Spoilers Vs. Spoiling

The internet is rife with people ready to spout spoilers on any subject of choosing. Assholes who don’t care that there are people who want to go into a movie or start a book without knowing anything about it, they just have to proclaim their knowledge to the world, taking pleasure in affecting others experiences.

But while people think of spoilers in the “Snape kills Dumbledore” sense, big events, specific plot points, there’s dozens of ways to spoil a work for someone without even meaning to. Every piece of information about a work skews how view the work, takes away from the impact of seeing the work as a whole piece because consciously or subconsciously you’re waiting for that moment. It happens in trailers for movies all the time (for all that Age of Ultron was a mess of a movie I’m glad I didn’t see a lot of the trailers and got to be as surprised by Clint Barton’s family as the rest of The Avengers were) and there’s a reason I don’t like to read reviews of the things I’m interested in until afterwards (I do enjoy reading them afterwards. I get a lot of satisfaction when views line up with mine and I like seeing things from a different perspective once I’ve had the opportunity to form my own opinions).

This is obviously a specific level of spoiler avoidance and most of it is on me to keep away from the information but still a lot of people like to express their opinions on things in ways they believe are non-spoilery without realizing the impact they have. Because every piece of information skews experiences. If you’re livetweeting a show and someone sees that 15min into the show suddenly there’s a huge burst of OMGWTF tweets they’re going to be watching expecting that moment (which is why please always tag/announce your livetweets for easy muting!) and it doesn’t matter that they don’t know what the specific moment is, it’s enough to know that there’s something.

This isn’t a plea for no spoilers ever just shut your mouth and don’t say anything until you know everyone has seen it. That’s ridiculous and extreme. But this is a plea to be mindful of how your words can affect someone else’s experience. People who are assholes and don’t care about spoiling things for others, they aren’t going to change. But for those who think they’re being non-spoilery, an example of how experiences can be skewed.

I just finished the book Bloodline by Claudia Gray and I adored it to bits (spoilers for Bloodline follow. Specifically character development. Go read the book if you haven’t.) Continue reading

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Continuing Conversations on Diversity

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There are several responses one can have when lack of diversity is called out.

  • Apologize. Acknowledge issue.
  • Apologize. Ackowledge issue. Promise to be more inclusive.
  • Shrug. Move on.
  • Deny problem. Move on.
  • Deny problem. Attack.

Let’s take a guess at how a certain Star Wars podcast reacted when fandom correctly stated that they replaced their gender diverse cast with two white dudes.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>It's back. And oh god, it even includes a shot at &quot;tumblr attitude&quot; <a href=”https://t.co/ZLD9HtA7UB”>https://t.co/ZLD9HtA7UB</a&gt; <a href=”https://t.co/3kiu44txTr”>pic.twitter.com/3kiu44txTr</a></p>&mdash; Brian (@LaneWinree) <a href=”https://twitter.com/LaneWinree/status/708682381281075200″>March 12, 2016</a></blockquote>
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The response is very damning and somewhere in there is a promise for more diversity but surrounded by all that derailing and vitriol its seems like a very “well actually” move rather than a desire to have different voices.

The thing about callouts is they seem very personal to the subject when in reality they are about systemic problems and the subject is just the most recent example. Leslie Jones was understandably upset when The Internet looked at the trailer for the new Ghostbusters movie and questioned her role as sassy black woman because to her this is a breakout role that she’s thrilled about whereas viewers are seeing another in a long line of smart white group with single streetwise black person.

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We’re hoping the movie turns this convention on it’s head (here’s hoping there’s something to the original promo materials saying municipal historian even though everything says MTA employee now. Both is certainly a possibility!) but that doesn’t mean this conversation wouldn’t take place. Without a push for change nothing will ever change. None of this has anything to do with Leslie Jones as a person or as an actor but as a visible figure representing the current problem she is part of the narrative.

As are the new hosts for said podcast. I haven’t listened to their first ep and I’m very much isolated from the Star Wars fandom at large preferring to stay in my little twitter bubble so I can’t comment on the quality or them personally but it’s still a fact that a fandom with a large white male population has another platform for white male fans to speak their minds. If that’s what you want to listen to, if their show is fabulous and exactly what you want, great, I’m glad you have that and I hope you keep listening and they keep delivering but that doesn’t mean the conversation is over.

