Hi! It’s Annie!
I’ve thought about doing this post for a while but was definitely way too nervous to. The Star Wars fandom is not only a beast, but a toxic place a lot of the time. Discussing your opinions on Star Wars in a public place can often lead to some form of argument. Even though I like this franchise, I’ve just stopped mentioning it in public for these reasons. I’ll talk about it with my family and I still enjoy it, but I generally don’t tell people that I like Star Wars unless directly asked because I’m afraid of being asked about my opinions on it. But there are things I seriously want to talk about and also, I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that this fandom has made people afraid to talk about it. I implore you to have different opinions than I do. Different interpretations is part of what makes media so interesting. So I ask you, if you see something that angers you, don’t crucify me. I’m not writing to insult anyone. Anyways, here we go!
Rey Isn’t That Bad:
A controversial topic right off the bat, I know. But when it comes to Star Wars it’s difficult to have any opinion that isn’t controversial. Yes, Rey was quick to know how to do things, but this wasn’t without any explanation. Luke also had some things come easily to him at first. That’s a normal issue in any story that portrays a hero’s journey. I’ve seen a lot of people call Rey a Mary Sue because of that thought, and I’m not about that. First of all, Mary Sue is kind of sexist. People combatted that by saying that there is such thing as Gary Stu’s, the male version, but the issue with that argument is hardly anyone uses that term and that term was created off of the idea of the Mary Sue. I don’t want to go through the entire history of the term Mary Sue here; but I’ll just say that it was a Star Trek fanfiction thing that men used to legitimize their claims that women didn’t need to be featured in the series. The fanfiction was admittedly very bad, but it wasn’t like women-kind came together as a whole to write said fanfiction. The entire situation was ridiculous. If you want to say that things came to Rey too easily, be my guest. Just please stop using Mary Sue as a descriptor. That’s all I ask. All that aside, Rey isn’t the best character to ever come out of Star Wars; but that doesn’t mean she’s bad. She has some great moments and Daisy Ridley did a brilliant job in her acting for this role. She’s a badass, she isn’t over sexualized, and she’s given some real emotional moments.
Ryan Johnson Didn’t Ruin the Sequel Trilogy:
Yes, Ryan Johnson acted like a complete three year old throwing a temper tantrum when people didn’t like his movie. I’m not here to dispute that. But I was watching ‘Knives Out’, Ryan Johnson’s passion project, and marveling at the amazing writing while wondering what went wrong with the sequel trilogy. And then it hit me that this wasn’t completely his fault. The issue was that they wrote each story as it was coming out rather than creating a full story arc. Even worse, both J.J. Abrams and Ryan Johnson were so stubborn with their singular views of what the trilogy should look like that they pettily scrapped the other’s ideas to return to their original plan instead of respecting what the last director did. It was a children’s fight. Either of them could have come up with a decent trilogy on their own, but that wasn’t what happened. And just because Ryan Johnson did it first doesn’t mean J.J. Abrams is exempt from the blame. And Ryan Johnson had some good ideas! Showing Kylo Ren’s journey to becoming Supreme Leader was actually kind of badass, especially after that lightsaber battle after he killed Snoke. Snoke didn’t have to be there. As you’ll find out, I’m not a huge fan of the completely evil, all-powerful, villains in Star Wars. They aren’t as interesting to me, so I personally think killing off Snoke was a good idea and brought a necessary shock and splendor to the scene. It wasn’t a very well done bait and switch, but I didn’t feel like it was too bad either. I also really liked that Rey didn’t come from anywhere and how powerful the message of “anyone can be a Jedi” was. Possibly even more controversially, I like Poe Dameron’s arc in that movie. I thought it was a good move to show the characters as flawed. We don’t see enough flawed characters in movies like this. Seeing Poe become flawed after he was so perfect in the first movie made him my favorite character in this trilogy. Ryan Johnson also actually gave Finn time and more character while J.J. threw his character aside in the last movie. Over-all, I thought Ryan Johnson treated the characters better.
Rose Isn’t a Bad Character:
The kiss at the end of the movie was not good, but Rose had some good moments! She could have been great if we had some more time with her but, just like Finn, J.J. also tossed her to the side instead of attempting to run with what he had. Also, the treatment of Kelly Marie Tran was absolutely atrocious. She is a great actress and a sweet person! I have never been so ashamed of this fandom and I pretty much removed myself from it because of this.
Han Solo is Not the Best Thing in Star Wars:
I’ve seen so many people swear up and down the wall that Han Solo is by far the best character in Star Wars, and I definitely don’t agree with this. Both Leia and Luke were characters that are just as good and don’t deserve to be snubbed. Leia is one of the most badass female characters to ever exist. Yes, Han Solo is a fun character. But that doesn’t make him the best. There doesn’t have to be a best character in Star Wars.
The Clone Wars is the Best Written Star Wars Content:
The Clone Wars is absolutely amazing if you haven’t seen it. It boasts Ahsoka Tano, my favorite Star Wars character, and the first fully fleshed out female Jedi ever focused on. It also has Rex and all of the clones which become one of the most interesting storylines in all of Star Wars. Anakin is actually a likeable character in this! I just love the Clone Wars and how complex the stories have been throughout the years. It really isn’t given enough credit for everything it did for this franchise.
Palpatine Has Never Been a Good Character:
Don’t get me wrong, I love all the Palpatine memes. I quote him all the time. But he was never an interesting villain to me. He always seemed like a plot device or a cop out to ensure Vader’s full redemption arc. But I never felt that he was completely needed. I liked just having Darth Vader there and I didn’t feel that Vader needed someone to make his redemption more believable. Palpatine only got worse as the movies went on with his hilarious electrocution moment in the fight against Mace Windu. Also, who could forget about Darth Plagueis the wise? But making Rey a Palpatine and including him in the sequels is just the icing on the cake for his character. No one wanted to see him there. I literally laughed out loud in the theater when Rey shot that ship with lightning. It was just too ridiculous. But Palpatine has always been too ridiculous. If you want a good mastermind villain, Palpatine has never been that. Grand Admiral Thrawn is quite possibly the smartest character in Star Wars canonically and is my favorite villain. He’s everything I wish Palpatine was.
There you have it! Those are just a few of my unpopular Star Wars opinions, but I have plenty more. I may continue this or I may not, but hopefully some of these arguments made sense to you. I still feel weird writing this, but I’m not sure I want to be afraid of the Star Wars fandom. That in itself sounds a bit ridiculous.
See you across the pond!