Not going to waste time pre-apologizing or anything today. I have something on my mind, and I need to type it out, get it out there, and hope everyone understands my sense of frustration. Simple put I’m tired of the agenda driven crap infecting every aspect of my entertainment, especially Star Wars.
What do I mean by that? Exactly what I said: I am tired of every form of entertainment in America seeming to need to push a SJW or Anti-SJW narrative. The culture war clash never stopping, pushed into every form of entertainment from comics (If you’re unfamiliar with the Comicsgate drama just do a search on the topic on YouTube.) to tv (Roseanne anyone?) to movies. The most recent and most virulent example: Solo, A Star Wars Story.
For those who could care less about Star Wars, Solo is generally described as the Star Wars film no one wanted. A pretty apt description since without a young Harrison Ford and Billie Dee Williams one wonders why anyone would want to see the movie at all.
Be that as it may, the film was green lite by Disney LucasFilm, had horrible production issues, fired directors, hired an acting coach for its main actor, and was almost totally reshot (some rumors say up to 80% of the movie) by Ron Howard. And now the trouble plagued movie has turned into yet another casualty of the American Culture Wars as it starts its approach to theaters.
To be fair, the SJW and Anti-SJW clash has been heating up in Star Wars fandom ever since The Last Jedi. That film was the proverbial last straw which seemingly shattered the fans. And while I’m not part of the fandom anymore and haven’t really been since the Prequel days, I can’t avoid the fighting which goes on daily on my favorite social media feeds and YouTube channels.
The latest round of skirmishes have been over comments by screenwriter Jonathan Kasdan (who co-wrote Solo: A Star Wars Story with his father, Lawrence Kasdan). The younger Kasdan revealing his vision that Lando is pansexual. (Pansexual is defined as of, relating to, or characterized by sexual desire or attraction that is not limited to people of a particular gender identity or sexual orientation; also : not solely homosexual or heterosexual.) Why Lando’s sexual preferences mattered in the least for this film I have yet to ascertain.
Needless to say, the Anti-SJWs went damn crazy over what they saw as a retconning of Lando’s character from his famous smooth talking ladies man history. Kathleen Kennedy blamed for what they saw as yet another traditional male role models being destroyed by Disney Star Wars. The argument being that Han, then Luke and now Lando have been systematically kicked off their proverbial pop culture pedestals, reduced to pathetic shadows of their former heroic selves. Disney then attempting to force feed diversity replacements to SW fans.
The response from the SJWs has been equally as vitrolic and hyperbolic. Anyone who isn’t in agreement with the course Disney SW is taking and disagrees with the need for the apparent change in Lando’s sexual orientation is labeled a homophobe and whatever else seems adequately calculated to cast a vile shadow across their character and blot out their criticisms.
Believe me when I say once again I’ve attempted to just avoid all this crap. But I can’t. It is everywhere. Open Facebook, its there. Watch YouTube it is there. Look on Twitter, its EVERYWHERE. There is no escaping the constant back and forth fighting of these polar opposite resist movements. Solo merely the fight of the moment.
And my response to all this is I’M SICK OF IT! Sick of people fighting the battles of their culture war in my entertainment. Especially in Star Wars, a space opera. This has always been a fun film franchise. A space adventure which didn’t bog itself down in current politics. (The Prequels did a little, which was one reason why so many people disliked them.) And personally all I want from future Star Wars movies is a heroic adventure in a GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY FROM AMERICAN DIVERSITY POLITICS!
Oh, no, I said I didn’t want diversity politics in my movies. I must be a bigot, a homophobe, a (insert another contemptible -ism here). No, actually, I’m not, but since I always have to pre-defend myself whenever I criticize forced diversity, I’ll go ahead and do so again: I don’t care if the lead character in a SW film is a man or a woman, a white or a black, a hetero or a homo, a human or an alien, a droid or a fleshie. All I want is a good story with interesting character who I can empathize with and pull for to succeed.
What I am complaining about is what I call forced diversity. You know, where someone believes their story is great just because every box on a diversity checklist is penciled in. Sorry to break it to those people, but it doesn’t mean that. And Solo isn’t going to be a great film just because Lando is pansexual, gender fluid, skoliosexual, or asexual. It doesn’t remove the main problem which this film must overcome: the fact Harrison Ford and Billie Dee Williams are too old to play their famous characters. And Donald Glover having sexual tension with a robot isn’t going to cover up Ford’s absence or the fact he isn’t Billie Dee. Not for me anyway.
I guess all of this shouldn’t be bothering me anymore. It’s the new norm. This non-stop culture war. A struggle which seems to lead to only more fighting and arguing. Star Wars wasn’t going to be the one exception to the new rule, right?
Honestly, I had a bad feeling when George Lucas sold Star Wars to Disney. When the Mouse announced that the Expanded Universe was being jettisoned, the sense of dread grew. Then Lucas had his infamous interview where he compared Disney to “white slavers”, and I sort of knew the jig was up. But it wasn’t until this Solo dust up that I have finally just said enough. I’m tired of the insult spewing by both sides in Star Wars; the constant diversity battles where lines are drawn and sides taken. Hate to say it but Star Wars is a dead brand for me personally. It isn’t fun anymore. Not a joyful escape from depressing reality but a creepy immersion into the depths of it.
Probably no one at Disney really cares what a middle aged, straight, white man thinks though, because I’m the past not the future. (“Let the past die…kill it if you have to”, right Rian Johnson?) What should concern them is the fact my three teenage sons hate Star Wars. So do all their friends. Not one of them planning to go see Solo, because . . . well, it just isn’t cool to like SW anymore. Now that Disney should be worried about.