Catholic Bishop Robert Barron recently uploaded a video version of his review of Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi and, like many viewers wasn’t impressed by the film though Barron’s issue with the film wasn’t its length, Luke’s death, or even the Porgs. Instead, Barron blamed the independence of the film’s female characters.
“The female figures in The Last Jedi typically correct, demote, control, and roll their eyes at the males, who stumble about when not provided with feminine instruction,” Barron wrote in his review for Word on Fire. “I laughed out loud when Rey, the young woman who has come to Luke for instruction in the ways of the Jedi, shows herself already in full possession of spiritual power. No Yoda or Obi-Wan required, thank you very much. The movie ends (spoiler alert) with all of the men off the stage and Leia taking the hand of Rey and saying, ‘We have all we need.'”
In The Last Jedi, men in leadership positions are pretty much absent. Luke has disappeared off to Ahch-To, Han Solo is dead, Finn is still so new to the Rebellion that he’s still finding his place, and while Poe is leadership material he still has a lot to learn. Instead, General Leia Organa is in charge of the remains of the Rebellion and Rey is off to find Luke. Why? Because they believe that the legendary Luke Skywalker is the Rebellion’s last hope. That important plot point, that the reason Rey is going to find Luke is about bringing him back, so he can, in a manner of speaking, “be the man”, is something that Barron conveniently misses. Rey decides to take things into her own hands when Luke fails her. Barron also ignores that, for all of her spiritual self-assuredness, Rey is still seeking validation and answers from male figures, partly through Luke and partly through Kylo Ren, at least when it comes to finding her place within the conflict.
Instead, Barron went on argue that earlier Star Wars films were better because in those films Leia was portrayed as needing a male figure to bring out the best within herself, even going so far as to argue that when Han Solo “pushed back” against Leia and her ideas, she became “more fully herself.”
Barron isn’t alone in taking issue with the portrayal of women in The Last Jedi. Recently, one viewer who also disagreed with how the film was framed pirated The Last Jedi, removed every scene featuring a woman, and uploaded it to an illegal downloading service. The so-called “chauvinist cut” of the film is a mere 47 minutes long and even got the attention of The Last Jedi‘s director. Johnson, who often engages with fans on Twitter despite the backlash he continues to receive for the film, responded with uncontained laughter at the idea that women were the problem with the film.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi currently has an 81.6 ComicBook.com Composite Score. Star Wars: The Last Jedi also has a 3.15 out of 5 ComicBook.com User Rating. Let us know what you thought of Star Wars: The Last Jedi by giving the film your own personal ComicBook.com User Rating below.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is now playing in theaters. Its sequel and the final installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, Star Wars: Episode IX, will release in theaters on December 20, 2017. The next standalone Star Wars movie, Solo: A Star Wars Story, opens in theaters on May 25, 2018.