Star Wars 9: The Sky of Ricewalker: A senseless, incoherent nightmare.

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immortalfrieza:

Nope! You have to be born special or you'll never achieve anything of significance, at best you'll be a stepping stone for those who are. That's the message Rise of Skywalker gives.

Congratulations, you just pointed out the main problem with Naruto, Shaman King (manga version), Legend of Korra Season 2&3, and that stupid twist with Terry McGinnis being Bruce Wayne's son/clone (fuck you, Amanda Waller for not staying out of other people's lives) in that episode of Justice League (an episode I refuse to acknowledge)! I agree with you. With that said, I don't find Rey/Palpatine bloodline nearly as insulting. Though, in an earlier post, I mentioned how it's hypocritical of Disney to pull this off, while making EU non-canon due to hating similar plot twists in those novels and comics. What makes them so special? And this is coming from a fan of Rise.

Asita:
Scar is prominent in that regard? He always struck me as the mousy geek to Mufasa's star quarterback (or the Iago to his Othello). What am I missing that made him stand out as queer-coded?

Here's the thing though. Look at Scar's actually behaviours and mannerisms. Is he "mousy", is he a "geek" (bear in mind that this is 1994, before the mainstreaming of geek culture so being a "geek" had very particular associations).

Scar isn't socially awkward, in fact kind of the opposite. He isn't shy. He's always melodramatic. The way he speaks is theatrical and flamboyant, his movements are expressive and exaggerated. He's not outside of conventional masculinity because he's a beta shyguy, he's excessive, he's over-the-top, he's inappropriate. In other words, he's camp.

This basically applies to most Disney villains from the period. Even Frollo, who is basically the only Disney villain I can think of who is motivated by his explicitly sexual lust for a woman, is also pretty camp (not as camp as Scar though). That's because Disney wasn't using this aesthetic to indicate that Scar was secretly a big gay, they were using it to show that he was a bad guy.

But it also made him a fun and likeable character, which is what queer audiences responded to.

I think comparing the 1994 Lion King and the 2019 Lion King is really interesting in terms of Disney's treatment of queerness and its queer audience. 1994 Disney queer-coded Scar because they wanted a villain character with a strong personality, who would be fun and over the top. 2019 Scar lacks any of that likeability, he's just a boring douche who the narrative goes out of its way to aggressively no-homo. Instead, we get WeHo Timon whose overt gayness is 100% intentional (but never actually stated), and who is basically just there as a stand-in for the queer audiences.

Basically, Disney is clearly uncomfortable with how its queer-coding of villain characters might look to a modern audience, but clearly hasn't worked out that "sassy comic relief" or "gay best friend" are far more offensive as stereotypes than "camp villain". A huge amount of queer cinema is the deliberate celebration of camp villains, it can be done in a way that's fun and empowering. What Disney has been doing with its queer characters recently isn't empowering.

immortalfrieza:

Dreiko:

I don't think you needed to know Ray's parentage to notice that she isn't just the average snowflake due to her ability to do good at things that require lots of practice and experience on her first try.

Even if she wasn't from a jedi bloodline, the narrative still would be that you could become a hero irrespective of your birth....as long as you were perfect at everything you ever did from the beginning with no experience. It'd perpetuate the myth that you can "pick yourself up by the bootstraps" and that if you're not piloting random half-decaying spaceships perfectly on your first try you just are being a loser.

At least now it somewhat make sense why this random person was so talented at everything without earning it. Her ancestors earned it for her.

Don't perpetuate the myth that Rey was just this "great at everything" Mary Sue, she wasn't and nobody with any sense thought she was. Rey DID in fact pull herself up by her bootstraps, fail repeatedly, (in particular The Last Jedi is basically "Everybody fails at everything: the movie" and Rey is no exception) and earn everything she has. Rey is the main protagonist, they're always much better at everything than everybody else including previous protagonists except maybe the main villain and if they aren't they pick it up near instantly and become better than everybody else in like 5 seconds, that's what makes them the protagonist. Every story has always been written around making the main protagonist either absurdly lucky, absurdly good at most things if not everything, or both nearly always with little to no justification. Rey being a Palpatine not only cheapens Rey's status as a protagonist but throws away the message that anyone can be good or even exceptional if they really try. Rey being an average snowflake yet still managing to achieve what she does would've been inspiring, not a sign of a Mary Sue.

Nope! You have to be born special or you'll never achieve anything of significance, at best you'll be a stepping stone for those who are. That's the message Rise of Skywalker gives.

Usually, when you have such a character, they go through character growth that bequeaths them those skills in some fashion. They go train up a mountain with a sage or they grow up in a magic family or something. Anything. She just kinda...is instantly better at using lightsabers than the evil emo dude despite him having practiced at using them since childhood. That's not the same as someone simply picking up their usage really fast or being extraordinarily talented. This bypasses the entire process. Same with being able to somehow reverse engineer the jedi mind trick process from having it be done to her without any explanation at all. That's not merely being talented. There's something more than that at work there.

Also, most interesting main characters tend to not start out that way, as well. They tend to suck for a long while until they surpass everyone at the end. So to imply that this is just how all protagonists just are is ridiculous on its face (or reveals the speaker to not have seen very many things). When you have someone start out as a main character who is instantly the best that ever existed, you DO need some form of justification for that to make sense, hence why you can't have her being just a random nobody. Most stories tend to use flashbacks where you see the character earnings their skills in their past or something. They don't just omit that very important part and imply it makes sense for the protagonist to be that skilled without explanation.

And yeah, of course she picked herself up by her bootstraps, but pretending everyone else would have an equal rate of success at doing the same by painting her as a nobody (and by extension that it's their fault if they fail cause an "average person" like Rey was able to so they should be able to as well) is a fallacy and is the issue I'm pointing out here. It's worse to imply that than to imply only someone of exceptional pedigree can achieve what she has.

Do you remember how Finn did when he picked up a lightsaber during the first movie? That's about what you can expect from an ACTUAL average nobody lol.

Kwak:

Johnny Novgorod:
Three movies of homoerotic tension between Finn and Poe, then nothing.

I'm a little annoyed at this.
(I'm not aiming this at you, I'm just taking on this point as a pet peeve against modern society.)

What exactly was the 'homo-erotic tension'? That they had banter, and were enthusiastically pleased to see each other survive an assumed fatal crash?

This seems like the perfect example of society's hypocrisy over masculinity and male roles - we're displaying toxic masculinity over our fear of displaying basic human affection for each other or emotional vulnerability lest it be seen as gay, yet the mildest of camaraderie is immediately announced as homo-eroticism. What the fuck? Is it any wonder we have trouble expressing non-sexual affection beyond an arm punch and playful insult?

I'm really just voicing my girlfriend's disappointment. She ships them (and Reylo) and kept nudge-nudge/wink-winking every time the movie focused on them. Especially when Poe gets catty about Finn and whatever he "never told" Rey.

There's also the fact that Disney would never put anything same-sex front and center, so suggestive nudges have to suffice.

evilthecat:

Asita:
Scar is prominent in that regard? He always struck me as the mousy geek to Mufasa's star quarterback (or the Iago to his Othello). What am I missing that made him stand out as queer-coded?

Here's the thing though. Look at Scar's actually behaviours and mannerisms. Is he "mousy", is he a "geek" (bear in mind that this is 1994, before the mainstreaming of geek culture so being a "geek" had very particular associations).

