To celebrate the occasion, here’s some of my favourite ladies from fiction!
Row 1: Amy Pond (Doctor Who), Sephy Hadley (Noughts and Crosses), Gamora (Guardians of the Galaxy/MCU), Rose Tico (Star Wars), Elsa (Frozen/Disney), Melissa Chartres (The Last Man on Earth)
Row 2: Eowyn (The Lord of the Rings/Middle Earth), Quinn Ergon (Final Space), The Thirteenth Doctor (Doctor Who), Princess Bubblegum (Adventure Time), Jane Foster (Thor/MCU), Amy Santiago (Brooklyn 99)
Row 3: Brook Soso (Orange is the New Black), Nebula (Guardians of the Galaxy/MCU), Erica Dundee (The Last Man on Earth), Kitty Winter (Sherlock Holmes), Rose Tyler (Doctor Who), Briony Tallis (Atonement)
Row 4: Meredith Quill (Guardians of the Galaxy/MCU), Missandei (Game of Thrones), Rey (Star Wars), Donna Noble (Doctor Who), Carol Pilbasian (The Last Man on Earth), Esmeralda (The Hunchback of Notre Dame/Disney)
Row 5: Sansa Stark (Game of Thrones), Ash Graven (Final Space), Tiana (The Princess and the Frog/Disney), Sophia Burset (Orange is the New Black), Misty (Pokemon), Clara Oswald (Doctor Who)
Row 6: Bill Potts (Doctor Who), Mary Brown (Paddington), Mako Mori (Pacific Rim), Gwen Stacy (Spider-Man), Jackie Tyler (Doctor Who), Ursula Ditkovich (Spider-Man)
Row 7: Yaz Khan (Doctor Who), Mary Jane Watson (Spider-Man), Marceline (Adventure Time), Michelle (10 Cloverfield Lane,), Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow/MCU), Mantis (Guardians of the Galaxy (MCU)
I had a few problems with The Last Jedi (though no more than most Star Wars movies really) but you know what wasn’t one of them? Rose Tico. I loved Rose. She was 100% utterly totally A Mary Sue. And that was AMAZING.
No, really. I am very very pro-Mary Sues and I think you oughta be too. Rose’s story has been told in a thousand fanfictions, not just for Star Wars but for every fandom. The ordinary, overlooked girl who becomes a heroine, kisses the hero, BITES the bad guy (man I wish that scene wasn’t cut), flies a spaceship, saves her crush. As one of those people who used to write (or at least read) those fanfictions, it felt terribly gratifying to meet Rose.
(When told about men these stories are usually received differently.)
I’ll forever be furious that Rose’s role in The Rise of Skywalker was reduced because of all the assholeish trolling and complaining. What other reason could there have been? There were still plenty of places her story could have gone, even in a movie as overstuffed as Rise was. At the very least the camera should have cut to her during the big Resistance speech about all the people they had lost, because she lost someone too.
Anyway, on the tiniest chance Kelly Marie Tran is reading this, Rose was a wonderful character and I’m so sorry you had to put up with racism and misogyny and body-shaming from “fans.” I hope one day they’ll feel ashamed of themselves.
Once upon a time in 1999, when I was a wee child of elevenish, I went to see The Phantom Menace. You gotta understand, it was a long hot summer, and there was nothing but The Phantom Menace and the marital troubles of my parents. Me and my siblings were shifted around. According to my childhood journal, we spent a lot of time at my grandparents’ house, a three hours drive away from the family home, being distracted by a variety of children’s entertainment. We went to a theme park, went to the beach, went to Warwick Castle with our cousins. At one point, I remember, we were taken to a sort of daycare center run by people who gave no indication that they liked kids or had ever been them. (I saw Jurassic Park, a film primarily about an adult learning to not disparage the interests of children, for the first time at that place.) For a few weeks we went to the home of a childminder who kept an eye on us. And throughout all that I was just clinging to this stupid movie about space samurai and teenage girls with laser guns.
(I promise this does actually have plenty to do with The Rise of Skywalker, okay?)
I remember that us and the childminder and a buncha other kids went to the rec for a picnic. Every damn box of food had a character from Star Wars on it. I loved it. Free toys in the boxes, too! I hoarded them all, even those horrible little Jar Jar tongue things which had no purpose beyond getting immediately sticky and gross and having to be thrown away. Oh and later we even got a friggin’ Naboo Starfighter tent!
Basically what I’m saying is, Star Wars was my childhood. The Star Wars prequels were my childhood. In a strange, far-off, voice-on-the-wind type way. When Attack of the Clones came out, it was the first time I was allowed to go to the cinema with no adult supervision, so that was cool. I was a bit older for Revenge of the Sith. My 2005 ‘review’ of it is somewhere on this blog, brought over from one of the archives, and it’s incredibly cringeworthy because being a teenager is incredibly cringeworthy. Anyway.
Those voices on the wind briefly returned for this movie, when Rey finds herself suddenly the avatar of all the Jedi who came before her. Among the voices she hears are Obi-Wan, Mace, Qui-Gon, Ahsoka (!!!) and Anakin. And here we’re getting into the weird space where Who Actually Owns Characters, Really? but it was nice, you know, to hear the voices that once encouraged me come back to encourage Rey.
