Discussion in 'Sequel Trilogy' started by Momotaros, Dec 17, 2015.
Why do any of these traits matter when the narrative is obsessed with a patricidal murderer?
As far as I'm concerned Poe is out of character for a couple of reasons, so using him as a baseline in this statement is not compelling for me personally.
As for Finn, it's not about him being "too good" to do something as reckless as what Poe did, Finn wouldn't do something like that b/c the narrative rarely gives him agency to make choices.
Leia sends her post daring pilot on a secret mission to retrieve the map to Luke Skywalker.
You'd think a character like this would be kept in the loop in terms of any plans for the Resistance.
Technically, I think that would be ghost Yoda.
@obi-arin-kenobi remember that Leia was put in the coma right after they discovered the FO can track them through lightspeed.
The whole Crait hideout thing was Holdo's plan, once Leia was in the coma.
I imagine that if Leia were conscious and guys like Ackbar were still alive, they would have informed Poe of whatever their next move would be.
Poe undergoes his reckless plan only because Leia's injured. Rey undergoes her reckless plan of trying to turn Kylo, because Luke refuses to come back.
It's not a baseline. Every male character in TLJ is lacking except Finn. I find it rather interesting. (ETA: I forgot Yoda! And now am not counting him because he's too enlightened.)
I've learned from watching mystery shows, sometimes when it seems like something is a plot hole or something that the writers overlooked or were lazy on and so on, it's actually intentional and part of the mystery. My mind would tune out things I saw as plot issues because you have to suspend disbelief to watch things. The mind knows stories are illusions and will make adjustments trying to make them make more sense, and part of that for me will be noticing little problems and then trying to explain them away as writer/plot issues. But in mysteries that can backfire if you're trying to figure out who did it, because some of that stuff is actually intentional. Mysteries cause me to fine tune my sense of reality vs. illusion in a story in a slightly different way. So for instance, is Poe out of character, or did RJ know exactly what he was doing? I'm not sure.
Another show I learned a lot from was the show Xena: Warrior Princess. That show has lacking male characters across the board. At first when I saw episodes, I noticed "something is wrong with the male characters." It didn't take me long to realize that the show was doing this on purpose. It was deliberately flipping the roles of male and female characters in stories. The female characters have the greatest complexity, the greatest variety, and the best assortments of attributes. They are whole in ways almost no male character in the show is. The strongest male characters I recall were Eli (the show's Jesus figure), Autolycus (a sort of selfish rogue who would help Xena sometimes) & Hercules (who doesn't count because he was always visiting from his own show that ran at the same time as Xena's show).
Eli was the strongest male character on the show (who was native to the show). He was a good and wise person, a pacifist, and a spiritualist. He was strong in that he wasn't damaged or a coward. He sacrificed himself trying to save humanity. But he had no abilities as a warrior and would need to be defended every time. He also had no sexuality. Gabrielle on the other hand was a spiritualist and a warrior, as were the Amazons. Xena's path over the seasons was to develop her emotional and spiritual side, and she goes out in a huge self-sacrificing act by the end trying to rectify her "sins of the past." Basically the female characters could have numerous attributes that are part of what make a human whole, whereas Eli could only have some of these attributes.
Another important matter was that the strongest villains were always female as well. The two nemeses Xena was most challenged by were Callisto and Livia, who both basically represented her shadow, who were just as cunning as Xena could be, and who were really the only ones who could match Xena in combat, other than Ares, the god of war (who was Xena's animus). Ares though was never as much a villain as Callisto, nor was he as clever as Xena or Callisto.
And the imbalance you feel watching with how lacking the male characters on the show are is meant to show the imbalance that existed in most all other shows and films in which the female characters are all lacking, and only male characters can embody all the attributes of a human being. It's just that society's patriarchal tilt would make these lacking female characters appear "normal."
Also most male characters who weren't really main characters have something wrong with them. They are weak, cowards, greedy, pathetic, so on. Xena and Gabrielle spend a lot of time helping the women who men abuse and betray, or trying to get the men to be stronger (to be *human*).
