I’m not the kind of person who’s really very good at forming her own opinions on things. It takes me a while to kind of ponder and crystallize how I feel about most topics, and pretty much everything winds up having elements where it looks different from different angles, so I never have like, A Solid Feeling I Always Feel About This Thing.
(I used to worry about it a lot, when I was a kid. There are still some songs/bands/albums I listen to and remember my deep anxiety: how could I tell if this was Good? Other people seemed to always know– that music’s shit and we’ll laugh at you, this music’s Great but only right now, that music there is Classic and no matter what will always be Good. How do you know which is which.)
Anyway. So, I don’t really have An Opinion Of My Own about Rogue One.
What I do have, after reading many reviews, is an interesting observation to make:
Every person of color I’ve read a review from loved it. I don’t know that my sample is representative, but for so many people, it fulfilled such a deep-seated need inside them that, several reviewers independently said, they hadn’t realized they still had, to see someone who looked like them in this context. And that’s incredibly touching, to me. I know I cried to see a lady pilot among the 70s-moustached dudes! My only tears of the movie. So I get that, I do, and I’m so excited for it.
The critical reviews I’ve read have mostly not been from people of color. And they’ve made excellent points– how terrible is it, for one, that the only way the powers that be could see their way to putting so many men of color into a Star Wars film was to kill them all in the end? The hope, and eventual success, of the Rebellion is literally built on the ashes and bones of women and people of color, who were expressly not included in the glorious success at the end of the original trilogy.
(And also: where are the women of color. Where are the women, period. What the fuck, racists and misogynists were already going to protest your movie; you could have done whatever you wanted at this point, so why was this all you wanted??)
I feel like the critical points are good to make. And I feel like that’s maybe who should be making them. Sure, there are valid points to be argued about structural or thematic weaknesses, sure there are still complaints to be made. But.
If you got to have representation for the first time in this movie, you should feel free to enjoy it uncritically.
Everything I do is so standard and nothing I do would make for a worthwhile watch - it really is a difficult chore capturing anything remotely interesting - most system stuff I do goes on “in my head” so it’s not something I can physically demonstrate or represent and that’s essentially the bulk of the DID related work I do
She should be more frightened herself, she knew. She
was only ten, a skinny girl on a stolen horse with a dark forest ahead of her
and men behind who would gladly cut off her feet. Yet somehow she felt calmer
than she ever had in Harrenhal. The rain had washed the guard’s blood off her
fingers, she wore a sword across her back, wolves were prowling through the
dark like lean grey shadows, and Arya Stark was unafraid.