The decade's most triggering comedy
Team Star Wars actually listened to the fans while creating the ninth and final film in George Lucas’ space saga.
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” lacks the ghastly woke nods of its predecessor, “The Last Jedi.” The minds behind the franchise even dramatically cut back Asian actress Kelly Marie Tran’s screen time. Her Rose Tico character played a sizable role in “Jedi,” which some saw as a sop to politically correct casting. It’s not Tran’s fault that writer/director Rian Johnson gave her so little to do, dramatically speaking.
Yet J.J. Abrams, who co-wrote and directs “Skywalker,” still couldn’t help himself.
The film’s final moments reveal a celebratory kiss between two female characters. Abrams bragged about the buss in recent interviews, letting the LGBTQ crowd know he hadn’t forgotten them.
“And in the case of the LGBTQ community, it was important to me that people who go to see this movie feel that they’re being represented in the film.”
Because if there’s one thing integral to the 42-year-old series, it’s sexual diversity.
Only Abrams’ victory lap comes with an asterisk.
The scene in question lasts a literal second of screen time. Maybe less. This critic thought he saw the kiss, but left the theater unsure. Only when the media confirmed the “historic” event was it crystal clear.
Does anyone think the LGBTQ community will be satisfied with a second or less of inclusion? Everyone else will read the Abrams’ quotes and figure “Skywalker” cared more about virtue-signaling than solid storytelling. (And, after seeing the actual film, they’ll have a point).
It’s a lose-lose choice, and it’s not the first time we’ve seen it.
Earlier this year, “Avengers: Endgame” shoehorned two moments into the three-plus hour movie for the woke crowd. The first? Chris Evans’ Captain America talks to a gay man about his first date following the tragic fallout from Thanos’ “snap.” The second? The female superheroes gather en masse to take the fight to Thanos’ army.
The former proved short but poignant, a shrewd way to be inclusive while moving the story along. The second? If your eyes didn’t roll in response, then your central nervous system might be on the fritz.
Even The Mary Sue, the unofficial home for the Woke Police, called out the female Avengers assembling for what it was: Pandering 101.
The site didn’t stop there.
Carol was not the only underserved female hero in this movie, as Princess Weekes explored in her recent piece on Marvel’s inability to handle powerful women. Did Okoye even have three lines of dialogue? I sure can’t remember them. Black Widow deserved better than her abrupt ending, sacrificing herself so that Clint could be with his family, a fate that Age of Ultron set in motion when it revealed Natasha believed her forced sterilization made her a “monster.”
The “you go, girl” moment didn’t protect the film from the feminist Left.
Even the gay sequence, captured with care, caught the far-left Vulture site unimpressed.
In large part, it feels like Avengers: Endgame’s moment is part of a trend of big movies paying lip service to the idea of representing a great variety of people on screen, rather than the (mostly) straight white men who have consumed dangerous amounts of protein powder, without putting in the hard work to make that representation meaningful. Star Trek Beyond made John Cho’s Sulu gay with a man-hug that you probably wouldn’t have noticed if it weren’t for the discourse that sprung up around it.
Social justice types are never, ever satisfied.
Which means the angry think pieces about “Skywalker’s” “historic” moment should arrive any day now, if they haven’t already.
More importantly, it shows the fallacy of forced diversity. Audiences rallied behind “Wonder Woman” because it’s an excellent superhero tale, not because we needed to check off a gender diversity box. They rejected “Charlies Angels” not for any misogynist reason, but because the film lacked the sexy fun of its predecessors.
Squeezing microscopic nods to the progressive Left in a film neither placates progressives nor traditional crowds. So why bother in the first place?