(What weakened the above is that the show compromised, dressing all the characters in skimpy outfits in an attempt to keep enough male viewers so it wouldn't be cancelled. It's an annoying feature of the show, but fits into how campy and ridiculous the show can be. It was the "Baywatch decade" I suppose - the 90s.)
It's possible that TLJ was trying to do something kind of similar. It's not though that their female characters are that great though. But TLJ was showing the men to be lacking, and I think that might well be on purpose. Finn is the one who is a bit of an exception. He has his flaws (white knight complex + rogue tendencies) but he's really not lacking.
It's probably because Finn, despite being 23, is more like a kid (in relative terms) than a man. And I mean that with no direspect.
All the other men are already in established positions whereas Finn isn't.
Finn is a hero in TLJ and he will be more of a hero in IX. Poe not so much.
It's like they looked at the complaints about his portrayal in TFA and went "oh you though that was bad, oh just wait till you see what we do with him here." He accomplish even LESS here than he did in TFA (and that was a big complaint about the writing for his character there as well), and he feels superfluous here (whereas in TFA at least he felt like he needed to be there).
As for Poe, well this movie undermine his character in a contrived way as well.
As much as I liked the film, I think every character was lacking. As a reader and writer I’ve noticed that when women are written badly, so are men and the other way around. Either you know how to write characters or you don’t. Rian needs a writer (this is becoming “Carthago delenda est” for me...)
The difference is that the female characters are more honorable than the male characters on average. They are better people basically. I don't think they are the most complex awesome female characters ever (as in, really well developed). The male characters on average are lacking in ways that prevent them from really being "shining moral examples." Finn is the only exception. The others are pretty awful. Ugh. I'm distracted and I forgot Luke. Luke and Kylo are lacking because they are broken people, and Kylo is of course the villain. Luke does overcome this. Poe is lacking because he's ethically flawed. Finn is functional AND he's ethical. (I explained this better before. I'm surrounded by distractions and can't get my thoughts out, so I'm giving up for now.)
See I dont care who is better as a person there, I usually side with the villains. Rose was written to be so painfully good that it became a bit OTT, for an example. She was making moral judgements on everyone. I'm surprised how badly Rian did with characters as his characters in Looper were more multi-dimensional. He needs etc...
My point is though that there's been an emphasis on female characters > male characters. On the one hand one could say that they made the female characters "too perfect" or all the same. On the other hand one could say, this is what a lot of stories do with the male characters but it goes more easily unnoticed because it's what we're all used to (patriarchy makes it invisible).
But there should be that same standard of representation when it's men of color as well. Not making them "perfect," per se, but sure as hell not making them punching bags and stuff.
Hux was the punching bag of TLJ, not Finn.
I personally equate Finn's opening naked in that dumb suit with the water squirting out with Poe's yo mama joke at Hux's expense. Actually no, I think it was worse.
I like it, if only for the way they translated that joke in the french dub.
Poe : What do you mean, "Finn's waters are breaking"?
Hux scene was worse to me because Hux was monumentally daft. Finn isn't portrayed as an idiot.
Both were bad
I dont know what was Rian smoking.
Really? Running around naked squirting water everywhere thirsting for Rey so bad Poe has to tell him to get dressed? I think he is. It’s of course understandable that he’s worried for Rey, but frankly I don’t see how RJ could possibly have made him look dumber while expressing this valid concern.
Or, you know, he was in a daze.
Oh found out another Finn scene was cut, and it was one he had with Poe, how many is that now ...6 or 7 for Finn.
Has anybody been keeping track of the other characters whose scenes were cut...
No, the point of the scene was for the audience to laugh AT Finn being clumsy and a bumbling fool.
He just woke up from his character defining moment standing up to Kylo Ren in the forest only to wake up and made to look like a fool? Notice the vast differences between Finn's introduction scene compared to Rey, Kylo and Poe's.
Rationalize it however you want. The point is RJ chose to write it that way for comedy. What’s funny about it? Finn looking dumb.
Edit - oops @JediAce1 beat me to it
He's only a fool if he's acting like one. He's in a daze. I don't think it's negative.
Why is that a bad thing that he has a 'funny' moment? So does Rey.