Star Wars: The Last Jedi
|Name:||Star Wars: The Last Jedi|
|Date(s):||December 15, 2017|
|Country of Origin:||America|
|External Links:||Star Wars: The Last Jedi on IMDB|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the eighth film released in the Star Wars saga and the second film in the sequel trilogy.
The main cast included many characters from Star Wars: The Force Awakens; Leia Organa, Rey, Poe Dameron, Finn, Kylo Ren, and the much anticipated return of Luke Skywalker. New characters included Rose Tico, General Holdo and DJ.
Possibly due to the anticipation surrounding this film, and due to the controversies in the The Force Awakens fandom, which included much Fandom Wank and anti-shipping, the fan reaction to The Last Jedi was mixed and the film led to more wank within the fandom.
Following the release of the Last Jedi, many ships which were established in the previous film received renewed interest and an influx of new fanworks.
Most notable among these is Reylo, which appeared to become a legitimate ship in the film. While many fans had originally headcanoned that these two were related, that theory appeared to be disproven in TLJ, allowing fans to ship without fear of incest.
The Last Jedi is a contentious installment in this franchise, with many fans unhappy with certain story points and deviations from traditional Star Wars narratives. For example, some fans disliked the representation of Luke Skywalker, believing his actions in canon were OOC. Fans of the franchise who were unhappy with this installment began to organize themselves in communities, on sites like Reddit and Tumblr. Because the film's final battle took place on a salt flat on a planet called Crait, "salty" or "saltier than Crait" became shorthands for fandom discontent (and was the name of a popular subreddit, r/saltierthancrait).
Many fans were also unhappy with the reveal that Rey was a "nobody". There was much theorizing about Rey's parentage following TFA, as that film appeared to set up a future revelation about Rey's parentage. There were popular theories that she could be a Skywalker, or a Kenobi. Many of these theories worked their way into fanworks. Fans were unhappy that hints to Rey's parentage appeared to have been discarded.
Following TFA there was also a noticeable portion of fandom engaged in anti-shipping practices. Many of these fans were unhappy that the film appeared to legitimize Reylo, a ship that some viewed as abusive. On the other side, Reylo fans believed their ship was now endgame and were very happy with this development.
There were also a very small number of fans who were unhappy with what they viewed as the female-centric focus of this film and the sequel trilogy in general. In one case, a De-Feminized Fanedit of the film was uploaded to PirateBay. This fan edit made considerable cuts to the film, reducing the 152 minute film to 46 minutes and removing General Holdo and Paige Tico, while substantially reducing the roles of Rose, Rey and Finn.
Still some fans enjoyed the Last Jedi because it subverted their expectations.
Bury the past, kill it if you have to. I like the last jedi especially the direction they took Luke skywalker in. I think they are setting it up so that rey and kylo are going to bring balance to the force by realizing they dont need to identify with jedi doctrine or sith absolution. I know its regarded as one of the worst star wars films, but im ready to defend my obviously right opinion that this is the starwars film we never knew we needed.
Comparisons with Fanfiction
Within days of its premiere, TLJ creators were accused of stealing several storypoints from a fanfic, Signs and Smoke Signals series by StreetSolo. Eventually this theory was quashed by fans familiar with fandom and the timeline in which TLJ was written, but also by the author herself.
Two weeks after TFA came out, I wrote a fanfiction called Signs and Smoke Signals that ended up having some really freaky similarities between the story and The Last Jedi in terms of Rey's origins, Phasma's staff, and the whole Snoke plot. My friend wrote an article about the similarities that I posted on my friend's website, intending only to share it with people who read the story and also noticed the similarities. Unfortunately, that went viral, with people claiming that I intend to sue Disney and Rian Johnson for "plagiarizing my work" so I can make millions.
Umm...yeah. That's not true. It's just fanfic, guys. If you still want to read the story, please feel free, but as you can see from the description, TLJ this is not.
At least in this case, some compared TLJ to fanfiction, as a way of further denigrating the film. Comments like, "The TLJ is so bad its almost a fanfiction", in the comment section of an interview with the author, illustrate that fans who don't create or enjoy transformative works were also unhappy with this film. It also shows how fan created works are still viewed negatively in some areas of fandom.
