Lucien’s Unpopular Opinion: I Hate Star Wars (Blame the fans)

There’s this new supervisor at my job.  I kind of love this guy.  Unlike my immediate supervisor, who I am almost-certain is not a fan of my hatred of my job and my hatred of our clients, the latter of which I go to NO effort to hide, until I am on the phone.  Then there isn’t a single client who doesn’t think I want to help them with their problems.  My professionalism is perfect.  Flawless.  To date, I have gotten people who only hear me on the phone to believe that I love my job and love to help people.  Even the biggest assholes who call up just to be cock-suckers, I treat them with the same level of professional courtesy.  But once I hang up that phone, there’s a lyric from a song that I have going in my head for virtually every client –

Please end your fucking life.  Please end your fucking life.  I really have to emphasize, no one cares if you’re alive.

For anyone who wants to call in to child support, if you are one of the nice people, keep in mind that when I think that way, it’s because of the ten assholes who called before you.  Don’t take it personally.  Unless you are one of the assholes.  In which case, see the lyrics I presented previously.

But our new supervisor is a swell guy.  He takes my negativity and makes it into a jab at my own expense.  I dig it.  Though I can tell that he only has so much he can take.  He doesn’t understand that I don’t feel joy.  At all.  Happiness is a fleeting thing in my world because of brain damage.  I don’t feel positive emotions the same way he does.  But the guy is trying to get it.  I’ll give credit where it’s due.

Something about him – he hates Star Wars.  Something that annoys the immediate supervisor to no end, since she is in love with it, or a gay coworker who shares my given first name since he is the same.  The conversations about this film series really got me to thinking.  Here’s the thing – I hated Episode VII and Rogue One.  The first was a second-rate remake of the original film, except with a chick, and the other was a boring retelling of a story where we know how it would end before it got started.  I see the previews for Episode VIII and I’m like – who cares?  Why should I care?  It’s just gonna be a remake of Empire Strikes Back.  Disney is saying that this film will be different and it will take chances *cough*bullshit!*cough*

I just can’t bring myself to care.  Hell, I’m never gonna Netflix it.  Why would I?  I’m just so done with this franchise.  And the people I blame for this are the fans.  When Episode VII premiered, I got to watch a YouTube I respected start crying.  Fucking crying!  Over a movie that is almost entirely ripped off with some fan service thrown in just so they could say “look!  This is just like those other movies!  You all liked them, right?!  Yeah, I did.  I still do, at least a little.  But this franchise has become a complete clusterfuck, with all the fans singing praises for these new movies.  Why?  Because the most common argument I hear is – but they’re so much better than the prequels!

Sure, they are.  But here’s the thing – the prequel trilogy was a dumpster fire.  There are a TON of films better than those.  It’s hard to be much worse.  Why would I heap on praises for the new films just because they are better than films that are on par with the Transformers sequels?  I could say that the original Transformers film is better than the prequels, and that is a true statement.  But does that make it a good film?  Not really.  It’s generic popcorn cinema, but that’s it.  Funny, that’s the term I’d use to describe Episode VII – generic popcorn cinema.  However, because it’s Star Wars, it’s just amazing!  Yeah, look at that retarded lightsaber that Kylo Ren uses!  Or hey, look at the this villain who is a petulant man-baby!  That sure is neat.  Oh, and we have a chick protagonist now!  She sure is an interesting character, what with her nullodramatic acting and stoic personality that is as interesting as American cheese.  Oh, but there’s the Millenium Falcon!  That’s cool, right?  What’s that?  It’s blatant fan service just to get the nerds to cum in their britches?  Okay.

If only the fans were objective about it.  Episode VII and Rogue One are average films that are just fine if you are one of those people who can turn your brain off and watch the pretty lights and shit blow up.  If you actually want engaging science fiction, they are the last thing.  Makes sense with Episode VII.  J.J. Abrams can’t direct anything other than popcorn entertainment.  But no!  They’re masterpieces of cinema!  They are ripping off the fucking plot of better movies wholesale!  I mean, they’re better than the prequels!  That counts for something, right?

