Space Gaslighting

Fans suck, especially the Star Wars variety.

I don’t have much pity for The Last Jedi. It’s a terrible movie, as I’ve explored at length. That said, I’ve despised the alt-right bullshit “reactions” around it from the very beginning, exploiting the existence of a banal, weak character like Rose (as opposed to every other character in the same movie) to rally around an anti-SJW agenda. SJW is pronounced “s’jewwwwwwwwwwwwww”, by the way, just in case it wasn’t clear it’s become a meaningless slur in direct harmony with its anti-Semitic predecessors. These are liars, idiot bigots who want to go back to a magical time when there was no progressive message in their media and everything was just nice and timeless and oh wait X-Men the Animated Series was more leftist and hardcore than most things on the air today and remember how Captain Planet was overtly anti-corporate with a highly diverse cast?

None of these alt-right losers care about “cinematic integrity” or “ethics in game journalism.” It’s an excuse to act out their bigotry in public, pure gaslighting meant to reframe and reshape reality to fit their goals, to restore public acceptability for their hatred, to make their bile seem like good ol’ common sense. Meanwhile, the alt-right is about as natural as a nuclear bomb. It’s an artificial monstrosity, one that has been deliberately fostered by its advocates and tolerated by corporate hacks in favor of profitability, as well as the occasional naive moron in a comical position of power who probably has sympathies towards them.

The insulted male wracked with grief over the injustices foisted upon him by the FEMINISTS and a rabidly leftist world is a farce. They’re assholes seething at a world that now might punish their obnoxious, childish antics instead of rewarding them. Everything else is a smokescreen. An angry man ranting about how a bad corporate turd of a movie is RUINING THEIR FRANCHISE WITH A POLITICAL AGENDA (whatever that is) should not be given any benefit of the doubt, let alone respect. Can they define what that agenda is? Can they explain what the hell they’re talking about? No, because that’s not the point. The point is to find an excuse to make their hatred and bitterness sound reasonable, whatever form that takes.

You want to know why these fans, authors of 10-hour-long videos about how Rose is somehow the worst Star Wars character ever, really hate Rose? It’s because she’s Asian and has chubby cheeks. That’s it. They’re racist woman-haters. End of story. Nothing that Rose does in TLJ is remarkable. There’s that one stupid line at the end where she says “Love Will Save Us” as the Space Empire’s Lazer Ram breaks through the door. Oh no. As opposed to this:

This scene pissed me off way more than anything else Rose ever did. Why? Because it’s also gaslighting. Noticing a theme here?

“The height of their power?” Have you all forgotten that the Jedi were consistently stated to be at a worrying nadir in all three prequel films? Go back and watch them. The Jedi were in trouble the whole way through, and they knew it. It’s not like they were being deliberately undermined by an evil Sith Lord. Oh no, it was all the good guys’ fault for being mercilessly slaughtered by a power-hungry tyrant while trying to keep the Galactic Republic from falling apart. No no no, the legacy of the Jedi was total failure…apart from over a thousand years of peaceful, stable, democratic rule. More than we’ve ever done. If that’s failure, then what’s success?

How odd that all these defenders of integrity don’t seem to care about a movie rewriting history. They know few, if any, will go back and watch what amounts to a historical record, so they can just lie and say whatever they want, tweaking Star Wars to appeal to the tired cynicism of the 2010s, reinforcing the caustic idea that good and evil are lies, no different from one another, legitimizing distrust in our institutions and the good people in them. This is far more insidious than Rose saying something stupid in one scene. There’s way stupider shit in the movie itself anyway. Luke Skywalker cynicizing the entire legacy of the Jedi? Who cares! Rey wanting to save a murderous asshole who killed his father showed no remorse for it? Eh! Finn forgetting about Rey, the person who changed his life? Meh! Leia having no plan and flying through space like Mary Poppins? Whatever. Poe having no character arc? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

But “LOVE IS WHAT WILL SAVE US” is what gets you riled up. Sure, Jan.

Stop taking these people at face value. Their grievances are a performance to themselves, curated rage, all to enjoy the experience of being an awful human being while gaining power. Most of all, they want you to defend these movies. That’s their game: to put you between a rock and a hard place. Do I try to justify TLJ because defending representation in movies is more important, even though, yeah, Admiral Holo’s actions make no sense?

No. This is a Disney movie made to sell toys. You don’t owe it a damn thing. Captain Phasma being a woman doesn’t make her character good. That plays right into their hands. It makes you seem like a zealot out of touch with the real world. Here we have a corporation and racists exploiting your well-meaning idealism from different angles. As a different example, the new Ghostbusters was a travesty, and everyone who tried to defend it simply because it had an all-female cast fell for it, hook, line, and sinker. This harms our cause, as less informed, less insightful people on the sidelines will watch the movie and think of us as fools, reinforcing the cynical message of the alt-right: we weird coastal elites and liberal activists don’t care about the truth that us common folk can grasp; we’re just purple-haired activists who don’t care about whom we trample to remake the world in our image. Unlike them, beleaguered guardians of reason and justice.

Don’t fall for it. TLJ is bad. Why? Because most movies today are bad, because studios have turned an artistic exercise into a focus-group-centered mathematical puzzle. There’s no mystery to it. It just so happens that nowadays putting more women and people of color into them stirs up hype. I just saved you hundreds of hours of arguing on the internet.

It should be noted that even this half-hearted effort is worthwhile. Black Panther is a good example of how it can pay off eventually. Cultural change has to start somewhere. You just have to approach it with some cunning and patience. There are countless good movies out there pushing the bounds of diversity and social justice. You don’t have to die on any particular hill. Save your blood for something worthy.

By the way, the climate is changing really fast and we’re so far behind on addressing it that we’re probably completely screwed.

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