Last week, someone went through the trouble to take cam footage of the latest instalment of The Last Jedi, go through and edit a roughly two-hour-and-20-minutes long film and post the end result anonymously on the Pirate’s Bay website.
This version, called The Last Jedi: The De-Feminized Version (aka the Chauvinist Cut), was the person’s attempt to take out all the awesome women in the film and make the film’s men shine more. The resulting mess ended up being a scant 45 minutes — less then half the length of the untouched film — and although the editor of the illegal torrent acknowledges “there are plotholes and continuity errors and some cuts are not as smooth as they should be, especially audio transition-wise”, they still state that “it had to be done”.
Among many other plot changes — fair warning, spoilers for The Last Jedi lie ahead for those who haven’t yet seen it — include Holdo’s character being taken out completely and Poe being given her self-sacrificing scene to save the resistance; Leia doesn’t demote Poe (she does) nor scolds him (she does); Luke never tried to kill Kylo Ren (he does as revealed in flashbacks); Finn kills Captain Phasma in one go (in reality they duel, he busts her helmet open, she calls him scum and the floor under her gives way to her presumed doom); both Luke and Leia die (only one does); and over all every female’s scene are shortened.
As one might guess, this anonymous uploader probably, almost definitively doesn’t like women very much if they are this upset by The Last Jedi.
In the original three films, you can likely count on one hand the number of women who actually speak in the films, and those films were dominated by men. With the exception of Leia, there really wasn’t much in terms of roles for other women.
In the prequel films, there was more women speaking and given active roles in the films, but again, they were male dominated.
In The Force Awakens, we start to see more women take leading roles, but again, it was male dominated male-dominated.
Even Rogue One was heavily male dominated, despite the lead character being female. The Last Jedi, on the other hand, gives us several story arches featuring women.
The Last Jedi is considered to be the controversial film in the third installment of the Star Wars saga. There were mixed reactions from fans and critics alike — similar apparently to when the second film in the original trilogy, The Empire Strikes Back, came out. Unfortunately, one of the outcries against it is that a lot of women get a fair bit of screen time.
Unfortunately, attitudes like the one that created the Chauvinist Cut aren’t new to female-led films, especially when it happens in popular franchises. Remember the outrage sparked when it was announced that the 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters was going to star four women? What about when it was revealed that the main cast of the next film installment of the Ocean Eleven franchise would be women?
Although The Last Jedi did leave some questions unanswered — such as just where did Snoke come from — it still held it’s own in the Star Wars franchise. Given that it is very, very unlikely, that the franchise can be toppled by people who don’t like that the newest chosen one is a woman, one also wonders what had to be gained by making that cut, especially since Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker himself), John Boyega (Finn) and Rian Johnson, the film’s director and writer, find that whole notion hilarious.
There is a demand for female-led films, and it is not going to go away anytime soon. If the idea of a bunch of awesome women saving the day is that appalling to you, maybe you shouldn’t be watching that film.