Wrong!  Not in my eyes.  They’re generic, boring, cookie-cutter films.  If Disney were intellectually capable of making something that wasn’t a cookie-cutter film, what a wonderful world it would be.  But then people might get mad because it doesn’t appeal to the largest audience possible.  Say what you will about the original films, at least they knew they were going to appeal to a niche.  But since we live in an age where fucking hipsters drown us all in nostalgia praise, everyone has to love this new film because it does the same goddamn thing as the originals do.  Because who cares about originality?  The millennials have turned their brains off enough as it is.

So yeah, I hate this franchise now, and you can blame the fucking fans.  Meanwhile, great ideas like 1313 died because Disney can’t have a project that isn’t kid-friendly.  That would hurt their precious fucking image.  Groj forbid that people actually want something new and unique.

Until next time, a quote,

“When change does not happen and bread and butter issues tackled – people become cynical and disillusioned.” – Tony Leon

Peace out,

Maverick

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The Cinematic Universe Trends Needs to Die

It really does.  It really, really does.  Seems like every film company is trying to find a way to make their own cinematic universe crap, and it is producing some of the stupidest films ever made.  People don’t realize that Marvel really found lightning in a bottle with their cinematic universe.  And part of that was having a fan of the comics who stood his ground on making the films true to the source material that he was adapting.  This concept could have been done so much worse.  There are stories about how Disney and the current head of the MCU have clashed on ideas which shows that if Disney had had their way, it would have been a lot worse.

However, it seems like every film company under the sun wants to have their version of the cinematic universe, and without a single exception they all suck.  Don’t come at me that Wonder Woman is awesome.  I’m sure it is.  Haven’t seen it.  Will Netflix it, someday.  But the DCEU is dead on arrival right now, and unless they have some good films to build on the ground they have FINALLY laid down, then it will still die.  Not unlike how the Ghostbusters remake’s attempt to make a universe are dead.  Or how Universal’s pathetic attempt to form the “Dark Universe” died right out of the gate.  Not to mention the Star Wars new extended universe.  And on that note…

Rogue One sucked!  I finally watched it, and I am going to do a review of it, but here’s my Cliff Notes – it sucked.  I don’t get why people are saying how great it was.  The film was boring.  So unbelievably boring.  Every single character in the film is boring.  Listening to Darth Vader make a stupid pun hurt me inside.  The plot was bad.  The CG faces for characters was bad.  Nothing about it was good.  How so many people could sing its praises is beyond me.  I genuinely believe it is just sad fanboys/girls who so desperately want Star Wars stuff in their lives that they will say that anything is good.  Just like how they sing about how great Episode VII was, when I couldn’t escape the fact that it is virtually a shot-for-shot remake of the original, except with a chick who can’t act and Emo Vader with his retarded-ass lightsaber.  Now they are making more films that no one asked for.  How about they release Star Wars: 1313?!  There’s something I actually wanted to see.

My point in all of this is simple – these cinematic universes need to go.  Marvel is already planning to bring theirs down a few pegs once the Infinity War films are done.  I saw that James Cameron wants to make a cinematic universe for that Avatar films.  Every company under the sun wants to try their hand at exploiting nostalgia by remaking old films in a way where it sets up for a cinematic universe.  These films are almost-exclusively terrible, and they are wasting money that could be put to better use in better films.

After all, we didn’t want a DCEU.  We wanted good DC films!  I don’t want a Dark Universe.  Nobody wanted that.  At all.  Not one person asked for that, and no one is going to miss it now that it is pretty much dead.  Nobody is asking for an Avatar universe.  The SJWs died on the hill that was the Ghostbusters remake.  I am honestly getting bored of the endless sequels.  Remakes might FINALLY be seeing a downturn now that they have become more and more box office poison.  Reboots too.  If only video games could learn a thing or two from this and be done with the endless sequels and give us some new IPs too.  There’s a thought.

