Social Justice Wars


NOTE: This article was originally published at Right On on December 21, 2015. I’m re-posting it here as the site is now defunct.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens rehashes A New Hope for the lowest common denominator, with a side helping of Leftist propaganda. What is good about it is not original, and what is original is not good.

In his memoirs, Alec Guinness recounts a story in which he gave an autograph to a fan of his who claimed to have seen Star Wars over a hundred times, on the condition that the boy never watch the movie again. He was so shocked that he started crying, with his mother insulting Guinness before huffily ushering her son away. Guinness wrote in response that he hoped “the lad, now in his thirties, is not living in a fantasy world of secondhand, childish banalities.”

I can only assume that poor Sir Alec is spinning in his grave so fast right now that the south of England is quaking like San Francisco in 1906.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens debuted last Friday, summoning legions of unwashed manbabies to the theaters like battered housewives to their abusive husbands. After the six-year limp-out that was the prequels, I’m astounded that anyone could view the prospect of another Star Wars film with anything more than cautious optimism. But apparently, no one will ever go broke underestimating the taste of the average nerd; the theater I went to had a line of dweebs going out the door (in below-freezing Chicago weather).

I went to see The Force Awakens for the explicit purpose of tearing it apart for Right On, but I left the theater less enraged than depressed. J. J. Abrams’ take on Star Wars is a blatant ripoff of the original film, with whole scenes lifted from George Lucas’ movie (such as the trench run on the Death Star). His only contribution to the series is a heaping pile of anti-White agitprop, like a dog turd stapled to a Big Mac.

The sad thing is that Abrams’ cultural Marxism isn’t even egregious enough to hate. The Force Awakens is so formulaic that it almost induces narcolepsy. The film exists for one reason: to swindle more money out of the fanboys. It’ll make a ton of cash for Disney, revive interest in the franchise, and help sell more plastic toys to middle-aged men who never grew up. Everything about the movie feels prefab and insincere, right down to the unnaturally shiny uniforms the stormtroopers wear.

Counter-Currents’ Trevor Lynch already pointed out how The Force Awakens is basically a shinier remake of A New Hope, so I want to concentrate on the actual changes Abrams made to the plot. In particular, his Luke Skywalker stand-in Rey (Daisy Ridley) is quite possibly the most unlikable, unrealistic female lead in a film since Lieutenant Uhura in the Star Trek reboot (itself another Abrams production).

Ridley’s character is you-go-grrl feminism taken to its cartoonish logical conclusion; in fact, the Leftist media is already declaring her a “feminist hero.” Despite being a 14-year old homeless orphan who scavenges junk in the desert to survive, Rey can effortlessly pilot any ship, use the Force to stage a jailbreak, and master lightsaber combat in the span of about a day. In fact, the film’s final scene is a duel between Rey and antagonist Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), which she wins. Keep in mind that it took Luke until the end of Return of the Jedi before he could so much as hold his own in a fight with Darth Vader.

This blatant Mary Sue-ism would be less offensive if Abrams had any clue how to inject human warmth into his characters, but Rey constantly comes off as vindictive and insecure. For example, in one early scene where Rey and Finn (John Boyega, the “Mace Dindu” affirmative action hire) are being carpet-bombed by TIE fighters, Finn grabs her hand only for her to slap him down: “Don’t hold my hand.” If I was in Finn’s place, I would have just let her get napalmed, but what do I know?

Indeed, The Force Awakens rests on a visible undercurrent of anti-White, anti-male hatred. Han Solo is depicted as a terrible father and two-bit con artist who won’t grow up; Harrison Ford plays him like a cranky old whore disgusted at the increasingly degrading tricks she has to turn in order to put food on the table. Luke Skywalker is shown as a reclusive failure who abandoned his friends after his actions plunged the galaxy into chaos. Kylo Ren is a whiny emo played by the guy who portrayed Lena Dunham’s boyfriend in Girls (no, I’m not kidding). Even Mace Dindu isn’t spared, as the only character trait Abrams gives him is cowardice (apparently unaware that depicting Black men as fraidy cats is a racist trope from the bad old days).

These cultural Marxist clichés aren’t wholly Abrams’ fault: Hollywood films have been sliding in this direction for at least the past decade. Every major action film these days is dumbed down for an audience that has the attention span of an aphid. ADHD editing and rapid cuts make it impossible to follow the action; CGI is overused, making everything look glossy and fake; characters are constantly yelling at each other because modern moviegoers are too stupid to appreciate subtlety.

Most importantly, the only way Hollywood can create “strong” female characters is by depicting them as flawless Überfrauen with heavy flow. Gone is the subtlety and complexity of Kira Nerys, Audrey Horne, or even Rachael in Blade Runner. Hell, Princess Leia in the original films fits the bill. Carrie Fisher famously described Leia as a “distressing damsel” as opposed to a damsel in distress, but for all the barbs she traded with Luke and Han, she didn’t have ice water running in her veins.

I was never a big fan of Star Wars—the first film was released more than a decade before I was born—but they’re genuinely good movies, regardless of nerds’ creepy fascination with them. The original trilogy is a fun story with interesting, likable characters set in a compelling world. Even the prequels, as poorly written and unwatchable as they are, featured original ideas. They weren’t executed well at all, but Lucas was at least trying.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens has no ideas. It’s a cynical cash-grab from the first frame to the last, leavened with Leftist mumbo jumbo to further subvert our culture. Were it not for the Star Wars name, it’d be one of those popcorn flicks that people see to pass the time, then forget about as soon as they leave the theater. Even from a hate-watching perspective, Abrams’ baby falls flat.

Skip this one.

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