Fansplaining: The Humanizing Turn

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Podcast Episode
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Episode Title: The Humanizing Turn
Length: 1:05:40
Featured: Elizabeth Minkel, Flourish Klink
Date: Jan 24, 2018
Fandom: Panfandom, Star Wars
External Links: Episode 66: The Humanizing Turn, Archived version on Includes audio, show notes, and transcript.
Fansplaining—About, Archived version

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For others in the series, see Fansplaining.

Fansplaining: The Humanizing Turn is episode 65 of the podcast Fansplaining by Flourish Klink and Elizabeth Minkel. The episode leans heavily on the Star Wars sequel trilogy and its fandom; but ultimately discusses when readers (or viewers) choose to read complexity into their stories, and when they prefer a straightforward, trope-heavy narrative.


"In Episode 66, “The Humanizing Turn,” Elizabeth and Flourish use a Star Wars meta that Flourish recently published as a jumping-off point to discuss tropes, characterization, and what we want from stories, in both canon and fanfiction. When do we grant stories complexity—and when do we simplify them, slotting characters into archetypes? They round out the discussion by responding to a listener question about “anti culture” and how both the methods and the content of anti-shipping have changed in recent years."[1]

Topics Discussed


[Elizabeth Minkel]

"That reminds me, cause that’s what we’re gonna talk about eventually, at the very end, and I wanna say that up front because I know that this ship is a very discoursed ship. I would say, in my observations, it’s probably in the top five on Tumblr of the target of what we would describe as “anti culture,” so it’s more…it’s more to me than, like, your notps, your anti-shipping something specific, or a ship war. I think there are people who are are against this pairing not because it gets in the way of their pairing, right, which is I think what we see more commonly."[1]

"[Flourish Klink]: [...] People also felt this way about Snape and Harry, there were a bunch of people who were Snape/Harry shippers, and similar to Reylo the big argument was that there was no way to depict this that was OK to write, even if it was entirely about those issues. You should never have this, because shipping means that you want the two characters to be together and you think they’re cute together.

[Elizabeth Minkel]: And you’re endorsing their relationship."

[Flourish Klink]

"Thus, we get to the conflict in Reylo in particular, which is if you’re looking at it from purely a mythic argument then it makes sense! There's this dude and he fits in all of these, I mean, regardless of the fact that he’s a petulant baby which he is… [...] And people love taking a dude who sucks and making him suck less! And also, there’s this dark and light, there’s this thing and they’ve been in all these tropes and it really really works and it in fact seems like that’s part of the point in canon, too! Because Reylo people, after Force Awakens, read a lot of what was read into it correctly. Followed what was going on and predicted a lot of things…“predicted,” you know. But people were picking up on some of these plot threads, these tropes and so forth that are being reused, in The Last Jedi. But then you run into this problem which is that if you’re really genuinely into the idea of Kylo Ren and Rey bangin’, you have to face up to the fact, someone is going to point out to you, the fact that Kylo Ren is in fact a mass murderer."[1]


  1. ^ a b c Episode 66: The Humanizing Turn, Jan 24, 2018. Archived from the original on March 8, 2021.