So we have to resolve Hollywood’s problems within the stories? Then there is a political agenda permeating into the film.
Are the stories of old no longer to be told because they just don’t represent anymore what we are told to believe in?
I don’t think it is fair that Driver got a higher billing. That’s a real world issue. But fairy tales just don’t belong in that repertory of ideas. It’s just not the same collection of notes.
Think of western traditional culture issues: learn to control yourself, to dominate yourself, on a bad note, learn to repress yourself. You can’t erase the past, as it settles your present and your future. Life’s a journey, a video and not a collection of separate frames: you have the responsibility to make it coherent. Carpe Diem. Seize the day, control it, and make it into something. Both individually and socially, learn to control yourself and the medium. Learn science to explain the world, because if it can be explained it can be understood and if it is understood, it can be handled, perfectioned and made into something better. There’s a reason for everything and in learning those reasons, you can fix things. Christianity, science, industrial revolution, both left-wing and right-wing politics all are contained within the same set of ideas.
There is an underlying truth in the universe, and in discovering it and learning from it, we can reach some sort of elevation. That’s why we have parliaments, dialogue, an Agora and philosophy; one way or another we’ve had it for 25 centuries. Because even if we can agree that noone has the truth, we all agree that it actually exists, somewhere. Philosophy and not sophisms. Wether everyone positions it in a different place, there is a sense of right and wrong to most of us. There is a moral compass. And there are plans, coherent trajectories in history. That’s why Campbell’s book, to pick a cheap example is called the hero’s “journey”.
To me, ironically, the most by that book country today is China, which modernised itself on a western values basis.
But anyway, that’s our book: be active
Up to some point that is the core of our civilisation. And fairy tales have a place in that core that’s rooted into the past times, and more particularly the medieval times, when everything wasn’t explicit but alegoric and symbolic. If we are to discuss gender roles, women have a role that’s very definite in those stories. It doesn’t matter if we don’t think the same way today, you can’t change the content and expect it to still be a fairy tale.
And the content being changed isn’t just gender roles.
Take this for instance:
The galaxy isn’t able to be saved. It is a living breathing entity, constantly changing. The Jedi attempt to “Domesticate” the Force, the Sith like to “let it run free” (when they’re not hiding it, thus why their force powers are so cabin fevery).
Rey is balance. Rey shapes the force to her will only when necessary - there is no need for her to try and control or trap the Force.
So there’s no point in fighting Evil because it will return. There’s no point in controlling your instincts because they are “natural”, there’s no point in controlling anything actually. Just flow with the Universe. Don’t resist Death, because it is also natural. There’s no point in resisting the will of power, because it is encapsuled within the very human being. It’s not an active stance anymore. It’s passive, as Luke’s passive now and therefore he’s just no longer the western hero anymore. The journey doesn’t matter, there are no heros, anyone can take your job and do it as well as you. There’s no meaning to the story anymore since your frame can be continued by someone else and it just will be the same. It’s a postmodern film, with asian cultural notes that flow very in tune with the actual phase of market.
So question yourself who is backwards and what are you building by thinking to be “progressive”. There are things that can progress, like justice and wealth distribution, within our cultural frame. And others that would take ceasing to be, in order to become something not necessarily better.
And the sole idea of “get rid of old books and live the life” is a false dichotomy. Life just is. You can live it by one book or another. That book, both literally and metaphorically is the culture. So Rey isn’t in balance, Rey is a sophist, he uses the moral compass of the Universe (the force) when necessary to her own gut. And that’s living by another book. One my personal moral compass doesn’t feel to be quite ethic:
Do or do not, there is no try - 1980: Do it convinced, challenge the error.
The best teacher failure is - 2017: It doesn’t matter to make wrong things because in the end you will learn.
Love he who errs, hate the error - 480 AD…
The thing is that is false as well. The only way to learn from errors is to actually not know they are mistakes. If you know you are heading into something wrong and do it the same only to say that one forges itself from errors then you are just acting plain wrong and being a perverse hypocrite shielding behind a speech.
So how does a man that learnt what’s right 30 years ago when he chose to sacrifice himself for a not-apparently-redeemable father now contemplate to kill his teenager nephew?
If life is a coherent journey, a video, or a movie, or a saga it doesn’t make sense.
If life is a sucession of different frames then it is explainable and understandable. Only that if life is so, then coherency is just an abstract possibility and hence the dissolution of the notion of heroes, or even what some users are calling “in-character” acting.
And life isn’t one way or another, because the explanation of what life is a cultural artifact itself, and therefore there isn’t a by the book or not by the book explanation here. You just choose which book you live by. And you choose by which book you make your movie.
At least to me that is what this movie means and hopefully JJ-wow-factor will make it right. Only that my two cents aren’t thrown into it this time, and especially not with his precedents.