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  1. I have never been bothered by a bad wig in films/TV, in fact most of the times I don't even notice it. (Apparent examples of bad wigs: Mera and Atalana in Aquaman, Cersei and Daenerys in Game of Thrones, Storm in X-Men. I honestly didn't notice or care).
  2. It's difficult to put into words, but there are two ways to look at any given story: from a Watsonian point-of-view (that is, from within the story itself: discussing character motivation, plot development, etc) or Doylistically (from without the story, taking into account the context the writers are working in: why they made certain narrative choices, the existence of themes, symbolism, etc). For instance, let's say you see two same-sex characters on television hold hands under a rainbow. From a Watsonian point of view, it's just two characters who (for whatever reason) decide to hold hands after the rain. The characters don't know what the future holds. But from a Doylistic point of view, audiences can safely assume that the writers are trying to convey something about their relationship by positioning them under the universal symbol of the gay rights movement. It would likely be foreshadowing for the fact they'll eventually fall in love. In Finn's case, from a Watsonian POV, obviously his skin colour is largely irrelevant in the context of the galaxy in which he lives. As far as I know, there's no racism in the Republic. But from a Doylistic POV, the fact that a Black man is playing this character inevitably brings connotations to the story, whether the writers like it or not. As the article points out: In The Force Awakens, Finn seizes his freedom from the First Order by escaping from the clutches of Kylo Ren with Poe Dameron. He discovers an identity by discarding the white stormtrooper helmet that erased his skin color and dropping his slave name, FN-2187, to become “Finn.” When Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Finn capture Captain Phasma — Finn’s former commanding officer and master — he taunts her with the phrase, “I’m in charge now,” which expresses his embodiment of Black resistance. People could saying that the article's writer is reaching, or that this would have all played out the same way with a white actor in the role, but with John Boyega as Finn, that reading of the text exists whether JJ Abrams is aware of it or not. It's clear that he didn't, and we're left with a trilogy that decided to jettison the possibility of Finn leading a Stormtrooper (that is, slave) uprising in favour of yet another story about why we should all feel sorry for violent white men who murder people. Along with the bait-and-switch of the first TFA posters, and Finn's gradual sidelining into less important subplots, there's stuff like the fact that Kylo beating Finn into a coma at the end of TFA is barely a factor in the following two films; instead the tiny little scratch on Kylo's face is given huge thematic weight, while the inevitable existence of a serious wound on Finn's back is completely ignored. And the fact that Disney was clearly more comfortable in Rey kissing a space fascist that spend most of his screen-time assaulting her over the Black guy who genuinely loved and respected her speaks volumes. The optics, Doylistically speaking, are Not Good.
  3. In the wake of current events: John Boyega is doing what Star Wars wouldn't... Discusses how Finn's race is treated as incidental to his storyline, his gradual sidelining, and the fact they got cold feet on any potential Rey/Finn romance.
  4. Ravenya003

    The Star Wars Saga

    I meant Smurfette in the sense that she was the only female character of note in the whole movie (and therefore couldn't have any sort of friendship with another woman), which is the fault of the writers, not the character. You can be the lead (which she clearly was) AND a Smurfette; the two terms aren't mutually exclusive.
  5. I've always LOVED the black and white striped dress Christina Ricci wears in Sleepy Hollow, which is notable for two reasons: firstly because it is the QUINTESSENTIAL Tim Burton gown. One look at it and you know you're watching one of his films. And secondly, it only gets about six seconds of screen-time at the very end of the movie: (These were just the promo pics: she only wears it once, getting out of the carriage in New York, but so iconic!)
  6. Ravenya003

    The Star Wars Saga

    I'm wracking my brains here, and I honestly can't come up with anything substantial. Sabine had a friendship with Ketsu in "Rebels", though that was only showcased across a couple of episodes, and Ahsoka and Barriss Offee had a fascinating dynamic, though that wasn't exactly a "friendship" (and there's been no closure on it). Maybe Ventress and the Nightsisters? Or E.K. Johnston's YA book about Padme, which apparently focuses on her relationship with her handmaidens? But in the movies themselves, nada.
  7. Ravenya003

