Sorry Fanboys: Luke Skywalker Ain’t Shit

Hello!

I know that the title of this blog post already has you incensed. So, I should tell you: this isn’t going to get any better for you. Be wary, all ye who enter here. It is in this place that your false idols are laid bare for your sorry souls to behold.

But in all seriousness, let’s talk about Luke Skywalker and how I’m really not feeling everyone’s favorite Jedi.


In probably the only time I will come to your defense, I will disclose that I didn’t see the Star Wars original trilogy until I was in my twenties. I completely understand that this was way past the optimal age for a first viewing. Because these movies were made for children (ask George Lucas; he will confirm), it’s probably best to see them when you’re super young. Or back in the 70s, when it made sense for the special effects to blow people’s minds.

PSA: the versions of the films I watched were the poorly updated versions, with the shitty CGI and the ghost of Hayden Christensen’s Anakin Skywalker at the end. I know this is very upsetting, as they sully the “true art” of the original cut. But I get the gist, so we should all just blow past that.

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Now, a few months ago, Super Hubs and I rented The Last Jedi. He’d seen the movie in theaters and loved it, saying it made him a Star Wars fan. Considering he’s much more on the side of Star Trek (the show and a few of the movies), this seemed like a pretty big endorsement. But I still wasn’t in a rush to go see TLJ. This isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy The Force Awakens, which I actually saw in theaters; it just didn’t ignite a passion for the Star Wars universe within me.

Back to The Last Jedi. The reason SH loves the movie so much is because of the toxic masculinity arcs and the humanizing of Luke. He is pissed at all the people who complained about Rey’s ability to use the Force/wield a lightsaber—a fanboy annoyance carried over from TFA—and he refuses to suffer any fools who thought Poe was right in this film. All of which he shared with me prior to my watching. You could say my first viewing was slightly colored by his input.

But still. I could very easily see what he meant. The point of Poe’s arc was clearly to show that his rash, trigger-happy attitude only works every now and again; it’s not the way to win a war. What’s more: Poe clearly has an issue being managed by women. It’s not cute.

(Neither is the scene where he, Rose, and Finn are talking about their plan to find a codebreaker, and Finn actually walks in front of Rose when she’s in the middle of speaking. I laughed out loud because I thought this was the perfect way to showcase how little even “good guys” respect the opinion of a woman. It’s a great moment; it’s just not a great look for our main men of color.)

Sidebar: After watching TLJ, I am convinced that Poe would be a #NotAllMen kind of guy. Get back in your lane, Poe, which is having sexual chemistry with everyone.

I could go on about this—Poe being a fucking prick, Finn being selfish because he assumes Rey needs to be saved, how they royally fuck up the plan that General Holdo came up with and really didn’t need to let them in on—but this post isn’t actually about The Last Jedi as a whole.

It’s about how the fanboy rage against the portrayal of Luke Skywalker in this movie is extremely, ridiculously idiotic.

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Once again, I fully acknowledge that I missed the optimal age to consume these movies—imagine Stella from How I Met Your Mother, except it doesn’t bother me that I can’t understand Chewbacca. But I don’t think that inhibits my ability to analyze the series; in fact, I think I have clearer eyes than a lot of you.

Tell me if any of this sounds familiar: A nobody living on a desolate planet stumbles into the rebel cause thanks to a droid. This nobody meets a legendary figure from said rebel movement. Out of nowhere, said nobody displays an ability to use the Force, despite zero training and no real reason for having this power. There’s some romantic tension between the nobody and someone they met two minutes ago. There’s a scene in a bar where the nobody sits to the side while the legendary figure does the talking. The nobody and friends sneak onto the main base of the bad guys. The nobody uses their newfound (and barely explained) powers to win the film’s big fight.

Are you thinking of Luke Skywalker? Of course you are. But, this is pretty much Rey’s EXACT SAME STORY as well. Y’all. The Force Awakens is truly A New Hope with a woman as the lead and a prominent black guy. You’re insane if you think otherwise.

