Another SPOILERY discussion about THE LAST JEDI.
I’ve heard a lot of happiness…and complaint…about a thematic aspect of TLJ. And that is that the actions of Finn, Poe and Rose fail, while the plan of Leia and Vice Admiral Holdo succeeds. Let me take the movie seriously enough to dig into it–otherwise what’s the point, right?
So a complaint/observation has been that the girls are showing the boys what fer. That those silly men are simply outthought by the women, and that Poe, Finn and Rose’s actions actually expose them and cost lives.
Partially True. Considering the way the discussions have come down, I think it isn’t absurd to think that people are conflating female with indirect action and male with direct action. IF we can look at that for a moment, to the degree that that conflation is accepted, then in the real world, you can’t say that the indirect is superior.
What you CAN say is that IN THIS INSTANCE indirect was superior. Sun Tzu says: “In war, when you outnumber the enemy by 10 to 1, surround and destroy them. If stronger by 5 to one, pool your forces and attack. If up by two to one, divide your troops and attack them from two sides. When you are evenly matched, launch an offensive first to win. When the enemy forces are superior only by a small extent, prepare for defense, avoid confrontation. When they are superior by a large extent, dodge the attacks. When an obstinate small force wants to fight a big power, it must succumb in the end to the greater force.”
This is very Tai Chi, in the sense of avoiding force, striking into hollows. Yin and Yang in balance. Poe wanted to fight. Holdo wanted to flee to fight another day.
It is IMBALANCE that is the real problem. The adherence to EITHER yin or yang, direct or indirect, regardless of appropriateness. It will get you killed. The “Female” approach worked better IN THIS CASE. Doesn’t make it better overall.
Most of “Star Wars” has been direct action. And much of history is about direct action because we can see it more easily. Doesn’t make it better.
If you are of dualistic mindset, you’ll focus on one or the other. “X is better”, “Y is better.” That’s fine. But people really CAN get stuck on the notion that the only approach is attack. And people really CAN get stuck on the notion that the only approach is evasion. Either will get you killed. Either is “toxic.”
There are plenty of other dualities you have to respect to resolve the duality and rise to the next level. While sure, there are almost certainly some political/philosophical intent going on here, but that’s just saying “conscious” as opposed to “unconscious.” If you DON’T think about it, you’ll just fall into whatever the cultural flow already is, or your unconscious preferences. People who complain about “PC” are usually those who either approve of the current cultural flow or don’t want to deal with their prejudices, figuring that as long as they act out without conscious thought, it’s all o.k. They aren’t looking at the fact that their unconscious attitudes are hugely influenced by a culture that has been promoting and protecting certain modes of thought or behavior for generations. Of COURSE you won’t pay as much attention if you are advantaged by the flow. Only people being swept toward the waterfall panic.
Being an “awake, aware, adult” human being means asking questions about the social rules, and making a conscious decision to adapt them. To hide behind “it’s the way we’ve always done it” without taking responsibility and saying “and there is no other way that works” or “and I like it that way, so I’ll support it” is cowardly or at best, driving the bus with your eyes closed.