How The Last Jedi Defies Expectations

How The Last Jedi Defies Expectations

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The, last Jedi, is a movie, that's designed, to, subvert to audience expectations. Nowhere. Is this more evident than, in the way the film handles, it's three male hero's x-wing. Pilot poe dameron, renegade. Stormtrooper. Finn and the, legendary, Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker. Initially. All three, characters seem like they should fit neatly into familiar archetypes, for, men in action-adventure, films. In. Poe, we expect, the hotshot, fighter pilot, who's, celebrated, for blowing up the bad guys. In. Finn we, expect, the noble, defector, who's determined, to take down an unjust, system and, in. Luke we, expect, the wise warrior, who wields, tremendous, power, in the, name of fighting evil. But. In each case the. Last Jedi doesn't, deliver on those expectations, at, least, not immediately, instead. Director. Rian Johnson, throws, fans, a series of curveballs. Over. The course of the first act Finn, reveals his self-centered. And defeatist attitude, Poe, proves, that he's reckless and arrogant, and Luke. Is so consumed, by paralyzing. Guilt that he's renounced, the Jedi and become a hermit. These. Unexpected, character, twists, are part, of the reason why some Star Wars fans left, the theater in a state of shock, which. Rapidly mutated. Into fits of rage on, the Internet. Now. To be clear we're, not talking, about people, who just happen to dislike the, last Jedi, maybe, is after all not a perfect, piece of cinema. No. We're talking about the subset, of mostly, male superfans, who felt, betrayed and. Personally. Disrespected. By this movie, anything. Else, the. Objections, from that particular group are wide ranging, the two were accompanied, by a go but. They often involve an obsessive. Level of scrutiny when it comes to female characters. Girls. On. The, more extreme, end of the spectrum fan, complaints, have a tendency, to devolve. Into wild, conspiracy theories. About. The Disney Corporation pushing. An agenda of, forced, diversity, or feminist. Propaganda. But. There is a common thread running through, much of the backlash, that speaks, to an underlying anxiety, and. Anxiety. Rooted. In deep-seated, insecurities. About masculinity. Let. Me briefly explain what, I mean by that. Leading. Men in action adventure movies are expected. To be decisive. Righteous. Respected. And to, take charge in most situations. Men. Are expected to achieve success. By. Becoming progressively more, and more powerful. As the, story unfolds. This. Expectation, is, part of a long-running, tradition in Hollywood, and, the. Formula is so entrenched, in mass media that, many fans feel aggressively. Entitled, to, seeing that particular, version, of manhood, reproduced. On the big screen but. As, the last Jedi begins, it, quickly becomes, apparent that, this, movie isn't interested, in catering, to a simple, vicarious, power fantasy. All. Three, male heroes are presented, as vulnerable. In, their phal ability. With. Each displaying, their, own set, of rather significant. Character, flaws and inadequacies. Now. Flawed heroes, in and of themselves aren't. All that unusual in, speculative, fiction in, fact, failure. And then learning to overcome that, failure is, just the, standard, recipe for.

Structuring, A basic, character, arc. I'd. Argue the intense, fan, hate surrounding. The last Jedi has a lot more to do with the fact that the male heroes in this movie are directly, challenged. On their failures by. Women. This. Is not something that's supposed to happen, to. Space cowboys, or space, wizards in Hollywood. Blockbusters. Women. Aren't, supposed to interfere with. A man's heroic, journey. So. Let's dig a little deeper, into the unexpected, ways that, men are held accountable for their behavior in, each, of the movies three intersecting, storylines. As. Many. Critics noted when the last Jedi first hit theaters the theme of women, challenging. Male bravado is, most, evident in the character arc of Poe Dameron. Poe. Is a hotshot fighter, pilot, he's impulsive he's. Arrogant. And. He cares more about being, a big damn hero than, he does about effective, strategy, or even, the lives of his compatriots. The. Gung-ho rebel, pilot, is a familiar archetype. In Star Wars media and as, a result we think we know how it's going to play out. Audiences. Expect, the good guys to bring down the enemy death machine in, a giant ball of fire and. We. Expect, to revel in the joyful, spectacle, of impossible. Explosions, in outer space. But, instead of framing, pose daring, raid on the dread-nots as cause. For celebration. The. Movie suddenly, pulls the rug out from under, us. You're. Demoted. There. Are things. Blowing. Something, up. Po. Is rebuked, for his apparent victory and by, extension the audience, is rebuked for enjoying the fireworks. Those. Explosions, that we were taking such pleasure in just moments, ago are abruptly. Reframed. As cause, for self-reflection, and, sadness, and, we. Find ourselves suddenly. Confronted. With, a narrative about consequences. For. Some Star Wars fans it, must have felt as if Princess, Leia had, just reached out of the movie screen and personally. Slapped, them across the face. Now. It's noteworthy that blowing, up the space fascist, death ray isn't, framed, as morally. Wrong. Instead. We're, asked to consider the tactical, and human, cost of that, violence. If. Ever a beloved, leader is incapacitated. We, expect, our brash hero, to, suddenly find themselves in, command, but. That doesn't happen either the chain of command is clear. Should take her place. Vice. Admiral holder. Of. The cruiser ninka vice, admiral hold o is even, less sympathetic, to pose attitude, than. General Leia I've. Dealt with plenty of trigger-happy fly boys like you you're. Impulsive. Dangerous. And. The last thing we need right now, she, harshly, chastises. Poe for his recklessness and rightly. Dismisses, his antics as a, liability, to, their mission and this. Is really what's at the heart of why so many angry fans tend, to hate Vice at will hold those characters, so much. Rich. Poe. Dameron's, story is that, of a cocky headstrong. Never. Tell me the odds style, male hero who. Is repeatedly. Reprimanded. Until, he finally learns, to listen to and trust. Women, in positions of power. As. Episode, 8 begins Finn, is a man obsessed he. Wants nothing more than to find his friend ray and then get as far away from the war as he possibly can. Finn's. Intentions, are selfish, and driven. By a lack of faith. He's. Convinced. That the fight against the first order is a lost cause. Sorry. But. This fleet is doomed it if my friend comes back to it she's doomed to enter. Rose Tycho, a low-ranking. Maintenance, worker who's. A fan of Finn's, exploits, from the force awakens. When. She realizes, he's, not really the committed resistance, hero that, she's heard stories about her.

Disappointment Is palpable. Rose. Takes on the role of Finn's, guide and, mentor. Look. This whole place is beautiful I mean come on. What. You hate it so much. Look. Closer, she's, the one who pulls back the curtain to expose, the oppression, festering. Just below the surface of the galaxy. Who. Do you think these people are. There's. Only one business in the galaxy that'll get you this Ridge. Unlike. Leia and hold Oh Rose, holds, no formal, position of power but. She does speak from a position of moral authority I, wish. I could, put my fist through this whole lousy beautiful, town she, articulates the political, and moral, reasons, why, the resistance, is necessary, and in. Doing so she inspires. Finn, to, finally, identify as a rebel. Rebels. Go and. It's. Her role as moral, compass, to both Finn and to, the audience that's, responsible, for a good portion of the rage directed. At Rose's character, from, the more toxic side of Star Wars fandom. Many. Of these guys can't, help but view a woman who, is serving, as teacher to a male hero as anything. Other than preachy, annoying. Or, emasculating. Academy. The. Fact that Rose also, happens to be played by an actress of color only magnifies. Their anger. The. Other reason for the backlash against, Rose is because. She interrupts, Finn's big heroic, sacrifice. During. The film's final battle, Finn, embarks, on a self-destructive. Charge. His. Heart is finally in the right place but, his judgment is clouded by, his eagerness, to act on his newfound convictions. As. The. Movie makes clear Finn's. Suicide, attack is doomed, to fail, hotels. Him so. Rose. Tells him so. And. We, see Finn's rickety, air speeder falling, apart around him but. Finn is so focused on striking a blow against, the first order that he can't see how ineffective, this, strategy, is. Understanding. That his action amounts to a noble, but senseless. Sacrifice, Rose, steps, in to save Finn from himself. The. Heroic sacrifice, is part of a long tradition in media wherein, death is framed as a way for men to prove, their bravery their. Convictions. Their, love and even. Their manhood. And. Movies. Tend to romanticize images. Of men going, out in a blaze of glory. Even. When their sacrifice, is senseless. Ineffective. Or, unnecessary. This. Notion that death and violent. Death in particular is. Redemptive, or restorative. For men is, so deeply, ingrained in media that many angry fans are adamant, that Finn's misguided, kamikaze. Attack would have succeeded despite, the film explicitly. Telling us otherwise. These. Fans are incensed, that a woman, got, the big damn hero moment, and, she, got it in their view by, robbing. A male hero of his, chance, at martyrdom. When, Ray finally, meets her hero the, legendary, Jedi Knight isn't at all what she expected. Luke. Skywalker, has, become, a cynical, old hermit, a. Man. So consumed, by fear and guilt, that he's turned his back on the resistance and closed, himself off to the force. Needless. To say this, comes as a tremendous, shock both. To Rey and to the audience. Like. Rey many, Star Wars fans were expecting, Luke to appear as a triumphant, badass the. One they remember, or rather, miss, remember, from the original trilogy. The. Thing is Luke was never really depicted, as a great, Jedi warrior. When. Luke says this think, what I'm, gonna walk out with a laser sword, and face down on the whole first order, his, words are a reaction, to Ray's assumptions, but, those lines can also be read as a response, to fan expectations.

