Opinion

‘Star Wars’ nostalgia should be about more than appearances

This December, millions of “Star Wars” super fans geared up to see the newest installment of the series on the big screen. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was a worthy next step to the original films and a fast-paced adventure in its own right, complete with humor, plot twists and the follies of characters both old and new.

However, the big takeaway for many moviegoers was that actress Carrie Fisher apparently hadn’t aged well.

The criticism is rife with sexism, as much less was said in the way of looks about the franchise’s leading men, and ageism, since it’s been almost 40 years since audiences first met Princess (now General) Leia. But even outside of these “isms” we’ve almost come to expect from Hollywood — which is a problem in and of itself — the complaints over Fisher’s looks speak to how fans’ nostalgia for the series and the character can distort the merits of the film and, of course, one of its leading actresses.

By complaining about Fisher’s looks, fans trivialize the tremendous efforts that went into rebooting the series.

It only makes sense that “Star Wars” fans want to re-experience the awe and excitement they first felt all those years ago. But when that nostalgia prevents fans from acknowledging that there’s a talented actress and, more importantly, a human being behind Leia, they do their favorite franchise a disservice. They make 2015’s return to “a galaxy far, far away” more about beauty and youth than Fisher’s work and the cast and crew.

New York Post blogger Kyle Smith suggested that Fisher ought to “quit acting” if she “doesn’t like being judged on her looks.”

Fisher, defending herself and the multitude of fellow actresses likely to be chastised for aging, shot back a stream of snappy Tweets, calling her body little more than a “brain bag” that “hauls [her]around to those places and in front of faces where there’s something to say or see.”

We can only hope that the younger generation develops the same infatuation with Leia as its parents did — maybe not for that notorious gold bikini, but for her wit, wisdom and defense of all those who have ever been belittled for their looks or their audacity to age.

Grace Wehniainen is a freshman majoring in journalism.

Featured image courtesy of Flickr user Jason Trbovich.

January 24, 2016

Reporters

Grace Wehniainen


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

RJ McIntosh grew up loving the University of Miami. So did Mark Walton. After all, both are from Sou ...

They have made their lists and checked them (at least) twice. And now, the final NFL draft boards fr ...

Remember Trent Harris, the Miami Hurricanes' sack leader everyone respected and raved about, th ...

The Hurricanes wrapped up spring with a big, as in 6-5 and 290 pounds, surprise on Saturday. Four-st ...

Spring ended Saturday for the Miami Hurricanes, with hundreds of UM football alumni and family membe ...

University of Miami graduates will hear from a group of extraordinary leaders during this year’s com ...

Cross-curricular performances by Frost School of Music students and faculty increase community aware ...

High-tech space helmet technology, a lifelike infant simulator and 3D printing are featured at the U ...

The Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and NOAA have worked together for more than ...

The Energy and Conservation Organization was recognized with the 2018 Roberta “Bosey” Fulbright Foot ...

Hurricanes will compete in Austin Regional May 7-9. ...

The University of Miami men's tennis team will seek its second postseason win in as many years ...

The University of Miami baseball team looks to close out a five-game homestand on a high note Wed., ...

The Miami women's tennis team moved up two places to No. 15 in this week's Oracle/ITA rank ...

The University of Miami men's tennis team checks in at No. 39 in the Oracle/ITA rankings Tuesda ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.