Because, seriously. There is no reason for Luke to have this great ability with the Force without anyone teaching him a damn thing. Obi-Wan is like “I dunno, bro, just use the Force, okay? You’ll figure it out!” Nowhere in there do I see something that qualifies as legitimate, professional training. Luke is actively just Special Boy-ing all over the place. How is this any different than Rey showing an ability in a power she’s believed in her whole life? Spoiler alert: it’s not.

Cut to the second movie for both these characters. People complain that Rey remains untrained in The Last Jedi, whining about how Luke agreed to train her.

Back it up, trolls. First of all, Luke never said he was going to spend weeks and months training her. He said she would get three lessons; that’s it. Sure, she didn’t even get that, but the full Using the Force 101 course was never promised.

And guess what: Luke was never trained either! He basically spent a weekend in Degobah, complaining and barely listening to Yoda. That’s not training. That’s being a whiny white boy who thinks that his inherent specialness should be enough to get by. (Unfortunately, this is true because it’s always true of white men.)

This “weekend” is cut short because Luke abandons it to “save” Leia. His reason for doing so literally boils down to “I’m the only Special Boy who can Special their way to victory, training be damned!” And you know what? SHE DOESN’T EVEN NEED HIS FUCKING HELP! Instead, he gets his idiot hand chopped off like an idiot and *she* has to rescue *him*. Jesus Christ.

Sidebar: Can we talk about how Luke is so dumb that he can’t figure out instantly that Ol’ Ben Kenobi is Obi-Wan and that what appears to be the ONLY living creature on Degobah is Yoda? Come on! Even though I already knew who both these characters were going in, it’s literally the easiest thing to puzzle out. The only surprise I’ll credit George Lucas with is Darth Vader, and that’s because he didn’t even come up with Vader being Luke’s dad until he was writing the second movie! Which explains why none of the familial ties were telegraphed in any way in A New Hope. Get your shit together, George.

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So, basically, my point here is that Luke is whatever the term is for a male Mary Sue. He is Special because the story deems it necessary; he has no qualifications or abilities until someone says he does, and he lucks into a lot of his victories.

But, let’s get to the crux of the issue, which is how Luke as an adult feels nothing like the Luke of the past. The Luke of The Last Jedi is petulant, reclusive, and problematic. He feels shame and withdrew from life as a result. He has regret, but instead of being motivated by it, he hides.

You know what that sounds like to me? That he is an actual human person who can’t be a Special Boy all the damn time.

It’s actively refreshing. Because you know what? Infallible Special Boys are boring as hell to watch. That’s why Twilight sucks and Harry Potter is successful. In the former, Bella and Edward are these great, amazing people who are so unassuming but everyone is in awe of their Specialness that even screwing up is painted as an obvious example of their charm. In the latter, Harry regularly fucks up. While clearly a talented wizard, he is too rash at times, overly hesitant in others, all while being hormonal and irrational as he hits puberty. And all of that makes sense because he’s a fucking teenager! Even Hermione, the best witch in their class, is a mess.

Perfection on all fronts is just not entertaining.

So tell me why it “ruins” Luke that he’s not perfect in The Last Jedi? Keep in mind that, you know, he’s not even perfect in the original trilogy! See: him being a whiny brat. Are you really saying to me that you would rather he NEVER make a mistake and therefore NEVER grow as a person? That’s idiotic.

Now, let’s consider the whole Dark Side/Light Side of the Skywalker family and Rey. Fanboys were frothing at the mouth because Luke contemplated killing Kylo Ren based on his strong undercurrent of the Dark Side. “He would never do that! That’s too dark for Luke! He knows that someone with both the Dark and Light sides doesn’t mean they’re lost!”

Except, you know, he doesn’t really know that for sure. In the last fight with Darth Vader, he’s not really acting like he wants to save his father. He’s trying to fuck him up. Especially when HE GIVES IN TO THE DARK SIDE AT PALPATINE’S BEHEST and just wails on Vader like he’s a pinata at some kid’s birthday party.

So, ya boy has already shown an capacity for darkness.

Then, factor in that it was literally TWO SECONDS of wondering if he should kill Kylo before he can do as much damage as Darth Vader had done (remember how he killed a bunch of kids when he was still going by Anakin?). He regretted it immediately, and the look on his face when Kylo wakes up and sees his uncle standing over him with his lightsaber lit was “What did I just consider doing?” Clearly, he was ashamed. So, what are you complaining about?