As. I mentioned earlier it's, assumed that Hollywood, heroes especially, men will, grow exponentially, more, powerful over time. The. Expectation. Is that once, a man has conquered, his demons, those. Demons, will stay conquered, forever. But. Even though Luke rejected, the dark side back in Return of the Jedi. His. Struggle, to resist, the temptation, of absolute, power isn't. Over and for the briefest moment of pure instinct, I could, stop it and he's. Still scared of the darkness, hiding, inside himself. Just. As he was as a young man back on Dagobah. Although. This older version of Luke Skywalker, is consistent. With his characterization from, the original trilogy, angry. Fans still believe that the last Jedi represents. A downgrading. Of his power and his, status. The. Fan Fury is exacerbated. By the fact that it's a young untrained. Female, Jedi. Who. Challenges, this mythic hero on his failures. Not. Only does this young woman reprimand, the great Luke Skywalker. With. Hope, if. She was wrong she deserves, to know why. She, directly confronts, him and inspires. Him, to reconnect, with the force. Later. On Yoda, offers, guidance to but. It's Array who, opens the door for Luke to overcome, his paralyzing. Self-doubt. So. Instead of seeing the old Jedi, Master, teaching. Rey how to wield the awesome, power of the force. Audiences. Are treated to scenes in which rey reminds. Luke what it means to be a Jedi. Galaxy. May need a legend, of. Course Rey isn't a more powerful Jedi, than Luke and she, ends up being wrong about her ability, to fix kylo, Ren but. She does possess something that he's lost. Rey. Still has hope she, still has conviction. And she, still has clarity, of purpose. The. Idea that a young woman like ray would, have something important. To teach an older mythic. Male hero like Luke Skywalker, he's erroneously, viewed by some male fans as, emasculating. It's. Worth pointing out that angry, fan defensiveness, isn't. Necessarily, just, a reaction to women existing. In popular, science fiction, stories if. Women are included alongside. Male, heroes, in a way that doesn't overshadow, upstage. Or interfere. With traditional, expressions, of masculinity, let's, do one thing straight I'm in charge out here you do everything I say exactly as I say yes just relax, then. We don't see these same kind of extended, temper tantrums from male fans. Especially. If the female characters, in question are, cast as young white. And conventionally. Attractive. The. Last Jedi isn't. Satisfied, with simply including. Women it. Goes much further and puts. Female characters, in positions. Of institutional. Power or, moral, authority, over. Male heroes. The. Movie then has those women leverage. That power to. Challenge and ultimately. Force change, in men's, behavior. And. That. Is almost, unheard of in a major blockbuster film. In. The end our three, male heroes face, up to their mistakes and overcome. Their failures. Poll. Earns from Leia and hold o to put aside his desire for heroic, short-term, gains go, away and. Instead consider the bigger picture. It's. Only through roses moral insights, that, Finn comes to believe in something bigger than himself, and, Rey. Succeeds, in inspiring, Luke to be the best version, of him self again and, ultimately.

To Do the exact thing he, mocked her for earlier in the film, Luke. Does indeed end up walking out with a laser sword and facing. Down the whole first order. Despite. What the reactionary, conspiracy. Theorists, claim this. Is not an agenda of masculine. Inferiority. Women. In the last Jedi hold. Their male counterparts. Accountable. Not. Out of animosity, but. Because they genuinely care about them. Male. Heroes are not being diminished or erased in this movie in fact. A lot of time and effort is devoted, to giving men transformative. Arcs. The. Last Jedi is a story, about men, learning. To trust women's ideas, and decisions and then, becoming better people and better heroes. Because. Of it and, while. That might be an unexpected message. For a Star Wars story, it's. A vital lesson that men need to learn if we are to achieve gender, equality. Thanks. For watching these. Video essay is take a ridiculous, amount of time to write edit and produce so. If you'd like to see more of them please, consider going over to patreon and helping, to fund my project, there there's, also a link to Pay Pal in the description below in the. Coming months I'll be working on a few new video essays one. Of them on gun, culture media, and masculinity, and another. One on the way is that sexual assault against, men is often, played for comedy, in Hollywood, so. Until then thank, you all so much for your continued support.

2018-09-05 00:48

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But, when you think about it, the Last Jedi is a movie where hundreds of people died because of a parking violation...

Your analysis is right on. This is one of the most in-depth movie commentaries I've seen lately.

Tbh I really dislike that it’s the women’s job to make men better people- that happens a lot in media (and real life, such as being forced into the role of a man’s therapist, notably in relationships). It’s annoying how men get to grow and have arcs but women often either stay the same, are sidelined, or are killed for the sake of developing the man’s character.

This video is wonderful, and you're wonderful for having made it

sips tea.

Hey if you're going to do a vid on sexual assault on men for comedy I have an example, in My Super Ex Girlfriend Luke Wilson gets straight up raped and it's never addressed throughout the film!

Thanks. I added it to the list I'm making:

I swear these are the best essays on YouTube. Thanks.

Your interpretation of the female and male relationship dynamics of the movie is so compelling that it does away a lot to alleviate the issues I thought I had with the film. Fucking bravo, holy shit.

I am so glad I put the time to watch this. It's so nice.

This was a fantastic video essay. After having watched this video, I feel like I'm seeing the movie with a new set of eyes. I'm still '50/50' when it comes to TLJ, but I appreciate it a whole lot more now

I love this, thank you. Not only for the new PCD video, which is welcome as always, but for doing TLJ! I love this movie, not many movies get better and more layered on every viewing. As a big SW fan, since I was 13, I was disappointed with TFA. I have since reviewed my opinion of Force Awakens in view of TLJ and it is much the better for it. Rian Johnson has made a wonderful movie that I think will stand the test of time and show a pivotal moment for the future of SW and cinema a large. We must remember that audience and critical opinion of Empire at time of release (and for years after) was also negative

Thank you for this. For every person who came out feeling emasculated there’s one of me who has been waiting their whole life to see some women kick ass and be the main Jedi in a Star Wars film. I think it’s kind of a shame that it was all in one movie because that did alienate so many people. In the OT people were always commenting on how ‘in control’ and ‘heroic’ Leia was but her character was constantly defined by the male leads and Han in particular was undermining her authority at every turn. Padme ended up in almost the exact same situation. ‘She got to fire a gun’ is no replacement for treating women in authority with as much respect as men.

Once again, amazingly thought out and discussed. Your insight on Luke's character depiction in the film is something that I have been arguing since the film was released. Continue the amazing work. I think you provide insight that is just so greatly needed.

Bravo. I am closer to feeling I can accept TLJ into my love of the STAR WARS SAGA.

excelent as always! thanks for these videos, man. ♥

Still not a good movie in my opinion, and I could point out so many flaws. But this was (as always) an insightful and intelligent analysis. Great video.

I, being a girl who has watched the least amount of action movies possible, would like to counter that perhaps the hatred towards these plot points aren't entirely based upon the hurt egos of men or the feelings that the power dynamics are reversed, since I found Rose and Holdo both slightly frustrating in my first viewing. There was definitely room to expand on them, and the plots given to them weren't entirely helpful (the casino bit was somewhat out of place in my opinion). But I did appreciate the Luke and Rey aspect. Both characters were very interesting in all the scenes they were shown in, and their story specifically had me interested down to the very end.

Better than plinket

I see this film in new light, thank you.

I'm sorry, but I can't say I agree with quite a few of your points. Little dissapointed, but ah well.

I just don't like the story of this new trilogy. So many wasted chances.

Thank you for this fantastic essay!

That's why TLJ is and will be considered one day a masterpiece

Another wonderful video!! I have one point of clarification to make in regards to 19:49. My perception is that the Gamergaters bewailing this movie don't *want* gender equality to happen. They quite like having male privilege, and consider to prospect of losing it to be "persecution".

THANK. YOU. I have been waiting for a video like this. I am tired of seeing negativity about this film everywhere I look. I enjoyed this movie a lot, and it is so nice to see videos like this.

Why am I just now learning about this channel? Subscribed!

Hi there. I really like your videos.

Not only the best episode of the franchise, but certainly one of the finest motion pictures ever made.

Could have also made the point of comparing the male heroic sacrifice to Holdo's sacrifice

You did a great job of staying away from cliche Instead opted for a logical well-paced argument with supporting evidence. I generally stay away from videos about the Last Jedi because of all the whining. The bias you speak about and the anger that some men have is probably subconscious they don't know where it's coming from.

I've always been indifferent to Star Wars, but The Last Jedi made me a fan. This video helps explain why. One question: in a world where Episodes I - III exist, how could anyone possibly feel betrayed by TLJ? That prequel trilogy is one long betrayal of what SW is about, and an insult to viewers' intelligence.

You know you have an excellent video when the comments section (to a TLJ review) is intelligent and constructive.

Also because of lots of sadly necessary comment moderation and many blocked keywords ;)

Funny... I just thought it was too long, and I didn't want to see Luke die. I don't hate it, but i haven't watched it again since the one time in theaters.

It gets better on repeat viewings. And don't worry Luke isn't gone, he'll be back and "even more powerful than you can possible imagine."

Thank you for this!