Just think of all the talent being snubbed because Hollywood wants to cash in on some other form of nostalgia.  Think of the better films that could have been made if Hollywood had, instead of trying to make another stupid cinematic universe that will NEVER get the traction Marvel did, put their money into some of the smaller projects sitting on their desks?  What unseen vision is out there that will never see the light of day because the corporate dumbfucks who make movies are too busy making cash grabs?

What’s more, part of me is worried that now Hollywood has decided to just abandon the domestic market with films and instead make movies now intended just for foreign audiences.  Red Letter Media made a good point when they talked about the new Mummy film when they said the level of exposition seems like it wasn’t being made for American audiences.  It’s being made for foreign ones.  One of the biggest defenses people have for crappy movies is that they are able to recoup their money overseas.  That may be true.  In which case, will Hollywood just make safe movies for the US that they know will dominate overseas?  Stop caring about the local audiences for easy cash?  If that’s the case, why should I even go to the movies anymore?  I see trailers these days and I honestly don’t care.

As I said, Marvel caught lightning in a bottle.  That isn’t something just anyone can do, and instead of learning that lesson, Hollywood is content to just churn out more of this bait to lure people back in.  And it needs to stop.  The thing that really blows my mind is why Universal actually believed there was a cinematic universe potential in old monster movies?  That seems both short-sighted and desperate.  Is this a sign of how the film industry is doing overall?  Depressing.

Until next time, a quote,

“Hollywood has become hopelessly chained to the bottom line.” – Bruce Campbell

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: Star Wars Battlefront II Reveal Trailer

EA’s Battlefront sucked.  I am pretty sure that this game will suck too.  I have no intention of playing it.  But here’s the thing I want to talk about – why I think this game could have had potential.  Because it really could have.  For a little while there I am actually invested in what’s happening.  I don’t get how a trailer can go from engaging to bullshit in seconds.  Maybe it’s because Disney decided to fuck the Expanded Universe.  I don’t know.  Whatever the case, this game goes from looking really cool to looking really dumb in seconds, and that’s amazing.  Let’s take a look at this trailer.

You know what I miss – the Rogue Squadron games.  Those were awesome.  I keep hoping that EA will do something with that license, but they would probably fuck that up anyway.  I bring this up for a reason.  There was this incredible animated short that was done in the style of Gundam where you have Imperial fighters duking it out with the Rebels and kicking their ass.  I have always really wanted to know what the Empire’s story is.  I mean, all we ever see of them is them being evil.  In the old Tie Fighter games, you get to play as an Imperial pilot.  It would have been kinda cool to see things from their point of view.  I mean, when you think about it, the Rebels are some hardcore terrorists.  How many innocent people got killed when they blew up the original Death Star?  They condemned the Ewoks to obliteration when they blew up the second one.  The Rebels are all about peace and justice, but you really do have to wonder how many innocent people’s deaths are on their hands.

So this game has you in the role of an elite stormtrooper.  Cool!  We get to see the war from the Empire’s side!  And especially after the fall of the Emperor.  Awesome!  So is it like a civil war?  Is the Empire collapsing and you get to see from the side of a lost soldier who can’t leave her duty behind?  That’s kinda neat.  We even get to see the Rebels getting their shit messed up.  Really did remind me of that animated short.  Wanna watch that again.  You all should too.

But then the trailer decides to fuck all that cool build-up and go into the stupid.  Every time I see Emo Vader’s stupid lightsaber design I laugh.  The most impractical weapon ever, and they still want us to think that it’s cool.  They are trying WAY too hard.  We also get to reenact the battle with Darth Maul?  Like, from Episode I?  The second-worst film in the entire franchise? (I argue that Episode II is the worst.  The cringe level was so much worse than Episode I) Okay?  Hell, can we PLEASE get some of the cool characters from Cartoon Network’s show?  I’d love to get to play as Cad Bane, who is one of my favorite anti-heroes.  Or maybe a cool General Grievous like in Clone Wars.  Maybe some Ventress action?  Oh, right, that would be cool.  And if it’s cool, it’s not in this game.  Instead, we have Emo Vader and Boring Girl who is played by an actress who can’t act (not even going to see Episode VIII) doing stuff.

