Bnonn Tennant (the B is silent)

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The Last Jedi is the first successful leftist porno

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12 minutes to read Why did the latest Star Wars installment receive fawning critical adoration, but widespread contempt from average movie-goers? Because average movie-goers didn’t realize that it was a film made to stimulate the engorgement of virtue, rather than to tell a story.

Many leftist films and TV series are pornographic, of course, and Fifty Shades of Grey was even a literal porno. But when I say The Last Jedi was a porno, what I’m talking about is something a little different: it has all the hallmarks of a dedicated pornographic project, without any of the actual erotica.

A porno is not a vehicle for storytelling. Indeed, watching a porno for its story (or reading Playboy for the articles) constitutes a long-running joke in the Mos Eisleys of the internet. Because a porno is not a vehicle for storytelling, but rather for erotica, one would—if one felt so inclined—judge the writing and acting by a different standard than the usual rules of movie-making.

And this is exactly what you must do if you see The Last Jedi. If you expect it to be a vehicle for storytelling, you will be (in many cases bitterly) disappointed. The vast number of 1- and 2-star user reviews on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes attest to this. It takes a special amount of outrage to prompt so many people to sign up to review sites just to vent and warn others. I can attest to this personally despite not even being a Star Wars fan—here is the brief 1½-star summation I felt compelled to post on Rotten Tomatoes:

Beautiful sound design and visuals that really feel like Star Wars are not enough to salvage this social-justice feminist-fest. Every male character is a parodied buffoon who must be saved from himself by feminine wisdom, dished out by cardboard clichés; major plot arcs from the previous movies are callously brushed aside without regard for audience expectations; and one of the twentieth century’s most iconic young heroes is knelt down and made to suck the kool-aid of his own toxic masculinity, transforming him from a matured, resolutely hopeful and merciful leader into a grouchy old bastard with homicidal urges responsible for creating an emo man-child with rage issues. Meanwhile, the story swings wildly between incoherent or irrelevant arcs as egregious plot holes are repeatedly ignored, and even the pretense of scientific literacy is entirely discarded—until the whole heaving mass begs to end in a series of third acts where characters you don’t care about make increasingly irrational decisions, the one character you do care about dies meaninglessly, and the entire facile assemblage eventually flops onto the credits with the kind of listless sigh that I imagine a four-teated sea-cow would make as it dies of ennui.

Some of what makes The Last Jedi so execrable is the way in which it flagrantly disrespects the universe that gave it life. Detaching it from the broader Star Wars mythos does make it marginally more tolerable—but it’s still only a good movie if all you’re interested in is two and a half hours of spectacular visuals and sound. If you’re looking for good storytelling—i.e., compelling character arcs woven into a coherent plot—you’re SOL because it simply doesn’t have these. It is not—and I don’t believe was ever intended to be—a vehicle for storytelling. Rather, it’s an extended, high-budget SJW propaganda piece. A leftist porno.

The only way to enjoyappreciate? it, therefore, is to treat it as such: to view it as a propaganda project rather than a normal film. That way, when characters do inexplicable things, or are themselves inexplicable from a normal storytelling point of view, or when entire plot arcs are included that fail to advance the storyline at all, you have the framework in place to understand the decisions that were made and judge them according to that non-storytelling goal.

I’ll touch on a few paradigm examples in the film to explain what is going on here.

To be clear, I think Hanlon’s Razor is a viable option here. My tongue is a little in cheek at times. You can intend to tell a good story, but be so wrapped up in your own ideological narrative that you internally can’t distinguish the two, thus mistaking virtue-signaling for storytelling. In fact, reading some of director Rian Johnson’s own comments, [ Matt Goldberg, Rian Johnson Explains Why He Chose (SPOILER) for Rey’s Parents in Collider (December 2017).] I believe this is largely what happened. For instance, he chose to make Rey’s parents nobodies because that was the hardest thing for her to hear. He thinks that’s what makes great storytelling, and relates it back to the reveal of Vader as Luke’s father. But perhaps he is projecting his perceived audience onto Rey at this point—what does he think they as people immersed in a “culture of privilege” need to hear? Any remotely sensitive storyteller would realize that the Vader reveal is powerful not because it’s hard for Luke to hear, but because it is hard for the audience. In the case of Rey, however, the audience has been primed for a juicy reveal—which is what makes learning her parentage such a lame letdown.