"...wild conspiracy theories about the Disney corp pushing an agenda of forced diversity or feminist propaganda." - The Force Is Female - Let's be more reasonable and change "wild conspiracy theories" into "legitimate concerns", shall we?

Thanks for the correction.

You're just proving my point, dude. Those "The Force is Female" shirts are from a Nike marketing campaign to get women to buy more "Air Force One" shoes. It's not from Disney and it's not about Star Wars. But even if it were a Star Wars thing, that still wouldn't be evidence of a big scary "feminist conspiracy." The heroic leading Jedi in the new trilogy is a woman for the first time in a Star Wars blockbuster series (which is a huge deal) and Disney wants to market products to female fans. But since those shirts have nothing to do with Star Wars it's a moot point.

This one made me cry lots. I only wish the people who really needed to sit down and absorb this stuff ever actually would.

Wow, this was by far one of, if not the, BEST analysis I have seen of the Last Jedi. Makes me love the movie even more.

Dude your editing on this was absolutely top notch. I love everything you do in general, but the editing here was incredible. Great job.

This movie critiques everything MRA's complain about regarding the dictates of masculinity, yet they still hate the movie because women are talking 9_9 Just proof its not about men's rights, its about the fact that these men just want to maintain male supremacy, nothing more. This is not a "rights" movement. It's a privilege movement.

RedLetterMedia Plinkett's review of TLJ was as snarky and provided a few chuckles as usual, but fell flat compared to this review. You missed a beat though, not that it's important. The part where you were talking about male martyrdom. Not only was the male denied his martyrdom in TLJ, that role was given to a female with Vice Admiral Holdo's suicide run. That moment was a particular splinter in my uncle's side when we left the theater, it really pissed him off in a way he couldn't articulate. It really stuck in his craw lol. So my Uncle completely missed out on the emotional high point of the movie, which is unfortunate because instead of being a high point it was the low point for him, not only is his fantasy of male martyrdom going unfulfilled there is some icky girl getting cooties all over his science fiction. As Dr Smith would say "Oh the pain". Let me tell you that WAS the emotional high point of the film really. At first I thought she was going to simply use the Raddus to block the line of fire so the transports can escape and probably be destroyed by taking massive fire. But then I thought she was going to go in guns blazing. I only realized she was going to light speed at the last second. And let me tell you, the film makers did that perfectly. I literally inhaled and held my breath from the moment I realized what she was doing until the sound came back. And I was like "Holy shit!" out loud. Because this changes everything. Off topic: Years ago some friends and I would discuss real physics as related to Star Wars, Star Trek, Babylon 5 etc. One of my biggest pet peeves was the idea of the "planet killers" being these mega ships. When all you really needed was to be able to accelerate big chunks of matter near light speed, never mind beyond light speed. So in Star Wars for example they have automated ships. Well, all you really need is a chunk of rock with a propulsion unit on it and a droid brain smart enough to navigate it. Point that at anything and it would take out any ship in the Star Wars universe without much trouble. An asteroid with sufficient speed becomes a megaton sized weapon when pointed into a gravity well like a planet, capable of taking out a city, continent, entire planet. There is no need for massive weapons like giant planet sized lasers. In fact, even giant lasers can still only travel at light speed. An asteroid with a FTL drive would be better. But I digress.

One of your best. You are the ONLY person who has adequately explained the Finn-Rose subplot that seemed so tacked on in initial viewing... But now it's clear it means something in connection with everything else in the film's themes.

thank you. watching this video was like rewatching everything i liked about the movie. i actually do like movies with classic stereotypes. but what i like even more is: something new. and that was "last jedi". that movie had me engaged from start to finish. it is, however, a tough act to follow.

Thank you so much! And the last sentence is so important. Men need to learn that what women say is valuable. Far too often they don't listen or don't listen enough. They brush away a lot of things they don't like. #metoo was a great example of that and also the case of Louis CK. Many men online say "What's the problem?" and they don't care about the answers they get. It makes me tired!

This made me cry in a good way ❤


see, but that feels like it borders on the manic pixie dream girl trope. but for the most part, i agree that you nailed it!

Manic Pixie Dream girls don't hold men accountable for their flaws and failures, their girlish whimsy just inspires men to take life less seriously.

Well done, well articulated.

It gives me chills that people were rooting for a suicide bombing and frustrated when it was averted and the pilot was saved. It's so cool that the writer chose to pull that idea apart, because it's hella weird how excited about that trope supposedly civilized people are. If anything it's a reaffirmation of the value of male life, we aren't just bombs to be lobbed at the enemy.



Because he doesn't *earn* her trust. This is a very important point in the movie. Poe is known for ignoring orders, disrespecting leadership and getting people killed. He's a liability because his reaction is unpredictable and he could fly off the handle and ruin the plan or stage a mutiny. Remember that Poe always wants to fight, never retreat. "You start a fight you follow it through" etc. It's made pretty clear that he's not down with retreat no matter the odds. This is connected to a larger social issue, men tend to believe that they are entitled to know everything even when they haven't earned the right to be trusted with sensitive information.

"It's a vital lesson men have to learn if we are to acheive gender equality." I hear that and cheer. Toxic "fans" hear that and *cue Kylo freaking out clips*


I absolutely love how you make me consider and see these movies/stories in new ways. This is the 2nd time you've made me reconsider my relationship to a movie I didn't care for that much and shown me reasons to love it (at least ideologically, if not through my own enjoyment of it). Thank you :)

I'd been around the tumblr circles when the movie came out, and I think a lot of backlash from that side of the fandom came from fan _misinterpretation,_ which happens quite a bit. Fans are left alone with characters, especially during hiatus, and as they create content and talk among themselves, they cultivate their own interpretations of how these characters are "supposed" to be or act. These fan characterizations become so widespread and so accepted, that when a new movie/season/book/etc is released, they are outraged and betrayed, because the canon material doesn't match up with the fan interpretation they'd created. And it can be difficult to pull back the layers to see what canon originally said vs what everyone kind of made up. With Finn, fans interpreted him as this sweet, soft, sensitive guy who's selfless and innocent and kind of an uwu traumatized baby. Even fans who didn't go extreme with this kind of characterization still felt its effects to some degree, so when Finn is shown to be selfish and self-centered, fans felt betrayed because they had put so much time, energy, dedication, and care into cultivating a personality _for_ Finn. Same thing with Poe, we didn't see much of him in the first movie, and didn't know much about his personality, so fans made up a personality, and they made up a dynamic between him and other characters, so when canon doesn't deliver on it, fans feel betrayed, despite the fact that canon never promised them anything along those lines.

That was so well written! I always get excited when I see one of your videos. Amazing job as always!

A very nice analysis. It made me appreciate the movie more :D And since I was one of the people who ended up heartily disliking the Last Jedi, I really hope it was not for those points^^

This is one of the best video essays I've ever seen. You have my donation and my trust. Please keep doing what you're doing. Male Star Wars fans, watch and take notes.

Not personal attacks here, but I didn’t like the movie and I disagree with all of your opinions, but I’ll defend your right to express them.

Thank you so much for all your awesome videos ! And with this video the film makes so much more sense now, I have to watch it again.

Thank you so much for this. Looking at the comment section it looks like you’ve forced some people to reevaluate their critiques of the movie, and that is huge.

It’s not a perfect movie by any stretch of the imagination and it’s far too long but this video I think really nails why the backlash was so violent. Still love this movie, still love this Channel.

I bet you get so much hate from triggered men because of these. LOL

I understand why your videos get such a backlash! It’s because you’re right, and you’re saying things that they don’t want to hear.

I love your videos and I very much agree with this one.. so I've hesitated in asking this: why are women the Moral Compass ? it seems to me like a recurring trope(?) in duos of rascal-quick-to-act male protagonist and wise-female sidekick (Ben10 comes to mind) It can be a tad tiring... Or I may just have to watch the movie again, idk..

Fecking hell this is a brilliant.

While I agree with alot of your findings, I do wish to add that the expectations about Luke Skywalker are born out of hate of Disney "destroying " the EU

brilliant analysis. well done!

This movie made Kylo Ren probably the most interesting complex villain in Star Wars history

This video needs more views. It has changed my perspective on The Last Jedi.

So I take it you liked this movie a LOT more than The Force Awakens?

Yeah. I’m not a fan of J.J. Abrams. His movies are all surface level glitz and nostalgia, very little emotional depth.

In EP9 box office numbers, you will see how the fans defy LucasFilm exceptations. EP9: Revenge of the Fans! (Solo was the teaser trailer.)

LOL. You just keep telling yourself that. Regardless of its quality, episode 9 will make boatloads of money just like 7 and 8.

There were things I didn't like about TLJ, but this analysis highlights exactly what is crucial for us to understand. Growing more powerful is not the only path for men. Growing is also about being able to change. Growing is also being hopeful even when facing the Dark Side.


Interesting read into the backlash about the movie and I think a pretty spot-on description of the three male leads' flaws. It dovetails nicely into what I'd read previously, that the movie is about failure and how people, er, fail to deal with it. I'm surprised about the number of people I've talked to who treat The Last Jedi like it needs to stand alone, rather than as the second act of a three part story. Bad things happen to the heroes in a 3 part story, we haven't seen part 3 yet. Unless detrimental changes are made in the face of this crazy backlash, I think a lot of people are going to change their minds about The Last Jedi once the story finally comes to a conclusion and they can look at the trilogy as a whole.