The fact that he went into hiding because of his shame? That his faith in the Force was shaken by his little slip? That he questioned his place in the resistance as a result? That he no longer wanted to be your Special fucking Boy?

You know what I’m hearing? That you sense your own humanity when you watch this movie, and it scares you. You want to be as headstrong and perfect as your idea of Luke, and watching him struggle made you realize that you could struggle too. You can’t watch him grow up and make mistakes because you don’t want to do the same.

That’s childish. And it shows that you clearly don’t understand what these movies are trying to accomplish. If you want to sit there and act like the latest Star Wars films betrayed you and the essence of the original trilogy, go right on ahead. But you’re wrong.

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Literally the entire point of Episodes IV–VI (once George figured out what the fuck he was doing) is understanding the balance of Dark and Light. Realizing that both people with the best and worst intentions can manipulate others to serve the greater purpose. Seeing people who have made mistakes try to correct them—usually at the last minute, usually in the wrong way, and usually without the outcome they were expecting.

Oh, and one other thing, to all of you who were incensed by Leia being able to Force-jettison herself back to the ship after Kylo’s attempted matricide. Was the execution a little cheesy? Yes. But does it really matter that you’ve never seen anyone have this ability before? You’d never seen anyone do what Luke does at the end—project a near-fully corporeal version of himself across the galaxy to fight Kylo—and you seemed pretty okay with that. So, be honest with yourself about why you’re upset: you don’t like anyone other than Luke being able to show aptitude in the Force.

Another sidebar: Leia is fucking underutilized in the original trilogy (and also in the new trilogy).

She’s regularly in a position of political power, but she’s rarely allowed to really wield it. Meanwhile, when she is shown using the Force (before it’s directly explained as part of her family DNA), it’s in a stereotypical way: tracking the more important men in her life and determining if they’re safe. Her Force is basically used exclusively as a form of Mrs. Weasley’s “Where Everyone At?” clock in the Burrow—and yes, that is my second time bringing up Harry Potter!

This is offensive because Luke tells her in Ep VI that she could be just as powerful in the Force as he is (whatever the fuck that means). You really think she wasn’t going to spend all these decades practicing?! Suddenly you need a montage of her training, when you barely saw Luke do a damn thing while he was hanging out with Yoda? Get over yourselves.

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So. To say I don’t agree with any of your complaints about Luke or The Last Jedi is putting it mildly. As a newcomer to this series, I see not only the merits of these changes to the story but the necessities as well.

Because while these movies are for you diehards, you’re not the only audience. Much like the MCU’s constant (and, at least from my perspective, constantly successful) attempts to bring in viewers who’d never read the comics, these movies are trying to bring in and delight newcomers. These movies are QUITE LITERALLY for a new generation with a different sensibility and belief system from the generation growing up when the original trilogy was being released.

Bitch and moan all you want, but it would make no sense to hold on to values that are almost 40 years old. Especially when a lot of you weren’t even ALIVE at that time.


Well. I’ve spent a lot of time up on my soap box.

To quote a popular meme: thank you for coming to my Ted Talk. I hope you learned a little something—even if that something is to never come back to this blog because it’s half-run by someone who hates your favorite movies.

May your reboots cast off the shackles of nostalgia,
Nikkie

Playback: Tales from the Crypt (1972)

Hello kiddies and welcome to another ghoulish review from your old friend Super Hubs. Today we’ll be taking a look at an atrocious anthology of terrifying tales based on EC Comics’ Tales from the Crypt. Well, two of the stories are based on Tales from the Crypt stories, the other three are based on stories from The Vault of Horror and The Haunt of Fear. Anthology horror movies were big in the 70s (the production company responsible for this one, Amicus Productions, produced 8 such films between 1965 and 1974) and they were often based off the works of popular horror writers. Horror comics remained a relatively untapped resource, however, considering how massively popular they were. This film and 1973’s Vault of Horror were two of the few based on these comics and they were a passion project of producer and writer Milton Subotsky.

