Yes, I am writing about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If you are one of the people who has not seen it yet, I encourage the six of you to avoid reading this post. Also, I am killing time and just blabbing right now so that the first paragraph doesn’t accidentally reveal anything in the opening blurb. I figure this is enough time.
I have seen the new Star Wars movie. Twice. I loved it. It was beautifully done, fun to watch, decent, and a great homage to the original Star Wars. (Which I still can’t quite call #4.) Most everyone I know really liked it. It has an audience score of 91% on RottenTomatoes, with a critic score of 94%. Pretty much a solid consensus that it is a really good movie.
Somewhere during my second viewing (Which, I might add, I enjoyed more than the first viewing because I picked up on more things) I noticed something that has been bugging me a little bit. Now this is not a blanket condemnation of the movie or the Star Wars franchise, because I love them all – but I have a question:
Where did all the real men go?
Seriously? Is it part of the “Jedi Code” that when the going gets tough, you run away? Think about it – go all the way back to 1977. Where did we first meet Obi Wan Kenobi?
That’s right. Hiding in the desert.
Next movie: Where did we meet Yoda?
That’s right. Hiding in a swamp.
Fast-forward 40 years, and the tradition continues. Where do we find Luke Skywalker?
That’s right. Hiding on a mountaintop. On an island. In the middle of nowhere.
What’s with the brave Jedi? Sure, they all hit a rough patch and had some failed students, but is that how a real man responds? (I am defining “man” loosely, because I don’t know what Yoda is.)
I was looking around for a cross-stitch hanging on one of their walls that read:
“Use the Force: And if That Doesn’t Work- HIDE!”
And these are the GOOD guys.
The BAD guys are all examples of good guys who were raised right, trained in a better way, and then turned their back on it and became evil. Sure, I will grant you that Darth Vader had a brief flash of goodness when he tossed the Emperor – after destroying entire planets – but these villains – including Ben Solo/Kylo Ren – decided to chase after power and glory, and entertain their base emotions rather than just be good and noble. (It’s like D&C 121 gone horribly wrong in space.)
Which brings us to Han Solo. One of the all-time great characters of cinema. The man every guy wants to be, and the man every woman wants to rehabilitate.
Han! Bubby! Please say it ain’t so. Please tell me that the coolest guy in the galaxy didn’t abandon his wife and his duties and return to a life of crime, just because he had a falling out with his son. Please say it ain’t so!
Did they really have to do that? Princess Leia “manned-up” and took on the duties of General, fighting the good fight. But Han? He went back to smuggling and palling around with his buddy from his single days. C’mon man! Don’t those vows mean anything? It made me sad.
I must admit that Leia didn’t seem to broken up about it – she knew who Han was when she married him. (Note to Women: Don’t go into a marriage expecting to change your spouse.) I imagine Han was hard to live with, and I’m guessing having Chewbacca hanging around would wreak havoc on the furniture and the plumbing. But still.
So, we find ourselves at the end of Episode VII, with all of our original male heroes effectively losing their Man Cards, What are we left with? Captain Morgana hanging tough. An awesome new girl, Rey, who (hopefully) will use the force for something other than finding a good hiding place.
There is hope in the horizon for some men we can count on. Finn might be that guy, even though he spent the first half of the movie trying to run away and hide. Poe, the pilot, seems to be a real man, willing to fight the fight, even if there is a little bit of Maverick in there.
But, overall, “In a galaxy far, far away” we don’t find a lot of honorable men. But perhaps…there is another.
Yes, I am aware that I will get plenty of hate and explanations why I am wrong from Star Wars fanboys. That’s OK. I just remind myself that they are Star Wars fanboys, and that makes me chuckle.