Good stuff. Still havn't seen it, but now I kind of want to.

Perfect. Absolutely perfect. Thank you SO much for this, finally someone who freakin' understands this movie! I walked out of the cinema ecstatic after this movie, and I was quite taken aback by how toxically the community responded to it. I think you either get this movie or you don't.

You may need to go into the witness protection program after this one bro. You can't expose people like this. That's dangerous

The use of the Kylo rage scene was genius tbh. Great timing. "WHAT GIRL?!"

get ready, whiny star wars fans who's ruining star wars incoming for liking TLJ

As someone who has not seen any of the Star Wars movies before The Force Awakens, I very much enjoyed The Last Jedi. The only expectation I had, which was not fulfilled and where I was slightly upset about, is that Rey's parents are apparently nobodies. I mean, I get it. It fits with the theme but it was still disappointing. As a girl, I hadn't even noticed that any of these leading women could be perceived as... threating, really. Masculinity so fragile. It's sad.

Thank you so much for another amazing video essay. You are making a difference for many people, and for me

I think the subversion of masculinity in TLJ is what I liked so much about the movie, yet my dad and brother (who are both military men who love the hypermasculine image) hated the movie. The fact that the leading men were treated as far more flawed and their arcs did not fit the conventional mold was so interesting. Like it's important to show that things don't always work out for the hotshot cowboy and that sometimes when the great warrior gets old it turns out he makes major mistakes and can't come to terms with the shame. And I'm glad that I'm not the only one who saw that Rey, Rose, Holdo, and Leia as not demeaning Luke, Finn, and Poe, but rather holding them accountable and wanting to see them at their best.

The movie is just pathetically written, sorry but that is all. No character development, pointless sub plots and worst of all... no jedi vs sith :o

Love your channel so much! I wonder if you’ve ever seen The 100, a series that also has women as a moral and/or institutional authority.

Great message and video as always. Objective and insightful. Could you talk about how playboys and womanisers in media can teach the wrong message to some boys on how to treat the women their attracted to. You touched on it in the adorkable misogyny video. The womanisers manipulate women, sleep with them and then treat them like shit and we're supposed to laugh, applaud the asshole and laugh at the girl for being stupid and a slut. (Barney comes to mind) when all the girl wanted was some sexual pleasure and to be treated decently.

OH, wonderful video! This channel is a bastion of quality and meaningful insight into media!

❤️TLJ. 99% of the time I can't find someone criticizing this movie without getting into politics and then they say sex doesn't matter to them. well if it doesn't matter then why you complaining about it

Still not my favorite movie ever (oh god, the pacing), but this definitely makes it a whole lot more interesting to me. I appreciate having it seen through the lens of trope subversion.

why are people disliking this ? this video never states this is an objective reality. what? you're gonna throw a fit because you don't agree with others opinions?

This is a great video and proves how many layers The Last Jedi really has. I feel like people will be talking about this entry in the series for much longer and in greater detail than any other Episode or most other films for that matter. For me personally though, I acknowledge and respect the subtext of masculine tropes being subverted, and think a lot of the themes it tackles are really interesting. It doesn't really change the fact that I like the film less and less the more I think about it. I think it would make very good fan-fiction, but as an entry in one of the biggest franchises in cinema, I think it took far too many risks and pulled too few of them off. You can wrap it all up very nicely like you did in this video and say "this is a film about men learning to accept women as leaders" which sounds great and is arguably true, but it's also a film about 100 other things that it didn't stick the landing on, and plenty of YouTubers and journalists have focused on those other things in their own videos and articles. I don't think it's a terrible film, and I really do admire it for the risks it took, but for me the negatives outweigh the positives for me to really enjoy it as a piece of entertainment and instead have to just respect it as the strange anomaly of a cultural artefact that it is.

The more I read and watch objective criticism of The Last Jedi, the more I realize that the "problems" with the movie aren't nearly as big as some make it out to be. I've come to realize that a lot of people struggled to let go of their own perspective and had a hard time trying to look at the movie through the eyes of others, and I feel like that's a commodity that is lacking from a lot of commentators on YouTube in particular. I think this video in particular expertly examined the nuances The Last Jedi had in it's narrative, a lot of which are easily missed.


I was expecting you would also talk about how Rey and Kylo's relationship defied expectations. The woman doesn't end up curing the violent man by "loving him in just the right way" as you put it in the Abduction Romance video. Rey was pretty much representative of the audience who were used to that trope and expected the bad guy to be saved by finding love, then being shocked when it doesn't work.

That’s a whole other long video. One I might make after episode 9 comes out.

Have you seen the t-shirt "The Force Is Female?"

This did not feel like 20 minutes

I love this so much. TLJ is my fav SW movie. Also Rose is my fav character

This video makes a really good point! As a female fan, however, I was thoroughly disappointed and frustrated by TLJ, specifically because of Rey and Kylo's relationship. In TFA, he KILLED her only father figure (Han Solo) *right in front of her* and THEN tried to kill her, why would she try to "redeem" him? Did Rian Johnson rip that arc from a Reylo fanfic?

I was ready to slip into Full Internet Argument mode, but the video doesn’t argue that The Last Jedi is actually "good", it’s more about why specifically its content pisses off nerd boys so much, and I appreciated that. The Kylo editing in the beginning is great, too.

This film basically confronts some dudes with the notion, if not realization that yes, maybe their mother WAS right to send them to their room as a kid, that she does know better, not unlike Poe's two space moms. And there is nothing they hate having to hear more than that.

Better than Plinkett's lazy review.

I have the same feeling and sentiment after I saw the movie. This underlying feeling that the women had been doing dirty.

I want to cry and thank you. I loved this film. Genuinely. I loved Rose. I loved her convictions, motivations, and frustrations. But soon all around me were those who only spoke negatively. “I hate her character!” “ her character was a waste!” I sat there surprised and confused. Over time the negativity became so strong it overwhelmed me. I asked people. “Why?” The answer always saddened me and confused me. But I now have a explanation. Why so many people disliked her. Thank you.

Nitpick: You forgot to mention that the "Heroic Self-Sacrifice Blaze of Glory" DOES happen in this movie, and done by a woman. Not Rose, but Holdo.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. This is beautiful. I do want to add something about Luke's characterization. I was shocked that people were so upset with his characterization, in particular, as we were specifically told in the TFA that he had abandoned the galaxy and cut himself off from Leia in the force, as she stated she couldn't find him. CLEARLY he wasn't in a good mental state, and I'm still confused what people would have preferred to see on screen that didn't contradict the previous film. ANYWAY, thank you again for this. Next time I see an Internet Argument (TM) about the "poor male characters" in TLJ, i'll be sure to link this video.

This was pretty good. I'm both pleasantly surprised and upraised by this whole explaination.

Love what you are doing here.

oh my god, this is perfection. like there are issues with the movie itself such as the forced humour, the casino arc being way too long and *that* beyond awkward kiss, but it's nice to see a video analyse not just the movie itself, but how our preconceptions about gender roles has invoked a lot of backlash, which if you do a quick look, consists of mainly young white males on youtube and reddit. not that other analysis aren't worth watching, but it's just fantastic that somehow has finally addressed the elephant in the room. Cause there are so many reviews out there that go over flaws in narrative cohesion, directing flaws, yada yada, but their 'holistic' analysis fails to mention anything about the strong presence of women in this film and how the male arc is atypical. While it would be wonderful if more men were willing to listen and understand women's view of the film, I'm happy that you're creating this content so that some them will actually listen and learn something.

Please do a video on Batman v Superman UE. An underrated masterpiece, caught up by fandom and critic ignorance to the symbolic story of redemption

Don’t have any plans for that specific movie, though I don’t think you’d like what I have to say about Batman v Superman.

mmm this is some nice hot tea..

i wish these videos had a heart button

Beautifully writ and edited. I think the film got a backlash it did not deserve, and I couldn't have put it better into words than you did.

"Women in The Last Jedi hold their male counterparts accountable, not out of animosity, but because they genuinely care about them" FRIGGIN THANK YOU!!! BEST LINE IN THIS WHOLE VIDEO! TRUE FEMINISM IS NOT ABOUT ANIMOSITY, IT IS ABOUT STUDYING AND TEACHING THE DANGERS OF TOXIC MASCULINITY IN THIS PATRIARCHY.

This was the best SJW star wars video yet. You TOTALLY don't get the mythos of star wars, but your ability to articulate sjw nonsense is second to none! I felt like I was back in college listening to a women's studies lecture. Brava on a great piece of YouTube videoing.

I kept nodding along through the whole video. I had not thought of viewing or analyzing the film from this perspective, and this just makes so much sense. It was a big reminder that yeah, there are so few movies, I think especially "big" movies like this, that show women in--perhaps to put it simply--teaching positions that want to help and guide the men in the story to become a better version of themselves for everyones benefit really. Great video.

Thanks for making these!

This is a really smart video. So many points I know are true but have never analyzed or articulated.

Wow, I liked TLJ, but now, I Love this movie.

Thanks for your video, a lot and for your perspective of women challenging men so they both can be better. I loved Rose. She had the best line of the movie. I was not even upset about Luke because he made his comeback not simply as a master Jesi but a master of the Force. I think that if there were more scenes showing Rey’d conviction while she trained under Luke, it would have driven the point home more.

ahasdkldjfdsgljd this is my favorite one yet

I previously had no desire to watch The Last Jedi, but this video makes me more interested in watching it.

