To Haters Of "The Last Jedi" — Part 2: The Message

To Haters Of "The Last Jedi" — Part 2: The Message

Forget your hubris, protect your loved ones, and know that you can achieve greatness too.

So, “The Last Jedi” is here and Jingle-Bell rockin' into our lives. Critics are satisfied, but fans are divided! Why? And why do I love it so much? Let’s see.

The second major point I delight in for “The Last Jedi” was the collection of themes and messages the film tried to portray. Others, on the contrary, denounce it as, you guessed it, leftist (or liberal) propaganda! Are they just looking too hard under the veil of bias, or are is the movie really a wheel in a conspiratorial campaign of one-sided propaganda?

For starters, what are the movie’s themes?

The first, and perhaps most obvious, is one of hubris. We see this especially with Poe, as he, time and time again, goes over the heads of General Leia and Admiral Holdo, leading to costly victories, misunderstandings, and relative disaster. Poe rushes in, thinks he knows what would be best, and problems ensue. Then, toward the end, he begins to understand- he doesn’t go out after Luke and he realizes that the remaining members of the Resistance need, for now, to run rather than face the menacing 1st Order attack force.

Interestingly, Luke breaks this down for us too. While teaching Rey, he explains that one reason he and the old Jedi Order failed was hubris. Arrogance and overconfidence lead them to believe they could not be stopped or were obviously in the right- potentially an allusion to “Attack of the Clones,” when Yoda states this issue explicitly to Masters Windu and Kenobi.

Secondly, the film builds itself around the idea that you don’t have to be predestined for greatness to effect change in the world. The original trilogy and prequel trilogy both placed a heavy focus on a chosen one and his relatives. The main characters either started out special or were related or connected to that special person.

In “The Last Jedi,” who are the new heroes we see? We have Finn, who before the events of “The Force Awakens,” was essentially a First Order janitor. He was nobody. Now he fights as an acclaimed hero of the Resistance. Then we have Poe, whose backstory seems to be naught but he has become one of the best pilots in the Resistance fleet. Rose was just a mechanic from a poor/oppressive background doing her job, but when duty called her elsewhere, she rose (ohhhh) to the occasion and helped out.

Then we have Rey. Fans have obsessed for the past two years about her potential lineage, who her parents were, and who she would become. “The Last Jedi” drops a non-bombshell, subverting our expectations. Where does Rey come from?

NOTHING.

She has no special parentage, no circumstances that predestined her for greatness or being Jedi. She just happens to be powerful in the Force, and joined the Resistance out of circumstance on account of the traits she possessed and skills she gained over the years through hard work.

Some might decry this as liberal propaganda (Oh, they’re saying everyone is a special snowflake!). But isn’t this what the American Dream is about? That anyone, through hard work and moral character, can achieve greatness? That is what we should take away here.

Third, the movie brings us the idea of how to effect good change in the world. In a way, it’s non-creepy Anakin-style take on the Jedi Code regarding compassion and hatred. Rose clarifies this message explicitly, “This is how we’re gonna win. Not fighting what we hate, saving what we love.”

In essence, this was the plot of the movie and this message connects to Poe and his hubris. Finn and Poe both fight the First Order- and they both hate it and are willing now to go to great risks just to deal some damage to it. But Leia and Holdo are focused on preserving the “spark” of the Resistance. In “The Last Jedi,” keeping what remains of the Resistance was the point of every hoop that was lept through.

This is an important message for the times we live in. The nation is divided in many ways, though most starkly in politics. We’ve sent so much time building up our “others” as monsters or things to hate, and actual hate groups have sprung up as well. We as a nation and our government as a whole need this reminder of what it’s all for:

Saving those we love, not destroying what we hate.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube | Star Wars

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The Logan Paul Fiasco Is Just A Symptom Of A Much Larger Problem

In the wake of Logan Paul's suicide forest debacle, I decided to explore how this could even happen in the first place.

Wow, 2018 sure has started off with a bang, hasn't it? First, Donald Trump seemingly threatens North Korea with nuclear annihilation. Then, all these stupid memes about tide pods and Knuckles the echidna circulate across the web, and finally, Logan Paul decided that he would not be outdone.

Yes, the YouTube star decided to vlog in Japan, and every foreigner who has ever hated American tourists for their arrogance and ignorance has been validated. When he arrived in the country, Paul stated that Japanese culture was all about respect. He then proceeded to run around streets in traditional Japanese attire, buy a Game Boy Color from a store only to immediately spike it on the road like a football, and oh yeah, went to the suicide forest, and decided to film the body of a man they found who had recently hung himself in the forest.

Yep, Logan Paul found a dead body and decided to post it on YouTube. I imagine this is what the end of "Stand By Me" would've looked like if it were written today, and by a trash person. Paul has since apologized after lots of backlashes.

Logan Paul is one of, if not the fastest growing star on YouTube, and this controversy has barely affected his ascent in subscribers, some of which defended his actions, and even sent threats to those who didn't. Also, I feel I am justified in saying that both Logan and his brother Jake Paul (a former Disney channel actor turned YouTuber) are both arrogant pricks who make their livings messing with people and being an overall nuisance to anyone they encounter and have no concept of consequences for their actions, but this article isn't about them.

I believe that their popularity is only a result of several fundamental problems with YouTube.

First, I want to get into YouTube's algorithms. It's how the site decides what videos are recommended for you, and more importantly to this story, what videos are on the trending page. Logan Paul's suicide forest video, the one with the dead body in the thumbnail, and the one with the words "dead body" in the title was NUMBER 1 on trending.

YouTube's algorithm exposed millions of people to this deplorable video.

YouTube wasn't even able to take the video down; this was a video that had to have been flagged thousands of times, and it was only removed because Logan Paul himself took it down after all of the backlashes. YouTube was simply unable to do anything about this, and there have to be changed to ensure that they don't let things like this slip through the cracks again.

The real question, at least to me, is why even make a video this ridiculous and ignorant and disrespectful in the first place?

The answer, of course, is for the content. Unfortunately, this is not new. YouTubers have been doing shocking things to get views for years now, and this has led to the bar being raised. Many things that were shocking before simply aren't anymore. We've seen it so many times we get numb, so creators come up with even crazier things to do. Eventually, it becomes normalized, and the cycle continues on and on until we have people filming dead bodies in haunted forests.

YouTubers are trying to get a rise out of us so that we click on their videos, and they're seeing how much they can get away with. It seems that on the internet, no matter which site you go to, the loudest, most obnoxious, most divisive voices always rise to the top, but they don't have to. We can resist that knee-jerk angry share that they want from us.

We don't have to give these idiots the light of day, and we can tell them that we have had enough of their crap, not with our voices, but with our views, because once those go away, they'll have no choice but to listen up.

Cover Image Credit: Esther Vargas

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