If the story of this game is what I think, and you get to play as the Empire on the losing side of the war with the Rebellion, this game could have at least some potential.  But this is EA and DICE.  How much hope do you really have that this game won’t suck?

Initial Verdict
6 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: Rogue One: Story Trailer

I hated Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  I honestly think that movie sucks and it gets so many free passes from people due to how bad the prequels were.  This wasn’t an original movie.  It was a damn-near shot-for-shot remake of the original film.  What I was hoping for was a Star Wars film that actually felt like I was back in the universe of Star Wars.  That wasn’t what I got.  Now, there is a new contender to the plate, and let me say, I’m VERY excited.  For once, I may actually see this movie on release.  Finally, it looks like I have a Star Wars movie that is worthy of the license.  But enough talking.  Let’s show it to you, and then talk more about it!

This trailer looks awesome!  I am so damn happy!  The first shot of a city with Imperial fighters coming into port.  That feels like Star Wars!  Every part of the establishing shots of this movie make me think that this is a movie in the Star Wars universe.  However, we then go into my biggest gripe with this trailer.

Anyone who knows my thoughts on the last one knows that I am NOT impressed by this chick they have in this new film.  They way they introduced her was with one of the cringiest lines I’ve heard in a while.

I thought this was a rebellion.  I rebel.

That line is awful!  It’s terrible in every way.  Now, we have her being introduced with another terrible line.  Let me make something clear – I want to like this chick.  She certainly looks the part.  But the dialogue coming from her is just awful.  It’s the most try-hard character I’ve seen in a while.  Like Katniss Everdeen in space.  And you know my opinions of the Hunger Games films (they sucked!).  I am so hoping that we get to see her with some flaws that serve to humanize her a little.  Please don’t let this character be as bland and boring as whats-her-name in the last movie.

Back to the trailer, we get to meet some of our side-characters.  There is a crusty looking old dude, who has clearly been fighting the Empire for a long time.  There’s an Asian dude who is badass with a stick, who believes in the Force.  That’s also cool.  Then there’s pessimist droid.  That’s pretty cool too.

We then have some action sequences.  As I said, it feels like Star Wars!  Gritty Star Wars!  A Star Wars universe that has some pretty ugly fights in some not-so-picturesque places.  Given some of the settings, this reminds me of the Rogue Squadron games.  We are seeing the beginning of them in this movie, after all.  It’s so exciting!  I am gleaning that this isn’t going to be a movie exclusively about stealing the plans of the Death Star.  It’s going to be about the formation of Rogue Squadron, and that is going to be one of their missions.  I’m done with that.  It’s exciting!  Seeing into the past of a movie that I love.

There’s some inspirational shit from this protagonist, and we get to see a shot of her limping while holding a blaster.  Okay, so maybe she actually takes some damage.  I could grow to like her.  So long as her dialogue has less cringe than it has so far.  We can dream.

Finally, at the very end, we see a brief bit with Darth Vader!  Yay!

All things considered, this looks really good.  The visuals are fantastic.  There is actual sets used in addition to the CG stuff.  That’s nice.  We have cool action sequences that make me long to watch the original films again.  Or play one of the old Rogue Squadron games.  Not sure.  Probably the latter.  The characters all look like fun.  And we get the story of the founding of one of the Rebel Alliance’s most daring outfits.  Color me impressed.  Will definitely be waiting to see if it lives up to my expectations.