Spoilers ahead #obvs

Vice-Admiral Holdo

Perhaps the most overt example—what really compels me to assume that The Last Jedi is an intentional leftist porno—is Laura Dern’s Holdo. It is not all that unusual for a director to put a woman in a major role of authority these days; but usually he makes an effort to do it nonchalantly. He wants his audience to pick up the message subliminally—defer to female authority. If he rams it down their throats they tend to choke. In a porno, however, storytelling is not the point, and so there is no need for subtlety; characters are generally caricatures of their mainstream movie selves.

This is what happens in The Last Jedi. It is as if director Rian Johnson googled typical feminist and goddess of wisdom and told the casting director to create a mashup of the first page of image results. Everything about her, from her hair to her dress to her dialog to her mannerisms to her story arc, is a comically ham-fisted effort to literally embody the feminine mystique. It is her job to cut the action-taking traditional male hero, Poe, down to size by femsplaining to him how the toxic masculinity of a “flyboy” like him puts everyone in danger. It is her job to share a moment with Leia after she stuns Poe for insubordination, in which she is equal parts serene and condescending in agreeing that they like him, as a master might like a noisy but well-meaning dog. And it is her job to flip the narrative and reveal how feminine wisdom transcends—and is nearly destroyed by—masculine problem-solving…

Transcendent feminine wisdom

While other parts of the movie rub our noses in the SJW agenda perhaps even more carefully, it is Holdo’s story arc that most clearly shifts The Last Jedi from a bad leftist film into a really classy leftist porno. As I’ve said, in a porno, story doesn’t matter—whatever advances the actual goal of the film is what the director will choose. So with Holdo: it didn’t matter to Rian Johnson that it made no sense whatever to keep Poe, the commander of the Starfighter Corp, in the dark about Holdo’s plan—because her character was not a vehicle for story, but rather for a revelation about feminine wisdom that would put men in their place, laying bare their toxic shortcomings and arrogant assumptions.

Throughout the second act, we are led to believe that Holdo is an incompetent coward who has effectively frozen under pressure—stuck in a holding pattern rather than chancing anything risky in the hope of saving the fleet. An entire story arc is developed to support this assumption, where Poe takes matters into his own hands with a dangerous hail-mary—building to a great anti-climax where this B-plot finally flops instead of paying off as the audience expects, and Holdo is revealed to have had a better plan all along. Many reviewers have expressed their frustration at how pointless this lengthy arc was—a misdirect and plot twist for the sake of saying “gotcha” rather than creating a payoff in terms of character development or plot advancement. But they are interpreting the movie through the framework of what makes a good story rather than what makes a good leftist porno. From that perspective, this was feminist gold.

In a scene reminiscent of Isaiah 55:8–9, the revelation of Holdo’s providence is unveiled—a mystery kept secret for long ages. We discover that she has been leading the fleet to a secret rebel base all along, sacrificing ships like chess pieces along the way in order to establish an unassailable stalemate in the end-game, rather than lose the king. (Sorry, the queen—in this chess game, the king and the queen swap places—obviously.)

It is the perfect feminine plan: one without fighting, in which the security of the collective is ensured. And by contrast, we see that Poe’s plan was reckless and foolhardy—pointlessly risking the lives of Finn and Rose (who herself serves no particular purpose except to meet the racial-diversity-body-positivity quota), on a gambit that ultimately failed. His masculine impulse to solve the problem through direct action blinded him to the greater feminine wisdom. Worse, it nearly cost the entire Resistance their lives, as he sabotaged the female leadership through mutiny—and it did cost Holdo her life, as she had to buy the Resistance time after Poe’s plan backfired and alerted the First Order to the fleeing transport ships.

But why didn’t Holdo just confide her plan to Poe in the first place? Because she shouldn’t have needed to. Ultimately, Poe’s greatest sin was not his taking action—it was his taking action out of a failure to recognize and trust in the transcendence of feminine wisdom. His sin was faithlessness. Masculine arrogance prevented him from faithfully submitting to Holdo.

