TRR wrote:Right, Holdo not being perfectly polite and respectful to the guy who got demoted for getting a bunch of people killed and then introduced himself by misrepresenting his rank is clearly pettier behavior than him critiquing her from the start because he wasn't impressed by her speech, introducing himself by misrepresenting his rank, insubordination and conspiring behind her back because he didn't like her tone, launching a mutiny, and getting hundreds of people killed.
And I call that sexist, because part of sexist culture is that women are endlessly critiqued over the most trivial aspects of appearance or tone, and expected to always be deferential and un-threatening to men, and to go to great lengths to sooth their egos, while men are entitled to act out and demand what they want.
And up until now, the only thing I had to say about her appearance was that it was pre-established to be the aesthetic choice of aristocracy and Bourgeois in Star Wars, which isn't even a criticism so much as an observation. Liea also wore the clothing of aristocracy in the original trilogy, but then she was
actually royalty, and it was a contrast with her down to earth tone and sarcastic demeanor. If I was going to criticize the clothing choices, I would say that choosing to dress her like rich people dress in Star Wars and then have her insult a guy dressed in the fashion of working class folks like Han just makes her look like a classcist asshole (AKA a Karen, like I said before). That isn't sexism, that's Intersectionality. If you knew anything about Feminism, you would be familiar with the term. In fact, even The Mary Sue
, a feminist blog, argues that the movie reduces Poe from a caring and responsible individual to a latino stereotype, then argues that he had a right to ask the questions he asked of Holdo and essentially got shut down for no reason. To quite them directly, "Like diversity, feminism is more than just having women on the screen. The female characters need to have their own individual motivations and meaningful storylines. Admiral Holdo is killed off to complete Poe’s character arc. It’s quite telling how one of the most memorable shots of the film is a woman sacrificing herself after she’s outlived her usefulness to the story." That is a novel argument for this thread, but its proof that you don't have to be a sexist prick to have a problem with this story. Just the opposite, for many reasons this movie is anti-feminist, and this isn't the only feminist critique I have found that rejects the movie's portrayal of women in the film to be less empowering than Disney lets on. Brain Magic's Nichole Flannigan
points out several problems with the film's portrayal, including the fact that previously in Star Wars there was no conflict between men and women, but in this film every conflict that isn't between the Resistance and the First Order (and at least one example that is) just so happens
to be between a woman and a man, and also repeats The Mary Sue's argument that the women in the film all exist to further the story of a man in some way (even Rey, who mostly just further's Kylo's story arc). Are these writers, both of them female and one of them a noted feminist just being sexist for pointing out the flaws in these characters that Disney touts as powerful female role models? If you say yes, I can just point to literally the entire corpus of The Mary Sue's output and make you look like a fool.
Meanwhile, people have pointed out numerous problems with her demeanor and tone, but that isn't inherently sexism. I would ask you to prove that I and the other people in this thread are motivated by mysogyny, or to retract the accusation. Just because it fits a percieved pattern in your mind does not make it causal or justify the accusation. All it does is further demonstrate an unwillingness on your part to engage with debate and dissent. Further more, I would also point out that it is an Ad Hominim in the strictest sense, in that you are using the accusation as a substitute for a proper argument or rebuttal. I will point this out point blank: I am not impressed, nor intimidated by this blatant (and predictable) power play.
I will also point out that it is you who is misrepresenting the scenes in the movie with your words. People have already posted the video showing the first scene in which Poe interacts with Holdo, complete with a counter showing the number of times each person insulted the other, and the video speaks for itself. Holdo is the first to throw out an insult, while Poe merely asks questions and does not insult her until later in the film. I would also point out that your argument implies that Poe deliberately misrepresented his rank, when an easier reading of the scene is that it was an accident as it was a very recent demotion and happened shortly before a battle in which most of his commanding officers were spaced and the highest ranking officer in the whole Resistance barely survived. Also present evidence that he mutinied solely because he didn't like her tone; the film as I remember it did not show him contemplating mutiny until after he found out about the fuel issues from reading someone else's monitor on the bridge, and when he asked what the hell was going on, literally got silence. Not a response in a tone he didn't care for. No response at all. This was the scene in which he had his first outburst, mind you, so its pretty memorable as the one time he insulted her, and the next time he confronts her its with a gun in hand and at least one bridge officer backing him up.