Initial Verdict
8 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

Your “Comedy” is Cancer, Willy (A response to Wil Wheaton)

Hey Wil, can you please take Captain Picard’s advice and shut the fuck up!  Every time I get to hear about you, it reminds me that everything you say is cancer, and you are the anti-thesis of funny.  Now you want to go and “mansplain” the new Star Wars film, making any detractors out to be stupid dudebros who hate the movie just because there’s a chick in it.  Oh, and they hate Rogue One because there’s a chick in it too.  Why does Wil think this?  Because his succubus wife tells him to.  Just like Steve Shives, it is clear that this “man” is his wife’s bitch and has no ability to think on his own.  So he takes SJW talking points that they use to stereotype and strawman the people they don’t like and have Wil make a “comedy” video about it.  This is supposed to be funny.  I am going to post the video here, so you can see I’m not taking this out of context.  I’m sorry if you get cancer for this retardedness on the screen.

Oh Groj, kill me now.  Alright, let’s talk about this visual-equivalent of butt-rape.

So he starts off saying that he will explain everything that is wrong with Star Wars: Rogue One.  And, because he has to make this pander to the SJW confirmation bias, the biggest problem he assumes that all the strawman detractors have is the fact that there’s a female protagonist.  Um, no, Wesley.  My biggest problem is that they have thrown the Expanded Universe is the trash and the actual story about the beginning of Rogue Squadron was not this.  Nor was the story of how the Death Star plans came into the hands of the Rebellion.  I get that Disney is fucking canon like a $6 whore, but that doesn’t make it any easier.  Believe it or not, but I really like both the story of the origins of Rogue Squadron, and the game that tells the story about how the Death Star plans ended up in the hands of the Rebellion.  Now that story has gotten fucked, because Disney decided that instead of trying to make good characters, they were going to make “empowered ones.”

I already did a post (linked here) about how making a character with the intent of them being empowered is flawed because modern views of empowerment are characters who are complete Mary Sues with no flaws and just totally awesome all the time.  They ignore actual female characters who are empowered, having to overcome adversity and grow.  Plus, the new chick is REALLY cliched bad.  That line, “I thought you were a rebellion.  I rebel” was fucking terrible.  That was every bad acting job I have ever heard.  See, this is what people like myself are talking about.  To be clear, I do want to see this film.  Unlike the more recent Star Wars film, this actually feels like it belongs in that universe.  A pity that other movie couldn’t have this same feeling.  Speaking of…

You then go into The Force Awakens, and you make the STUPIDEST assumptions about what men think about it.  Yes, we hated Rey because she was “fully clothed!” (he emphasized that line, not me)  Or maybe, it’s because she is BORING.  She’s one of the most boring characters I have seen in a long time.  Not to mention the fact that her winning the fight against Kylo Ren is fucking stupid.  She had never used that weapon once in her life, and she is able to beat somebody who is a skilled combatant with a lightsaber.  That’s retarded.  Kylo Ren should have kicked her ass seven ways to Sunday.  Her defenders will be like, “but it’s the power of the Force!”  Bullshit!  Did the Force magically give Luke the ability to wield a lightsaber?  No.  In the first film, he was getting his ass beat by a floating droid!  Oh, but then there are the people who are like, “she wielded a staff, so she knew how to fight!”  Let’s find someone who is skilled with a staff.  It is the only weapon they have ever used, all their life.  Now, let’s give them a sword and tell them to fight someone who is very skilled with a sword.  Who do you think is going to win?  The trained swordsman!  Duh!

And is it true that Leia wasn’t wearing a bra throughout all the original series of films?  I honestly did not know that.  I don’t really care, it’s just that Wesley brought it up, so I thought I would ask my audience and see.