And because the entire arc is told from his perspective, the audience is exposed as being guilty of the same faithless misogyny. “Oh, you thought Poe was the hero? Gotcha. We still have so far to go until sexism is truly a thing of the past, don’t we?”

Lest you think my interpretations extreme, allow me to quote from one representatively ecstatic review to press the point home:

If the Universe was run by women, The Last Jedi‘s clear subtext runs, things would be kinder, more humane, better organised and a lot more peaceful. What a perfect tribute to Carrie Fisher and what a wonderful message in 2017 for young women, at a time when it’s becoming clear that the film industry has long been stacked against them. [ Rosie Fletcher, How Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the first truly feminist Star Wars film in Digital Spy (December 2017).]

The 1% get their comeuppance

Who can forget the extended leftist masturbation integrated into the midst of the pointless second act B-plot? On Canto Bight, the casino planet, we are supposed to be outraged at the rich assholes who live off the backs of the poor. We are supposed to exult when their maltreatment of animals is turned against them in a stampede that destroys their fancy property.

But…like a porno, if the viewer finds his pulse quickening during these scenes, it is not because of compelling character advancement or evocative themes. It is not the thoughtful writing or inspiring acting stimulating his feelings. His excitement is being aroused by something a little more primitive.

Being caught up in the special effects of virtue-signaling is a heady experience for some; for the average viewer, however, the hypocrisy would be hysterical if it weren’t so disgusting. Was not every major player in the making of The Last Jedi a member of the 1% themselves? And does this scene not logically end with life worse for everyone living under the elite on Canto Bight? The animals will be recaptured. The various peons will be punished severely, so their lives suck more now—thanks Rose. And the property? Well, obviously it was insured. The only people who really suffer as a result of all this pointless nonsense are the very people we are supposed to be rooting for.

Badly lip-synced hero’s journey & Luke’s toxic masculinity

There are many features of this film that constitute such genuine skubalon (cf. Phil. 3:8b) that it’s hard not to rant—but the final truly notable one is in the contrast between Luke and Rey.

The original Star Wars is noted for being a paradigm example of the hero’s journey archetype (sometimes, and in my view misleadingly, called the monomyth). In the new trilogy, this theme is recapitulated with so little creativity that it is almost a beat-for-beat remake of the original—only without any of the character effort that makes the archetype work in the first place. Leaving aside the well-worn parallels between The Force Awakens and A New Hope, The Last Jedi continues to rehash everything that Johnson presumably thought made Empire and Jedi watchable. As my wife observed:

Heroes visit a wretched hive of scum and villainy? Check. Scary villain on scary chair in scary throne room taunts the hero with “I’m gonna turn you evil!”, hero is tempted but eventually goes “Never!”, villain sneers “Well then, you will die”, other bad guy saves hero? Check. Prolonged sequence in which the heroes are chased through space by villains? Check. Hero goes to remote place to find mentor, who is initially reluctant to help, and undergoes a series of physical and psychological tests including entering a mysteriously Force-sensitive cave? Well, that seems bizarrely specific, but whaddyaknow, they did all that too.

The last item is actually comical, because it suggests that Johnson understand the hero’s journey archetype so poorly that he failed to realize the cave element is not literal. But the larger point is that it’s not enough to just send your protagonist on some kind of quest—you have to actually go to the trouble of creating the various points of development that constitute the archetype itself. Simply stepping Rey through the same sequence Luke followed, so you can tick the boxes, doesn’t actually constitute development.

I shan’t rehearse the complaints about her being a Mary-Sue; this strikes me as such an obvious feminist trope as to go without comment. Rather, I want to focus on what this ends up doing to Luke—because this is precisely why The Last Jedi’s treatment of his character is so offensive. What happened here can easily be understood as the conjunction of two basic tenets of feminism:

  1. Women have a natural attunement to reality through intuition and emotion, and are thus privileged with wisdom and harmony that men cannot attain.
  2. Men, because they are afraid to tap into these feminine feelings, try to control the world through violence instead.