If you are going to claim things about the movie, present evidence from the goddamn movie to support those claims.
If she was male, I expect there'd be much less need to defend her. There's a reason I brought up George Kirk.
Why does she need to be defended? If she isn't a good leader then her portrayal isn't a good example of female representation, but the opposite! Moreover, there is the point about her not really having her own arc, but being a supporting character in a male character's arc. Again, an argument used by actual feminists on multiple websites. Again, why does this character
require defending just because she is female? Does Janeway require defending just because she is female?
Also, the film clearly meant for her to be perceived as a good leader, so they claim that she was portrayed as a stereotype of women being bad leaders is false.
Intent is meaningless. You literally just said that her portrayal can't be sexist because the company says it isn't, ergo the company can't be wrong. Except it can. Death of the Author. Look it up.
You are taking YOUR view, that she is a bad leader, saying its the film's portrayal, calling the film and its defenders sexist based on that, while denying that you are sexist for holding the very view that you then projected onto the film to justify calling it sexist. Its nuts.
I am making an argument that the portrayal is actually sexist and fits a pattern of how Hollywood tends to portray female leaders, with an example from Star Trek. You then read that argument as an accusation (hint: learn to fucking read) and dismiss not only my argument but also my character as sexist simply because... you don't like it.
Learn how to debate like a sane person, TRR, or stop bothering me with your blather.
Right, the "terrible leader" who inherited a complete disaster, a vastly-outnumbered fleet with virtually no fuel, mass desertions and a decapitated leadership, held it together and pulled off an effective escape plan despite an unprovoked mutiny, and ultimately gave her life to protect her people. And the only reason you can give for her being a "terrible leader" is essentially that she wasn't polite and deferential enough toward an entitled male subordinate who showed her zero respect himself. Oh, and that she didn't tell him the plan that only failed when he became aware of it.
Okay, so you want to defend her actions based on her circumstances, that's an actual argument! Congratulations, a stopped clock has to be right at least twice a day after all. Okay, lets play that game.
Why on earth does Holdo sacrifice the captains of her other two ships? The movie has this theme that "people are more important than material" going on, but... then they have people sacrificing themselves with the ships because? Its not like they turned them around and performed the Holdo Maneuver with the medical ship, they just let it run out of fuel, evacuate the crew to the Raddus... except the captain, because fuck him I guess? Why did he have to die? What purpose does it serve? I know "captain goes down with the ship" is a trope and all, but the intent of the saying is that the captain is supposed to be the last one off
the ship, not that he literally has to die with the ship. The captain is also responsible for their crew once they are all off the ship according to naval law and tradition, so... what the fuck? We see in the film that Poe is greatly distressed by the deaths of the other two ship captains, and we know it effects other members of the bridge crew on the Raddus, so why does Holdo not tell the idiots to evacuate with their crew? Or at least attempt a suicide run like she successfully attempts later?
(Again, Hyperspace ramming is just a bad idea in so many ways, but most of all it undermines the chase sequence. They could have proposed using the medical ship that way and then shot down the idea as unlikely, and that would have at least forshadowed that everyone knew why it was unlikely to work; but instead the ramming scene happens with no warning to the audience at all, and no explanation for why it was never tried in a prior movie)
And that's just one problem with her leadership that has nothing to do with Poe. The problems with her handling of Poe are merely more obvious because the film is taking his POV for most of the sequence. Even this problem is witnessed by him, but again, it doesn't just effect him, and in fact the mutiny is proof of that. Again, like people have been saying, we see a member of the bridge crew among the mutineers, showing how bad her mistake with Poe got. She should have either treated him better, or disciplined him harder when he threw an actual tantrum on the bridge, but trying to have it both ways by not dealing with him at all? That's a bad leadership decision in its own right. That is what directly caused the mutiny.
And there is that intersectionality problem I mentioned earlier, wherein the movie is written to make the white
woman in a position of authority act rude to the latino
man who works for her. And he treats it as rude, so don't tell me it isn't rude. You just keep ignoring their race when talking about the scene, but it is just as relevant as their gender for how the audience views the scene. Point of View matters in story telling. Its a deliberate choice by the filmmaker to portray her decisions through Poe's eyes. Is he entitled? Maybe a little, but as a latino man it has a different connotation than if he were a white man. If it were Finn, it would be a different connotation again because Finn is black. One of the other major Hollywood fallacies about diversity is that its an either-or dilemma, when it actually isn't (Star Trek being a good example of having all the diversity you could ask for without compromise). In this case they sacrificed good representation of racial minorities in favor of what they thought
was strong female representation, and that in itself is a mistake.