This was not the only instance of The Last Jedi been compared to specific fanfiction. A week after the film premiered, the Atlantic released an article The Fan Fiction That Predicted a Big Last Jedi Storyline, comparing TLJ to both Interstellar Transmissions and Forms. All three stories featured a Force Bond between Rey and Kylo Ren.
Rose Tico and Fandom Racism
The casting of Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico, was the first time an Asian actress had portrayed a main character in the Star Wars universe. While some fans were looking forward to more representation, in the lead up to the release of the film Rose's Wookieepedia page was edited to include racial slurs. This reaction is similar to the response following the announcement that John Boyega would portray a main character, Finn in The Force Awakens. See Racism In and Outside The Fandom for more information.
Many of the same complaints about explicit racism in fanart, fanfic, and challenges arose again, and Rose Tico was not the only character to be the victim of this racism. For example, there was significant controversy over RCDart's stylized fanart of Finn, which many said was reminiscent of racial caricatures In March 2018, the fanweek challenge a Finn Appreciation Week organised on Tumblr was widely discussed and criticized for their decision to not reblog FinnRose works.
In June 2018, actress Kelly Marie Tran deleted her Instagram posts, leading many in the media to speculate that her decision was as a result of racist and sexist comments from a small group of Star Wars fans unhappy with her role in the film. This was somewhat confirmed by tweets from director Rian Johnson implying that Kelly did leave social media due to harrassment.
See Fan Reaction and Accusations of Racism for more information.
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Russian trolls, and the disintegration of discourse
- Star Wars Twitter Analysis (archived link) and Who hates Star Wars for its newfound diversity? Here are the numbers by Bethany Lacina
- Popular Study Attributes Negative Reception of Star Wars: The Last Jedi to Gender and Race Changes, But The Study May Be Flawed! a response to Bethany Lacina's study, by Spencer Baculi.
- Prelude to the End of the Game by hollycomb, Kylo has wrath to unleash and a destiny to fulfill. Hux has plans.
- Sealed to Me by glitter_ature, A Reylo Fanfiction.
- World In My Eyes by sasstasticmad, A post-TLJ force bond fic.
- Powerless by Perry_Downing, a Force Bond pregnancy fic
- gravity well by kyluxtrashcompactor, Snoke is gone, but his death has solved nothing between Hux and Kylo Ren. The First Order's trust in their leaders wanes as they vie for power over one another, and if they cannot learn to work together, they may both lose everything they've worked for.
- Chevrefoil by Vadianna, a Hux-centric canon AU, featuring multiple AU scenarios.
- You're Welcome - parody filk of "You're Welcome" from Moana featuring Luke and a very confused Rey with several fan-animated versions.
- A long and specific The Last Jedi meta by corseque, examines the Force as a metaphor for female sexuality, and the Heroine's journey.
- “This Isn’t Going to Go the Way You Think”: The Last Jedi as a Deconstruction of the Star Wars Narrative by nofearofwaves
Archives & Fannish Links
- Everybody’s Dunking on This Sexist, "No Women" Fan Edit of 'The Last Jedi', an article on Inverse.com, 16 January 2018.
- I like the last jedi, a thread in r/unpopularopinions by u/huffpuffhigh. TLJ was a common topic for posts in r/unpopularopinions, with many posters sharing their love (or at least like) of the film.
- Something You Should Know about The Last Jedi posted at ScavengerHolocron, Dec 18 2017
- Authors note on Signs and Smoke Signals by Street Solo on Ao3, January 2018
- Comment in the chat of StreetSolo's interview with ScavengersHolocron. There were multiple comments like this in the moderated chat.
- ‘The Last Jedi’ star Kelly Marie Tran defended by fans from racist, sexist comments created 28/12/2017, accessed 21/03/2018.
- Did Star Wars Breakout Kelly Marie Tran Wipe Her Instagram Because of Harassment? posted on vulture.com June 5 2018, accessed June 11 2018.
- STAR WARS FANS RALLY BEHIND KELLY MARIE TRAN WITH #FANARTFORROSE posted on nerdist.com June 7 2018, accessed June 11 2018