Every argument that Wesley makes is strawman after strawman.  It’s so ridiculous.  And he makes sure to get a “joke” in about Ghostbusters.  Did you watch the new trailer for that, Wesley?  Did you see the “comedy” in that film?  Did you see how amazing these “characters” are?  How they are all so blatantly stereotypes that the trailer actually goes out of its way to tell you what those stereotypes are.  That’s amazing, in its own little way.  But no, I’m sure that all of us just don’t like it because it’s got women in it.  Of course.  You keep peddling that strawman.  Maybe your wife will give you a cookie when you get home.  Maybe you’ll actually get to touch her hoo-hoo with your pee-pee too!  A boy can dream.

Finally, we get to Wesley’s real opinion.  Now we can end the “comedy.”  So, what are your actual thoughts, Wesley?  His first argument is that The Force Awakens is instantly good because the prequels are bad.  I despise this argument.  It is the argument that so many Star Wars fanboys/girls use to justify the fact that the new film was nothing more than a popcorn film.  If I were capable of turning my brain off, maybe I would have liked it.  But I’m not, and it is a VERY mediocre film.  No surprise.  It’s JJ Abrams who made it.  He can make a good popcorn film, and nothing else.

Representation does matter, but here’s the other thing that matters, Wesley – making good characters.  Rey is not a good character.  She’s just not.  She’s bland.  She’s boring.  She’s “empowered” in the same way that Katniss Everdeen is empowered – as a complete Mary Sue.  In the films, at least.  In the books, she was a good deal more interesting.  Partly because she was deaf by the end of the first.  By defending this sort of “empowerment,” you are saying that we can ignore flaws and character growth and instead just have them be strong all the time.  Because that’s how strength works, right?

Let’s look at the original films.  Was Luke just strong because he was?  No.  The first time he fought Darth Vader, it was all over his face that he was afraid of him.  When it becomes clear to him that Vader is playing with him, Luke has several moments where he realizes that he is very likely going to die in this fight.  Then, he loses his hand and his weapon, being pushed to the brink and losing everything.  At that moment, Vader informs him that he didn’t kill his father, but that he is his father.  It breaks Luke’s spirit.  It tests his faith in Obi-Wan and what he knew about his life.  The pain on his face when his father is reaching out to him is palpable.  But he overcomes that in the next film and finds the determination to confront his father and bring out the good in him.

Now, maybe this is because Daisy Ridley isn’t a terribly-good actress.  Though maybe it comes from Abrams being a mediocre director so he just isn’t giving her enough of a way to express herself as a character.  But the thing is that Rey is just awesome and strong and can do no wrong.  Oh, sure, she tries to run away, but that lasts for all of five minutes, and then she just comes right back.  It’s supposed to be a moment that tests her faith in what she’s doing, but because this wasn’t a better film with a better director, we never got a chance to see that.  It just folded in to the next set-piece moment.  Because that movie is not well made.  It’s a bland movie.

And people like you, Wesley, have to come out and defend it because you want to please your SJW mistresses who give you all your ideals.  Because you don’t have the guts to tell these people that they might just be wrong.  Representation is important.  But I will be damned if I take bland, boring stereotypical “empowered” characters over someone who is a genuinely good character.  I would rather have a flawed female character who has to overcome her personal weakness, rather than Rey.  I would rather have a complete dick female character who has to be humbled through life experience than, “I thought this was a rebellion.  I rebel.”

But you don’t care.  Your wife keeps your dick in a Mason jar under the sink.  And I have nothing left to say to you.  I think I’m going to let someone who you REALLY should have taken some cues from close this out.

Until next time, a quote,

“Shut up, Wesley!”  – Captain. Jean Luc Picard

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONR: Disney’s “Empowered Females” in Star Wars

We’ve all seen the new Ghostbusters trailer, haven’t we?  We’ve all seen this film being made with one goal in mind – girl power.  That’s it.  It isn’t about making a good movie.  It isn’t about making good characters.  The entire goal is about making a movie that will inspire the females.  And it looks like shit.  It looks like complete shit.  The jokes aren’t funny.  The characters are cardboard cut-outs.  It all looks terrible.  All because the film decided that they are going to start with a political ideology first, and a good movie second.

