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 Tumblr is happily squeeing about the fact that the main character may not be white.  Which would be cool.

There's the possibility that it will be less ethically fucked up than The Clone Wars, which I periodically try to like, but which is so black and grey morality that I just can't.  (If the heroes acknowledged that everything's fucked up and just did their best, I'd probably be fine with it, but the show seems to want to have it both ways - dark! edgy! the Republic is evil! the Jedi are evil! root for our heroes who are obliviously supporting the evil! also, it's a less bad evil, so it's totes the good side!  See!  Heroism!)

It's Star Wars.

It should be exactly the kind of thing I like, given my fondness for scruffy teams running around being heroes.

I'm instead deeply meh about it.  Maybe it's just my reluctance to get too enthusiastic about something that might suck.  Maybe it's the fact that I really don't like Jedi.  Maybe it's that there's such a fine line between the tropes I love and tropes I really don't like, and I have this sinking feeling that the show is mostly the latter.

That main character?  He's an ex-Jedi with a mysterious past who has to pick up his lightsaber again and be a hero, and he's the leader of the group.  Gag me oh so much.  That is a character type that I viscerally hate.  Describe a character as "____ has to pick up their _____ again and be a hero" and my face is already squinching up in displeasure.

I'm not entirely sure why.  I'm fine with people turning hero.  I'm fine with people pulling themselves together again and being heroes.  I'm fine with (though it's not something I like that well) people turning in their badge/supersuit/whatever then after events returning to be heroes once again.  Which is kind of a full arc of the same thing I hate so much.  Kind of.

I think it's at least partially the conflation of hero with their _____.  Ex-Jedi dude can't be a hero unless he uses his lightsaber because Jedi and hero are synonyms and he can't possibly hero without a lightsaber.  Even though waving around a lightsaber would make heroing riskier not just for himself (his choice, there) but for the people he's trying to help.  The Empire's not going to be cool with anyone fucking up their plans, but that anyone is a Jedi?  They're going to come down like two tons of bricks on anyone that Jedi helps.  (In Rebellion Era tabletop games I've played, the universal response to someone whipping out a lightsaber was "HOLY FUCK PUT THAT THING AWAY!" because I am not the only one who thinks that the Empire's response to a Jedi running around - or a possible Jedi running around - would be to kill the whole area with fire.)

But it's not really the very distinctive weapon, it's that whole idea that he's more of a hero with a lightsaber than he is without one. Being a hero is about what you do, not what you do it with.   Confusing the two is a very bad idea.  For one thing, it suggest that heroes without a _____ are less than those with it.  That is not cool.

The fact that the ____ we're talking about is a lightsaber just makes it worse.  I have major Jedi issues to begin with.  My default stance on Jedi is "Yuck."  I have to remind myself that I love Zayne Carrick, and that Luke and Obi-Wan are all right (and there are other EU Jedi I thought were all right when I read about them).  At which point I amend it to Jedi being "Mostly yuck."

I have a lot of trouble with superpowered heroes.  The appeal of magic, or superpowers, or Force Sensitivity always runs smack up against my dislike of special heroes, of the idea that ordinary humans are useless and just exist as roadblocks or rescuees, of the idea that only some people can be heroes.  Some times fiction does a good job of handling a world where some people have powers and some don't and makes it clear that there are many ways to be heroic and do good and all that.  And some times I end up feeling like the series tag line should've been "Whoever wins, we lose."

That the ex-Jedi is the leader of the heroes and that he has to pick up his lightsaber again does not bode well for Star Wars: Rebels.  At least for whether I'll like it.  (Did there even need to be a leader?  Tell me, who was the leader in the original trilogy?  Yeah, Mon Mothma led the Rebel Alliance, but of our motley crew of heroes?  There wasn't one.  If there had to be a leader, did it have to be a guy?  Did it have to be a Jedi?  Did they have to go with the must pick up lightsaber to be hero thing?  It's like they picked the answer I would least like to every one of those questions.  If the heroes included an ambiguously brown Jedi-in-hiding, one who'd either never put down his lightsaber or who did fine without one, I'd have gone "Oh, cool." with only a bit of Jedi reservation.)
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virtualvoyages: an old worn book on a black back ground, a glow at one corner of the book (Default)
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