This is fantastic, thank you so much! You might be the first person / project I support on Patreon - this work is vital to myself and the culture at large.

really love this take, and your whole channel in general. overall i loved the character arcs in this last movie, especially luke's. i just want to add that while these arcs are amazing and very well done, they end up reading as a significant shift in characterization from the first movie. i don't really blame rian johnson for this, necessarily - i think it's obvious that jj abrams belongs to a similar crowd as the one you discussed and was clearly invested in recreating star wars as more or less a reboot of the original, rather than a continuation. but there is something significant to be said about the way it reads as different, particularly to fans of color. for example, in the first movie poe is undoubtedly positioned as the ace fighter pilot that you talked about. and for many fans of color, it was cathartic to see a latino man take on a role typically inhabited by white men as a reflection of their power in the real world. i know people felt similarly about independence day, which you featured in the video as well. finn is given a pivotal role, almost acting as the luke skywalker of the new series in areas. furthermore, the plot point of the first order literally owning him, his body, his labor, and his loyalty is extremely relevant in a time where the civil rights movement is reemerging. fans of color rejoiced in seeing a narrative where a black man reclaims his freedom and his personhood. but then, at the very beginning of the last jedi, their characters suddenly become flawed in ways that they clearly weren't in the previous film. poe's daring attitude is now more accurately described as recklessness, and finn seems to have completely forgotten what he learned in the last movie. poe is then reprimanded numerous times by white women, who are positioned not only as institutional authorities but also as moral authorities. where poe's courage is praised in the previous movie as a commitment to righteousness, in this one it is framed as egotistical bravado. changing poe's character in this way gives justification to the scolding he receives, a dynamic that mirrors real life issues between white women and men of color but that is now narratively framed as right for white women to do. many fans of color were understandably upset by this. again, i don't blame rian johnson necessarily, although to some extent this could have been handled a bit more delicately. it's clear to me that if he were allowed to direct the first installment that these flaws would have been evident from the beginning. and finn. i personally love rose tico very very much, as an asian american woman, it was breathtaking to see a woman like me on the big screen, in a star wars movie, no less. however, again, the issue that many fans of color have arises with characterization. finn's complete reversion to his previous arc is strange, and the casino plotline (weird in and of itself) adds insult to injury by having a black man who has literally been enslaved by the first order not be able to recognize slavery. it comes across as patronizing to many fans of color to have a nonblack person explain slavery to a black person, and it very much reflects a real phenomenon that black people face. not only is slavery rewritten institutionally, but interpersonally black people have to deal with the myriad ways that society still expects and demands labor from them, only to then turn around to a community of nonblack people of color who should be supporting them and hear that this struggle is not valid, and that them dealing with these issues is in itself divisive. in this again i have to say that the issue could have been handled more delicately. maybe instead of rose pointing out the underlying slavery to a dazzled finn, finn could have seen it from the beginning and been adamant to flee a situation that clearly brought back bad memories. rose convincing him to stay and help her still puts her in a pivotal spot in helping finn overcome his selfishness while also not ignoring finn's own backstory. whew, that's a lot of text. tl;dr, i really agree with this video and its deconstruction of the anger of the white male fanbase, but i feel it important to point out that a significant amount of backlash was also seen from fans of color, and that that criticism is key to understanding the controversy that this movie still holds in the star wars community.

10 out of frakking 10 for assesment of both the movie and the fans that constantly attack it for being beyond anything and everything they expected. Star wars movies were supposed to deliver surprise and revelations you dont see coming but far too many fans simply wanted it to be basic and predictable to suit their easy viewing nature. I doubt half these fans would have liked The Empire Strikes Back if they were around in1980 and had to wait 3 years for it plus another 3 years for Return of the Jedi. Empire did the same thing in throwing curve balls but no where near as many or as bold as The Last Jedi. Best Star Wars saga film since 1980 and this is the best video assesment of the movie on YouTube by a mile!

Great video, but it made me think: it seems the main role of the women in this movie was the advancement of the men's character arcs. It seems you can't win. Or at least, you can't have a movie that does everything.

I agree with you!!! Please make a video on how the romance between Rey and Kylo also defied expectations. I dont think Ive ever seen a blockbuster(Except Pacific Rim) subvert so many romance tropes!!!

Thank you for articulating what I loved about the Last Jedi. It was so refreshing to see heroes who were actually dynamic characters that grew over the course of the story. And such a rarity to see a film depicting women inspiring men to be better--men who end up acquiring character and virtue (not just flashy superpowers), and being so much more awesome at the end of the film than where at the beginning.

I loved the way you perfectly explained the three character arcs, this video definately changed my perspective on the movie and appreciate parts of its writing, but I still think this was a terrible piece of garbage. The formula used in this movie would have been PERFECT for another franchise or something new, but for Star Wars? Star Wars is a story about the mysteries of a fictional omnipresent power wielded by heroes and villans who struggle training with it for years and find in the process if what needs to be done is preserve or destroy, space fights and soldiers fighting to overcome a tyranical threat. I don't mind women in positions of power, but using such power in such an illogical way that does more harm than good and then having that result portrayed as the rightful outcome? Why didn't Vice Admiral Holdo just tell Poe about the plan from the beginning? Why have Rose restore Finn's conviction to the cause just to make his actions useless and literally allow the bad guys to breach hope's final sancturay? Finally why turn Luke into such a wuss and take away all of our reasons for loving a memorable character? This isn't even including the things that make no sense in the Star Wars universe like Leia's sudden ability to prevent space death and re-enter safely into a ship through a door without an airlock with people on the other side and Rey's sudden mastery of the force without an ounce of training. I just feel the new movies disrespect so much of what is Star Wars lore for the sake of enforcing a god damn leftist agenda. It's like ever since Disney got a hold of Star Wars everybody has been taking turns in fucking it so hard.

why has this not gone viral

wow this was soooo goood thankyou

Your videos are absolutely phenomenal. I was going to say amazing but it didn't seem enough. The videos you are planning sound brilliant. I can't wait for them!

I hope you're going to continue your essay on Newt, especially with new information from the trailers.. or do you plan on waiting for #2 to come out first?

Thank you so much for this essay! Impressive analysis and it gave a new lens as to why I quite liked this movie.

It's so hard to find a positive review of "The Last Jedi." Even though I didn't like it (for different reasons), I really like your interpretation and I think that may be what they were going for. Good job!

Wait i don't get it why didn't Finn just tell Rose he was going to go find Rey? was he worried she doesn't know who Rey is? i assume many people in the Resistance would've been told that She was the one who went to find Luke, seeing as finding Luke seems to be a very big thing for the Resistance and it's one of the things giving them hope, and i know that Rose isn't someone who knows all of what is going on, but she knew Finn somehow.

Finn did tell Rose he was going to find Rey. “ This fleet is doomed and if my friend comes back to it she’s doomed too.” His plan is to find Rey and convince her to run away with him. Rose sees that as selfish because she believes in the resistance.

Wow, this is so good!

This a beautiful video essay. I really loved it (and shared it) Congrats!


I was one of those people who walked out of the theater confused, taken aback, and incredibly underwhelmed, but I appreciate your analysis greatly and I may like TLJ a tiny bit more now. - jessie

I love it when you upload! Thanks! See you in three months ;)

Thanks for sharing your insights. I had noticed the strong female characters, but I hadn't really framed them as challenging the male heroes, which I think you do nicely here. In addition to your arguments on the strength of women, I was delighted by the absence of a romantic plot line in spite of having (seemingly) heterosexual male-female relationships. It allowed the viewer to see the women especially as more than objects of desire for male heroes, yet it didn't fall victim to the awful trend of reverse sexism (let's put men in the traditional roles and see how they like it!). Looking forward to more videos from you!

I'm only 3 minutes in but "disney" "feminist propaganda" AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

2:35: A note to Internet assholes about this phrase, "forced diversity": The world is naturally diverse, particularly in America where most of the movies you watch are made. There is no need to impose artificially diverse standards, since the status quo is itself already quite heterogeneous. On the other hand, the kind of homogeneity we see in virtually all major film productions, THAT's forced, that's something you've got to create on purpose and with an agenda.

Thank you. This is such a refreshing take on the Last Jedi. I loved The Last Jedi for these very reasons and was shocked at the backlash. Having you put so clearly what was being reacted to in much of the backlash has helped me to see more clearly and adjust my view. It honestly hurt personally to hear these very arguments against this movie coming from close family members. It is a relief to hear calm take on the movie. This is the first Star Wars movie I can say I was actually engaged in from beginning to end. It was a relief to see characters like me on screen who didn't bow down to stupid decisions. It honestly made the movie seem more real and I felt more invested in this Star Wars film than any other Star Wars film or book and I was excited to finally feel the excitement about Star Wars the rest of my family feels. I'm worried that the next film will backtrack. I'm not ready to lose these characters.

