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  1. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by godisawesome View Post
    *And she’s not on screen as much as T’Challa.*

    Like, in expectations... can it ever be wrong to expect that the main character will actually be treated as the main character?
    I'm not sure these two movies are the best for this comparison. Yes, I go into a movie called 'Black Panther' thinking that *the Black Panther* is going to be the 'main character.' But a Star Wars movie, where Rey's name isn't even in the title? I don't think of her as a main character. I expect an ensemble (and yeah, I didn't necessarily get what I expected...). The movie wasn't called 'Solo, a Star Wars story,' which I *expected* to have a main character, and his name to be Solo.

  2. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will Evans View Post
    In Black Panther it’s T’Chaka, his brother N’Jobu, and Killmonger’s past alone that matters. And only they, along with Zuri, are only showcased in flashbacks.
    Their past is used to explain Killmonger's mind set and why he does what he does. It is not the only thing that matters in the movie. Killmonger's past is relevant only in explaining why he is a villain.

    People who claim that Killmonger is developed at the expense of T'Challa seem to have a misunderstanding as to what the role of a protagonist is. It doesn't mean every single thing in the movie revolves around you.

  3. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sutekh View Post
    I'm not sure these two movies are the best for this comparison. Yes, I go into a movie called 'Black Panther' thinking that *the Black Panther* is going to be the 'main character.' But a Star Wars movie, where Rey's name isn't even in the title? I don't think of her as a main character. I expect an ensemble (and yeah, I didn't necessarily get what I expected...). The movie wasn't called 'Solo, a Star Wars story,' which I *expected* to have a main character, and his name to be Solo.
    I can get that idea in concept, but the other Star Wars movies generally maintain a “lead character” who’s screentime and central part in the relationships around him/her defines most of the film, and whose POV is the main one. The thing about Rey’s screentime alone is that it’s the smallest share given to the lead character in the films - everyone else, from Qui-Gon to Luke to Anakin to Jyn to Han, gets a larger amount of screentime in total *and* in percentage since TLJ is the longest film. Anakin’s two turns as the lead in AOTC and ROTs both also feature an even greater share of the film to him, so they might also prove the pattern isn’t really that consistent in terms of ensemble films.

    *And* to be honest, The Force Awakens works much better as an ensemble film, since the different character arc, escepillay for the new leads, line up and crescendo right after each other, while The Last Jedi comes off as more of a sloppy anthology story where some of the stories hurt each other.

    And yeah, I’d even argue that Black Panther helps show that failure on TLJ’s part to use the ensemble in a commentary fashion for each other in comparison. Black Panther has a clear, headlining lead... but it could also have him leave the film for a few dozen minutes, and leave his supporting cast to carry that entire part of the film, and carry it well. And again, like in previous Star Wars movies and unlike in TLJ, the character arcs all complement and help each other.

    And speaking of those arcs complimenting each other...
    Quote Originally Posted by Will Evans View Post
    In Black Panther it’s T’Chaka, his brother N’Jobu, and Killmonger’s past alone that matters. And only they, along with Zuri, are only showcased in flashbacks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    Their past is used to explain Killmonger's mind set and why he does what he does. It is not the only thing that matters in the movie. Killmonger's past is relevant only in explaining why he is a villain.

    People who claim that Killmonger is developed at the expense of T'Challa seem to have a misunderstanding as to what the role of a protagonist is. It doesn't mean every single thing in the movie revolves around you.
    Actually, those flashback *DO* contain T’Challa’s past, and do ultimately work to T’Challa’s benefit.

    It the flashback of his father, his teacher, his uncle, and his cousin, and how their actions impact him and his view of Wakanda’s isolationist policy by provoking tough questions.

    T'Challa's internal conflict before Killmonger arrives is about how he should approach ruling Wakanda and the world, with his initial decisions being defined by traditionalism and a desire to honor his father, who he worships as a hero and great man. We get a scene where he shows this when he first talks to his father in the spirit lands. This view is first questioned when he sees his uncle’s ring around Killmonger’s neck in South Korea because it doesn’t match the story he was first told, then horribly crushed by the truth Zuri reveals.

    Then the bill comes due when his cousin arrives and T’Challa has to suffer the consequences of this internecine conflict created by flaws and errors in the same Wakanda isolationist policy he was supporting earlier in the film. His emotional turmoil at having this harsh truth revealed and being unable to deny it leads him to make a rash decision, plays into Killmonger’s hands, and gets him stabbed and dropped off a cliff. And when he gets a chance to make a comeback, he first revisits the spirit lands and gives them all a royal chewing out for being wrong in their isolationism, even his father, and takes responsibility for their mistakes because they are now his own.

    All those flashbacks form a part of a hidden backstory that directly impacts T’Challa on a personal, physical and political level, and all for good reasons, as they involve his kith and kin.

    And this is where TLJ’s flashbacks don’t really have anything to do with Rey, and ultimately are at her expense.

    Luke’s not her father, nor even really her teacher, while Kylo is just the monster who violated her mind, murdered a potential father figure for her, and maimed her best friend and found family in Finn.

    Luke’s flashbacks about his own failures and reasons for staying in exile only impact Rey in that they act as a barrier to having his story feed into and focus on hers (basically the opposite of the Yoda and Kenobi situation from the OT), and where she only really serves as an audience member to excuse Luke explaining both firs his lie then his truth about the moment. The flashback really shouldn’t matter to her except as an explanation for why Luke’s being obstinate - the only connections she has to it is that she wants Luke to teach her and arguably should see herself paralleled by the little-mentioned other students of Luke, who like her are victims of Kylo.

    But what is really screwed up in story construction is Kylo’s perspective of the story mattering to her, both in his own lie and in Luke’s confession. Nothing about how or what Kylo is has changed in the story outside of the flashbacks - Kylo’s still violated her and murdered and maimed her friends, has even non-chalantly accepted the title of “monster,” has voiced sociopathic reasoning behind murdering his father, and expressed no apologies, no empathy, and no regrets for what he’s done.

    And yet Rey feels that this monster’s feeling of betrayal are worth attacking Luke form behind for, and for putting in some makeup and mailing heels for him in a box, all so that the story can have him kill his boss, call her nothing, than exile her from the main story.

    TLJ prioritizes Kylo’s feelings in a flashback that has nothing to do with Rey over Rey’s own experiences with Kylo, her backbone, her observational skills, and her role in the larger three-film story.
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