There are still fans of the iconic HBO show that don’t realize Tales from the Crypt is based off of comics and I’m sure many more don’t realize the show isn’t the first screen incarnation of Tales. Anyone expecting the cheeky humor of the TV show (and even the comic book) will be disappointed to find that what little humor there is is of the decidedly, dry and British kind. But are the scares enough to make up for that? Well, let’s find out shall we?  Continue reading “Playback: Tales from the Crypt (1972)”

Playback: Feeling Conflicted with “Hereditary”

Hello all you miniature dolls playing out a Greek tragedy and welcome to my review of Hereditary! In case you haven’t heard, this movies been causing a lot of buzz among critics and horror aficionados. With reviews saying things such as, “It’s the best horror movie of 2018, and possibly just the best movie in general,” “Hereditary is a horror movie that’s almost too scary,” and “Hereditary is a deeply upsetting film that will linger with you long after the credits roll,” how could I stay away? So put on your diapers, hold your loved ones close, and get ready for what is sure to be a crazy ride! As always, spoilers ahead. And according to 98% of the reviews you need to go into the movie knowing as little of the story as possible. Although I disagree.

Continue reading “Playback: Feeling Conflicted with “Hereditary””

The After Word: The Outsider (SPOILERS)

Hello all you poor mooks wrongfully accused of HEINOUS crime! It’s been a while. Sorry about that but real life has this nasty habit of taking over and forcing your attention elsewhere. But then Stephen King released a new book and I dropped everything to read it. Then real life told me to shut up and stop wasting time. It’s been a roller coaster lately. Point is, I read Stephen King’s new book and now I’m gonna talk about it atchoo! Deal? As always, spoilers ahead.

The book is one of dual identities. The first half is a police procedural and a classic locked-room mystery. Beloved small town little league coach Terry Maitland is accused of the brutal murder of a small boy. The case seems open and shut. There are witnesses tracking his every move throughout the day, they find his fingerprints all over the scene, and, worst of all, his semen is at the scene suggesting the crime was sexual. Middle aged Detective Ralph Anderson is convinced by the DA to move quickly and arrest Terry without delay. Worse, Anderson’s son was coached by Terry and, in the heat of the moment and out of anger at the brutality of the crime, Anderson arrests Terry in an incredibly public way. Continue reading “The After Word: The Outsider (SPOILERS)”

Rewind the Realm: Season 2, “The North Remembers”

Hello all you bastards stabbed at your mother’s breasts, and welcome back to Rewind the Realm! I took a bit of a hiatus due to the emotional fallout of Avengers: Infinity War, but I’m back for more psychological trauma! Why do so many of the things I enjoy cause me such pain? No time for evaluation, I have a show to talk about. Let’s Go!

Robb of War 3: Robb, with a Vengeance

Robb whips his big floppy dick out in front of the captive Jaime Lannister and dares him to suck it. Jaime tries to act cool but you can tell he’s impressed. He reveals that he received Stannis’s letter about all the gross incest he and Cersei have been up to and deduces that this is why Bran was pushed and Ned was killed. Then he monologues about his plans for getting Sansa and Arya back and gaining Northern Independence by using Jaime as a bargaining chip. Then he lets Grey Wind get real close to biting off Jaime’s face. It’s a baller move and even Jaime respects it.

Then he decides to trust Theon despite Theon looking the way he does, and sends him to treat with his father Balon. Then he tells Cat to go treat with that vile traitor Renly to negotiate an alliance. Cat tells him he’s doin good but not to trust Balon. We the audience know just how correct she is. Tears are shed for future tragedy.

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The face of a man who can tooootally be trusted

On Dragonstone

We’re fiiiiiiiinally introduced to Iron Man himself, Stannis Baratheon and his red witch Melisandre. More importantly we’re introduced to the suavest man in the West, Davos Seaworth.

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Don’t mind me, I’m just bein’ sexy

Stannis, being a curmudgeonly old bastard is curmudgeoning all over the place about life. He’s pissed off cus he’s the rightful king and nobody will accept him as such. He writes the letters about Lannicestgate and sends them out to everyone in the kingdom, inadvertently coining the term “spilling the tea.” Then he refuses to seek an alliance with Robb or Renly, despite the obvious advantages of doing so. Davos tries to talk him straight but he won’t listen. See: curmudgeoning.

