I saw the video above shortly after it was released, but hadn’t intended on sharing it (I don’t share all that many Vlog Brothers videos, even though I watch them all). What changed my mind was online reaction to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but not for the usual reason. Also, neither the video nor this post have any spoilers.
To paraphrase the YouTube description, in this video—again, without spoilers—John Green discusses the movie in the context of the original Star Wars trilogy, and also talks about Joseph Campbell's book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces and its influence on George Lucas. That leads on to “talk about mythology, shared myths, how we assign personhood, whether wookies are people, etc.” I thought it was very interesting, as I usually do. But that’s not the reason I decided to share it.
What made me reconsider sharing this video was some of the reactions I saw online. There were glowing reactions, of course, including some total fanboi meltdowns, all of which was to be expected. The negative reactions were also to be expected, and some of them stuck me as manifestly unfair, comparing this movie to the original three in a way that, I felt, set up a false comparison.
Here’s the weird thing: As unfair as I thought some of the criticism was, in my opinion, MOST of it didn’t attack those with differing views—shockingly enough! They, like me, seemed to accept that people can have completely different opinions about this movie without assuming the other person is somehow defective or maybe mentally deficient. I wish it could always be that way, but I know it isn’t—and, in fact, outside my field of attention, it probably isn’t. That’s life. It probably helped that this movie was such a huge hit.
So, I saw this video as a sort of counter-view to some of what I thought was unfair, even though this came out before that criticism (which is why I won’t bother linking to to any specific criticism). I also saw it as expressing much of what I though about the movie, too.
When I talked about seeing the movie, I didn’t talk in any great detail about my reactions, mainly to avoid spoilers. But my reaction was pretty similar to John Green’s.
I obviously fully realise and accept that this movie—as with absolutely everything else in pop culture—is subject to Arthur’s Law:
Everything you love, someone else hates; everything you hate, someone else loves. So, relax and like what you like and forget about everyone else.So, I share the video above not as some sort of one-upmanship in ongoing pop culture battles, but merely because I thought the perspective was interesting, because I thought it provides some balance in the discussions of the merits of the film, and mostly because it’s the closest I’ve yet gotten to discussing what I thought of the movie.
Sometimes, it’s worth reconsidering a decision on whether to share something.