    The Star Wars Saga

    I totally forgot about: Star Wars Resistance - male protagonist (Kazuda) So that's an 8:3 male-to-female ratio of protagonists in the Star Wars Universe. (I think after the Clone Wars finale it's safe to say that it WAS in fact Ahsoka's story). I'm not going to count the Ewok films, and I've never played any of the games, though I understand the latest one is about a young male Padawan that escapes Order 66. So yeah, to reiterate a point that no one was really arguing in the first place: lots of dudes in Star Wars. What would be really great is an important and narratively-central female friendship, as we've definitely never had one of those on-screen. Rey and Rose never interacted, Padme's handmaidens were never really characters, Jyn was the Smurfette, and Leia had... Amilyn, I suppose? The most sustained relationship between two women in Star Wars is probably Hera and Sabine in "Rebels", and that was far from the focus of the series.
  8. So apparently Rey wasn't Palpatine's granddaughter, but rather the daughter of one of his failed clones. Give it up Disney, nothing you can say at this point is going to change people's minds about how they feel about this movie.
  9. Ravenya003

    The Star Wars Saga

    I know that these guys are either trolls trying to profit off outrage or just plain losers, but I've always been baffled at the pushback against female leads in Star Wars given the overwhelming presence of male protagonists. I mean... Star Wars prequel trilogy - male protagonist (Anakin) Star Wars original trilogy - male protagonist (Luke) Star Wars Rebels - male protagonist (Ezra) Star Wars Solo - male protagonist (Han Solo) Star Wars The Mandalorian - male protagonist (Mandalorian) Star Wars Obi Wan series - male protagonist (Obi Wan) Star Wars Cassian Andor series - male protagonist (Cassian) Star Wars sequel trilogy - female protagonist (Rey) Star Wars Rogue One - female protagonist (Jyn) Star Wars Clone Wars - female protagonist (Ahsoka) but I'm being VERY generous with this one, as it's just as much about Anakin, Obi Wan and a larger ensemble. That's seven movies and four tv series that are male-led and four movies and one debatable tv show that's female led. Talk about Dudley Dursley screaming over having thirty-six presents instead of thirty-seven! (Plus, nearly ALL Star Wars heroines are white brunettes, so if Headland's show goes ahead, I hope she'll do something different on that front).
  10. It's sad that the actors/actresses have suffered, since I'm sure any performer is just as interested in having an audience enjoy their work as they are in cashing the paycheck. I recently watched the reaction videos of Daisy Ridley and John Boyega watching the trailer for the Force Awakens, and they were so excited they were in tears and bouncing off the furniture. Safe to say that even before last December, that vibe was LONG gone.
  11. Technically yes, though I seriously doubt she'll ever feature in the official Princess line-up. Which is fine by me, since another great element of the film is that she gives up the gilded cage and chooses a life of freedom instead. A couple of Disney princesses have married down (Rapunzel, Jasmine) but they've still remained in the glitz and wealth (and responsibilities) of royal life. Anya is the only one who escapes into the real world.
  12. In the film, she may have presumed there was some sort of reward on offer, but she definitely didn't know about the audition process - in fact, it's not until they're halfway to France that she finds out she's going to be vetted by the Empress's cousin and so agrees to learn about Anastasia's background - it's pretty clear from the start that her main goal is just to get to Paris, and she's playing along with whatever Vlad/Dimitri suggest in order to achieve this. It's a bit of a "don't ask, don't tell" situation, since both parties are using the other for their own gain. But at one point Vlad confides in her that he was once a member of the Russian court, so - yeah, there is a chance that she believes he's the instigator of this plan, and is doing so out of loyalty to the royal family. "I might be Anastasia and these guys are hoping to get something out of it" is a very different assumption than "they know I'm not for real, and they're grooming me as part of an elaborate con." In the musical, she knows about the auditions and the reward from the start (the song "Learn to Do It" is the like, the fourth song in the show) - in fact, the villain Gleb spells it out to her that she's either partaking in a cruel hoax, or her life is in danger from the Bolsheviks if it turns out she's really the lost princess. She and Dimitri also realize she's truly Anastasia at exactly the same time, which is well before they go to see the Empress, so there's no big explosion at the ballet when Anya thinks he's been gaslighting her into believing she's Anastasia/using her as a pawn in his scheme since