＊＊A Former Journalist’s Perspective on the Above:
Ok guys, let’s stop for a second and break this down–
Things Rian has said:
–There will not be a Han-Leia TYPE romance.
–I.e. this will not be a frustrating, unrequited love type thing.
–This TYPE of relationship dynamic will not be a centerpiece.
Things the VF writer assumed from Rian’s statement:
–That this somehow means there will be no romance at all.
–They assumed that just because the romance wouldn’t be the unrequited type that that somehow means no other kinds of romance at all. That is NOT what Rian said.
I used to work as a journalist for a massive international news network, and let me tell you- the number one mistake we were NEVER allowed to make was *assume* something from a statement- ‘assumptions’ being the hallmark of American journalism.
If I were responsible for writing or researching this story for my past job, I’d have had to get a direct quote saying “there is *no* romance in 8″. Hands down, if I did not have that direct quote, I would NEVER have been allowed to make such a statement. But not only is that quote NOT here, but the writer makes the egregious mistake of *assuming* that one type not being there is equivalent to NONE being there.
This, my friends, is most likely going to backfire. A bit like how JJ let slip that Rey’s parents weren’t in 7 and then badly tried to backpedal in a later statement.
Basically I think Rian will come back and personally amend the article’s assumption, either through twitter or in another interview. Because going by his quote, this is literally ALL you can *actually* take from it:
Things that Rian ACTUALLY said according to his statement, without the writer’s assumptions tacked on:
–The TYPE of romance Han and Leia had, i.e. grump vs. lovable cad, is not a type we’ll see here.
–That type of romance seen in the OT will not be a “centerpiece” to this trilogy”
Things Rian did NOT say according to his statement:
–There will be no romance (he did not say this!! He only specified a certain type!)
–That there will be no Rey-Kylo romance. (he did NOT say this! Again, he only specified a certain type! Not a pairing)
–That there will be no Finn-Poe romance. (again, he didn’t say this! Stormpilot wouldn’t even have the potential to fit into the angst dynamic Rian describes anyway)
Keep in mind the writer’s reporting bias!
The writer specifically pointed out ships by name. This is a person who has at least read a buzzfeed article about different types of SW ships, and yes, if you don’t think journalists read other peoples’ work for leads on their own stories, you’re dreaming- we do it constantly. If this person was out to debunk all ships, considering the writer works for ‘Vanity Fair’ and NOT a news outlet, he could swing Rian’s “not this TYPE of romance” statement in any direction he personally wanted to. And it seems he took it and turned it into an assumption of ‘no romance’ when Rian clearly never said that, is not quoted as saying that, only said that a certain TYPE of romance we’ve seen in the past wouldn’t be there.
Q: But wouldn’t LF/Disney have to approve the article before it’s published to make sure it’s accurate???
A: NO. This is not how journalism, even the type VF does, works. I’ve had people in the past ask me for advance copies of stories to ‘approve’ and we’ve always politely told them no and subtly that that was an absurd request. SW also has a VERY long-running relationship with VF, which would mean an even more hands-off approach anyway.
So Let’s Make Our Own More Educated, Objective Assumptions (since the fandom aren’t journalists and allowed to):
–Everyone is STILL outrightly dodging the topic of discussing the Kylo/Rey dynamic. This is significant. This is the type of bone you want to chase. Clearly nobody’s being allowed to. Remember who is depicted on the teaser poster!
–Since only a certain TYPE of romantic dynamic we’ve seen in the past won’t be happening, that leaves us with a whole slew of others. If unrequited love isn’t on the menu, then the opposite of that is REQUITED. If it won’t be “burning”, then it could be MEANINGFUL. All Rian’s done is scratched one potential item off the menu- it doesn’t meant the rest of the menu isn’t still there! When you look at most of our fanfiction anyway, is it really unrequited love? Or is it almost always an underlying understanding of “Oh god, this is happening- this is scary but it’s almost fatalistically inevitable!” We may not have been barking up the wrong tree here on how this will play out.
–When Carrie was asked at the 2016 Wizard World con in Chicago if any of the characters would be friends with Kylo (who she kept calling “her son”) the FIRST WORDS out of her mouth were “Well Rey is very forgiving…” but then after the slip (yes, slip!) she immediately tried to backpedal and say “He’s an asshole”. THAT, my friends is solid- Carrie was asked about friendship with Kylo, and the first person she names is Rey. No, she did not say directly that they would be friends- she CAN’T say something THAT specific. Saying something like that would be extremely specific. But the fact that she named ONE character in a POSITIVE vein with regards to Kylo is the closest she can legally get to saying “Rey and Kylo will have a working, friendly relationship at the minimum” without the Disney lawyers coming after her, which is why she amended with a negative statement by calling Kylo an “asshole”.
KEEP IN MIND: Production for the new SW films is slippery as fuck. They will wrap you up in semantics if they think they can make your brain redirect, and then when something actually DOES happen later, smile enigmatically, shrug their shoulders, and quote obi-wan by saying “Well by a certain point of view!”
So to recap on the highlights:
-DON’T let a writer’s possible anti-shipping bias influence you
-DON’T let poor assumptive journalism confuse you- again, making assumptions without the blatant facts to back them up are a classic hallmark of American journalism and international journalists are VERY keenly aware of this problem and have to work around it constantly
-DON’T take Rian’s statement about ONE TYPE of romance happening to mean *no* romance is happening because that is NOT what he said!
Personally, I’m not that concerned- I do not feel that reylo is impacted by this guy’s assumptions nor Rian’s statements because all he’s said is that OT-type unrequited love won’t be a main strain of the story. Well that leaves a bazillion other juicy possibilities. This writer has made some assumptions that *cast* members have already somewhat contradicted, and personally I’m more inclined to believe them than some dude writing for VF. I also do not condone supposedly reputable publications twisting around quotations from production and making *massive* assumptions, because what this guy has done is exactly that. It’s *massive* to sweep *ALL* romance off the board when Rian didn’t even say that!! This clear bias and disregard for what was actually said makes me question the validity of the rest of his articles. If I were still working in journalism looking for story leads, I’d take things this guy has said with a grain of salt and tread very carefully after reading a good word twisting like that. Those are the sorts of things that make reporting very unreliable.
I’m not sure how to end this, so I’ll just say that I hope this has helped, I hope this has also shed some light on how these things work and how they SHOULDN’T work, and frankly, KEEP SHIPPING, GUYS because I don’t think anything has been killed or debunked or anything like that. If anything I feel like if unrequited love isn’t happening, the requited love is that much more of a strong possibility and BOY should that make the ants quake in their boots with fear. >:3
Credit to @sleemo for the above screencap and for letting me use it- thanks friend.