Instead, he lets Melisandre burn all the statues of the Seven on the island and then burn a bunch of loyalists alive. Cus…strategy? Stannis isn’t really good at this whole king thing.

Stannis’s Maester Cressen doesn’t like Melly Sandy for obvious reasons and tries to poison her. But she drinks that poison like the bad bitch she is and doesn’t even flinch. Cressen poisons himself and dies. Melly pours one out for him and goes about her business. Like. A. Boss. I may not agree with or like Melisandre, but the witch is fabulous and she knows it. Respect.

Melly’s presence is here to let us know that just because dragons can kill White Walkers, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a better alternative. Fire kills as easily as ice.

Various Locations That Don’t Warrant Their Own Section

Bran has a dream about being a wolf and goes to the Godswood with Osha. Osha tries to ask about his dreams but he’s all sulky. They see the red comet in the sky and Bran says some people say it’s an omen for victory for Robb. Somehow Osha knows it means dragons are back. This is never explored again.

Beyond the Wall, the Night’s Watch stop at Craster’s Disgusting Incest House. He mocks Jon in ways that seem like foreshadowing but really aren’t. Jeor tells Jon to stay cool cus that’s what leaders do.

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Icky!

In Essos Dany is leading the remainder of her Khalasar across the Red Wastes, Moses style. Horses are dying, people are dying, the dragons refuse to eat meat. Everything’s bad. She sends three Blood Riders in different directions to search for refuge. Jorah stares at Dany a lot and it’s reeeeeeeeeeeeeeal creepy.

The Reign of Joffrey the Cruel

Joffrey kicks off his reign in style by ordering the execution of a drunk knight at his nameday celebration. Sansa, being way better at diplomacy than so many people give her credit for, convinces him to spare his life and make him a fool instead. The Hound swoops in with an assist to make it happen, but it’s all because Sansa was smart and bold at just the right time. I will fight anyone who wants to talk shit about Sansa.

 

Anyway Tyrion arrives with the letter declaring him Hand of the King and Cersei shits her pants on the spot. He placates her by saying he’ll only be advising, then proceeds to unleash a sick burn when he finds out that she let Arya slip away, all but blaming her if Jaime dies.

Joffrey then confronts Cersei about Stannis’s letter cus even Joffrey is grossed out by incest. Then he has all of Robert’s bastards murdered, even the babies. It never outright says who ordered them to be killed. But we all know. The City Watch finds out that one bastard escaped with Yoren and is headed to the Wall. They find this out by torturing Tobho Mott. Literally the only smith capable of working on Valyrian Steel. In the World.

This doesn’t happen in the book because nobody would be stupid enough to torture the only smith capable of fixing your magic swords. Joffrey is not off to a good start.

And so Season 2 begins! I’m not doing the body count for this episode because it’s too depressing. I’m already depressed from Infinity War and YOU CAN’T MAKE ME. The show is still compelling, Stannis hasn’t yet been ruined, Robb is runnin’ things. Life’s good for now. I’m sure it’ll stay that way forever. See ya next week!

Probably.

Rewind the Realm: Season 1, “Fire and Blood”

Hello all you psychic projections of your dead parent’s ghosts and welcome back to Rewind the Realm! We’ve made it to the end of Season 1 somehow, though Ned’s death still stings. And always will. The final episode of the seasons always have a delicate balance to maintain. They have to push the story forward just enough to be satisfying, but also hold back enough to make people want to see the next season. That’s not really a problem for this season of course because this season ends with MOTHERFUGGIN DRAGONS! Nothin’ gets a fantasy fan frothy quite like dragons! But we’ll get to that. We have other stuff to cover first.

In Winterfell

Psychic boy Bran has a dream about his dead ass dad and has Osha carry him down into the crypts. They find other psychic boy Rickon down there already with Shaggydog because he also had a dream about Ned. Then they find out Ned died. And nobody ever brings up the fact that they’re obviously psychic again. Maester Luwin is a putz. But he’s got serious eyebrow game.

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You know it bisch

Continue reading “Rewind the Realm: Season 1, “Fire and Blood””

Sorting the Avengers & Co. into Hogwarts Houses

Greetings, nerds. Are we all super stoked for the release of Avengers: Infinity War this week?! Of course we are. No one is as excited as Super Hubs, but the rest of us are pulling our weight.

