Shopping Maul said:
I’m talking about the surrounding conversation. Like I said earlier, to conflate not understanding a plot point with somehow being threatened by the idea of strong diverse characters is (mostly) nonsense, and the world at large needs to pull its head in with regard to all the fake outrage flying around.
Not much to add to the eloquent points already made, but I did want to address the two parts emphasized above (emphasis mine).
I cant speak for all fans I come across, but I can speak about two of them I know well. One is long-time friend of mine. A closet racist who is very much threatened by diversity and strength, particularly if it comes in the form of a woman. We’ve had some very heated discussions about it over the years. Two perfect examples are Moneypenny in the Craig-era Bond films and Finn. For the sake of clarity, I feel his racism is fear-based, not hate-based. Both are bad, but it’s his fear-based racism shaping his views on the current state of Star Wars.
He was very bothered by both Moneypenny and Finn, probably more than he wanted to let on. He’s someone who sees the changing complexion of our nation (America) as very concerning. He feels the same way about women in positions of power. He sees the concept of equality as a zero sum game. Every non-white male or any female who becomes respected or equal has somehow come at the expense of a white person somewhere, and by extension, himself.
Moneypenny was particularly bothersome to him because it was a character who had been white for decades. I’m not entirely sure he’s past it yet. When I told him I thought - and I’m a 007 nerd for 40+ years - she was far and away the best Moneypenny ever, he couldn’t understand why I wasn’t bothered by her. How could I not see it as pandering to “the left” and their political correctness? Political correctness that is lessening his position at the top of the food chain. Again - zero sum.
Finn fell into the same argument for him. Created and cast specifically as more pandering, more political correctness, and another way to empower, and by default (or design), allow other people to be included…zero sum. To him, the problem is part societal, part Kathleen Kennedy. We’ve had to bail on the discussions to salvage our friendship, but I suspect he’s convinced her position at the top of the organization is why the new films are so politically correct. A powerful woman using other women and minorities to force diversity. Diversity being the very thing that is reducing his power. We haven’t discussed Solo yet.
The other fan is someone with whom I work currently. Same company, different dept, different floor, but bothered enough by Solo to take the elevator ride up specifically to tell me he’s finished with Star Wars. First it was TLJ, which really angered him with all the diversity. Then came Solo, with that “stupid droid, which they had to make female” so they could push their equality message. He finished with something along the lines of “I’m done with it , done with Star Wars and Kathleen Kennedy pushing her agenda”
He had such hate in his voice when he said agenda. As bad or maybe worse than my friend was how he sees the problem not only as an erosion of his white male power, but also as an ongoing civil war with the Left. I don’t know him nearly as well, so I let a lot of that go because its a losing battle to try to have a meaningful conversation about it (with him).
My friend, on the other hand, is someone I still engage in the discussions over diversity because I think he’s at least bothered by the public perception of his views. Clearly not enough to address or confront them, but at least enough to know he’s on the wrong side of history. That said; it’s possible I’ll cut him lose one day. Forever battles are exhausting. On the off-chance it’s important to the overall discussion, my friend is 36 years old, the co-work is 40.
My point with all of this is that, while I agree there is a fair amount of feigned anger in our public discourse regarding Star Wars, I know of two examples personally where the anger is real.