Scar isn't socially awkward, in fact kind of the opposite. He isn't shy. He's always melodramatic. The way he speaks is theatrical and flamboyant, his movements are expressive and exaggerated. He's not outside of conventional masculinity because he's a beta shyguy, he's excessive, he's over-the-top, he's inappropriate. In other words, he's camp.

This basically applies to most Disney villains from the period. Even Frollo, who is basically the only Disney villain I can think of who is motivated by his explicitly sexual lust for a woman, is also pretty camp (not as camp as Scar though). That's because Disney wasn't using this aesthetic to indicate that Scar was secretly a big gay, they were using it to show that he was a bad guy.

But it also made him a fun and likeable character, which is what queer audiences responded to.

I think comparing the 1994 Lion King and the 2019 Lion King is really interesting in terms of Disney's treatment of queerness and its queer audience. 1994 Disney queer-coded Scar because they wanted a villain character with a strong personality, who would be fun and over the top. 2019 Scar lacks any of that likeability, he's just a boring douche who the narrative goes out of its way to aggressively no-homo. Instead, we get WeHo Timon whose overt gayness is 100% intentional (but never actually stated), and who is basically just there as a stand-in for the queer audiences.

Basically, Disney is clearly uncomfortable with how its queer-coding of villain characters might look to a modern audience, but clearly hasn't worked out that "sassy comic relief" or "gay best friend" are far more offensive as stereotypes than "camp villain". A huge amount of queer cinema is the deliberate celebration of camp villains, it can be done in a way that's fun and empowering. What Disney has been doing with its queer characters recently isn't empowering.

Still not sure I see it, but I suppose that's half the game, so to speak. Thank you for taking the time to explain the nuance to me.

Dreiko:
Do you remember how Finn did when he picked up a lightsaber during the first movie? That's about what you can expect from an ACTUAL average nobody lol.

Manage to hold his own against a Stormtrooper while using a weapon he's only touched for the first time, then at the end of the movie, not get insta-gibbed by the rampaging pseudo-Sith? That's pretty goddamn good, actually, with a clear narrative through-line that has establishment, set-up, and pay-off for what is more or less a complete character arc in the course of a single film.

Far more telling is the fact Finn's only allowed to do cool stuff in service to Rey's story-line, or when she's not in the scene. Any time Rey's around, Finn (like everyone else) just seems to lose a couple dozen IQ points.

evilthecat:

Asita:
Scar is prominent in that regard? He always struck me as the mousy geek to Mufasa's star quarterback (or the Iago to his Othello). What am I missing that made him stand out as queer-coded?

Here's the thing though. Look at Scar's actually behaviours and mannerisms. Is he "mousy", is he a "geek" (bear in mind that this is 1994, before the mainstreaming of geek culture so being a "geek" had very particular associations).

Scar isn't socially awkward, in fact kind of the opposite. He isn't shy. He's always melodramatic. The way he speaks is theatrical and flamboyant, his movements are expressive and exaggerated. He's not outside of conventional masculinity because he's a beta shyguy, he's excessive, he's over-the-top, he's inappropriate. In other words, he's camp.

This basically applies to most Disney villains from the period. Even Frollo, who is basically the only Disney villain I can think of who is motivated by his explicitly sexual lust for a woman, is also pretty camp (not as camp as Scar though). That's because Disney wasn't using this aesthetic to indicate that Scar was secretly a big gay, they were using it to show that he was a bad guy.

But it also made him a fun and likeable character, which is what queer audiences responded to.

I think comparing the 1994 Lion King and the 2019 Lion King is really interesting in terms of Disney's treatment of queerness and its queer audience. 1994 Disney queer-coded Scar because they wanted a villain character with a strong personality, who would be fun and over the top. 2019 Scar lacks any of that likeability, he's just a boring douche who the narrative goes out of its way to aggressively no-homo. Instead, we get WeHo Timon whose overt gayness is 100% intentional (but never actually stated), and who is basically just there as a stand-in for the queer audiences.

Basically, Disney is clearly uncomfortable with how its queer-coding of villain characters might look to a modern audience, but clearly hasn't worked out that "sassy comic relief" or "gay best friend" are far more offensive as stereotypes than "camp villain". A huge amount of queer cinema is the deliberate celebration of camp villains, it can be done in a way that's fun and empowering. What Disney has been doing with its queer characters recently isn't empowering.

I guess the most obvious example for Disney's tendency to give their villains stereotypically gay traits is Ratcliffe from Pocahontas:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSfYrPdTKVA

He's easy to forget, because Pocahontas is easy to forget, but he illustrates the point pretty well. Those gay traits seem very archaic themselves from a modern perspective but you know, then again, the 90s where a while ago. Regardless of that, when it comes to actually representing the queer population Disney will, sooner or later, have to face the fact that that means actually depicting queer relationships. There's absolutely no point to just stating that a character is gay and maybe having him look at a character of the same gender with a lovesick expression once or twice. Just fucking show a gay relationship. It's not really all that different from depicting a straight relationship. Have husband and husband instead of husband and wife. That's it.

As long as they are incapable of depicting something as innocent as a healthy relationship out of fear of alienating people either at home or abroad it's reasonable to assume that they have absolutely zero interest in representing that part of the population. That whole "LeFou is gay, Lando Calrissian is pansexual, there's a guy talking about having had a date with a men in a self help group" shit is just... nothing. It's meaningless. It's not representation, it's just vague acknowledgement. Healthy representation is when gay love isn't depicted any differently from straight love.

Eacaraxe:

Dreiko:
Do you remember how Finn did when he picked up a lightsaber during the first movie? That's about what you can expect from an ACTUAL average nobody lol.

Manage to hold his own against a Stormtrooper while using a weapon he's only touched for the first time, then at the end of the movie, not get insta-gibbed by the rampaging pseudo-Sith?

Fighting off a stormtrooper is like swatting a fly in the Star Wars universe.
As for fighting the pseudo-Sith... Kylo's already tired and wounded when the fighting begins, and even then manages to put Finn in a coma. Not that any of this matters. Finn's one of the leads in YA shtick. He was always going to be lucky and just good enough to survive anything.

immortalfrieza:
Just saw RoS. Honestly the only 2 things I could say I hated were Snoke's origins and Rey's parentage.

We did not need to know who Snoke was or where he came from. Snoke's purpose was to push Ben to the Dark Side and his death at his hands cemented it. Anything further is the kind of thing Star Wars movies leave for EU novels and such if they are brought up again at all. Having Snoke just be this thing Palpatine made to further his plans is not only cheap it also doesn't even address anything the haters were complaining they ever wanted to know about him to begin with. We still don't know anything about Snoke's creation, we don't know how he built the First Order, and we still don't know what his actual aims were or if they aligned with Palpatine's or anyone else's.

Rey's parentage was, beyond all doubt, the best revelation The Last Jedi could've given. Rey was awesome because she scraped herself up by her fingernails coming from nothing and with nothing but her own determination from childhood and became not only a hero, but the one who would ultimately decide the entire fate of the galaxy. Wow! I guess that means the sky's the limit for everybody now, anybody can be the ultimate hero or villain if they try! How inspiring!

