It’s hard to imagine George Lucas having any secret agenda for Star Wars, unless the whole thing was secretly a piece of performance art to teach us a lesson about stopping while you’re ahead. What many people don’t realize, however, is that Lucas actually has some pretty strong political opinions, and he wanted them reflected in his films. For example, the classic anti-war film Apocalypse Nowwas originally his idea, and he wanted to film it during the actual Vietnam War. As in, with real bullets flying at his real, bearded face.
No studio wanted to be responsible for Lucas’ headless cadaver, so the film ended up with Francis Ford Coppola while Lucas went to direct another, almost as politically charged film … called Star Wars.
Unwilling to give up fully on his anti-Vietnam sentiment just because he was doing a movie about spacemen fighting with laser swords, Lucas modeled Star Wars’ central conflict around what he saw as the realities of Vietnam – namely, “a large technological empire going after a small group of freedom fighters.” Yep, he basically saw the Empire as a stand-in for America, while the rebellion was just the inevitable result of the overextension of its powers. So Princess Leia was … Ho Chi Minh, we guess?
All of this subversive anti-Vietnam sentiment culminated in what’s considered the most childish movie of the original trilogy, Return Of The Jedi. The film features a small group of technologically inferior, vegetation-dwelling guerrilla fighters who manage to defeat an empire against the odds. Yes, the Ewoks are a stand-in for the Viet Cong.
I’m so mad at critics thinking that Marvel superhero films have defined the genre and set some standard and set of rules that future filmmakers within the superhero genre have to abide by and incorporate.
Batman V Superman had its flaws. It did. It wasn’t a perfect movie. However, criticisms of it not being funny enough, of it being ‘joyless,’ and it just not offering the same comedic relief that an Avengers movie would is beyond ridiculous to me. This film didn’t set out to make you laugh every five minutes and it didn’t promise to be some hilarious Superhero film so going into that movie wanting to have all this back and forth comedic banter between Batman and Superman when nothing has suggested that it was something you could expect is on you. Not on the film. I felt like this movie explored more serious concepts that Man of Steel introduced and that involves this idea of how humans would react to, first, the realisation that life exists outside of Earth, secondly, those aliens arriving on Earth, and finally, these religious ideologies that talk of a God and seeing Superman as this god-like figure and how the world responds to him being treated as such. Conceptually, Batman V Superman was incredible. I felt like it had so much more going on under the surface that if people just stopped waiting for a witty one-liner every five minutes, they’d grow to appreciate it. Now, I’m not going to get into a discussion of what worked and what didn’t, but my point is: the Superhero genre should allow for many different kinds of films and media and to so harshly rip one superhero film apart because it didn’t follow the same structure of another superhero film is so beyond frustrating to me and it is not a reflection of a film failing but rather a reflection on someone not understanding that Marvel has set a tone and a structure for its cinematic universe and DC Comics is in the process of establishing its own tone and structure for its cinematic universe. We all have our preferences and can dislike something because it’s simply something we don’t like but to be critical that x isn’t the same as y and therefore y is terrible… that’s not a valid criticism.
I tried to stay pretty quiet on this topic of discussion but seeing how much Batman V Superman is still being dragged in the mainstream media in an attempt to praise Civil War has just started to really bug me. And to now see early reviews of X-Men: Apocalypse criticise the film for not being hilarious has just heightened my level of frustration. Concepts within the Superhero genre are very serious and if ANY film wants to take those concepts seriously and approach things differently than a light-hearted action film then let them fucking do it and stop expecting a plethora of jokes to be the basis of what makes a superhero film good. End of rant.
ya know, it took multiple viewings of Civil War for me to really get into it. If you give it another watch you realize things you didn't noticed before. The little things I picked up on afterwards really got me thinking.
The same people:
god, BvS was so confusing. I only watched it once but why wasn't everything clearly explained to me? Does DC expect me to think about the movie after I've watched it?
What's your opinion of Reylo? just wondering bc sometimes, you seem really on board with it, but other times you seem really critical. Thanks :)
Yes, I ship Reylo! But let me explain, because this is definitely a ship you gotta explain.
I’m really glad that somebody asked me this because I have been waiting for a reason to articulate my feelings on the ship for a long time. I do ship everything - FinnRey, Stormpilot, Reylo, Kylux, Reysma, Rey x Asexuality - and that’s the benefit of being obnoxiously vague with writing. The problem is fans warring.
Basically, figuring out this ship is a large balance of what was clearly and explicitly intended by the writers and what is speculated by fans, which would explain why my opinion might seem all over the place - I am trying to balance out how to properly see this.
I’m going to get really into this, so you better hang on because this is going to get deep. … Spoilers and intense Kylo Rey analysis below … Just some background, I think Rey is a Kenobi, and that has nothing to do with my opinion of this ship. I just think it would be very satisfying to the narrative to have these films chronicle the story of the Kenobis and the Skywalkers.
Now, with their relationship, it begins when he finds her in the forest. Instead of going after BB-8, which would have been a far easier route and a much more logical one, he goes directly for Rey. What was he going to do when he got the map out of her - write it down? Seems a little silly. And wasn’t part of his mission to keep the map out of the hands of the resistance? By letting BB-8 go, he’s explicitly putting that directive at jeopardy.
When he finds her, he toys with her, according to the novel, and he does not physically harm her - this is not an excuse for any later behavior or an intimation that I find him gentle, but rather a way to contrast what he does with Poe. We’ll go back to that. Either way, it’s odd. He then places his lightsaber at her throat (which I really don’t believe he had to do considering she was already scared and frozen and therefore I find it to be phallic imagery, but whatever). He then painlessly knocks her out and carries her bridal style to the ship himself, which, from the point of view of a studying author, sticks out like a sore thumb due to it being a trope of a villainous crush. I’m not putting in my personal feelings, I’m just expressing what I know of story writing. He doesn’t have her pushed to the ship and beaten by stormtroopers (like Poe).
