Geek Girls Rules! #434 – Caution: Extreme Geeking about Symbolism in the Last Jedi

So, there are so many beautifully symbolic moments in The Last Jedi that I want to just gush about at length.  We can start with the scene where Luke milks the thing on the island and drinks directly from the bottle looking at Rey, which definitely sets up that her adult has been talking to his inner child.  To the final scenes on the mining planet, oh that one was so masterfully done.

And once again, before anyone says it, Porgs are adorable and their reason they were created just makes them more adorable.  Suck it, haters.

I want to pick out a couple of things to gush about in particular and no, Porgs are not one of them.

BEYOND HERE LIE SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The fact that Vice Admiral Holdo is dressed so femininely while she commands and ultimately takes out Snokes’s ship is one of those things.  The Empire is very, very male coded.  The only named character we get on that side is Phasma, and her femininity is cloaked by her armor, only her voice, and that one blue eye in the scene with Finn giving her away.  Holdo, on the other hand, has a flowing gown, jewelry, lavender hair.  When she moves to start steering the ship at the Empire, the dress flares and moves underscoring her femininity.  And then she jumps into light speed right into Snokes’s face.

Like a boss.

Then we have Canto Bight scene.  Many people feel this scene slowed things down or was a pointless side quest.  I disagree.  This is the scene where Rian Johnson hammers with audience with the point that nothing drives war like money.  And that the people making money off of war really don’t give two shits about the people they kill. Benicio Del Toro’s character further drives the point home, and gives us this trilogy’s Lando Calrissian.

Canto Bight also gives us the set up for that last scene, with the stablehands, basically enslaved children, getting yelled at, scattering, and the one using the Force to bring his broom to his hand.

Also, if you didn’t cheer when the racing animals crashed through the casino, you have no soul.

The other scene I really, really want to gush about is the mining planet.  As they flee to the planet, the surface is serenely white, pristine.  It isn’t until the Empire arrives and the rebels man the fortifications that we see the red salt beneath the white layer on top.

The rebel commander steps out of the trench and leaves a blood red footprint behind him. One of his men puts a finger to it and tastes it: “Salt.”

Blood is salty.  As they brace for war, the planet starts to bleed.  When the rebels go out on the V-4X-D Ski Speeders to face them, the first lines of red  make a lovely picture on the white, but then the fighting starts, and they start to twist and dodge.  Soon the entire landscape is bleeding red, with the Imperial forces stirring up blood rest dust, and turning the bright white light a rusty red.

I found this to be a fantastic statement for the way war changes landscapes.  You don’t just have some fighting and then suddenly you’re still in a pristine forest with a bunch of cannibalistic blood-thirsty teddy bears.  Crait bleeds.  The fight leaves scars and blood and wreckage.

Here in the US we’re not as familiar, because a war hasn’t been fought on this soil since the 1860s.  But all over Europe, the Middle East and many parts of Africa and Asia farmlands are wrecked, forgotten munitions still explode and kill people today.  Nevermind in places where conflicts are ongoing.

War leaves scars.  And Crait demonstrates that with the planet’s surface literally bleeding with every violent act.

So, yeah.  My inner English Major was all over that scene.

There are other scenes I’d like to discuss, but it’s getting late and this is getting a little long.

I’m looking forward to seeing The Last Jedi again just to pick up on all the things I missed before.

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