In the words of Kylo Ren: "I'm being torn apart. I want to be free of this pain. I know what I have to do but I don't know if I have the strength to do it. Will you help me?" Pop Culture Detective: "Yes, anything." (Helps me to let go of my hate for The Last Jedi and see that it might actually be a good movie)

Finally! Someone who understands why I loved The Last Jedi so much! I was like "wooow" when I left the theater, that experience was amazing... But sad at the same time. It felt like watching something more deep, something more connected to the art and beauty. We return to the basics in terms of the Force, it all comes back to that original "one can achieve anything with the Force if his will is strong enough" rather than just force users having superpowers. Maybe it's that people just wanted to see another "much more expensive than average" blockbuster action movie... And we got enough action, it's just that it's all so... Bittersweet. That's how the movie feels. Will not change my oppinion no matter what internet tells me to do.

Interesting perspective, but still think its a poor Star Wars movie. Can never enjoy it.

This is absolutely amazing!! Thank you so much for your well-put and in-depth commentary. I love watching your videos.

I love how your use of the Kylo footage for emphasis on entitled fans behavior mirrors MovieBob's interpretation of the sequel trilogy as fanbase attitudes clashing against each other

Holy shit I love your channel so much As a woman I'll never be able to experience 'masculinity' first hand, and these essays are truly a valuable resource to deepen and broaden my feminism.

I love this. As a huge male fan of Star Wars, I loved this film way more than most other Star Wars films. This review sums all that I could not see in the movie just as narrative, but as commentary that is desperately needed. Thank you!

I saw Leia slapping Po more as her misdirected anger at both her brother, an ex-pilot who abandoned the Rebellion, and her husband, a hot headed guy who always did as he pleased and died. And thereby also abandoned her and the Rebellion

Very interesting analysis. I still can't say I like the film, but your ideas have seriously made me reconsider my own masculinity and how it biases my reception of female characters in media.

Great review! Thank you!

Thank you for making this.

I'm going to have to watch this movie again after your review. I didn't like it much on the one time I saw it. I thought Luke's brooding passivity was boring, and the fact that the resistance was once again in (hopeful) retreat a bit of a stretch. Surely you would sick of beating strategic retreats after a while, especially when we all thought the universe was on the up and up after Darth Vader's conversion. But I will watch it again with an eye on the points you made.

Son of a gun, you get it. Thank you.

Am I the only one here who thought the TLJ was the best Star Wars film yet? Specifically for the reasons brought up in this video. Thanks PCD!

How many times did the phrase "angry men" appear in this video?


I disagree with your opinions

I really loved this film, and videos like these show why, this film did something different from what we normally expect which is why I enjoyed it so much, it tackled learning through failure and that sometimes you have to accept that your wrong, thank you for this video!

Thank you for this video. I was unhappy with Episode VIII, though not for most of the reasons stated in the video. I'm a female who loves Star Wars' strong, wise women. You have opened my eyes to the depth of characterization and the layered storytelling that previously went unnoticed. I now appreciate Episode VIII in way I couldn't before.

Now you've got me (a woman) wondering if my hate for this movie is because of its actual flaws, or if its internalized misogyny. 10/10 would self-reflect again!

The more I delve deep into this movie, or watch some analysis of it, the more I consider a masterpiece that does at least 90% perfectly.

Pure bantha poodoo.

Hey I loved this

Excellent exposition, Pop Culture Detective! I love this video essay and how well you articulated the ideas.

I like your analysis in this video.

You're just repeating the "the fans hate it cause a woman (of color, no less) told a man what to do". You can't just keep preaching to your choir. It sucks, because I think you made a lot of good points here, but I don't think many people will be able to get passed your insults. To some degree, that is on them, I agree. But I fear too many of us are downplaying the severity of such accusations of bigotry.

I watched the movie so I could watch this video.

I am always blown away at how great your videos are and how much I learn.

I love this a billion trillion times. In fact, now I have to go to Patreon. Keep it up!

Rose is hated Some "fans" even say she's worse than Jar Jar They cannot accept a woman being more than a piece of eye candy

Thank you for defending this wonderful film from all the unjust hate it has received! I don’t agree with everything you post (aka your views on The Force Awakens), but I definitely agree with you 100% on this.

Awesome analysis dude! I learned a lot, thanks!

Though it would've been more impactful if the movie was good.

Wonderful points made! I've been a huge fan of this movie since release and you helped me really be able to point at it and actually defend it! Its hard to remember things you love when everyone tells you its awful!

I love this movie more and more... Thanks for this video. Great job.

Great analysis of why the fanboys hate this movie so much... Like you i thought this movie takes the franchise in the direction it should go in, instead of rehashing old plots and tropes.

this movie sucks and you suck for liking it!

Agree to disagree.

2:16 - PERFECT use of Kylo's "What girl!" quote

Well done ::claps::  I walked out of the theatre disappointed and confused.  I wanted to see a fun action movie and instead I kept having my expectations flipped.  I didn't understand it, so I didn't really care to see TLJ again.  Now I think I need to give it a second chance.  As a side note I walked out of Rogue One confused and a bit shocked because of what happened to all of the central characters.  I talked with a friend about it and watched it a second time and I really enjoyed it.  TLJ is more complicated, but yeah I really need to watch it again.

I love this take. I didn't watch Star Wars until recently (keep in mind I'm 21) and I started with the very first one ever made (ep. 4) didn't really like it all that much. Time passed and a friend invited me to watch the Last Jedi, I wasn't really interested but I went because I found out Adam Driver was in the series (didn't know he was technically the bad guy). Anyway, I really liked The Last Jedi (Adam Driver aside). I went back and watched the ones that came before it and I had a newfound appreciation. And I could see why Luke decided to denounce the Jedi the way he did. I think my lack of nostalgic view on the series allowed for this because I saw his character develop in a span of a week as opposed to 40-some years.

Thank you for fighting the good fight!

A very good analysis of the male protoganist story arc in TLJ.

I love your commentary and videos. The Last Jedi was a horrible movie.

Really enjoyed the video and it gave me a new perspective on the film. I don't want to excuse the fanboi tantrums and sexist responses to Last Jedi, and at the same time I think if the plot devices hadn't been so overtly "dumb" it would have succeeded with far more fans. In particular, you can have Holdo put Poe in his place without the whole "I'm not telling anyone the plan" silliness, and you can have Rose help/save Finn without the very confusing airspeeder sacrifice scene (I don't agree it was clear that his sacrifice was doomed to fail, and that wasn't my or others I went with interpretation of seeing it the first time. The clues are much more subtle and I only got that after rewatching it). I think we need to find ways of supporting more feminist narratives while also putting pressure on storytellers to tell better stories. Otherwise we risk the toxic masculinity crowd's arguments becoming more mainstream, particularly the argument that feminist = dull/stupid/boring storytelling. We're still in early days in this regard, and I hope we continue to develop. Thank you for your contributions!

I'm not a huge fan of StarWars, but I really enjoyed this movie for various reasons that you already pointed out on your video. Of course there were things I didn't liked about the movie but I think the backlash was extremely senseless, thanks to you I understand why.

Another amazing video

Take this, Red Letter Media

Big Damn Heroes!!! I missed it the first time around. Love the Firefly reference.

The common complaint that any romance between Finn and Rose (and Finn and Rey in TFA) was forced would be a really great prompt for a video on why black men are so rarely portrayed in romantic relationships with white women and non-black WOC. I’m thinking the Pelican Brief, Kiss the Girls... most Denzel or Will Smith movies where all they get is some light flirting...

Loving this channel more and more

I'd really love to see you do a Black Widow video or perhaps a look at how Scarlett is depicted across her vast filmography.

YAY! New one!

Perfect. Just: perfect. Thank you for this.

That was interesting! I myself half liked and half disliked The Last Jedi. There were shortcomings in the storyline. But I loved the female characters. Vice-Admiral Holdo was awesome and Rose was great too. (General Organa-Solo of course too, but that's a given.) I agree with what you said in the video, particularly the part about contrived self-sacrifice. Very often in these videos I think: "If that guy had only switched his brain on he would have seen that way how he could have made it work without sacrificing himself." In the case of Fin: Why did he approach the beam head on? Why didn't he approach in a curve, only crossed the beam in the last second, fired an explosive projectile into it and left the beam asap?

I now like the Last Jedi more than I did after watching the movie itself.

A fantastic exploration of the characterization of these... well, characters. And a great explanation of why toxic fans had such a strong negative reaction to them.

This is a great analysis. Thank you. I'd love to see you do an analysis on Kylo Ren's story too because I think that was also quite layered and subverted​ a lot of the expectations for how a supposed villain should act.

You know, it looks like Star Wars is now humanist (a' la Star Trek) instead of mythological

Really insightful video, good to see someone taking a sensible approach and observation.

A fantastic vid. Thank you. You managed to put into words, calmly and with examples, things I've only been able to blurt to myself in dark corners of my mind. I also liked the Canto Bight commentary through Rose's eyes... Then, of course, the final kicker: the stable boy using The Force to bring the broom to him, and gazing up at the night sky, wondering. I was young when the original movies came out, yet it wasn't until this new trilogy did Star Wars finally feel like... Well, MINE. Let's hope JJ tops it off well.

It's hard watching this, agreeing with everything but at the same time knowing that back then when I watched the film I found all of these described moments extremely boring and annoying. But I can't remember exactly why. o o f

Bravo! Excellent work as always.

I like this video a lot. I do have one question I'd like to hear your thoughts on. In the Alien franchise, Ripley is the protagonist (in the good movies), but she doesn't stay in the shadow of any Male protagonist (because there isn't as much of any Male protagonist). She also doesn't necessarily take any actions that could be seen as emasculating (although the titular aliens can be seen as somewhat emasculating given the rape allegories). But I don't usually hear people upset at Alien or Aliens. Is this because Ripley isn't actively dismantling our expectations of masculine characters? Is it because the movie is old enough to withstand criticism from the same people who would be mad at it if it came out today? Or is it something else I'm not considering? I'd like to hear your perspective.