Since Rey is a woman, and therefore does not need to work at developing her skills and wisdom—they are inherent and she just has to liberate them—she has no need of a mentor. Yes, lip-service is paid to the idea for the sake of the archetype—but as travesty-ghost-Yoda observes to Luke, there is nothing in the Jedi books that Rey doesn’t already know, and Luke himself hasn’t even read them!

This is why Luke’s own hero’s journey from the original trilogy is effectively reversed in The Last Jedi. Using Campbell’s nomenclature, his achievement of the Master of Two Worlds is rescinded—thus retracting his entire transformation and returning him to the initial selfish and resentful state in which he started. We can’t have a man achieving genuine wisdom and empathy, or the ability to stand between two worlds and balance or harmonize them. That’s a woman’s job—and if Luke appeared to achieve such a vaunted status in the original trilogy, it was only a matter of time before his base male nature dragged him back down. For example, when he sensed darkness in Ben Solo.

The Luke we know, who spent two movies resolutely convinced that there was enough good left in Vader to turn him back to the light side, would never for a moment have contemplated killing a young student as he slept. But the Luke that feminists know was just hiding his true self during the original trilogy, and quickly reverted back to that violent impulse the moment he felt threatened by something he doubted he could understand or control. In other words, Luke failed to permanently become a woman. Thankfully, now we have Rey to do the job properly.

This would be bad enough, but since Rey is already a woman the film doesn’t bother to replace what it took by making her undergo any kind of meaningful transformation. She has no genuine mentorship, because she doesn’t need it as a naturally wisdomous female. Her supernatural aid is shoehorned in without effort on her part or explanation of its use, because greatness just comes naturally to women (because they deserve it). The road of trials element of her journey is therefore a yawn-fest—there is no real sense of danger, so there is no real tension. Worse, when the film does manage to muster a modicum of tension, it immediately takes it back with the other hand in the form of “twists” and “reveals” that serve no story purpose—thus making any supposed developments meaningless to the viewer, who gives up trying to understand the filmmaker’s intentions.

This is, of course, not a concern to Johnson & crew, because their intentions were not to write a good story. Rather, they have dutifully fulfilled the feminine directive of their own leader/wisdom goddess, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. She wanted a leftist porno—and they made the best one yet. As another feminist commentator observes:

The Last Jedi has a clear message: The nearly all-white, overwhemingly male, privilege-based way of thinking that celebrates war culture and toxic masculinity and that created the First Order has to go, both in the larger world and as it’s internalized in our hearts and minds, and in its place will be something entirely new, created by diverse young people who are walking away from war culture, walking away from toxic masculinity, walking away from systems of privilege. [ Melissa Hillman, “This is not going to go the way you think”: The Last Jedi is subversive AF, and I am here for it in Bitter Gertrude (December 2017).]

We’ll have to wait until Episode IX to see how much of an audience there is for this sort of thing. Judging from the user reviews, it might be less than Kennedy, Johnson, and their breathless shills think. The world is still just full of misogynists.

 16 comments

newcreation

This is the single best review of this film that I have read. I have shared it and will continue to do so. Good work

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

Thanks, I appreciate that. In fairness, I think there have been other, better reviews, in a more technical sense. I didn’t intend this as a review so much as an analysis of certain key elements of the movie.

Jay

I think you’re reading too much into it. I dislike it when the social justice warriors obsess about the sexes and races of characters in a film, and it’s not any better when it comes from a conservative. Regarding the Poe and Holdo story arc, a talented but reckless soldier endangering people because he doesn’t listen to his superiors is a common trope in science fiction and fantasy. Poe got people killed because he didn’t listen to his commanding officer, not because he didn’t listen to a woman. The fact that Holdo was dressed in a gown seems irrelevant. Mon Mothma, the Rebel leader in “Return of the Jedi,” was dressed similarly, so I thought it was merely a nostalgia thing.

Furthermore, Poe shows that he has learned his lesson when he allows Luke to face Kylo Ren alone. He prevents Finn from interfering, indicating that he has learned to trust people who are older and wiser. Luke is male, so I think that fact undermines your argument that the Holdo arc is “feminist propaganda.”