Funny, I don't recall Holdo constantly pulling rank. I do recall her calling Poe out when he misstated his rank following his demotion.
Psst, TRR, its an example of the pattern, it doesn't have to directly relate to Holdo. Holdo is similar insofar as she is written to exude authority without earning it by her actions, but merely by her demeanor. Namely, having her remind Poe of his current ranks is a power play to show who is in command here, which shouldn't be necessary because they already said she is in command and Poe approached her as his commanding officer. We don't need to be told she is in command three times, its only done to show that she's the boss and he's beneath her, or in other words, to show how "strong" she is without showing her in action. That backfired for reasons unique to this film and have nothing per-say to do with Star Trek. But it is also part of the pattern. If she were written as a male leader, its more likely (but not 100% likely) he would have merely been introduced as the current commanding officer, and then move on to business. A male admiral would be assumed by the writer to be a competent leader until they have to show otherwise; with a female leader it seems to be the opposite, and they work themselves into knots trying to figure out how to portray them as strong leaders without doing anything to earn that. Here's a thought, instead of Poe taking one look at her, commenting that she's not what he expected (which, by the way, primes the audience to pay attention to how she dresses, something you keep coming back to), and then approach her they could have had him say "oh, yeah, I've heard of her from <events XYZ>. We might be in good hands." You know, the same trick Lucas when he revealed that Lando held the rank of General in Return of the Jedi. All we needed to hear was that he earned the rank, and that was that. If they did the same thing with Holdo, she would be established immediately as someone Poe knows should be competent. Then
you can do the subversion where her demeanor puts him off somehow (though she still shouldn't stonewall him for no reason), because when the reveal happens that she had a good plan all along, it would bring the audience back to Poe's initial comment, and show that he shouldn't have doubted her based on her demeanor. THAT is how you break the stereotype of women being bad leaders.
By the way, if you can't tell, women can be excellent leaders, IMO. Its just
an awful stereotype that I'm rather sick of seeing in fiction, and which seems to effect real politics when you look at the demographics of people in office.
While it is of course true that there are many admirable qualities in a character which are gender neutral, I'm also increasingly skeptical of the argument that one should just write women as men. Because the implication of that is that the only good way to write a woman is to essentially ignore a lot of the issues around sex and gender altogether, and pretend that those issues have no effect on a person's life, experiences, or how they interact with the world around them.
The point of the advice is not to ignore the facts of being female, but rather to get writers to relax when trying to write good female characters. Not only does it highlight to the writer that our admiration of a character is only related to gender insofar as we relate to people we are like ourselves, it also encourages some writers to limit the scope of the character's backstory, as some writers also fall into a trap where a single female character has to represent all women, so they jam too much into their backstory and get a headache in the process. Women are diverse creatures, so this method also teaches new writers that they can gender swap other characters in their story that were going to male characters by default, thus increasing the diversity of their stories with much less effort than they were expecting. A lot of characters are defined by a role in the story rather than by the gender of the character, but a lot of writers don't realize they are using male as a default, or even heterosexual as a default-- and yes, you can use the same trick to introduce more LGBTQ representation as well. You don't have to think "I need to insert a gay character into this story" when you can just say "hey, I got these two characters in a romance, maybe one of them could gender flip to the same sex as the other character?" Its obvious more work has to be put in to make those characters believable, but not nearly
as much as a lot of writers assume.
Actually, as I have repeatedly pointed out, the film does give several hints which, in hindsight, show that Poe was in the wrong. The first is his action at the start of the film, getting many people killed in a reckless and unnecessary attack against orders. This demonstrates him impulsiveness, insubordination, and poor judgement. This is reinforced when Legendary OT Hero Leia calls him out and demotes him for it. Holdo, meanwhile, is introduced as a hero of a prior battle.
No, no, and no. None of that foreshadows that Holdo has a plan. Its irrelevant, and does not directly relate to the middle act of the movie at all. On the other hand, as I pointed out later in the post, if Finn and Rose's spaceship had a cloaking device in it, that
would foreshadow Holdo's plan. You obviously don't know how foreshadowing works.