The new expansion that was released for Baldur’s Gate had some similar ideas.  They had a character who they introduced who is trans.  But rather than that being part of a larger tapestry of this character, the problem was that it was done for a political reason.  The conversation with this character about their orientation is as awkward and preachy as can be.  It was so bad that the people who did the expansion were able to see the errors in their ways and changed things.  They also got rid of a stupid GamerGate meme that was shoe-horned in there too, but that’s just an amusing thing.  Point is – we didn’t hate the character because they were trans.  We hated them because that was it.  It’s just “I’m trans!”  We wanted an actual character.  The expansion suffered in a profound way because of this.  It’s image is forever tainted because of it.

Point of all this – politicization of characters is always for the worse.  Always.  Because when you start with a goal that isn’t to make good characters, but instead make ones that fit into an ideological agenda, it always comes back to bite you in the ass.  Because if you want a character to fit into an archetype, then they can never go outside of that.  At no point can they be anything but that ideological point of view that you have put them into.  This is what is happening right now with Disney and Star Wars.  And this is by their own admission.

In an interview done with one of the people involved in Disney (linked here), they talked about the new Star Wars films, and the female leads.  It seems that their “empowerment” was no accident.  This was designed.  Intentionally so.  And naturally, I take umbrage with this.  For all kinds of reasons.

I didn’t like the new Star Wars film.  I thought that Rey was boring as fuck.  How is she empowered?  Because she wielded a lightsaber?  And won a battle that there is NO reason to believe she should have?  Seriously, she had never used that weapon once in her life, and she then uses it and wins against someone who has been trained extensively.  That’s retarded.  She had no character, outside of being a strong, virtuous female.  It was boring.  The only character I really liked in that film was Finn.  His character was the only one whose motivation I understood.  He was part of a massacre, and wanted to get away from that environment.  That makes sense to me.  Rey?  She’s just super awesome and the Force wills her to be part of the plot.  That’s it.

The new film, Rogue One, has another female protagonist.  This one looks to have some more personality than Rey, but now I am finding out that this wasn’t done to make a good character.  It was done to fill an ideological base that Disney wants to pander to.  This tells me that future films are going to be done with this in mind.  This tells me that they are going to sacrifice any potential major flaws in characters because that isn’t “empowered.”  After all, if we’ve learned anything from the bitching of Anita Sarkeesian, it’s that any female character that isn’t a complete Mary Sue is bad.  And make no mistake – their films are going to suffer for them.

I made an entire Critical Examination post about how I see an empowered female character.  Truly empowered characters aren’t ones where you have to be told that they are empowered.  They just are.  They are just good characters.  But what’s more, they are also characters who have to overcome personal weakness.  They have to grow.  Strength isn’t just something you are born with.  It’s something you gain through hardships.  I talked about a bunch of characters in that other post, but let’s bring up a few other examples here.

Maybe you remember that fantastic cartoon Recess from the 90’s.  Back when kids shows were good.  Or existent.  Now cartoons have died.  It’s a bummer, really.  But my second-favorite character after TJ was Spinelli.  Her first name is Ashley, but if you call her that, she’ll beat your ass.  She was a tough in every sense of the word.  She was a girl who took shit from no one, and wasn’t afraid to throw down with whoever got in her way.  But she wasn’t perfect.  Her war with her own femininity was the central drive behind how she grew over time.  There were several episodes that forced her to confront that part of herself, and the answers she got weren’t always the ones she wanted.  I like that.  Not all answers in a series need to be cathartic.  Sometimes it can just be something to think about as you move forward.