“The Last Jedi” was enjoyable. The conservatives who consider it “feminist propaganda” do not sound any different than the feminists who nitpick other films looking for “toxic masculinity.” Both sides are equally obsessed with a culture war that, frankly, bores me. Just enjoy the movie.

Thewolf13

This was shared in a Christian Facebook group and I was encouraged to share my response here. So here goes:

I’m not even sure if I want to respond to something so flagrantly toxic.

First of all I went into Last Jedi looking for a great story not a leftist porno(no leftist would consider me a part of them) and I was not disappointed. I found the characters incredibly compelling. Every single one was flawed which is not a staple of Star Wars(which certainly is ham-fisted in it’s holier than thou characters).

Just to point a few things. Poe isn’t supposed to listen Holdo because she is a woman but because she is a superior officer. Anyone who did what Poe did when we be court martialed and possibly executed even if they were the greatest star-fighter ever.

2- The 1% get theirs except they don’t. Finn and Rose wildly rampage through the casino but what happens after that. Stable boy is still a slave, the animals are still captured and mistreated and while we don’t see it we can assume that the casino dwellers go back to gambling. Oh no their tables got turned over how will they ever recover?

3- Luke is a crotchety old man and so was Yoda. Yes he changed his tune but he was also right in the wisdom he gave to Rey. She expects to go and rescue Kylo and live happily ever after because she knows better than that crotchety old man. Luke specifically tells her that it isn’t going to work that way and winds up being right. What might have happened if she had listened to Luke’s wisdom. We’ll never to know because Rey was too headstrong.

Finally this article misses the most powerful male character of the movie. Kylo Ren doesn’t need to be ‘femsplained’ (a term as offensive as mansplaining) anything to reach his goals. As a matter of fact he manipulates the supposed Mary-Sue feminine agenda queen in order to reach the pinnacle all by himself. I don’t see how that is a left agenda at all.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

Jay, thanks for your thoughts. I’ll be honest though: saying people read too much into media would have sounded like a fair criticism 30 years ago. Now it just sounds like the frog disputing the meaning of the bubbles as he comes to the boil in that pot.

It’s interesting that the most pushback I’ve received on my analysis has probably been on the point that seems most obvious to me. Poe was set up to be cut down to size by the feminine icons of the movie. Note that my complaint has nothing to do with the legitimacy of his treatment by the female leads; I am not rooting for reckless ego-driven heroism. My complaint is that the movie chose to depict him in this way at all (as if the equivalent of an Air Force CO would act in such a way), and that it chose women to be his teachers and superiors.

The fact that leftist commentators and reviewers are noting the clear message here—the world would be better if run by women—really puts the lie to your naïveté. If Hollywood were populated by level-headed political moderates, we could say that the commentators are just projecting their own political predilections onto the movie. Ideological eisegesis. But the fact is that the opposite is true: Hollywood is populated by leftist ideologues, and so when commentators who are also leftist ideologues note the obvious messages in the movie, it behooves us to pay attention. Sound exegesis starts by asking, “What would this mean to the author and his audience?” And they understand the author, because they are his audience. Conservatives pooh-poohing and saying that this all reads too much into it—that is the true eisegesis.

Conservative responses of this kind remind me of when leftists just can’t believe that Muslims really want to destroy Western civilization. It’s a head-in-the-sand mentality. “Well I’m not like that, so I can’t believe anyone is.” It fundamentally misunderstands the nature of man’s heart, and the selectivity of God’s grace.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

Thewolf, thanks for taking the time to comment, but I doubt any meaningful dialog will be forthcoming given your unironic use of the word “toxic.” In addition to my comment to Jay above, I’d just observe:

Ad #2: I made this point in my review, so I’m not sure why you’re repeating it back to me.

Ad #3: this arc is just a hamfisted re-beat of Luke’s in Empire so it’s hard to read too much into it; moreover, given the overall context of the movie, Rey’s attitude comes across as another laudable example of the feminine desire for collectivist harmony, rather than headstrong foolishness.

