Sorry its been a while since I have written on here. Things have been busy with classes, Christmas break and a small video project I did. So I figured a movie review would be a great way to kick things off again. And yes, there is a lot to go over with this one! I should warn, there will be spoiler-ish things in this but I do advise you be aware of them before going to see the movie. So lets jump in…
This is the third film of the latest Star Wars series that has been taking place. In the sequence, it is episode 8, following right after “The Force Awakens”. This movie was highly anticipated and I was able to see it in Italy with a completely packed theater 3 days before it came out in America!
First of all, movies were made to be seen in a theater with a large audience; in todays society, movies are the height of artistic talent, bringing together graphics, music, plot, etc.
With books, plays, even music,the artistic genius is that the content enters you. You are opened to the inter thoughts, the decisions, the silent realm within the human mind that goes from the author, composer or playwriter, into your mind.Your own imagination becomes the main worker in this form of art as you digest and then present to your mind what you are taking in.So the artist almost makes you become the final artist, using your own mind an imagination to finish the work. But with movies, you enter into the film. You are drawn not so much into the character’s thoughts and ponderings, as into the life and action. So an entire atmosphere, sometimes even a universe is created that you enter into during the movie. Your imagination is completely turned off and your senses of perception are heightened. You absorb this reality as it is perceived because for that time period, that is your reality. I’ll come back to this later.
After walking out of ‘The Last Jedi’, at first I was pumped up after all the cheering and laughing and gasping of the crown and said, “THAT WAS AWESOME”. However, I started to think more about it. And like basically everyone who has seen it, once that started happening, the questions came in.
Again, I wont delve into the plot too much but let me first start with a few good things I took away. One of the main protagonist here was, in a general way, the rebels. They are shown throughout the film moving from planet, to space, to planet to space. They have nowhere to call home. As with Christians, they are ‘Strangers in a Strange land’. No planet is there home but yet, all planets are their home. The Christian is said to be for the world what the soul is to the body: animates it, spreads throughout all of it, gives it is identity, but is not meant to stay they nor make its permanent dwelling. Poe, one of the X-wing pilots, says at one point, ‘We will be the spark to ignite the fire to burn down the first order’. The Christian too, though small and unnoticed will become for the earth that which overcomes evil and brings salvation back to it.
The other scene that I enjoyed was (SPOILER ALERT), the final battle between Luke and Kaylo-Ren. Luke walks out onto the battlefield and Kaylo comes down to face him. In an epic lightsaber battle where Luke dodges and maneuvers past Kaylo with ease, Kaylo finally slashes Luke across his torso, only to find out that “Luke”,is actually only an astral projection and that Luke is actually in meditation on the island and untouchable to Kaylo. This is a perfect image for the spiritual battle the Christian has with Satan. It is a spiritual battle, one not of the arms and of flesh but fought primarily in the battlefield of the mind and in prayer. “Prayer is a battle” as the Catechism tells us. However, just like luke and kaylo, we become untouchable to the enemy, when we enter into the supernatural through faith. St. John of the Cross says that the devil, as a fallen angel, is not able to attain to that realm anymore and thus when through faith and the theological virtues we enter the supernatural realm of God, we are untouchable to him. We still perceive him and hear him but we actual become invisible to him. St. John of the Cross further says that faith is a white tunic that the soul puts on that is so pure, that it is render invisible to the devil. So in prayer, when we are tempted, we must make acts of faith to God as He is all good, loving, powerful, merciful, etc and we will become victorious against the devil.
Ok, so now what has been the upsetting side of the movie. After discussing with other fellow viewers and my own rethinking, we realized that actually, there are no male heroes in this movie. Poe is made to be a butt-faced, hotshot,who is chided by and suppressed by a female leader noone has ever seen before who shows him ‘what it truly means to be a leader’, Fin is a coward at best and who when attempting to make a virtuous sacrifice of himself is saved by Rose who basically says, ‘silly boy, that not a true sacrifice but me dying for you is’, Luke is portrayed as a bitter old man who has lost touch with the force and has been superseded by a young girl who basically comes to the him already having all her powers and she teaches him about virtue and bravery. Lea,Ray, the purple haired general, Rose an all female cast are the heroines.
Now dont get me wrong, woman can and should be heroines. Look back to the review I did for Wonder Woman, she was the best superhero I’ve ever seen particularly because she fought as a woman. Gene from Rogue One was another great female heroine because she again fought as a daughter and along side her comrades.
In this film, the men are almost specifically targeted and shown as weaker and inferior and the woman are given their place. The female characters act not as women in this film, but in the place in men, which destroys the distinction and role of both. Doing this destroys all the beauty and harmony, as a flute wanting to play the part of a violin would mess the whole symphony up.
Bishop Robert Baron did a video awhile back on ‘The Homer Simpson Effect’ where all men today are shown to be like Homer Simpson and having no virtue (ironically the word virtue meaning manlike) and leaving all the brains, leadership and virtue to the women. This film is trying to raise up these feminist ideas that women can and should do everything that men can do and that there is no distinction and that the equal of the two can only be found in destroying that distinction rather than seeing that it is that distinction and complementarity that enriches both and makes both who they are.
This feminist theme is not explicit but it is there. About a year or so ago, Disney did the live action version of Beauty and the Beast and the producers explicitly made one of the characters gay and acting gay in a few scenes. The majority of people laughted it off and said it was harmless, hardly noticable and just in the background. This becomes the danger. Going back to the point I made about movies creating a reality that you live in, movie place in that reality, things that are meant to be ‘native’: things that are suppose to be there and are normal and you perceive as just the background but slowly change your view of all reality. Take the point of a movie having a Budweiser logo on the wall in one scene. You will hardly notice it but it just becomes normal so you have that in your mind. With this gay character, and now with this feminist theme in Star Wars, Disney is trying to push certain agenda by making these things as natives and thus change how we view society as normal. Going through the store the other day, I saw tons of small books for children saying “Ray’s story” “Rosie’s journey” all to get these little kids to read again and again. We have to be aware of these agendas.
This is the second movie in a three movie series. There will be more as well as other movies with similar agendas. As for me, I don’t think I will be going to see anymore of these disney movies. Why? When we buy a movie ticket, we are casting a vote. Production companies know how many people went to see a movie by the number of tickets sold. So your ticket you bought is also a vote you cast saying, “I want to see more!”
Sorry this was a bit longer but I do hope it gave so things to thing about. In the end, I find myself singing the parody song, “What Happened to Star Wars that I use to know” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJlbPXZEpRE
If you are Star Wars fan, you will like this!