If You Hate ‘Star Wars,’ You’re a Nazi

I’m not 100% sure, but I think the first time it happened was when the trailer for the 2016 remake of Ghostbusters hit the internet. The trailer looked terrible, the film looked terrible and there was an immediate flood of negative comments and thumbs down reactions to the video on YouTube. It’s what happened next that’s important, though; the backlash to the backlash labeled anyone who didn’t like the movie as a misogynist.

The sentiment didn’t seem to come from the studio, though writer and director Paul Feig was certainly happy to embrace the narrative. It didn’t help the film financially and it still ended up as a box office flop, but it did keep the film relatively free from harsh criticism. For example, the Golden Raspberry Awards passed it over for a Worst Picture nomination despite the fact that it was clearly worse than Batman v Superman. It’s also generally left out of the conversation of truly terrible movies, mainly so they don’t get derailed by accusations of sexism.

The latest film to get dragged down into a discussion about whether or not liking a big-budget Hollywood film is Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Yes, I’m sorry, but if you don’t like this Star Wars movie with a budget of a quarter of a billion dollars made by one of the largest companies in entertainment, you’re a Nazi.

Pretty much the easiest way to tell if a film is going to be the subject of this sort of marketing campaign, and it is a marketing campaign, is that it’s a movie targeted at nerds that was much better received by critics than audiences. It’s generally part of a backlash against nerds now that things that were once considered nerdy, like comic book movies and board games, are mainstream.

Now, we know, because we’ve seen all the Star Wars movies, that there are only three good Star Wars movies, and those are the first three. The Disney Star Wars films being better than the prequels doesn’t make them actually good, and they’re not even better than Revenge of the Sith. But The Last Jedi is probably the worst Star Wars movie other than The Phantom Menace.

Of course, I have found some of the outrage over The Last Jedi as funny as the rest of you. The “We should remake it” guys are extremely sad and the general fetishization of Admiral Ackbar has produced some of the worst ideas about film I’ve ever seen.

This is a recurring one, that Ackbar should have taken over for Leia instead of Holdo. I’ll get to why Holdo is a bad character in a second, but Admiral Ackbar isn’t much better. He has one memorable line that’s basically only memorable because it became a meme 25 years after the fact. He shouldn’t be carrying any emotional weight in any scene.

Admiral Holdo, played by Laura Dern, is one of the most controversial characters in The Last Jedi, and it’s because she’s central to the main problem of the film. The plot of The Last Jedi can be boiled down to “three brash, racially diverse young heroes butt heads with the military brass and embark on a life or death mission to save the Republic, only to fail and learn a valuable lesson about listening to old white ladies.” Admiral Holdo (as well as Leia) is clearly modeled on and meant to validate Hillary Clinton; she spends the entire movie telling Poe why the Republic forces can’t take any risks or enact bold plans for victory, and even though Leia’s leadership has seen the Rebel Alliance go from an army that overthrew the Galactic Empire to twelve people in the back of the Millennium Falcon, we’re supposed to accept that the two old white ladies know best and running away with your tail between your legs is the best way to wage war.

The problem of course is that is terrible storytelling for a tentpole adventure film. Who watched Dirty Harry and took the police chief’s side, hoping Callahan would learn to work inside the system and realize that the Chief of Police was actually right all along? Admiral Holdo is your dick boss who doesn’t know what they’re doing, and no one wants to go to a movie about their boss being right; they want to see Poe, Finn and Rose be big damn heroes.

Look, no one went into a theater playing a Star Wars movie looking for a Neon Genesis Evangelion-esque deconstruction about how Star Wars movies suck, but that’s exactly what The Last Jedi is. Luke Skywalker’s entire story arc is that he watched the prequels and they sucked so bad that he went into seclusion and drinks blue milk from weird alien titties. And just like Neon Genesis Evangelion, The Last Jedi falls apart because it’s busy patting itself on the back for shitting on the source material that it forgets to have a coherent plot.

Now, of course, some of the people who don’t like the Disney Star Wars films are bad people. Kelly Marie Tran left Instagram after being harassed by fans and that’s not cool, but the fact that some of the people who disagree with you are assholes doesn’t give you any sort of moral high ground. You’re just carrying water for a multinational entertainment conglomerate in order to feel superior on Twitter.

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5 years ago

“Luke Skywalker’s entire story arc is that he watched the prequels and they sucked so bad that he went into seclusion and drinks blue milk from weird alien titties.” — May be the best line that has ever been written on this site and I’ve been here for years. Laughed my ass off, well said.

Literature and Film are my Jam
Literature and Film are my Jam
5 years ago

You know, you make more of a fuss about how the prequels suck and how The Last Jedi was bad than about the fact that many Star Wars fans are poisonous. You just said it, Kelly Marie Tran left Instagram because she was being harassed by fans, the same goes for Daisy Ridley, and don’t get me started on Ahmed Best, people’s hatred for the prequels and for Jar Jar Binks had all of the “true” Star Wars fans harassing, insulting, and bullying Best up to the point where he considered suicide. And yet, you only added the harassment towards… Read more »