I sort of did a laugh-cry in the theatre, which is probably also cringeworthy, sorry.
Maybe Rise of Skywalker actually is Objectively A Terrible Movie, as an awful lot of movies lots of people like seem to quickly become Objectively Terrible Movies, who knows? There was plenty of stuff I didn’t like. Really, I absolutely hate and am infuriated that Rose’s screentime was reduced, because I can guess why they did it. That’s horrible. What happened to this scene?
(Also I know the background same-sex kiss has come in for a reckoning, and I understand the problem with it but I just can’t bring myself to be overly mad in any way, because I feel like, I know there must be a child out there who spots it and feels better without understanding the wider problems of representation, and even if that lasts for so little time…at least it happens)
Anakin’s force ghost makes no appearance beyond the voice, which is very disappointing. And honestly, almost nothing about Palpatine makes sense in this film. But that one cry-laugh-with-joy moment was enough for me, and if it’s not enough for you that is also fine.
I very strongly suspect there will be another Star Wars trilogy somewhere down the line. All the people involved are saying “That’ll never happen!” but it’s Disney and they know where the money is. Also, it’s a story about war and there’s always war, we know that. Always kids fighting around the ruins of the last one. I don’t know if I’ll like any even newer movies, because honestly I’ve never been certain whether or not I like the sequels, they just make me feel stuff.
It’s hard when the voices in your head become the voices in someone else’s. But that’s life, and it’s normal, and I’m glad I was here to see it.
I saw this this morning (after dreaming about it all night, which was weird) but had to work so couldn’t write about it. The perils of being an adult Star Wars fan.
That being said, there’s not that much in this trailer that we didn’t already know. No darkside Rey (I’m still so curious about how that’s going to go down), but we did get some Rose at long last and some omnious lines from various people. This is definitely going to end with Reylo, isn’t it? I don’t know how I feel about that.
C3PO’s “friends” line is said while he has his hand on R2-D2, and that makes me verklempt because this movie is missing Kenny Baker as well as Carrie Fisher. And Peter Mayhew too, sigh. More perils of being an adult Star Wars fan.
I’ll be there. I think it will be more saddening than anything else, for me, but I’ll be there.
It’s Force Friday, a regular event where Disney previews its upcoming Star Wars projects through new merchandise. This year is extra special, as three new major Star Wars projects are on the horizon (which is why this year it’s called “Triple Force Friday“): the video game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, the Disney+ live-action TV…
Like I know, I knoooow, Chewie and the droids aren’t on that t-shirt either. But Rose was so important when she came along a couple years ago, arguably much more important in an overall sense than the legacy characters and various droids. (Sorry guys). She was the first Asian woman to be a Star Wars lead. And now just… sigh. She’s not in the action figure set, not on the shirts, not on the most recent poster. Way to go, Star Wars people! Way to subtly take the side of the people who racially harassed Kelly Marie Tran off social media.
We got a treat on Friday, as Empire Magazine released the covers for their upcoming The Rise of Skywalker issue, and they’re absolutely amazing. The Supreme Leader vs the last Jedi. Empire’s WORLD EXCLUSIVE #StarWars: #TheRiseOfSkywalker issue features Kylo Ren and Rey on two collectible covers. On newsstands Thurs 3 October – READ MORE: https://t.co/LW4UUnGJb6 %5B…%5D
I really, really hope they haven’t taken Rose off the posters (or even minimized her role in the movie, who knows at this point) because of the insane backlash against her. Of all the horrible things Star Wars fandom has done, and my god there are so many, the treatment of Kelly Marie Tran is definitely in the top ten.
Okay, I snapped off a post yesterday about not bashing Rose in the same breath as praising Kelly Marie (Loan) Tran, and so many of the replies were basically saying “why???” in different words. So I’ll try and explain it with a hopefully not too clumsy metaphor:
Let’s say… you go a play with some people you don’t know very well. Maybe you like the play, maybe you don’t. You and your group stick around afterwards to meet and maybe socialise with the actors. Then at one point one of the actresses who was playing one of the heroines comes up to you and says something like,
“Those people from your group started off by saying they hated my character, and then they started saying I was only hired because of political correctness, and then they started throwing racial slurs at me. I’m fed up, and I’m not going to put up with it anymore.”
“That’s awful,” you say. “That behavior is unacceptable. I’m going to tell them to stop.” But then you add, “I mean, I hated your character too, but that was obviously the fault of the directors and writers, not you!”
Ms. Hypothetical Actress would probably feel justified in thinking you were a patronizing twat with an axe to grind, and probably less supportive than you seemed, since you had to add a disclaimer on the end. And if you’re white (I am too) it would decidedly sound like your true meaning was “I care about the racism you faced, I promise, but not quite as much as I care about expressing an irrelevant-to-the-actual-problem opinion which sounds an awful lot like I’m trying to fit in with the people racially harassing you.”
Anyway, imagine that conversation on a MASSIVE scale, and that’s pretty much what happened and is still happening to Kelly Marie Tran. Just… you know, especially if you’re white, your opinion on Rose pretty much has nothing to do with anything regarding Kelly’s harassment. Even if you’re not saying it to her face the whole thing obviously bleeds right back to her, so… yeah.