The fact is is this podcast doesn’t exist in a vacuum.  It is always going to be easier for a white man to have a voice if no one is challenging the lack of other voices. I’ve seen a lot of posts that are essentially “why are we fighting, sit down and chill and enjoy Star Wars” and those almost make me angrier than the ones retaliating negatively to the criticism of “hey more white guys yay?” because it’s an attempt to make those holding the conversation seem unreasonable for wanting to work towards a community with more diverse voices. The above response is more proof that these are conversations that need to be had.

In conclusion, dear white people, please never talk about the colour of your skin being brought up as a problem. I know it’s rough when society values your skin colour above all and that’s all they can see so they decide to treat you better but just don’t.

So You Think You’ve Found Rey

#wheresrey has come under fire because unlike #wheresgamora and #wheresblackwidow figures of Rey actually exist so it must be ok and everyone must be overreacting right? Nevermind that you can’t just walk into a store and get a Rey toy like you can Kylo or Finn or all the troopers you can shake a fist at.

JJ Abrams at least thinks this is preposterous and wrong instead of going the oh you just have to look harder route that’s been going around the internet. It’s very frustrating reading posts, especially from women, claiming Rey is everywhere when sure, if you’re an adult willing to check stores constantly or pay resellers their inflated prices you can find Rey toys easily enough but why does anyone think that’s ok?

I do wonder if a little of it is the “well I had to look hard/pay more so other people should have to too” mentality. Like having Rey figures be more available some how diminishes their enjoyment of their find. Or perhaps it’s just geek blindness. People used to digging around to find what they want don’t realize that for casual fans, for kids without parents willing to look, not being on the shelves is pretty much the same as not existing.

Another thing that has been pointed to as proof that “Rey is everywhere” is the clothing that exists with her on it. Sparkly and soft coloured clothes. Sure it’s great that they exist, and that actually is more than Black Widow and Gamora got, but clothes are. not. toys. Little girls have always been told to go play dress up while the boys go play with toys. By waving the clothes around as some sort of victory it’s reinforcing the idea that girls shouldn’t be toys (not even dolls apparently, which sorry, calling it a 12″ action figure doesn’t make it less of a Barbie, well, Ken doll).

Go to Target and you’ll maybe find the Rey Funko Pop. Go to the Disney Store and you’ll probably find the Deluxe Figure Playset (which also has a General Organa!) and Reys Speeder. But finding any of those other toys that technically exist but were made in much lower quantities than her male counterparts? Good luck.

This isn’t even accounting for her missing from the Target Exclusive set and the Millenium Falcon toy set which are an even bigger problem. The existence of her individual figures is a grudging admittance that maybe there’s a small market for Rey toys but her exclusion from sets screams “but boys still don’t want icky girls in their toys” no matter what the reality of the situation is.

Which is why settling for what we’re being given right now, accepting the scraps Hasbro and Disney are throwing our way, is a mistake. Saying Rey is everywhere just tells them oh it’s ok, you don’t have to make her as prevalent as Kylo Ren, people will accept the least.

Rey deserves more than the least.

 

So Spaced Married – Star Wars Rebels: Siege of Lothal

At Star Wars Celebration after the screening of Siege of Lothal I was seething with jealousy because even though I knew tough scheduling choices had to be made, it’s still sad you can’t make everything and this got chopped since I knew we’d see it eventually and eventually has come!

When everyone got out of the screening the screeches of “so space married!” were heard around Anaheim and boy oh boy is it true. One of my favourite things about Rebels is the relationship between Kanan and Hera, mom and dad of Ghost. We don’t need an in your face will they won’t they drama filled relationship, their banter and caring is just perfect. General Hera indeed.

But while that’s what space married fans are eyeing SO MUCH more is taking place and it’s all amazing. The intensity has definitely ramped up this season now that the team has thoroughly gelled and are leaving Lothal for bigger and badder prospects.

So much of Siege of Lothal is “I can’t believe they went there already!” but it all gels so smoothly and as said in Rebels Recon, the rest of the season will be dealing with the holy shit reallyness of the premiere. I don’t know how we’re going to manage until the fall…maybe just rewatch Siege every week until it’s time for more.