Also, of course, there's the fact that when she does try to tell Poe the plan, he doesn't listen, but instead starts ranting that she's a traitor.
She tells him to have hope. She doesn't tell him jack shit about a plan. You obviously don't know how dialogue works.
The film plays on audiences biases and gives limited perspective to keep the misdirection up, but in hindsight there are plenty of signs that Poe is in the wrong, and to say that the film gives no clues is flatly false. And I've demonstrated this point repeatedly. The truth is that the reveal "failed" not because there was no foreshadowing of it, or because Poe was really right, but because the audience (or, rather, a vocal portion of it) did not like the message. Which is also predictable in hindsight. Few people enjoy having their biases pointed out to them, and denial is generally easier and more comforting than self-reflection.
Foreshadowing isn't about who is right and who is wrong. Its about spoiling the plot to the audience and hiding the spoilers in background noise so they have to be clever to notice it. It can also be more blatant if the storyteller wants, such as a Chekov's gun. It isn't fair to make
the audience biased by keeping information from them and then saying "Ha ha! Fooled you!" That
is why the reveal doesn't work. No one cares what the message is, because it feels like the message is just the writer repeatedly spitting in their eye and calling it filmmaking.
[Oh, you've just got to love this. You admit that "her" plan (which was really at least partly Leia's plan, but I guess we're just ignoring that) only failed because of Poe's mutiny, but blame Holdo for the mutiny, then use that as proof that she's a bad leader- justifying the mutiny which supposedly proves she's a bad leader! What a perfect little circular argument.
You need to look up what "circular reasoning" means. Like I said before, as soon as Poe had that tantrum on the bridge he should have been either thrown in the brig, or Holdo should have had someone brief him on what was actually going on, or both. By doing nothing, yeah, she caused the mutiny.
People have already said this. When are you planning on listening?
Wow, you can just feel the seething resentment being projected onto the character of Holdo here. Complete with hysterical, paranoid rantings about the female authority figure wanting to strangle you in your sleep.
Oh get a sense of humor, you dumb piece of shit. Do you really think this paragraph is meant to be totally serious when I started making Karen jokes? Or have you just not heard of that meme? Obviously you don't work retail or the service industry. If there is any resentment to anyone in that paragraph, its to idiots in my workplace who refuse to wear masks in public and demand to know why the bullshit we sell costs ten percent more than it does online (no, really, the story I work for can have as much as a ten percent difference between the brick and mortar locations and the online store. Its really stupid, and I blame corporate as much as anyone).
The only other purpose this could have served if I were thinking about it that hard was baiting you into saying something stupid, like you assuming the fighter commander I am referring to is Poe, when I clearly said the fighter commander on the ground
, i.e. the mission controller. Moron.
Oh yes, of course the solution is to replace the original character with an old OT character.
And yeah, the audience would probably be more accepting of this. But it would negate the entire aspect of the Holdo-Poe conflict which is deconstructing entitled toxic masculinity- which is no doubt a big part of the reason why you prefer it.
God, you just can't allow any other interpretation than "this is about toxic masculinity" can you? Even other defenders of the film I've read at least try to tie it into a theme of the film that's actually supported by the text, namely, people learning from failure. In this case, Poe learning from his role in fucking up the escape plan. Of course, that's still in the film, it just comes at the cost of sacrificing all his best qualities from the previous film (and don't get me wrong, I only dislike that he became a pet character in the previous film, but I can see why J.J. liked the performance) while simultaniously making him but heads with a character we have never met before rather than making use of an underused OT character. Yes, I think the OT characters needed to be used in these films, so sue me. Why did it need to be a new character? Answer me that. And besides, he doesn't even learn anything by the end of it, certainly nothing about treating women better, because it was a character trait that came out of nowhere and went nowhere. He was fine with women in the previous film, he was fine with women who weren't Holdo during the sequence (Rose Tico, for instance, who tazed one of his friends just for trying to leave), so I'm pretty sure it wasn't about toxic masculinity. And if it was, like I said, you can't mix Feminism with racism and still be Feminist.
Yes, God forbid that the franchise ever do anything new.
And you end the long chain of Quote Spaghetti with a one liner with no substance. Like clockwork.