I realized the importance of your videos, you really change people's minds. That really is the most important thing nowadays, to get people to listen to you and show them a different view of things. I also became patreon.

Wow. You managed to get every part of this video wrong.

I HATED this movie when it came out. I want to sit down and rewatch it after watching your video. I walked into the cinema and wanted Luke to be Gandalf, and Rae to be the new Luke, and Po to have his shit together - but throwing the saber away then sucking milk out of a cows tit, and the joke scene of the first order. Like, "your mama" telephone jokes. It was. Awful. but I'll try watch it again. Maybe I should be more aware of my own bias. Maybe as a woman, that bias is what's holding me back.

7:24 you know Ray had a scene that parallled this moment in the film ..yet it was taken out of the film

I love Luke in TLJ. He gets an ARC!! AN ACTUAL CHARACTER ARC!! I was soooo excited that he got to be more than just some old wise mentor guy.

I honestly did not like Finn or Poe in The Force Awakens, I thought I knew where their story arcs were going and was bored with it and I was dreading seeing Luke as the "old wise mentor." I left the theaters after The Last Jedi cheering, it surpassed my expectations beyond anything I thought possible. Literally all the points you bring up are moments I LOVED. I thought they made the characters more interesting and relatable, the story more engaging and just more... more sophisticated, I guess? This is hands down my favorite Star Wars movie and it's funny that you say some people think this batch of male SW heroes are weak because... I kinda left the theater thinking they were the strongest ones we've seen so far.

This was a masterful analysis, but I always thought Finn would know whether or not his "suicide run" would work? After all, he's the only person there who actually knew what the battering ram was, so I trusted his assessment over Poe's or Rose' Any thoughts on that?

You're so amazing at putting these things into words and yes the male character arcs in this movie were amazing. It still just was a long ass pretty boring movie, sadly.

Maybe I can start watching movies again if this keeps up. Women as people? Who would have thought? Less tired cliches? Yas.

Lovely video as always but one criticism of the movie I had is that it follows the rule of not allowing black men to have romantic story lines with white women, unless the story itself is about race. For example, Fynn and Rae have great chemistry in the first movie and I was looking forward to them breaking the taboo then in this movie they paired him with another woman of color, that was a bit of a letdown...

Love this

i´s so happy for found this channel!!

Hm... I didn’t even think about this. Thank you Mr. Detective.

I actually really love this video. You provided us with a very interesting perspective on The Last Jedi, that most other Youtubers wouldn't even bother with. Too busy wanting to instigate more hate for the film.

This goes a long way towards why I felt uncomfortable and left not feeling very satisfied after seeing it last December. I didn't hate it though, and I have cool regard towards those who revel in bathing in hatred of it. It's impossible to take a man's negative opinion of this movie at face value.

I disagree with almost everything you said. The movie might have a sound message, but tells it so poorly and "illogical" that it failed almost completely in my eyes.

I love your videos. You make me see things in a different light. I have to admit that as a woman, I can’t help but feel a bit ashamed for having those same feelings of disappointment for the “unfulfilled “ male archetype character arches in this movie. I felt annoyed when Rose saved Fin, I did not like the way the admiral treated Poe. I got to be careful, my years of male misogyny movie conditioning is showing! - keep up the amazing content!

Loved the vid. Retweeted it. I don't have many followers, but it's the thought that counts.

Four thousand downvotes? Lol. What a bunch of bitter toads. They really need to get a life.

I just wish they had given as much time and development to Rey. The protagonist.

I think she does. That’s just not what this video is about.

loved this analysis and really gave me pause to revisit the film again!! thank you!!

Thank you for making these videos!

I love your videos. I love them so, so much. I'm always sharing them, and apologizing to friends for sharing the same channel all the time, but come on, such good stuff.

Dear Pop Culture Detective team, I never tend to leave any comments - whether I like what I see or not - but I have to deeply thank you for your work, time and effort. These kind of videos shape a new way of looking at a world we think we know so well and I highly admire you for it. Please continue educating us about the matrix of today's storytelling - the world is going to be a better place for it. Love, Saskia

If you think Disney isn't pushing an agenda of equality you're wrong... if you think it's a bad thing you're wrong

I "fundamentally" disagree with the way you see this movie.

I didn't see the last jedi, but I migth now...

You have opened my eyes to some of the character development occurring in this movie

You have one of the best channels out there

Thank you so much for this breakdown; it makes a lot of sense!

FANTASTIC ANALYSIS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

loved the movie, love the analysis and love you!

I love Star Wars even more now.

Perfect. Thanks you

I don't disagree with how you interpreted the characters and their arcs in this movie. It helped me to see how subversive these tropes are played out in this film and how new and exciting it ease to see all these strong female characters. But what I think the film lacks on is a cohesive narrative structure with many of the parts feeling out of place in the film and carrying few significant impacts on the narrative as a whole which is why I was left feeling slightly confused and like this movie was longer than it needed to be. Great video and great breakdown of the character though.

You do have some points!!!

Great analysis. It does still bother me that Finn needed Rose’s teaching about the abuses of the galactic “upper crust”, particularly wrt the use of child slavery. He is a child soldier himself, after all

I've liked this movie from the start, but even I thought they were misrepresenting Luke's character. Now that you point out the connections between his character flaws in this movie and the previous ones, you've made me realize how wrong I was. Love your work man.

Holy shit. I already thought The Last Jedi was a great movie, but your video made me appreciate it even more! I honestly think this is the second best Star Wars movie ever made, right after Empire.

*Edit. I believe in order to formulate a valid opinion you have to (force yourself to) look at opposing view points. After watching this video I’ve done that. When I left TLJ in theatres I walked out thinking “... um, not exactly sure but I think that kinda sucked”. Definitely wasn’t inspired or pumped up, but I didn’t “hate” it per se, I just found it lackluster and semi disappointing. After watching some of the dissecting “why TLJ sucked” videos though I slowly, but surely, came to loathe the film and swore I’d never waste another dollar on Star Wars EVER. Well, I must admit, after forcing myself to watch this video and THEN forcing myself to rewatch LJ, it wasn’t as terrible as I’d come to believe. This shed some light on the mindset behind it. It was like “ohh ok, now I see what you did there”. I think before I was simultaneously both disappointed and confused. This video took away the confusion factor for me. And, depending on fan reviews, I MIGHT, even go see episode 9. JJ might be able to bring balance to the disjointed mess of a trilogy. It’s easy to see how folks (myself included) were confused as they certainly DID have the rug intentionally pulled out from under them (via the buildup from force awakens and TLJ trailers, etc ). As for TLJ, Ryan Johnson literally could’ve done everything he did in this movie without alienating the hardcore fan base and botching up the sci-fi with a few simple dorky concessions and lines of dialogue. My thoughts: * Holdo had some secret device (or something) which weaponizes light speed hence her keeping her plans “eyes only secret” then... using light speed as a weapon for the first time in SW History. Would’ve showed her competence as a commander, not created a huge universe plot-hole & Poe’s lack of faith would’ve been more reprehensible.. which they were going for * Snoke could’ve simply been been darth plaugus as speculated. Why not!? One or two lines of dialogue. Die hard Fans thrilled, movie makes way more sense. Looks to me like RJ wanted to provoke and play gotcha to appease/compel one base at the expense of another cause he lacked the vision to unify both. Weather it be art, advertising or politics, I have zero respect for that approach. We have enough division, I believe we need more unification in that respect ✊

When I first saw The Last Jedi, I found myself ECSTATIC about it. Like it was IMMEDIATELY my favorite Star Wars movie (it is also the first that I own digitally because I needed to own it immediately so that I could have it to watch whenever I wanted). However, after hearing constant complaints from often MALE viewers about the points they didn't like (you can guess which ones), I started to question myself about how much I liked the movie based on their feelings. Then I found myself having more to DEFEND what I liked about it or placate myself with "the flaws" to compromise with people about my own justification of my feelings so they would at least accept them. And I mean this was from both friends and strangers alike. It got to the point I started to ACTIVELY AVOID all discussion of the The Last Jedi at all, because they ALWAYS devolved into the same speel and arguments and no one learning or growing from anything, just a lot of infighting (sometimes on purpose to derail sensible debate) that ends in quiet defeatist zero sum where people just stop talking or engaging at all. Even last week, I had this come up with family. I just got sick of it. This video LITERALLY lights the figurative fire in me about how I feel about the movie and exactly what I liked about it. When people make me uncomfortable about my feelings towards it, it is usually them not confronting their own feelings about how the movie made them feel which is often lack of comfort at being (or feeling) CHALLENGED by its notions and therefore their perceptions of life and society and society's "rules" as we have been pushing and re-establishing no matter how dangerous or destructive or ineffectual towards our own advancement as a society. So much of media and complaints and arguments over it boil now to "inability to accept change, often for the better". I see all the time in so much of human culture in general, but specifically in the United States. A seemingly endless war of expression VS responsibility of expression vs consequence of expression. What you are, are not, like, and dislike are ok, but they still come with a cost of acknowledgement (and sometimes duty) that those are not all that is important in the grand scheme of the world and the resentment of all sides to the fact of the importance of that acknowledgement.

