Abigail Nussbaum Profile picture
Dec 26, 2017 17 tweets 5 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
1. Starting to get really annoyed by all the #TheLastJedi thinkpieces on how You Don't Get It, The POINT of the Poe Storyline is That He Fails.

No, I get it. I just don't agree.
2. More precisely, I think the intent is crystal clear, and the execution is completely fucked up. Because, as is fairly typical in Hollywood, the film has no sense of when it's taken its characters too far.
3. It's fine, in principle, to take a heroic character and make them fail in order to learn a lesson. But if their failure is colossal and the consequences for it are minuscule-to-nonexistent, you've fucked up.
4. Hollywood doesn't get this. It's so invested in the idea of a redemptive storyline that it never stops to think that some characters have been taken too far for redemption.
5. In a weird way, #TheLastJedi's attitude towards Poe is the same as the approach it takes to Kylo Ren. In both cases, errors that should put the characters beyond the pale are treated as A Learning Experience.
6. This sort of works in the Kylo storyline because Rey and Luke carry it. And, of course, because the film ends by concluding that he is beyond redemption. #TheLastJedi
7. But let's be clear: the thing #TheLastJedi condemns Kylo for is not the thing it should have condemned him for. If it saw him and his crimes clearly, it would have realized that he was beyond redemption from the get-go.
8. Again, this is an issue of scale. If we'd met Kylo shortly after he'd killed Luke's students, it might have been OK to talk redemption. But we meet him 15yrs later, as he's massacring a village, shortly before he helps destroy several planets. That's not a redeemable character
9. To bring this back to Poe, what he does in #TheLastJedi is not "a mistake". It is a catastrophic, compounded error in judgement that gets most of his colleagues in the resistance killed.
10. Poe disobeys orders, foments mutiny, recklessly disperses top-secret information, and causes the loss of most of the resistance's personnel and materiel. That's not One to Grow On. That's One to Get Lined Up In Front of a Firing Squad For. #TheLastJedi
11. What's more, it is strongly implied that the reason Poe freaks out this way is that Holdo is not just a woman, but a particularly femme woman, who challenges his macho persona. Once again, that's not something a sympathetic character can come back from. #TheLastJedi
12. You've made one of your most charismatic heroes into a misogynistic idiot who causes catastrophic damage. You don't get to play that as "aw, he just needs to Learn Better".
13. Especially since Poe suffers no real consequences, no loss of prestige or respect, for his actions. Hell, they'll probably make him general in episode IX, simply because there's no one else left.
14. Of course, as I was discussing earlier today, part of the reason Poe suffers no consequences is that the film needs him to screw up or it has no last act.
15. But it's also an expression of how Hollywood, in its zeal for Complicated Characters, has completely lost any sense of when it's taken a character too far. The only thing that makes this iteration noteworthy is that Poe isn't a white man.
16. In conclusion, Finn is the only decent man in this entire galaxy.
17. Seriously, though, Finn has more excuses for screwing up than either Kylo or Poe, but #TheLastJedi holds him to a much higher standard, and calls him on much smaller errors, than either of them.

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More from @NussbaumAbigail

May 24, 2018
1. I keep going back and forth over whether #Deadpool2 is a genuinely smart film or a trashfire of toxic tropes. Therefore, a thread, with major SPOILERS.
2. In the first ten minutes of #Deadpool2, Wade's beloved girlfriend Vanessa is shot and killed by a criminal he'd previous tried and failed to kill. Deadpool is the target but Vanessa gets in the way.
3. As has been widely reported, when @abrahamjoseph interviewed the film's writers, they claimed to be ignorant of how this plays into toxic tropes about the disposability of women. vulture.com/2018/05/deadpo…
Read 25 tweets
Apr 25, 2018
Hey, you know what would be a totally original way to prepare for #AvengersInfinityWar? A ranked list of all the MCU movies thus far! Here they are, from worst to best!
18. The Incredible Hulk (2008) – There’s a reason most people forget this was even an MCU movie. It’s exactly the kind of superhero movie that made the genre such a heavy lift in the 90s and 00s, and which Iron Man so refreshingly broke away from.
17. Thor: The Dark World (2013) – A complete waste of an interesting world, not to mention Loki and Christopher Eccleston. Extra demerits for killing Thor’s mom and giving Jane Foster nothing to do.
Read 22 tweets
Oct 16, 2017
Oh joy. I see #BladeRunner2049 has kicked off another round of “it’s not misogynistic! It’s COMMENTING on misogyny!”
Say it with me, kids: much like satire, commentary via depiction requires specificity of intent & execution, otherwise it’s just reification
If you think #BR2049 is commenting on misogyny, then what is it saying about it? Depiction isn’t criticism, any more than it is endorsement.
Read 17 tweets

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