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Abigail Nussbaum @NussbaumAbigail
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1. Starting to get really annoyed by all the #TheLastJedi thinkpieces on how You Don't Get It, The POINT of the Poe Storyline is That He Fails.

No, I get it. I just don't agree.
2. More precisely, I think the intent is crystal clear, and the execution is completely fucked up. Because, as is fairly typical in Hollywood, the film has no sense of when it's taken its characters too far.
3. It's fine, in principle, to take a heroic character and make them fail in order to learn a lesson. But if their failure is colossal and the consequences for it are minuscule-to-nonexistent, you've fucked up.
4. Hollywood doesn't get this. It's so invested in the idea of a redemptive storyline that it never stops to think that some characters have been taken too far for redemption.
5. In a weird way, #TheLastJedi's attitude towards Poe is the same as the approach it takes to Kylo Ren. In both cases, errors that should put the characters beyond the pale are treated as A Learning Experience.
6. This sort of works in the Kylo storyline because Rey and Luke carry it. And, of course, because the film ends by concluding that he is beyond redemption. #TheLastJedi
7. But let's be clear: the thing #TheLastJedi condemns Kylo for is not the thing it should have condemned him for. If it saw him and his crimes clearly, it would have realized that he was beyond redemption from the get-go.
8. Again, this is an issue of scale. If we'd met Kylo shortly after he'd killed Luke's students, it might have been OK to talk redemption. But we meet him 15yrs later, as he's massacring a village, shortly before he helps destroy several planets. That's not a redeemable character
9. To bring this back to Poe, what he does in #TheLastJedi is not "a mistake". It is a catastrophic, compounded error in judgement that gets most of his colleagues in the resistance killed.
10. Poe disobeys orders, foments mutiny, recklessly disperses top-secret information, and causes the loss of most of the resistance's personnel and materiel. That's not One to Grow On. That's One to Get Lined Up In Front of a Firing Squad For. #TheLastJedi
11. What's more, it is strongly implied that the reason Poe freaks out this way is that Holdo is not just a woman, but a particularly femme woman, who challenges his macho persona. Once again, that's not something a sympathetic character can come back from. #TheLastJedi
12. You've made one of your most charismatic heroes into a misogynistic idiot who causes catastrophic damage. You don't get to play that as "aw, he just needs to Learn Better".
13. Especially since Poe suffers no real consequences, no loss of prestige or respect, for his actions. Hell, they'll probably make him general in episode IX, simply because there's no one else left.
14. Of course, as I was discussing earlier today, part of the reason Poe suffers no consequences is that the film needs him to screw up or it has no last act.
15. But it's also an expression of how Hollywood, in its zeal for Complicated Characters, has completely lost any sense of when it's taken a character too far. The only thing that makes this iteration noteworthy is that Poe isn't a white man.
16. In conclusion, Finn is the only decent man in this entire galaxy.
17. Seriously, though, Finn has more excuses for screwing up than either Kylo or Poe, but #TheLastJedi holds him to a much higher standard, and calls him on much smaller errors, than either of them.
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