Love your vids❤️

I've had trouble vocalizing exactly why I liked the narrative arcs in this movie so much, so thanks for hitting the nail on the head!


your videos are really great. thanks

Hello. Are you planning on doing an episode on the male gaze?

You earned yourself a like and a sub from me. I'm a male and I think this video is AMAZING! Great job ^^

It's a great video even if I have a few things that I disagree. Nice point of view I am sick of Mary Sues accusations.

I see where you're coming from and I fully understand and agree with you. The only issue I really have with this is that you end with saying it's a step towards gender equality. I agree, to a point. Because I feel like if all of three heroes weren't overshadowed by women in, admittedly, badass ways. It would feel like a gender equal film. It feels the opposite because of instead of trying to tell the story naturally and the women defying expectations through an amazing story. It feels like the story was made around defying expectations. It feels false in a way. Like when rose saved fin, it felt artificial and unearned, instead of it happening naturally if you catch my drift. I feel like they had the right idea and good intention. But the execution was just a little off. I enjoy your videos. And I'm planning on binge watching all of them. So keep it up!!


I suppose I'm fine with the female characters knocking some sense into our male heroes, but honestly, I'd much rather prefer male heroes that don't act like this in the first place. Why can't we have more empathetic male heroes, calm male heroes, male heroes who aren't reckless and actually listen to the other characters, instead of depending on the female characters to help them change?

Where has this man been all my life

Abso-fucking-lutely BRILLIANT video! I learned more than I thought I would.

You did well in changing my view on the Rose saving Fin scene, still not a fan of what the film did for the series as a whole but I can respect it marginally more when regarding it through this lense.

This most be a REALLY heavily moderate comment section.

This video, along with your "Case Against the Jedi Order" video got you a new subscriber today. God bless you for making these. I think the world really needs this trilogy of Star Wars movies and your explanations really help make a case for that.

Brilliant analysis and deconstruction. Thankyou.

well explained :)

Many good points but also many flawed assumptions love it though

I think some of the Luke backlash came from the EU fans, where Luke kind of transcended all normal character growth came, *AND I'LL COME OUT AN SAY IT IDIOTS,* a straight up overpowered Mary Sue. Granted, an overpowered Mary Sue who had a long and hard journey to reach that status, but an overpowered Mary Sue nonetheless. But actually, that was the kind of person who would walk out with a laser sword and take on the whole First Order, and probably win because he has the capacity to rip massive spaceships out of the sky with ease.

Personally I think the movie did have a lot of big problems (like Fin and Rose's part in the story not doing anything to affect the plot) but you're making me see some of it's good points.

I was pleasantly surprised by this video. There were a couple of times where I went: “oh god, I’d never seen it that way,” but it makes perfect sense. TLJ, although a narrative-challenged movie with a lot of meddling from corporate, was thematically in the right place.

I want to cry.. it ends so beautifully

I dont think its about masculinity, its about hero perfection. either way, being heroic is associated with being reckless and still prevail, achieving that one impossible thing that in reality requires actual thinking. The people are upset because its not as easy as that.

I think most people actually disliked Holdo because she refused to tell anyone her plan for some reason, even though it was perfectly reasonable, so the whole tension of the second arc: Poe trying to deal with not being in control, is completely unnecessary. Just from the folks that I've talked to, that seems to be the true reason behind people's distaste for Holdo

This movie is ahead of his time.

I thoroughly wished that this video examined the masculinity of Kylo Ren as well but it was very enjoyable and insightful regardless. Although I may disagree with some of the points, especially in slightly dismissing and projecting against the valid backlash and critique of the female characters and their decisions in the film (lack of communication and questionable military tactics being some of the largest issues I see), but overall, very well done and fantastic job pointing out traditional male characterization and the importance of creating transformative characters (irregardless of gender) that overcome audience expectations or preconceived notions of what it means to be a hero

Well that was 20 minutes and 49 seconds of me bowing to this video. Thank you so much for practically voicing my frustrations about the hate this film got. I mean, as a film, it's far from perfect, but so are the other SW films, yes, even episode V that so many people praise. I actually enjoyed the film, despite its flaws, but it was indeed a breath of fresh air with how it showed women in power - and it's interesting, albeit frustrating, that it's THIS film that people chose to lash all their hate on.

I actually never thought about this angle on the relationships in this movie. This was a real joy to see explained and analysed ^__^ I have a greater appreciation for the narrative now that I have this added layer of context.

Lol, you make it sound like Rose is this trilogys Yoda... oh shit

+Pop Culture Detective thass crazy, its almost like this series has expmored many traditional morals so the new creators are trying to create something genuinely new and refreshing for a time where we really need new morals, its almost like these films are at least attempting to encoyrage open mindedness for a new generation of more emotiomal thinkers big thunk

She’s like Yoda but her knowledge is all about the socioeconomic conditions in Star Wars universe.

I'm just getting into PCD's videos and really enjoying them. I enjoyed this one too, even though I generally think TLJ is largely a failure. I enjoyed a lot of Rey's moments with Kylo as well as Luke and though that interpersonal dynamic was something fresh for Star Wars and done well. Unfortunately, a lot of the rest of the movie fails because it fails to live up to what you're saying here, Jonathan. If Disney/Lucasfilm/Rian/Kathleen/whomever had the courage of their convictions, they would have actually gone through with their subversions to their logical conclusions. Maybe a big Hollywood film can only push things so far, however? One example not discussed here, but is a microcosm of all this is what happens to the "sacred Jedi texts." Luke treats them reverently (odd though that is based on his thoughts on the Jedi) and bemoans their loss, only to get verbally smacked by Yoda. It was a funny moment and I laughed in the theater. It seemed to really put the kibosh on the old, outdated ways of the Jedi. Except then we see Rey did save the texts and they are safely on board the Falcon. What message are we supposed to take from that? She will be using the old, outdated ways of the Jedi to train a new generation? Yoda was just making a stupid wisecrack for the audience's benefit? If Luke is a Force ghost, will he know about them? It's a weird choice that cuts the legs out of any successful prior subversion. To take it to one of the larger points covered in the video: Poe Dameron's arc. By the end of the film, his actions are responsible for a LOT of deaths of Resistance members. Whatever lesson he is to learn in listening to women is not commiserate in his reward of finally being crowned as Resistance leader by Leia at the end of the film. It would have been great if the film had actually followed through on the subversion Jonathan describes in the video, but his easy redemption belies so much sacrifice made in it's name. (This again is bound up in the bizarre tone of this and TFA's film in terms of the loss of life - at the start of TLJ, there are a lot of Resistance fighters on a bunch of ships; at the end, there's barely enough to fill up the Falcon - and yet, the cast is all smiles as they get away. There is a very dark movie here all covered up with weird smiles.) True subversion would mean Poe would have had to go out of his way to elevate someone above him, showing he realized he wasn't ready, or that a hotshot pilot wasn't what they needed right then, instead of saying "Don't worry, Poe's all good now, thanks!" Interestingly, I don't think Jonathan adequately covered the real subversion of Luke's end, which I think is another place where the film worked as it seemed to be trying to. Luke doesn't end up confronting the First Order - Rey does not succeed in getting Luke to fight again for the sake of the galaxy. Luke dies without once igniting a lightsaber in the film (outside of a flashback) and it ultimately preserves his subversive character that we get at the start of the film. Oh, Rey does inspire him to go out in a blaze of glory and reignite hope on the galaxy, but Luke does it on his terms, the terms his character sets at the outset of TLJ. This is I think the one time where the film gets to have it's cake and eat it too - an awesome fight sequence that is not a fight sequence at all. Luke doesn't blow anything up, never threatens anything, never says a cross word. Luke acts the badass, but does it entirely on his terms. All it does is buy the Resistance a chance to escape - Kylo is still alive and none of the ATs were taken down, he didn't kill any troopers, so it's ultimately up to Episode IX to determine how helpful he was. Was it another selfish move, as most of his character could have been seen as in the rest of the film, since he chose to die without doing any actual damage? Or will his end be more inspiring for the choices he made? If only the rest of the movie could have been as successful. Anyway, I've thought about this way too much. Thanks, if you read this.

I really prefer the video essays where you show many different clips to make your point about social injustice. With one movie, I never feel like I'm convinced about your sweeping statements about what some "hardcore" fans believed. I typically like your videos, but this one didn't sit right with me

This YouTube video made me curious about The Last Jedi. I want to watch it!

Amazing video.I love your insight and how articulately you express such topic

Your video essays are so so valuable me and important. Thank you so much for continuing to put these out.

thank you for this. it makes me like this movie even more. I think it reflects the current social situation (incl the cryout against it afterwards).

Thank you for these- there are many things about The Last Jedi that aren't great (Who is Snoke? Who cares, he's dead), but its take down of toxic masculinity is not one of them.

You’ve successfully and succinctly diffused all the anti SJW whining with an articulate and objective analysis of the bigger picture and the old framework. The day that we believe justice has to be identifiable or synonymous with the right gender, sex and politics is the day that humanity is lost and abstract thinking and applicability is lost to the propaganda of puppets.

It is just a shame that most men don't want to achieve gender equality.

I thought I found a new awesome channel, but I was wrong... I'm unsubscribing


What a great movie.

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