Wait, nope, she's this special snowflake from a powerful bloodline, and of any they could have given her, Palpatine's bloodline. They've now continued the idea that has plagued the franchise that everybody's destiny is decided by birth and nobody will ever be worth anything especially not going to be the best of the best and save the galaxy unless they are born from the blood of someone who was important.

However, unlike SOME people, I'm not going to hate on a movie because of 1 or 2 plot points I hate, particularly a couple plot points that aren't really significant anyway. Otherwise, I liked it. It was fine, the worst in the trilogy bar none, but watchable. When "watchable" is the best thing you can say about a STAR WARS movie of all things something has broken somewhere along the line on their end. Had they simply followed through on the plot points of The Last Jedi rather than trying to throw out or retcon most of them the movie would've been much better. All I can do, all anyone can do, is hope for improvements somewhere along the line.

100% agree with you here about Rey's parent reveal in RoS being a huge mistake for those exact reasons, but as for your theory on protagonists being better than everyone else, I'm gonna have to go with Dreiko here where they say:

Dreiko:

Usually, when you have such a character, they go through character growth that bequeaths them those skills in some fashion. They go train up a mountain with a sage or they grow up in a magic family or something. Anything. She just kinda...is instantly better at using lightsabers than the evil emo dude despite him having practiced at using them since childhood. That's not the same as someone simply picking up their usage really fast or being extraordinarily talented. This bypasses the entire process. Same with being able to somehow reverse engineer the jedi mind trick process from having it be done to her without any explanation at all. That's not merely being talented. There's something more than that at work there.

Also, most interesting main characters tend to not start out that way, as well. They tend to suck for a long while until they surpass everyone at the end. So to imply that this is just how all protagonists just are is ridiculous on its face (or reveals the speaker to not have seen very many things). When you have someone start out as a main character who is instantly the best that ever existed, you DO need some form of justification for that to make sense, hence why you can't have her being just a random nobody. Most stories tend to use flashbacks where you see the character earnings their skills in their past or something. They don't just omit that very important part and imply it makes sense for the protagonist to be that skilled without explanation.

And yeah, of course she picked herself up by her bootstraps, but pretending everyone else would have an equal rate of success at doing the same by painting her as a nobody (and by extension that it's their fault if they fail cause an "average person" like Rey was able to so they should be able to as well) is a fallacy and is the issue I'm pointing out here. It's worse to imply that than to imply only someone of exceptional pedigree can achieve what she has.

Rey's Mary-Sue qualities were well documented in The Force Awakens. It got better with each subsequent film, but in TFA she really did come across as a classic example of the trope. Protagonists are supposed to be flawed from the outset. That's one of the biggest building blocks of a well-rounded character. Sometimes they are the ONLY character with a deficiency (Think Hiccup in How to Train your Dragon, Forrest Gump, virtually any Hitchcock protagonist, for instance). The story does not follow them because they are good at something, it follows them because theirs is the most interesting journey to experience the plot through.

Remember, C-3PO and R2D2 in the desert is based on The Hidden Fortress, about a headstrong princess and a general travelling through enemy lines to avoid a trap. But they aren't the main characters. Instead the focus is on the two bumbling, idiotic peasants with them. THEY are the protagonists because they have the most change, they get the best perspective on what goes down, and they have the most interesting things to say about events they barely understand.

Since people are talking about The Lion King, that's also a pretty good example. You wouldn't see the child Simba just up and murder Scar as soon as he betrays Mufasa, would you? of course not, he's puny, lazy and self centred at the start of the movie. He grows into the hero by the end of the film. But he is always the protagonist.

Johnny Novgorod:

Eacaraxe:

Dreiko:
Do you remember how Finn did when he picked up a lightsaber during the first movie? That's about what you can expect from an ACTUAL average nobody lol.

Manage to hold his own against a Stormtrooper while using a weapon he's only touched for the first time, then at the end of the movie, not get insta-gibbed by the rampaging pseudo-Sith?

Fighting off a stormtrooper is like swatting a fly in the Star Wars universe.
As for fighting the pseudo-Sith... Kylo's already tired and wounded when the fighting begins, and even then manages to put Finn in a coma.

Lightsabers are supposed to be very difficult for someone untrained to handle, though. That was one of the things Ben Kenobi had to teach Luke in Episode IV, IIRC. With no weight and minimal to no tactile feedback, anyone not familiar with a lightsaber is going to flail it around like an idiot because of how much differently it moves compared to...basically anything else.

Side note: having only watched TFA, do they ever explain how the fuck that goggle-eyed alien bartender came to have that saber in the first place? It was Anakin's, Obi-Wan kept it after the prequels and gave it to Luke in IV, but Luke lost it when Vader cut his hand off in The Empire Strikes Back and it falls down the Giant Doom Hole. Hence why Luke has a green saber with a different design in RotJ, which Vader even comments on at one point.

Ravinoff:
Side note: having only watched TFA, do they ever explain how the fuck that goggle-eyed alien bartender came to have that saber in the first place? It was Anakin's, Obi-Wan kept it after the prequels and gave it to Luke in IV, but Luke lost it when Vader cut his hand off in The Empire Strikes Back and it falls down the Giant Doom Hole. Hence why Luke has a green saber with a different design in RotJ, which Vader even comments on at one point.

Short answer is nope.
I don't think there's a long answer.
Maybe they'll make A Star Wars Story about how Maz got it. Like how they made one about why the Death Star has a weak spot.

Eacaraxe:

Dreiko:
Do you remember how Finn did when he picked up a lightsaber during the first movie? That's about what you can expect from an ACTUAL average nobody lol.

Manage to hold his own against a Stormtrooper while using a weapon he's only touched for the first time, then at the end of the movie, not get insta-gibbed by the rampaging pseudo-Sith? That's pretty goddamn good, actually, with a clear narrative through-line that has establishment, set-up, and pay-off for what is more or less a complete character arc in the course of a single film.

Far more telling is the fact Finn's only allowed to do cool stuff in service to Rey's story-line, or when she's not in the scene. Any time Rey's around, Finn (like everyone else) just seems to lose a couple dozen IQ points.

Right, and Finn is a main character and force sensitive too. So it makes sense he'd not get thrashed cause he's also somewhat special. But his performance (which I agree is good, of course) was about the best you can expect someone to be without needing DEEP LORE explanations behind it to have it make sense.

You could see Finn struggling with the lightsaber, you could see him being uncomfortable and trying to fight with an unfamiliar weapon as best he could but ultimately losing to that energy lance using trooper who seemed to be higher rank than average. All in all, a good showing and while a bit unrealistic it's still definitely believable. I'm sure the lance dude had not much experience fighting freaking lightsabers either.

Rey just...kinda did things that were effective without thinking much about it while in the same situation he was. You need to explain that lol.

Ravinoff:

Johnny Novgorod:

Eacaraxe:

Manage to hold his own against a Stormtrooper while using a weapon he's only touched for the first time, then at the end of the movie, not get insta-gibbed by the rampaging pseudo-Sith?

Fighting off a stormtrooper is like swatting a fly in the Star Wars universe.
As for fighting the pseudo-Sith... Kylo's already tired and wounded when the fighting begins, and even then manages to put Finn in a coma.

Lightsabers are supposed to be very difficult for someone untrained to handle, though. That was one of the things Ben Kenobi had to teach Luke in Episode IV, IIRC. With no weight and minimal to no tactile feedback, anyone not familiar with a lightsaber is going to flail it around like an idiot because of how much differently it moves compared to...basically anything else.