Ad #4: Kylo Ren is not portrayed as “powerful” in any positive sense of that term; he is portrayed as an unstable maniac. The fact that he, as you say, manipulates the Mary-Sue feminine agenda queen is precisely leftist propaganda because he’s the bad guy. Honestly, it’s like you don’t understand how stories work.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

Thanks Michael. I recently came across Warhorn—this is a product of Tim Bayly’s church, right? There’s some good stuff on there.

I confess I’m in two minds about Nathan’s piece. He makes some good points, but he’s wrapped in some very common knots as well. Here’s a representative example:

Men lie to themselves and women about the sort of women they want. Women are gullible and believe the lie and become the women they think men want. Then men reject them because men never wanted those sorts of women in the first place.

This is exactly backwards. I’m really exhausted with Christians blaming feminism on men. I know it’s easier, because rebuking women feels terrible while rebuking men feels heroic. But it’s not helpful.

For instance, it is actually women who, since being liberated to have sex without consequences in the sixties, have lied to men about the sort of men they want (nice-boy beta providers). Men have gullibly believed the lie and become who they think women want. Then women reject them because they never wanted those sorts of men in the first place (they are designed to be attracted to the opposite of supplicant feminine-identifying betas).

He goes on to cite the divorce rate—but divorces are overwhelmingly initiated by women (over 70% iirc). So he’s missing something truly fundamental here about where the power lies and who is in the driver’s seat.

If you’re not familiar with hypergamy and its various follow-on effects this will probably seem like a left-field objection; if that’s the case, I’d encourage you to look it up. Dalrock has some good stuff.

That said, I’m always eager to connect with folks like you and Nathan, even if we don’t line up on every detail :)

Michael Foster

Yes, Warhorn Media is a ministry based out of Clearnote Church. Tim was my pastor for 5 1/2 years.

I’d be interested to hear Nathan’s response. You guys aren’t far off from each other.

Tim Bayly

Excellent, Dominic. Keep at it. BTW, I read the piece because I found a link to it on Warhorn’s stats page, then I read the comments because I was interested. Had no idea Nathan and Michael would show up here, but I guess it makes sense. Lousy minds think different. Warmly,

John Weis

(Here from Tim’s comment on Facebook).

Great review. I saw the clear issues with the Poe-Holdo arc, but until reading your article, I didn’t really understand the Fin-Rose arc as well.

The ironic thing about Holdo’s actions is that she does exactly what she criticizes Poe of doing: self-directed action in which some *individual* saves the day without telling anyone their plan. Holdo’s hubris of proving to Poe of the wisdom of authority blinds her to the fact that she is just like Poe, all while despising his modus operandi.

In a sense, this same dynamic happens with Rose and Fin. Fin wishes to sacrifice himself for the sake of the people in the base, which might have worked. But Rose decides to sacrifice herself to stop Fin’s sacrifice, smashing her speeder into Fin’s to knock his off course. It’s an anti-atonement.

It’s not just leftist porno, it’s also deeply incongruous with the entire canon of Star Wars. The entire point of the Star Wars hero is that one person really can do something about galactic evil. But in literally each example, the sacrifice made doesn’t actually stop any of the evil from proceeding. Holdo destroys the star-ship, but the First Order continues to chase down the rebels. Rose stops Fin from destroying the “battering ram” cannon, but the attack continues. Rey almost sacrifices herself to bring Kylo-Ren to the Light, but he continues on his path.

In this way, it is actually somewhat salvageable, as the mini-heroes of the film fail to achieve their own goals. Stupid doesn’t work, not even in fiction.

Nathan Alberson

Hi, Dominic. I loved your article. And I don’t disagree with any of what you wrote in response to mine. Insofar as men were created by God to lead and bear responsibility, insofar as God questioned Adam in the garden and not Eve, insofar as men must lead the way in repentance, I believe it is worthwhile to point out their sins first and call them to repentance first. But certainly women will stand before God on the judgement day and be called to account for their massive part in the western world’s rebellion against God’s ordering of sexuality. There are many things I might nuance differently if I had that article to write over again but that’s why I leaned the way I did.