they met. Well, she was in love with Dimitri by that point, so it hurt more realizing the betrayal came from him. And Anya never gets the chance to yell at Vlad because he completely disappears from the story once Dimitri rejects the money! I do agree though it's bizarre that Vlad gets off scot-free. He's a complicit and knowing partner in the scheme and is never held accountable for it. She does get the chance to call him out in the musical - though again, it doesn't have quite the same bite to it, as she fully knew what she was getting into. If we could combine the best parts of the film (the love story, the redemption arc, the runaway train set-piece) with the best parts of the musical (no Rasputin, more historical accuracy, better characterization for Vlad, Sophie/Lily, Empress Marie) then we'd have a perfect movie.
  13. Yeah, as much as I enjoyed the musical, it takes all the BITE out of Anya/Dimitri's love story, starting from the fact that Anya knows the whole time that Dimitri/Vlad are holding auditions and that reward money is on the table if Anastasia is returned to her grandmother (which means there's no betrayal or need for Dimitri to redeem himself), to the fact that Dimitri coincidentally buys the music box on a whim (instead of knowing who it belongs to, and losing the symbolism of Anya carrying the other half of it for ten years - they were always destined to come together) to the show having to lose the whole desperate heroism he demonstrates when he jumps in the Empress's car and essentially kidnaps her so that she's forced to recognize Anya. I mean, I'd glad they got a duet in the musical (and "A Crowd of Thousands" is a beautiful song), but "they saw each other at a parade once" doesn't quite pack the same punch as what the film puts them through to reach that deserved happy ending.
  14. Guys I just watched this again last night, and it's so damn good. Okay, all the stuff about Rasputin is stupid and unnecessary, but when you're focusing on the triumvirate of Anya, Dimitri and the Dowager Empress, the levels of emotion and angst are off the charts! Just the whole concept of Dimitri saving Anastasia's life as a child, then growing up to be bitter and cynical and wanting to cash-in on the Empress's desperate search for her missing grand-daughter and thinking he's hit the jackpot when he finds amnesiac Anya, only for him to get hit with a karmic jackhammer when he realizes he's in love with her at the exact same moment he realizes she actually IS Anastasia because she remembers him rescuing her as a little girl in a moment only THEY knew about. So knowing a con-artist can never be with a princess, but realizing he has to do right not just for her sake but to salvage his own soul, he straight up KIDNAPS the Empress and forces her to speak to Anya by showing her a music box he's been carrying around for years, not knowing that Anya has had the key to opening it this WHOLE TIME, which finally unlocks her memories and reunites the last of the Romanovs, all at the cost of his own romantic hopes - that's a fantastic redemptive/emotional arc! Also, watching as an adult makes me realize how appreciative I am of the fact that when Anya finds out that Dimitri has been using her as part of his con she actually gets to SLAP him (really hard!) in the face. He did her dirty, she has every right to be furious, and he totally deserved that slap (even though he makes up for it afterwards). So many films/shows are terrified of their heroines being righteously angry; that a woman at least partly modeled on a Disney Princess got to react in that way is pretty remarkable, even today. Maybe being in pandemic lockdown is doing weird things to my brain, but this is solid gold material (it makes me all the more frustrated that they wasted so much narrative real estate on Rasputin). All those awful Disney live action remakes, yet THIS is what they should be focusing on. I'd definitely pay for a decent movie that combines the Anya/Dimitri/Empress relationships of the movie with the villain of the musical (a Bolshevik commander trying to hunt down the last Romanov).
  15. Someone has summarized and animated Colin Trevorrow's "Duel of the Fates" script, albeit in a comedic manner. https://news.avclub.com/some-people-went-and-animated-colin-trevorrows-unused-s-1842614111 Interesting to see what might have been, though ultimately I think there are pros and cons (mostly the latter) to both visions. I will however say that Trevorrow's script felt more like a natural follow-up to what was established in both TFA and TLJ (unredeemable Kylo, Rey Solano, a return to planets like Coruscant, an explanation for Rey's vision in TFA, a reason why no one answered Leia's SOS in TLJ, Rey getting a lightsabre staff, Rose treated as a team member, re-establishing a Jedi school, etc). But Finn still gets shafted, and I don't know what the hell Rey/Poe is all about.
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