Side note: having only watched TFA, do they ever explain how the fuck that goggle-eyed alien bartender came to have that saber in the first place? It was Anakin's, Obi-Wan kept it after the prequels and gave it to Luke in IV, but Luke lost it when Vader cut his hand off in The Empire Strikes Back and it falls down the Giant Doom Hole. Hence why Luke has a green saber with a different design in RotJ, which Vader even comments on at one point.

Well the obvious explanation is that it was recovered and traded around black market collectors and fanatics until it ended up in Maz Kanata's possession.

Ravinoff:

Lightsabers are supposed to be very difficult for someone untrained to handle, though. That was one of the things Ben Kenobi had to teach Luke in Episode IV, IIRC. With no weight and minimal to no tactile feedback, anyone not familiar with a lightsaber is going to flail it around like an idiot because of how much differently it moves compared to...basically anything else.

I don't remember it ever being said in any of the movies that lightsabers are overly difficult to wield over other weapons. I remember Obi-Wan saying that a lightsaber is "an elegant weapon... for a more civilized age." He never mentions that it's all but impossible for a non-Jedi/Sith to use. I'm pretty sure that is a fan-created idea.
It's been shown in the movies and the (now no-cannon) books that force-blind people can ignite and use lightsabers. Han briefly used one to cut open the dead Tauntaun on Hoth and in the Young Jedi Knights series there was a character who could not use the force but carried a fancy-hilted lightsaber. I can't remember her name right now though.

Johnny Novgorod:

Short answer is nope.
I don't think there's a long answer.
Maybe they'll make A Star Wars Story about how Maz got it. Like how they made one about why the Death Star has a weak spot.

Replace knife/switchblade with Anakin's lightsaber and I think you've pretty much got the story down.

immortalfrieza:

Don't perpetuate the myth that Rey was just this "great at everything" Mary Sue, she wasn't and nobody with any sense thought she was. Rey DID in fact pull herself up by her bootstraps, fail repeatedly, (in particular The Last Jedi is basically "Everybody fails at everything: the movie" and Rey is no exception) and earn everything she has.

She doesn't really fail in TFA.

Last Jedi tones her down a peg, but TFA is where the statements of her being a Mary Sue began, and TBH, I actually agree there.

Rey is the main protagonist, they're always much better at everything than everybody else including previous protagonists except maybe the main villain and if they aren't they pick it up near instantly and become better than everybody else in like 5 seconds, that's what makes them the protagonist.

Um, not really.

Confining this to Star Wars, look at Anakin and Luke. For Anakin, it took him 3 episodes to get to the "better than everyone" stage. For Luke, he was certainly skilled, but not the be all and end all. He couldn't use a lightsaber in combat, and Han's a better shot than he him. A difference I like to cite that if Rey was the protagonist of Episode IV, she'd have run over and beat Vader instantly as soon as Obi-Wan was killed.

Rey being a Palpatine not only cheapens Rey's status as a protagonist but throws away the message that anyone can be good or even exceptional if they really try. Rey being an average snowflake yet still managing to achieve what she does would've been inspiring, not a sign of a Mary Sue.

Nope! You have to be born special or you'll never achieve anything of significance, at best you'll be a stepping stone for those who are. That's the message Rise of Skywalker gives.

I agree, but it took TLJ to undo Rey's Mary Sue status. Rise of Skywalker doesn't really undo the undo per se, but it does carry the bitter implication that to be anyone in this universe, you have to come from a notable bloodline.

evilthecat:

Scar isn't socially awkward, in fact kind of the opposite. He isn't shy. He's always melodramatic. The way he speaks is theatrical and flamboyant, his movements are expressive and exaggerated. He's not outside of conventional masculinity because he's a beta shyguy, he's excessive, he's over-the-top, he's inappropriate. In other words, he's camp.

This basically applies to most Disney villains from the period. Even Frollo, who is basically the only Disney villain I can think of who is motivated by his explicitly sexual lust for a woman, is also pretty camp (not as camp as Scar though). That's because Disney wasn't using this aesthetic to indicate that Scar was secretly a big gay, they were using it to show that he was a bad guy.

But it also made him a fun and likeable character, which is what queer audiences responded to.

I think comparing the 1994 Lion King and the 2019 Lion King is really interesting in terms of Disney's treatment of queerness and its queer audience. 1994 Disney queer-coded Scar because they wanted a villain character with a strong personality, who would be fun and over the top. 2019 Scar lacks any of that likeability, he's just a boring douche who the narrative goes out of its way to aggressively no-homo. Instead, we get WeHo Timon whose overt gayness is 100% intentional (but never actually stated), and who is basically just there as a stand-in for the queer audiences.

Basically, Disney is clearly uncomfortable with how its queer-coding of villain characters might look to a modern audience, but clearly hasn't worked out that "sassy comic relief" or "gay best friend" are far more offensive as stereotypes than "camp villain". A huge amount of queer cinema is the deliberate celebration of camp villains, it can be done in a way that's fun and empowering. What Disney has been doing with its queer characters recently isn't empowering.

I'm one to talk, but isn't this reading a bit much into things? When does "flamboyant = gay?"

If we want to look at Scar particularly, bear in mind that even if we cast aside Zira, a plotline that was cut from the film was him trying to seduce Nala, and IIRC, was re-introduced in the Broadway version. And if we're looking at the live action version, the narrative isn't doing anything "no-homo." Scar's toned down, but so is every other character in the film. And I didn't get any sense of gayness from Timon and Pumba. They're friends. That's it. The film never implies anything beyond that, or if it did, I missed it.

Johnny Novgorod:
The two biggest failures of this new trilogy are:

1) It failed at creating something new, instead it traced over the original and wallowed in the Greatest Hits.
2) It failed at justifying its very existence by never properly explaining (let alone convincing) how the Empire is still around, whatever you wanna call it; how the Rebels let the 100% victory of RotJ slide; how Palpatine is still alive. Part of my complete disinterest in Star Wars is simply that I've spent the past 4 years unconvinced by the continued fight between good guys and bad guys. I'm not saying it's an impossible scenario but these movies just took for granted that everything staid more or less the same.

I don't think these points are "wrong," but I'll offer some counterpoints:

1) Yes, the new trilogy, especially TFA, took broad strokes of the original trilogy (a droid with a secret code lands on a desert planet and somehow stumbles across the soon-to-be hero, the bad guys have an enormous, planet-killing weapon that has a curious flaw which a bunch of X-wings will exploit, etc.). But I've written this before on this forum -- I don't think the new trilogy gets enough credit for the risks it took when it DID do things that went against the original trilogy. Specifically, they took the heroes of the original trilogy and broke them up and put them at arguably their lowest points in the entire saga. Not only was Han and Leia's son the villain, he freakin' killed Han (I know we were all expecting Han's death but...damn that was cold). Luke turns his back on the Resistance and the Force (which a lot of fans hated but I loved since the character was never more interesting than in TLJ, and Hamill was never better). And I think making the next Skywalker the villain and a Stormtrooper and Palpatine descendent the heroes was pretty brilliant. So I do think the new trilogy tried new things, though we can argue how successful the movies were in executing on those ideas.