So, that being said, we decided it was absolutely necessary to do some MCU content up on the blog (more than our Jessica Jones S2 review and my post on the similarities between her and Captain America over the last few weeks). You can expect a post-movie rundown as well, but until we get our asses in the seats on Saturday, we thought it would be fun to Sort all the MCU characters we could think of into Hogwarts Houses, a la our “Sorting of Ice and Fire” podcast all that time ago.

Sidebar: We’re working on moving our podcasts to a proper hosting site, but hopefully that won’t affect our presence on iTunes! However, there likely won’t be full posts dedicated to sharing them anymore. We’ll see how we feel!

Anyway! Without further ado . . . LET THE SORTING COMMENCE!

Captain America and Jessica Jones Are Eerily Similar: A Theory

Greetings, all. Nikkie here, all by my lonesome, to straight-up blow your minds with this realization I had recently.

Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, aka a stupid waste of space, and Jessica Jones (their MCU versions, anyway) are REALLY, REALLY FUCKING SIMILAR. Like . . . seriously. Their story arcs, particularly across Civil War and season 2 of Jessica Jones, have a lot of the same beats, and it’s enough to make me wonder if it’s on purpose. With the separation between the films and the Netflix show portion of the MCU, it would make sense to give each one their own anchor. And while I consider Tony Stark to be the main anchor (or Nick Fury) in the movies, an argument can be made for Captain America, and Jessica Jones definitely feels like the anchor of the Netflix shows (even though Daredevil came first).

So! Once I started connecting the dots, I knew it was a blog-worthy theory to share with the world (or the few people who read our blog, anyway). And here we are.

Theorists, assemble!

Continue reading “Captain America and Jessica Jones Are Eerily Similar: A Theory”

Rewind the Realm: Season 1, “Baelor”

Hello all you nameless soldiers in an endless war and welcome back to Recap the Realm! We’re at episode 9, an episode number that never bodes well in this show, as we’ll come to find. This tends to be where the BIG DRAMATIC EVENT of the seasons occurs and it all started here with perhaps the BIGGEST DRAMATIC EVENT of the show’s entire run. Also this is when my Body Count Tracker of Ultimate Sadness ™ is going to become very difficult to update! So that’ll be fun.

Let’s go!

At the Lannister Camp

Tyrion (correctly) assumes that Tywin is trying to get him killed by putting him and the hill tribes in the vanguard. There’s a tactical reason for Tywin’s decision here but it’s still a flimsy justification for him trying to get rid of Tyrion. Tywin’s so dumb. I don’t understand everyone in Westeros considers him such a tactical genius. He’s basically just Zapp Brannigan, sending endless waves of soldiers to die until his enemies are too overwhelmed by dead bodies to fight. Fuck Tywin. Continue reading “Rewind the Realm: Season 1, “Baelor””

Rewind the Realm: Season 1, “The Pointy End”

Hello all you rebellious blood riders and welcome back to Rewind the Realm! We’re coming to the end of season 1 now and everyone is quickly rushing toward war because they can’t keep their goddamn white privilege in check. Detective Ned, having been betrayed by the skeevy criminal he made an alliance with, sits in jail plotting his next move when he’s met by an unexpected ally. And Jon Snow…Jon Snows. This is the first episode written by Mr. George “Har Har” Martin himself and it shows. It’s primo stuff.
Also I forgot to add Robert to the body count last time!
So, RIP Bobby B. Body count: 22

Now let’s get on with the recappin!

In the Vale

Catelyn’s pissed. She found out about Ned being arrested and asks why Lysa didn’t tell her, since she knew already. Lysa basically says she didn’t tell her because she didn’t feel like it. So Catelyn asks for help from the knights of the vale. Lysa refuses because she’s the worst and, despite being a major part of why the Lannisters and Starks are going to war, she doesn’t believe war is in the Vale’s best interest. And she wants to protect her weirdo son. Lysa is the worst. Catelyn leaves the Eyrie because of all this bullshit.

Continue reading “Rewind the Realm: Season 1, “The Pointy End””