May the 4th ... well, you know.
May 4, 2020 6:39 AM   Subscribe

ISO online criticism of the final three Star Wars movies that will provide a counterpoint to the typical misogynistic stuff my 13 year old is reading online.

My 13 year old has fallen down a rabbit hole of YouTube and Reddit which is full of the typical gatekeeping criticisms of the Disney/Abrams films. I'd love to give him some thoughtful things to read (or watch - truthfully he's more likely to watch) that are positive (or more balanced) about these films and address inclusion.

I'd also love to have some stuff to share with him that is funny and engaging about why gatekeeping is bad. We reinforce that with him every day, but having it come from "not your parents" is generally better.
posted by anastasiav to Society & Culture (13 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
It's not specific to the final three films, but inclusivity / non-gatekeeping is a key message in Looking for Leia: playlist. I'm also aware of Rebecca Harrison's brief article "I Know Because It's Me," which has to do with all the films but especially Rogue One.
posted by Wobbuffet at 7:38 AM on May 4 [1 favorite]

I think Jenny Nicholson does a really great job with these, though she mostly addresses inclusion from the point of view of gut-level assuming it's a good thing rather than specifically calling it out, while bashing gatekeeping.

Top ten worst reasons you hated The Last Jedi

Rise of Skywalker

Bonus: Rating all the Porgs
posted by Mchelly at 7:54 AM on May 4 [6 favorites]

+1 to Jenny Nicholson.
posted by migurski at 8:00 AM on May 4 [1 favorite]

I recently discovered Movies With Mikey when it showed up in my YT recommendations, no doubt based on my subscribing to Lindsay Ellis's channel. The host does in-depth analyses of various media properties including the most recent SW trilogy. He does come from the perspective of a lifelong SW fan and is pretty unabashedly positive on The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi while giving a more mixed review to Rise of Skywalker (i.e. the opposite of what I understand most gatekeepers' reaction to be), but always explains his reasoning without trashing people who don't agree with him (his Last Jedi video starts by explicitly saying just this).

The videos are intellectually engaging and well-thought out while also being pretty funny. The fact the host is a young guy might also help his credibility vs the kind of ranty reactionary YTers your child seems to be watching. Best of luck!
posted by peakes at 8:01 AM on May 4 [3 favorites]

Can you briefly define "gatekeeping"? I googled it just now and don't find anything that seems to apply to film criticism. ETA: thanks.
posted by JimN2TAW at 8:28 AM on May 4

JimN2TAW sure - basically this kind of thing.
posted by anastasiav at 8:31 AM on May 4

Whoops I apologize, the final video I linked in my previous comment does not address Rise of Skywalker specifically. I don't know that Movies w/Mikey has a specific RoS vid yet. They have a couple other SW videos which are also worth watching however.
posted by peakes at 8:48 AM on May 4 [1 favorite]

Seconding Movies With Mikey/ Filmjoy. His whole thing is to focus on the things he loves about a movie instead of talking about things he didn't like. Some decent criticism out of him as well, at least as far as youtubers go.

You might give Movie Bob a shot. He does cultural criticism of geek culture in his The Big Picture series with some regularity. His videos are very digestible, rarely longer than 10 minutes. He's also a very outspoken left leaning, social justice, kind of guy that *still* gets followed around the internet by gators or whatever you want to call them these days. He keeps things mostly clean, but be aware that he does use profanity should that be a thing you don't want your son to hear.

Anyways, here's some of his Star Wars coverage for your reference.

The Force Awakens Review
The Last Jedi Review
The Rise of Skywalker Review
The Last Jedi is a Loveletter to Star Wars Fans
Let's Talk About Luke Skywalker
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Is Polarizing Critics, but for What Reasons?
Unpacking Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and the State of the Franchise

There is more, but I'm sure you can find the rest of it should you want to.
posted by forbiddencabinet at 10:33 AM on May 4 [2 favorites]

+1 Jenny Nicholson, her review of the Rise of Skywalker is hilarious while also presenting thoughtful criticisms. She's done a huge number of other Star Wars related videos as well.
posted by phoenixy at 12:05 PM on May 4 [1 favorite]

He's 13, I'm not surprised that he's really into being a "true fan" of Star Wars (or whatever else catches his fancy). Any attempt to change his mind is probably going to be met with some resistance, unless you're already in the habit of doing textual critique together.

The best thing might be to get him started on some other sci fi so he doesn't get too into arguing online. Dune is the archetypical 13 year old boy adventure story, but I'm sure there's a ton of other recommendations you can get here. You could also get him into some of the Star Wars stuff that tends to have more of a positive online fandom, like the Clone Wars or Rebels series, if he hasn't seen those.
posted by kingdead at 3:14 PM on May 4 [3 favorites]

Film Crit Hulk wrote a great article defending The Last Jedi and deconstructing the toxic discourse around it.
posted by zeusianfog at 1:54 PM on May 5 [1 favorite]

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