2) I mostly agree with this. I found TFA a little off-putting on the first viewing because it felt like a lot of backstory about the Republic/First Order/Resistance situation was missing. However...you could argue the prequel trilogy spent the better part of three movies explaining how the Empire/Emperor/Vader rose to power, and 1) I don't think it was compelling at all, and 2) I'm still not sure I understand how basically a two-man Sith team was able to take over the Galactic Republic and eliminate the Jedi.

On a somewhat related note, I'll just say I loved the new trilogy and thought as flawed as Rise of Skywalker was in terms of structure/plot, it was still pretty damn good (though it's nowhere near TLJ, which belongs in the conversation with Empire as the best Star Wars film). I understand all of the complaints about bringing Palpatine back and that he just sort of comes and goes with no real explanation, but I'd argue that it's consistence with previous films' use of the character, which has always been sort of a cardboard villain in the series. Seriously, in the original trilogy he's just sort of...there, and we never really know who he is, or why he's doing what he's doing. He gets a mention in a New Hope, he's seen for one minute in Empire, and then he shows up in Jedi, but we're never, ever told in those movies how he was able to turn Luke's father to the dark side. Back then Star Wars fans just kind of accepted that he's an all powerful villain who somehow seduced the galaxy's most gifted Jedi.

evilthecat:
Hola, vamanos! Everybody, let's SNIP

You've brought this up before and I'm ready to disagree with it again. Disney villains are invariably foils to the protagonist, which means they epitomise some flavour of what the hero *isn't* (not brave, not selfless, not pure, etc). That you choose to describe this as "queer coding" I think says more about the chip on your shoulder (and your unflattering predesposition to equate cruel, foppish, nefarious behaviour to gayness) than any systemic bias at Disney HQ.

I mean, let's analyse some Disney villains, in reverse chronological order:

Frozen 2: Villain: Elsa's grandfather. A militaristic, xenophobic reactionary who resorts to literal backstabbing. Plus some elemental forces that act as temporary speedbumps.
Toy Story 4, Wreck it Ralph, Zootopia, Cars etc: Didn't watch, will get back to you.
Moana: Villains and antagonists: Moana's father who is conservative to the point of endangering her people, a bling-loving crab who sings a bit like David Bowie, and a "righteously furious" female island spirit.
Tangled: Villain: An overbearing passive aggressive stepmother.
Toy Story 3: Villain: A charismatic cult leader whose gentlemanly Southern manners belie an ugly authoritarian streak (identical to Toy Story 2's antagonist, basically)
Princess and the Frog: A skinny voodoo guy who bites off more than he can chew when he makes a deal with dark forces. Queer? Meh, you tell me.
UP: Villain: Err, a 1940s action hero who is actually dastardly? It's been a while.
Monsters Inc: Villain: A corporate fat cat (again, the theme of evil dressed as respectability, this time in the guise of old-school capitalism/industrialism) and his sinister chameleon underling.
Tarzan: Villain: A brutish mustachio'd alpha male.
Mulan: Villain: Some Atilla The Hun dude.
Hercules: Villain: OK, I'll give you this one.
Hunchback: Frollo: Tortured man of the cloth. Slightly prissy appearance, not convinced this is equivalent to "coding" as a gay character.
Toy Story: Villain: The local trailer trash bully kid.
Pocahontas: Villain: Ratcliffe. He's a fop, a dandy, a posturing stuffed shirt who keeps his manicured hands clean as he gets others to do his dirty work. A marked contrast to the honest working class heroism of John Smith or the hackneyed Noble Savage romanticism of the native Americans. Is this a swipe at queer characteristics? It could just as validly be viewed as attacking the stuffy colonialist fashions and sensibilities that made first contact with the New World and quickly fell by the wayside.
Lion King: Villain: Scar's appearance was famously modeled on Jeremy Irons, and he shares his boney, gaunt physique. Scar is a tinpot dictator and his song Be Prepared makes use of Third Reich imagery. Worth noting; yet another British-voiced villain in a franchise of American films - isn't that as relevant as an imagined grievance against homosexuals? Disney villains are "coded" as haughty, avaricious, power-hungry, scheming, underhanded; all traits that are anathema to the patriotic American persona.

And, reality check, at this point in the list of releases we're currently in the mid-90s. This was an important era in both our formative years, I feel, but borderline boomers like us need to remember the world has moved on since those times. The Little Mermaid, with its antagonist (in)famously modeled on a drag queen, was released in the EIGHTIES. In about 72 hours we'll be in 2020. Perhaps it's time to stop beating this sad little drum and repeating the mantra about how homophobic Disney are/were? Or at the very least you could acknowledge the nuance in the argument that Disney villains have over the years represented a varied tapestry of unpleasant traits, only some of which intersect with "queer" traits, whatever those are?

It's just not that deep, as the youth of today apparently say.

Double post.

Exley97:
On a somewhat related note, I'll just say I loved the new trilogy and thought as flawed as Rise of Skywalker was in terms of structure/plot, it was still pretty damn good (though it's nowhere near TLJ, which belongs in the conversation with Empire as the best Star Wars film). I understand all of the complaints about bringing Palpatine back and that he just sort of comes and goes with no real explanation, but I'd argue that it's consistence with previous films' use of the character, which has always been sort of a cardboard villain in the series. Seriously, in the original trilogy he's just sort of...there, and we never really know who he is, or why he's doing what he's doing. He gets a mention in a New Hope, he's seen for one minute in Empire, and then he shows up in Jedi, but we're never, ever told in those movies how he was able to turn Luke's father to the dark side. Back then Star Wars fans just kind of accepted that he's an all powerful villain who somehow seduced the galaxy's most gifted Jedi.

I don't need an origin story for Palpatine, all the original trilogy needed was a mention here and there and the occasional glimpse. That was enough for a build up, which is more than the new trilogy has. And just as I don't need an origin story for Palpatine in Return of the Jedi, I most certainly need some kind of explanation as to why is this guy still around in Rise of Skywalker. Which, by the way, totally depends on viewers having watched the trailer so they're mentally prepared to accept Palpatine is still alive. It really feels like they just slapped him in there.

Exley97:
[quote="Johnny Novgorod" post="18.1057630.24325883"]I don't think the new trilogy gets enough credit for the risks it took when it DID do things that went against the original trilogy. Specifically, they took the heroes of the original trilogy and broke them up and put them at arguably their lowest points in the entire saga.

I think its exactly this that doesn't work out in the new trilogy. The old heroes being defeated could really increase the stakes but the way its handled just made it kinda humiliating for the old characters without even raising the stakes that much.

It all has to do with how much of a non entity the First Order is. They are an evil organisation with no real traits aside from being really evil. Not only is the organisation bare bones but their leadership is also completely inept. The villains carrying the first order are Kylo Ren who's an emo manchild with temper tantrums, General Hux who gets depicted as a complete loser and Snoke who's such a pathetic villain he dies halfway into the trilogy with his killer barely having to put in any effort. The old generation having been humiliated and trampled on is just sad when the villains are so devoid of any power, charm or competence.

Palpatine taking over the Galaxy and rooting out the Jedi was earned. With the new trilogy we are required to believe a bunch of complete losers completely defeated the old heroes just because the opening narration said they did.

twistedmic:

Ravinoff:

Lightsabers are supposed to be very difficult for someone untrained to handle, though. That was one of the things Ben Kenobi had to teach Luke in Episode IV, IIRC. With no weight and minimal to no tactile feedback, anyone not familiar with a lightsaber is going to flail it around like an idiot because of how much differently it moves compared to...basically anything else.

