Harrison Ford, professional wisecracker: legitimately impressed by SFS. Adam Driver, professional disinterested Millennial dude: actually attempting to read SFS's thoughts. Chewie: doesn't want to pull her arms off.

How did J.J. pitch this character? "Perfect woman meets the hauntedness of Frodo meets the resigned dignity of Harry Potter"? Meets "possessing of the only British accent in the film that is not evil and/or occasionally tinged with a hint of German"?

John. You're cute. But you're never going to be of any use with SFS's lightsaber.

Adam. You can't, actually, have anything you want. You can't have SFS's pure soul or budding, exceptional talent with the mind-control Force, for instance. That said, no protest if you become Damon to John's Stefan. In fact, it would be welcome, as long as you two don't turn out to be siblings or something.

You know what's refreshing? When a woman in a movie escapes her captors not by showing her boobs, or flirting, or kicking ass like a dude. WHEN, INSTEAD, SHE USES THE FORCE OF HER MIND.

There was more chemistry in that hug with John than there was between Anakin and Padmé and Leia and Han in prequels and original combined--though I wouldn't go so far as to say it approaches the sparks between Leia and Lando. Woo-whee.

Poe Dameron: "I don't think we've been formally introduced." SFS: "No, we haven't. Probably because J.J. is saving a romantic rivalry between you and John for future sequels." Poe: "A damn shame." SFS: "Yeah, everyone else thinks so, too."

Cinematography in snow fight on the Starkiller Base: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Patronus sequence plus Oldboy last scene plus Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I depressing sequences in the forest.

You know what would just put this movie just over the top? Ralph Fiennes.

1. Adam Driver can act 2. It is probably über-unfeminist that I am already thinking about love triangles in which SFS can be embroiled right now 3. Is the spoiled, misfit nerdy child with stringy long hair the villain of our times? 4. Adam Driver sounds the same with the mask on and off. 5. Vader nor Maul nor Dooku nor Grievous ever made me so internally conflicted.

The lightsaber's wedged in the snow, which recalls a certain sequence from Empire Strikes Back. I honestly wouldn't be suprised if a wampa just jumped in and fought on SFS's side for this whole fight sequence, a changed creature, because he was so damn charmed and impressed.

I have seen Empire. I know SFS was going to wiggle the lightsaber out of the snow. It is actually kind of hokey, all these callbacks to the original trilogy. So reboot culture, to pander to the fans this way. It's shameless. Where is the effing wampa when you need him?

Guess this means I'm a big fan.

Lightsaber: in her hand. Tears: streaming down my face.

I cannot believe I am crying harder in Star Wars: The Force Awakens than I did watching Brooklyn.

My desire for this moment: buried for a long time, I guess, like that lightsaber in the snow.

Age 7: I can't take the Queen makeup off my Padmé Barbie doll. Age 10: I get the Attack of the Clones score for Christmas and listen to "Zam the Assassin and the Chase Through Coruscant" on repeat to replay the scene in my head. Age 13: Jimmy Fallon's skit of "Anakin, you're breaking my heart!" becomes my most-viewed Youtube video ever. My most-viewed Youtube video is a hate-watch.

The movie is ending. John is injured. Isaac is not. Adam has an appealing slash down his face. Luke is bearded and cool all of a sudden. Plot developments don't matter, though, after something like that. Sheer amazement and wonder: that's how Rey looked, and how I feel. Some might say that this is J.J.'s homage to the Spielberg Look of Wonder. His close-ups of characters following a money shot serve as a proxy for how he is guiding the audience to feel. But Spielberg never had a woman take down a budding Sith Lord. I don't need a reverse shot of Rey to feel wonder.

1 comment:

  1. Cross-posting SW:TFA reviews.