Next we find him patiently waiting for Rey to awaken, which again I find to be illogical when he could have forcefully awoken her or waited and had a stormtrooper come get him when she was awake. He just watches her. When she does wake, he converses with her, and even undoes her bindings in the novel. He tells her not to be afraid, “with an unexpected gentleness” (novel) again very ostensibly contrasting with how Poe was treated. He touches her face and, for a murderer interrogating an adversary, is really…intimate? I mean, this is where “they react to a feeling that passes between them - AN ENERGY THEY RECOGNIZE IN EACH OTHER,” plays in. There’s a clear something, I just don’t know what. (Also, there is the line “I feel it too,” which is conveniently vague and intimates at a larger connection between the two of, again, ambiguous background.) He goes on to make a very rapey comment and sift through her darkest thoughts, ruining the moment, which is most likely an intimidation tactic and is also where we get into the core problems of this relationship. The problem a lot of people have is that there is a clear imbalance of power. Although this imbalance is not based on unchangeable facts like gender or class, it is there because she is unable to willingly establish her equality of power with him. He can act, she can only react. Anyway, it is very problematic here and I also really condemn anyone claiming this scene to be romantic in any way. Tense? Intimating a villainous fondness of her? Sure. But mutually romantic? Hell no.
However, the next scene is very interesting due to the very overt power shift in doing exactly to him what he had done to her. She places him in a vulnerable and invaded state just as he had. In the novel, after Kylo rushes out, he meets with Snoke, who says outright that he has compassion for the girl and that it is making Kylo weak. Kylo tries and fails to deny this. This - along with his knowledgeable and intense reaction to learning about the presence of girl with Finn and BB-8 - leads to the theory, which is pure speculation, that the two knew each other before Rey was placed on Jakku, but we cannot know for sure. This compassion could very easily be from learning about her deep well of loneliness, which I imagine he identifies with (although considering he learned this by invading her thoughts, I don’t particularly give a fuck about his feelings). Either way there is compassion on his end.
Now, the two don’t see each other - except for the notorious bridge scene - until the iconic fight at the end. Here, he knocks her out. This also brings up some questions on the part of a writer. Why does he only knock her unconscious, and why her and not Finn, who is canonically an excellent fighter? I think he, on an unrelated note, had a particular bitterness towards Finn, as Finn turned to the light, made friends with this Force-powerful girl that he may or may not have known, acquainted himself with Kylo’s father, and basically gained an acceptance Kylo is intimated to have wanted. Either way, that could explain it.
So next, Rey wakes up and totally jacks the lightsaber from Kylo (and I stand by my desire that the lightsaber would have instead smacked him in this face on its way into her hand, because he deserved it). He is really thrown off by this and I believe this is where the line “It is you” comes in (I’m not sure), which could acknowledge knowing her or just realizing that she was the disturbance he felt in the force. Then they fight. When Rey is backed up against a giant fucking cliff, Kylo could’ve easily pushed her off and killed her. Like, a little shove would’ve done the trick. However, I don’t think he was trying to kill her here. He tells her “You need a teacher! I can show you the ways of the force!” Which, like, wow, you just killed her adopted dad in front of her, but sure, now is the time to be offering a kinship. But he offers one nonetheless. He wants to be associated with her and teach her. This is a really important moment for his character, not only in terms of a romance, but in desires and backstory. He even allows Rey to take a moment to meditate and regain her strength to fight him off. Then she beats his ass, and we all cheer. I honestly believe that the power imbalance is totally annihilated here because. Even though he was injured, they are portrayed as clear equal opponents. Once again, this doesn’t mean immediate romance, just that that problem is at least somewhat diminished in this light or no longer applies to the current state of their relationship.
After this comes about another very important bit of character growth: Rey could’ve killed him here. She had every immediate justification and opportunity to, but didn’t. In the novel, her temptation is clear, but she chooses not to for moral reasons. I think she sees another side to him and decides that peace is the only way to go here - it’s not an act of romance, but of moral highground, and I totally love her for it. Kylo’s reaction to this is interesting. The ground between them splits, which could set up a whole starcrossed thing, and he pulls himself up to look at her. On my third time watching the movie, I noticed that they straight up stare at each other for about five to seven seconds. Look at your watch. Count those seconds. When your new BFF may be dead and the planet is imploding, watching someone you just tried to murder this long is a little strange. I really want to know what they were thinking her, and feeling.
Moving from the facts which I have previously tried to focus on, and going into speculation, I think they do have a connection, and this really shows that. I also think that Kylo in that scene is very aware that she just spared his life. Kylo obviously has an inner conflict, as he should because he’s a shitty person, and I think that, after just straight up ganking his dad, someone being so thoroughly good as to spare him really strikes him.
SO, all in all, after all this talk, I feel I have justification for included Reylo as one of the major ships in the fandom. I ship it as I do with anything else, but with Stormpilot and Kylux for example, there’s no need to be so balanced and critical. Stormpilot has no moral problems which could cause hesitation, and Kylux is between two murderers so nobody gives a shit about them being bad together. The problem here is that it is yet another girl who some are suggesting sacrifice her time and energy and emotions trying to save the basic white boy villain. However, so long as it is handled in a way which never makes Rey give up her power or morals for him, I think that a romance could very well be in the future. I think, at the very least, a villainous crush on the part of Kylo is highly likely, just based on an analysis of the text. Even if their connection ends up being platonic, I would love that and I think it’s likely that it will happen. Will there be a happy ending? Probably not, as he is party to the slaughter of billions of people - whether he wanted it or not - and the actual murderer of dozens or hundreds.