Back in the day I was big on Star Wars. In all honesty, the three original films, dubbed episodes 4, 5 and 6, are superb movies, containing all the action, intrigue and mysticism a tale of this type should hold. The next set of movies, episodes 1, 2 and 3, gave me pause. I know that, overall, they are panned as horrible films for a number of reasons, but to me the films were destructive in how they affected the original story, the stories in episodes 4, 5 and 6. Now instead of a story of a father and son caught up in a battle of good and evil and a rebellion against a crushing empire the story was transformed into, what I saw, as a redemption story for a single man – Darth Vader. Personally I have always felt that this detracted from the original films, where Vader was shrouded in quite a bit of mystery. Overall this made him a much more terrifying villain. We knew he was Luke’s father and Obi-wans friend, but beyond that we didn’t know much more.
Onward now to the latest finished film, episode 7: The Force Awakens. Overall a fun film, but horribly executed. The storyline is full of rehashed material and things that make no sense. It completely eradicates the gravity of episodes 4, 5 and 6, but this is not it’s biggest offense.
The director, JJ Abrams has declared that he wanted to use Star Wars as a vehicle for ‘social justice’, and it shows. The main character of the Star Wars storyline has been shifted to a woman and, with the release of the trailer for the newest Star Wars film, Rouge One, it looks like this trend will continue:
Now, personally, I don’t have a problem with women as main characters of stories, not even when the follow the ‘strong, warrior woman’ meme. I think the Netflix series Jessica Jones was a superb story, well done and captivating. Back in the day I liked to watch the occasional Xena: Warrior Princess, which, although cheesy, was fun and cool. These, however, are their own stories (though I have no doubt that Xena was spun off of Hercules:The Legendary Journeys to create a fan base out of overly horny young men, but that’s nothing new to television or media in general. Horny young men are money in the bank if you come up with the right concept and a hot girl.). To take over an established mythos, however, is just wrong and I have a feeling that, from this point forward, we are going to be seeing more stories centered around women for the sake of stories centered around women. Gone are the days of damsels in distress, where a man could be a hero by facing death to bring her out of harms way. Now every princess is ‘self rescuing’ and “needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle”. What you are seeing is the destruction of the natural order. It is built into man to be a defender of the weak and to bring justice where there is none. Though there have been strong women throughout history they are few and far between. Exceptions to a rule. But you would never know that in todays society where every woman who can pick up a gun or a sword suddenly becomes death in high heels. Instead of having a complementary pair in a rough, hardened man and a soft, loving woman, you have nothing but irritated people throughout. Case in point, I am playing through Final Fantasy XIII and I have noticed that, within the group of heroes something greatly lacks – love. They have no love for one another. The men are battle hardened and driven by their goals, but so are the majority of the women. Lightning is a cold-hearted killing machine, Fang is much the same and Vanille, though not hard-hearted like the other two ladies, is played off as child like and annoying, not loving. It makes cut scenes difficult to watch because it’s akin to a bunch of rocks being smashed around in a box.
I think I am done with Star Wars. I didn’t care to see episode 7 until it was almost out of theaters and, though I liked the overall feel of the film and thought the visual work was excellent, I couldn’t get the words of the director out of my head, and too many things made me scratch my head in both bewilderment and frustration.
Though Final Fantasy 13 is an odd game, I haven’t played through the remaining parts 2 and 3, and, for the most part, each Final Fantasy game is it’s own unique story (sharing elements from the FF multiverse). The latest game, Final Fantasy 15 had been getting some negative feedback because all the playable characters, as far as we know, are men. When the complaints came, SquareEnix responded with “That’s how the story was written, and we are leaving it that way.”. This has further cemented my love of the Final Fantasy series, to which I will now shift all of my fanboy-ism. Oh, and Cidney. Gotta love a woman who knows her way around an engine.