Before I return to serious research and resume my space exploration series, let me indulge in fan girlishness just a little longer. It’s now been a couple of months since the new Star Wars sequel hit the cinemas, and DeviantArt has been going bonkers. Now that the dust is settling a bit, it might be worth having another look.
If we judge a movie character’s popularity by the amount of fan art they generate, Rey wins, hands down. She clearly hit a nerve with the movie going public, and I can totally see why.
I don’t want to go into any brainy analysis here, or add to the noise in the blogosphere that alternately praises her as the ultimate feminist strong woman heroine, or points out all her shortcomings. I think both points of view kind of miss the point.
I loved the movie: I think it got a whole lot of things right that movies of this genre have for a long time been getting horribly wrong, and I think it is a piece of extremely intelligent script writing and casting. But this is by no means only limited to the representation of women. It’s more a case of casting anything BUT the young able-bodied Caucasian male we have come to knee-jerk associate with the “hero”. And it’s casting the one young white male protagonist as the sad puppy anti villain.
But this is a blockbuster movie, not a political statement, and if Hollywood blockbuster movies are now finally catching on to this (Mad Max was another example), it probably just means that they have finally done their marketing research. But what the hey.
One thing I do know, though: if I had been privileged to see this movie as an impressionable teenager, I would have been profoundly in love with Rey. That lightsaber moment! I mean whohoooo! Finally we get to not only have a crush on the guy with the lightsaber, but cosplay the girl with the lightsaber. The repercussions of this for girls’ self images will be felt through future generations. This stuff is just SO DAMN IMPORTANT.
I mean, my space traveling role model at that age was Colonel Wilma Deering from the Buck Rogers series. She kicked some serious butt but she didn’t get to wield a lightsaber. And look what I have become, even so. 😉
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