The thing about Star Wars in general (IMO) is that as a form of escapism, it’s jarring when the ‘real world’ encroaches on the fantasy. But at the same time the whole thing is predicated on a kind of earth-bound familiarity. So it’s a balancing act. If Han says “I’ll see you in hell” we somehow manage to stay in-universe. If Han were to say “I’ll see you in Massachusets” then we’d have a problem.
Similarly when Lucas said the Ewoks were based on the Viet Cong, we were like “okay”. But when Kasdan Jr said Lando was pansexual we were like “eh? Did we even need to know that?”
Right now the public conversation is encroaching on the fantasy. There is so much virtue signalling in today’s discourse that, even to the leftiest among us (and yes, I’m a lefty), it’s becoming nauseating. From gender pronouns to ‘woke’ this and ‘lit’ that and ‘sushi is cultural appropriation’ it’s just getting silly. Social media is obviously a huge factor in amplifying each and every tiny misunderstanding.
I did not understand Poe’s arc in TLJ. Still don’t. It pretty much ruined the movie for me. All I see is that a well-meaning good guy wasn’t given adequate information and, as a result, got tons of people killed and led us down 30 minutes of useless film time. So, thinking I must’ve really missed something, I went online for answers. It turns out that the problem is that I’m a misogynist - a 70s Han Solo-loving manbaby who needs to learn about ‘toxic masculinity’ and ‘mansplaining’. Still no explanation about the actual plot though!
Okay, so maybe this was just misguided clickbait. So I googled Kathleen and Rian and JJ for answers and ran headlong into endless guff about how Rian writes ‘strong women characters’ and people that can’t handle it are toxic manbabies and still no-one could explain to me why the freaking hell Holdo didn’t just tell Poe what her goddamn plan was!
There are some awful fans out there. The internet only exacerbates this. But I wish the creators of these films would shut up about strong women, toxic masculinity, and pansexual diversity and just make fun films. Make fun films that actually honour the canon and make storytelling sense. Let the real world worry about gender equality and whether or not Lando potentially sleeps with robots. It’s probably naive of me but I just want Star Wars to be Star Wars.