||"dawnbreak in the west"|
Sunday, December 13, 2015
Black Jedi-Stormtrooper is a dead man walking
Here's that Sunday evening post where I react to the Chaos Patch. So : Let's talk race and let's talk culture. Let's talk Asians, and let's talk entertainment.
We have here a character "Finn", a Jedi and ex-stormtrooper (like Kyle Katarn); played by the black actor John Boyega. Finn is unlikely to be the main character. Yeah, Finn's not the centre of the posters, but that needn't mean much; Sarah Connor famously wasn't the centre of the Terminator posters either. I say this is because Finn is being set up to die; in this movie, or later into the series. Whether or not he dies, will depend on how well Finn is accepted by international fandom.
Asian moviegoers will watch Western movies, and they do enjoy watching black people in an ensemble cast - those Fast and Furious movies did fine over there. Asians might even like watching movies with black male leads - hey, why not; we'll watch Kung Fu here.
First-time-out, Boyega's attitude won't matter in Social Justice Land; it might even be a bonus short-term. So we'll see lots of public gushing over here saying OH MAN THIS IS (kinda) AWESOME YOU GOTTA SEE IT. Expect a Google Doodle on the topic. Maybe even for three days.
For sales, the first movie will go okay in the Western Hemisphere and Europe and Africa; enough to glide over its low numbers East. But no-one's going to buy the action figures. In the longer term, few in the West will maintain their interest for that prospective second movie. And that sequel, again, won't sell at all well in the East. While we're all considering this, we must remember also that movies need to make bank.
Let's just say: don't expect Boyega's character Finn to appear in the third movie. Unless he's limned in blue.
UPDATE 12/16: It has recently been observed that this movie passes the "Bechdel test". If we assume that the direction isn't entirely incompetent that means, Finn is not the main character; a female is. I have unburied the lede to make the earlier chain-of-argument clearer.
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