He never mentions that it's all but impossible for a non-Jedi/Sith to use. I'm pretty sure that is a fan-created idea.
It's been shown in the movies and the (now no-cannon) books that force-blind people can ignite and use lightsabers. Han briefly used one to cut open the dead Tauntaun on Hoth and in the Young Jedi Knights series there was a character who could not use the force but carried a fancy-hilted lightsaber. I can't remember her name right now though.

Didn't mean to say they were impossible for non-Force-users to wield at all, just so completely different from any other melee weapon (or tool, even) that using one effectively requires a lot of specific training. The blade beam has effectively no weight so conventional things like wind-up and follow-through on swings don't apply, but with no momentum you have to push through the entire strike and can't let the weight of the weapon do the work (which applies a lot to saber vs saber duels, parries and blocks are going to be weird). And you've got to be aware of where your blade is at all times, because it cuts/burns whatever it touches regardless of angle or whether you're swinging it.

The Jedi Knight games actually demonstrate the latter really well, when your lightsaber is equipped it applies contact damage to anything you touch. Just moving around leaves glowing and melted scars in the walls from where the saber collision model touches the wall mesh, stuff like that.

Ravinoff:

twistedmic:

Ravinoff:

Lightsabers are supposed to be very difficult for someone untrained to handle, though. That was one of the things Ben Kenobi had to teach Luke in Episode IV, IIRC. With no weight and minimal to no tactile feedback, anyone not familiar with a lightsaber is going to flail it around like an idiot because of how much differently it moves compared to...basically anything else.

He never mentions that it's all but impossible for a non-Jedi/Sith to use. I'm pretty sure that is a fan-created idea.
It's been shown in the movies and the (now no-cannon) books that force-blind people can ignite and use lightsabers. Han briefly used one to cut open the dead Tauntaun on Hoth and in the Young Jedi Knights series there was a character who could not use the force but carried a fancy-hilted lightsaber. I can't remember her name right now though.

Didn't mean to say they were impossible for non-Force-users to wield at all, just so completely different from any other melee weapon (or tool, even) that using one effectively requires a lot of specific training. The blade beam has effectively no weight so conventional things like wind-up and follow-through on swings don't apply, but with no momentum you have to push through the entire strike and can't let the weight of the weapon do the work (which applies a lot to saber vs saber duels, parries and blocks are going to be weird). And you've got to be aware of where your blade is at all times, because it cuts/burns whatever it touches regardless of angle or whether you're swinging it.

The Jedi Knight games actually demonstrate the latter really well, when your lightsaber is equipped it applies contact damage to anything you touch. Just moving around leaves glowing and melted scars in the walls from where the saber collision model touches the wall mesh, stuff like that.

And yet absolutely none of that mattered when Obi Wan handed Anakin's lightsaber to Luke in A New Hope. He wasn't even fussed when Luke ignited it and started waving it around everywhere. Guess intense balance theory and swing weight-to-thrust ratios didn't really matter at all.

So, I saw Cats on Thursday and due to shenanigans the movie started 45 minutes late and I got a coupon for a free movie. It's a terrible movie that should be on the roster for anybody's Bad Movie Night. I thought to myself "hey, at least I saw Cats for free".

Then I saw Rise on Friday. My thought process now is "at least Star Wars was free". It takes a special kind of stupid to make an idea like "Rey is a Palpatine clone" and make it Dumber. Where do I even start with this trash heap? From no-stakes "deaths" to frantic but boring montage chase sequences to a final climactic showdown at night in cloudy conditions with dark ships where the best star fighter pilot in the galaxy does nothing on screen.
SERIOUSLY, what the hell? "Oh noes, Rey accidentally killed Chewie with force light-oh he's fine" "3P0 sacrificed his memories to save the-oh he's fine" "Wow, Hux was a trait-oh he's dead" "Wow, Leia distracted Kylo just long enough for Rey to stab hi-oh he's fine. And redeemed because he talked to his not-actually-a-ghost dad" "oh no, Ben Solo got tossed into a pit and die-oh he's fine" "Rey, who we made sure to explain at length why she *is* actually the biggest Mary to ever Sue (all past evidence to the contrary), is embodying Every Jedi and died redirecting the Emperor's energy back at hi-oh, she's fine, but Ben Heroically Died". Wouldn't want an interesting plot point where a dude tries to find redemption and atonement in a Galaxy where 75% of the inhabitants wouldn't hesitate to shoot him in the face. Good thing the Old Ship with the Old Crew were able to completely bail out the new kids in the massive Space Battle a few times, once off screen. Wouldn't want the new generation to have *too* many victories. I doubly liked that in context with the new Knights of Ren baddies who look like Warhanmer 40k rejects that manage to do nothing at all ever except capture Chewie off screen and lightly beat up unLightsabered Ben Solo.

Seriously, did JJ just trawl reddit theory threads to write this shit?

TL:DR Cats is more worthy of your movie dollar. It knows what it is and just fucking goes for it. Regardless of its quality, that deserves respect.

I just returned from watching episode IX. I don't get the negativity. You can definitely recognize the sight of a troubled production but the movie takes the bad hand the previous two movies left it and manages to at least be adequate. Its probably the best movie of the new trilogy even if that has just as much to do with the failings of the previous movies as with the merits of this one.

Its a bit of a mess but a fun mess. Unlike the Force Awakens this movie has a soul and unlike the Last Jedi its soul isn't grumpy and unpleasant. It also lacks the more questionable technical aspects of the Last Jedi like admiral Pinkhair or the weird casino filler.

I'd say episode IX is the first time there really was a little bit of merit in the sequel trilogy. What doesn't work tends to be inherited from the previous two movies. Palpatine's return is a little silly but the First Order immediately falling into the background does indicate what a pathetic villain organisation it really was. Silly as he is Palphatine is at least an improvement over that bunch of losers.

Rise of Skywalker is a little dumb but I enjoyed my time watching it, unlike the Last Jedi which was ''smarter'' but not as enjoyable. The Force Awakens might be technically better put together but I can't really respect the movie since its a barely disguised remake of New Hope.

altnameJag:
So, I saw Cats on Thursday and due to shenanigans the movie started 45 minutes late and I got a coupon for a free movie. It's a terrible movie that should be on the roster for anybody's Bad Movie Night. I thought to myself "hey, at least I saw Cats for free".

Then I saw Rise on Friday. My thought process now is "at least Star Wars was free". It takes a special kind of stupid to make an idea like "Rey is a Palpatine clone" and make it Dumber. Where do I even start with this trash heap? From no-stakes "deaths" to frantic but boring montage chase sequences to a final climactic showdown at night in cloudy conditions with dark ships where the best star fighter pilot in the galaxy does nothing on screen.
SERIOUSLY, what the hell? "Oh noes, Rey accidentally killed Chewie with force light-oh he's fine" "3P0 sacrificed his memories to save the-oh he's fine" "Wow, Hux was a trait-oh he's dead" "Wow, Leia distracted Kylo just long enough for Rey to stab hi-oh he's fine. And redeemed because he talked to his not-actually-a-ghost dad" "oh no, Ben Solo got tossed into a pit and die-oh he's fine" "Rey, who we made sure to explain at length why she *is* actually the biggest Mary to ever Sue (all past evidence to the contrary), is embodying Every Jedi and died redirecting the Emperor's energy back at hi-oh, she's fine, but Ben Heroically Died". Wouldn't want an interesting plot point where a dude tries to find redemption and atonement in a Galaxy where 75% of the inhabitants wouldn't hesitate to shoot him in the face. Good thing the Old Ship with the Old Crew were able to completely bail out the new kids in the massive Space Battle a few times, once off screen. Wouldn't want the new generation to have *too* many victories. I doubly liked that in context with the new Knights of Ren baddies who look like Warhanmer 40k rejects that manage to do nothing at all ever except capture Chewie off screen and lightly beat up unLightsabered Ben Solo.

Seriously, did JJ just trawl reddit theory threads to write this shit?

TL:DR Cats is more worthy of your movie dollar. It knows what it is and just fucking goes for it. Regardless of its quality, that deserves respect.

God I didn't even think about all of that. Wow, what the fuck was this whole movie?

Hades:

Its a bit of a mess but a fun mess. Unlike the Force Awakens this movie has a soul and unlike the Last Jedi its soul isn't grumpy and unpleasant. It also lacks the more questionable technical aspects of the Last Jedi like admiral Pinkhair or the weird casino filler.

Admiral Po sucked donkey balls, and that casino scene went almost nowhere in the grand scheme of things. Still love Las Jedi, but Rise has the best pacing out the new trilogy. Can't wait for the blu-ray.

To the fans going overboard on the negativity to the sequel trilogy: What the fuck do you want? This is to the overzealous fans or the ones that do nothing, but complain. I remember the Double Toasted guys saying they like VII & VIII, only to just saying "VII is just a remake of IV" & "VIII was too different". I like and respect Korey and Martin, but it's one of the few times I thought fuck you both. Y'all want things to be different? Complain! Y'all want things to be the same? Complain! The fans are big part of the problem. A majority of them don't know what they want! It's the same problem with the prequel trilogy. Lucas sold Star Wars for a reason (yet still makes money off the profits, including the Disney films), because of shit like this. Me personally, Episode I was average, Episode II was boring as fuck, and Episode III is legit good despite a few dialogue hick ups and some writing problem. The Clone Wars cartoons (both 2D & 3D) still showed Anakin's gradual fall to the Dark Side better than any of the prequel movies.

But you know what, you get what you wished for. This is what you deserve. Disney (no road map or plan) and Lucas had their own screw ups, but certain people in the fandom are part of the damn problem.

Hawki:
When does "flamboyant = gay?"

Since the trial of Oscar Wilde, mostly.

Hawki:
If we want to look at Scar particularly, bear in mind that even if we cast aside Zira, a plotline that was cut from the film was him trying to seduce Nala, and IIRC, was re-introduced in the Broadway version.

I feel like I specifically went out of my way to address this, but again. Disney did not camp up its villains to signify that they were gay. It did it to signify that they were bad people. For all we know, camping them up may even have been a completely unintentional side effect of adhering to a successful formula. However, sometimes it was not. Ursula in the Little Mermaid is explicitly modelled on real life drag queen Divine, so we know that there was some measure of thought put into this characterisation.

This is not about whether Scar, the fictional character who doesn't really exist, is actually gay. It's about whether or not Scar's characterisation uses stereotypes and aesthetic conventions associated with gay people to show that he is a bad person, which is undeniably true.

Hawki:
And if we're looking at the live action version, the narrative isn't doing anything "no-homo."

I mean, they insert a whole sexual jealousy subplot which is so hetero it makes my eyes bleed.

Hawki:
And I didn't get any sense of gayness from Timon and Pumba. They're friends. That's it.

Timon in the 2019 film was played by a gay comedian who has talked very openly about playing the character with a gay sensibility. Again, it's not really relevant whether the character is gay because the character is fictional, but I'm going to tell you that Timon in 2019 is stereotypically gay-coded in a way that's far more overt than any 90s camp.

I get that if you're straight you might not need to see that, but take it from me.. it's extremely blatant.

Batou667:
That you choose to describe this as "queer coding" I think says more about the chip on your shoulder (and your unflattering predesposition to equate cruel, foppish, nefarious behaviour to gayness) than any systemic bias at Disney HQ.

I don't think "foppishness" is a bad thing.

I think your casual association of foppishness with cruelty or duplicity is far, far more unflattering than pointing out that these things have been associated, for better or worse, with gayness for a good century. When the lion king first came out, camp was the definitive gay stereotype. If a straight person wanted to do a "gay voice", or affect "gay" body language, it would be camp.

Like, I could talk about "foppishness" in terms of libertine culture and the aristocratic society of the early modern period, or about Oscar Wilde and the decadence movement's ironic celebration of those same libertine conventions as an antithesis to the conventions of bourgeois society. But it wouldn't matter, it's done. Camp is a part of the culture we live in, and it has been for a long time.

Batou667:
In about 72 hours we'll be in 2020. Perhaps it's time to stop beating this sad little drum and repeating the mantra about how homophobic Disney are/were?

I'll stop pointing out how homophobic Disney are when they stop being homophobic.

Because again, I don't care about Ursula being modelled on Divine or what that does for gay representation. Divine's most famous role has her eating dog shit to prove she is the filthiest person alive. When society defines you as disgusting or filthy or evil just for existing, then part of learning to live with that is to become comfortable with being the villain in someone else's story. Camp can (and often is) incredibly empowering precisely because it's "bad" representation, it's honest representation of the world we live in and how to survive in it.

Again, I don't think what Disney does now is empowering. I don't think this vapid dancing around symbolic LGBT inclusion while keeping it covert enough that it'll pass the hets and their defective gaydars is really sending any message to queer people other than Disney wants their money but is ashamed to admit it.

evilthecat:

I feel like I specifically went out of my way to address this, but again. Disney did not camp up its villains to signify that they were gay. It did it to signify that they were bad people. For all we know, camping them up may even have been a completely unintentional side effect of adhering to a successful formula. However, sometimes it was not. Ursula in the Little Mermaid is explicitly modelled on real life drag queen Divine, so we know that there was some measure of thought put into this characterisation.

This is not about whether Scar, the fictional character who doesn't really exist, is actually gay. It's about whether or not Scar's characterisation uses stereotypes and aesthetic conventions associated with gay people to show that he is a bad person, which is undeniably true.

I'm kind of left to ask at this point how many Disney villains are actually "camp." Ursula? Maybe, never seen the film. Scar? I really can't call him "camp." If I had to describe Scar in one word, it would be "menacing" or "manipulative."

I mean, they insert a whole sexual jealousy subplot which is so hetero it makes my eyes bleed.

You mean where Scar is courting Nala? You mean that plot point that was in the original film and re-introduced in the musical IIRC? Even if that wasn't the case, Scar wanting a mate to further his lineage is kinda expected in both the animal kingdom and in monarchies.

I mean, it does bother me, but not for the same reasons. I stated in my review of the film that there was arguably a case to remake the film if it took into account Lion King 2, and featured characters like Zira and the other future Outlanders from the start, as LK2 relies on the whole "yeah, they were there the whole time, you just didn't see them" schtick. Alas, that didn't happen.

PsychedelicDiamond:

evilthecat:

Asita:
Scar is prominent in that regard? He always struck me as the mousy geek to Mufasa's star quarterback (or the Iago to his Othello). What am I missing that made him stand out as queer-coded?

Here's the thing though. Look at Scar's actually behaviours and mannerisms. Is he "mousy", is he a "geek" (bear in mind that this is 1994, before the mainstreaming of geek culture so being a "geek" had very particular associations).

Scar isn't socially awkward, in fact kind of the opposite. He isn't shy. He's always melodramatic. The way he speaks is theatrical and flamboyant, his movements are expressive and exaggerated. He's not outside of conventional masculinity because he's a beta shyguy, he's excessive, he's over-the-top, he's inappropriate. In other words, he's camp.

This basically applies to most Disney villains from the period. Even Frollo, who is basically the only Disney villain I can think of who is motivated by his explicitly sexual lust for a woman, is also pretty camp (not as camp as Scar though). That's because Disney wasn't using this aesthetic to indicate that Scar was secretly a big gay, they were using it to show that he was a bad guy.

But it also made him a fun and likeable character, which is what queer audiences responded to.

I think comparing the 1994 Lion King and the 2019 Lion King is really interesting in terms of Disney's treatment of queerness and its queer audience. 1994 Disney queer-coded Scar because they wanted a villain character with a strong personality, who would be fun and over the top. 2019 Scar lacks any of that likeability, he's just a boring douche who the narrative goes out of its way to aggressively no-homo. Instead, we get WeHo Timon whose overt gayness is 100% intentional (but never actually stated), and who is basically just there as a stand-in for the queer audiences.

Basically, Disney is clearly uncomfortable with how its queer-coding of villain characters might look to a modern audience, but clearly hasn't worked out that "sassy comic relief" or "gay best friend" are far more offensive as stereotypes than "camp villain". A huge amount of queer cinema is the deliberate celebration of camp villains, it can be done in a way that's fun and empowering. What Disney has been doing with its queer characters recently isn't empowering.

I guess the most obvious example for Disney's tendency to give their villains stereotypically gay traits is Ratcliffe from Pocahontas:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSfYrPdTKVA

He's easy to forget, because Pocahontas is easy to forget, but he illustrates the point pretty well. Those gay traits seem very archaic themselves from a modern perspective but you know, then again, the 90s where a while ago. Regardless of that, when it comes to actually representing the queer population Disney will, sooner or later, have to face the fact that that means actually depicting queer relationships. There's absolutely no point to just stating that a character is gay and maybe having him look at a character of the same gender with a lovesick expression once or twice. Just fucking show a gay relationship. It's not really all that different from depicting a straight relationship. Have husband and husband instead of husband and wife. That's it.

As long as they are incapable of depicting something as innocent as a healthy relationship out of fear of alienating people either at home or abroad it's reasonable to assume that they have absolutely zero interest in representing that part of the population. That whole "LeFou is gay, Lando Calrissian is pansexual, there's a guy talking about having had a date with a men in a self help group" shit is just... nothing. It's meaningless. It's not representation, it's just vague acknowledgement. Healthy representation is when gay love isn't depicted any differently from straight love.

Just had to re-read both of these quotes to make sure neither of you were throwing shade at Professor Ratigan.

Hawki:
I'm kind of left to ask at this point how many Disney villains are actually "camp."

Pretty much all the "golden age" Disney villains are, to one degree or another. Disney films are essentially musical theatre with animation. Certainly at that point, they very much have the sensibility of musical theatre.

It's not even like camp is a secret gay thing, it's a well recognised sensibility, especially in comedy and performing arts. Tim Curry is performing camp in the Rocky Horror Show, but he's also performing camp in Muppet Treasure Island. If you set out to make a character fun, especially if you're trying to make them a fun villain whose purpose is to be entertaining rather than frightening, you'll probably end up employing elements of camp.

Hawki:
If I had to describe Scar in one word, it would be "menacing" or "manipulative."

I struggle to imagine a person, even a child, who would be genuinely "menaced" by Scar. He's basically a panto villain.

Hawki:
You mean that plot point that was in the original film and re-introduced in the musical IIRC?

It literally wasn't in the original film.

In fact, several commentators at the time went further than I am and claimed that Stars disinterest in any of the lionesses in the film, combined with his very obviously stereotypical mannerisms, was essentially Disney trying to position the character as canonically gay. I don't agree with that, but it does show how ludicrously unsubtle the whole thing was.

Also, again, Frollo's entire character motivation is based on a conflict between his devout catholicism and his lust for a woman. He is canonically 100% heterosexual. However, the aesthetic by which this is presented to us is not.

Gordon_4:
Just had to re-read both of these quotes to make sure neither of you were throwing shade at Professor Ratigan.

Honestly, me pointing out that Ratigan is camp (he is) wouldn't be throwing shade, actually the opposite. I throw shade by pointing out that 2019 Scar lacks a camp aesthetic and is thus a boring non-entity who has nothing fun or interesting going on..

..although I guess that's actually just a read.

I thought FA was fun forgettable popcorn film until I really thought about how disappointed in it I was. There was no progress (intentionally). We've watched 6 movies so far, and now we're right back to where we were in 1977. Even Palpatine is back! I was also outraged that they had an opportunity to put our 3 heroes together again and blew it. The Last Jedi had tried some things that are interesting. Anyone should be able to learn to use the force if it is a metaphor for becoming like a Samurai. Rey's parents need not be anyone special. Next interesting idea: get rid of the light/dark dichotomy. But they appear to have chickened out. So, all that is left is to see the movie as an open hate letter to men and boys. A salvo in the war against them. I understand ROS is about trying to write Luke Skywalker out of existence. I think I'll pass.

evilthecat:

Pretty much all the "golden age" Disney villains are, to one degree or another.

If you mean the Disney Renaissance as being the "golden age," then going by the films I've seen of this era:

-Gaston: Not really. He arguably starts out as being camp, but he darkens a lot towards the end. It's also at this point that Gaston becomes a true villain rather than your village jock.

-Jaffar: I can't think of anything about him that's camp. Maybe in Return of Jaffar in the 'Second Best' song sequence, but that's about it.

-Scar: See above.

-Ratcliffe: Maybe? Honestly I barely remember him.

-Frollo: Not at all.

-Hades: Yep.

That isn't every villain of this era, but I can't see a "villain = camp" train of thought for this period.

I struggle to imagine a person, even a child, who would be genuinely "menaced" by Scar. He's basically a panto villain.

I was menaced a bit by Scar as a kid, but that aside, Scar is a schemer. He's manipulative, he's sociopathic, he's power hungry, etc. I can't think of any camp moments for him. Maybe 'Be Prepared,' but that entire sequence has a dark undertone to it, and I'm not just referring to the Nazi imagery.

It literally wasn't in the original film.

You can look up the cut clip on YouTube where Scar tries to seduce Nala.

However, the aesthetic by which this is presented to us is not.

Gothic?

Um, okay.

CoCage:

To the fans going overboard on the negativity to the sequel trilogy: What the fuck do you want? .

I would recommend you see the Youtube series, "Cobra Kai". Nostalgia fun that gives old fans a chance to see characters we appreciate from the past, catch up with them. There has been movement in their lives (Unlike Star Wars returning us to 1977 after 6 movies) while the old characters introduce us to interesting new characters.

Star Wars could have done this. They didn't

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