Next up, let’s look at Kallen, from Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion.  She’s the ace pilot of the Black Knights.  This girl is Zero’s right hand in battle.  She has proven herself an incredible soldier, able to face down insurmountable odds by not faltering.  However, she has a personal flaw that is pretty glaring, and often shined in her face in very harsh way.  Kallen has very little will of her own.  She is a soldier in every sense.  If she doesn’t have someone to give her orders, she has no direction.  When Zero gives her an ability to prove herself in battle, she becomes totally dependent on him.  Through Zero and the Black Knights, her life has meaning.  There is a literal point where she tells Lelouch that to serve Zero, she would have become his slave.  There are multiple points in the series where her dedication to Lelouch is shown to be unhealthy.  But she is still a strong character despite this.

A series with good character needs to have good characters first, ideological bias second.  Disney has outright said that they have their bias first.  This is a problem for me.  Mundane Matt disagrees.  He says that as long as the film is good, then it’s fine.  But quality is suffering.  We’ve seen it already, and we’ll see it again.  And now I have to constantly question how good their upcoming films will be because they have an ax to grind.

Here’s my thought – can we have good movies?  Can we please have a good movie without the need to pander?  If they could do that in the 90’s, how come we can’t do that now?

Until next time, a quote,

The relationship between the public and the artist is complex and difficult to explain. There is a fine line between using this critical energy creatively and pandering to it.” – Andy Goldsworthy

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: Star Wars: Rogue One Teaser

I’ve made no secret of how much I think the new Star Wars film is a bland movie that only gets the praise it gets because of the fact that the prequels sucked.  If the prequels hadn’t been so bad, that film wouldn’t nearly have the popularity that it does.  It would likely be regarded in the same way as Jurassic World.  A movie that is basically a complete rip-off of the original, with a fresh coat of paint.  Were it that I was capable of turning my brain off when I watch movies, I’m sure it’s a good popcorn flick.  Sadly, I can’t do that.  I am too busy over-analyzing.  Which brings me to the trailer for this new film.  When I heard they were doing a story about Rogue One, I was certain that it was going to suck.  After all, they’ve thrown out the Expanded Universe timeline, so how can they capture the beginning of Rogue Squadron?  Well, let’s see if it looks any good.

Alright, so we’ve got these cool sets.  That’s the first thing I notice.  That’s something I really love.  I hate to be one of the people who gets on it, but after how CG everything in the prequels was, sets are a great step up.  It also looks like the Rebels that I missed.  Something the new film butchered, because they had to have some stupid bullshit First Order, when the reality is that the Empire would not have just up and died because the Emperor did.  So much dumb.  But yeah, this feels more like a Star Wars movie just from the settings and the look.

Sure, there is also this TERRIBLE exposition-dump about who is going to be our main character.  Some female rebel.  With a lame joke about her being a rebel to boot.  But I guess this gives her some character traits.  Something Rey could have used a few of in the new film.  I don’t like this scene introducing her, but she’s alright as a character.  Bad exposition is what bothers me more.

Then they get back to show-casing the visual design of this movie, and I am very impressed again.  It feels like Star Wars!  The Empire is being all Imperial.  I kind of hope that we get to see some of the evil this group supposedly had.  That’s one thing that I will fault the original films for.  You never really saw the Empire being evil.  Sure, there was the Death Star, but that was kind of it.  Now, we get to see a much uglier side to the war against them.  It’s closer and more civilians are involved.  We get to see some people with hand-to-hand fighting skills.  Some fallen Jedi, maybe?  One can dream.  Who is Forrest Whitaker’s character supposed to be?  He’s cool and all, but I have no idea who he is.  We have some Imperial guy in black.  Any chance for a voice-over of the man himself?  I mean, they got James Earl Jones to do his voice in Star Wars: Rebels.  Let’s have a cameo, for old time’s sake.  That would be kinda awesome.  Just sayin’.

Overall, this looks pretty good.  Finally, I feel like I am about to watch a Star Wars movie!  This is definitely a step up from where we’ve been thus far.  Finally, I have a chance to get excited about something.  Since the plot is kind of in the dark about the details, it could go anywhere.  I mean, we know how the story ends, but I figure it’s the getting there that is where the fun is had.  Can’t wait.

Initial Verdict
8 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick