Compiled by Carl Slaughter: Most of these selected videos are from Pop Culture Detective.
FANTASTIC BEASTS. The New York Post, the New Republic, The Village Voice, Slate, and MTV expressed disappointment with the main character in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Pop Culture Detective is disappointed with their disappointment. Obviously they were looking for a Hero’s Journey type protagonist. Newt Scamander is not a typical Hollywood hero. He is not The Chosen One. He is a bit autistic and a bit misanthropic. He dreams of writing a zoology book, not going on an adventure. His is a nurturing masculinity, not a daring masculinity. His is a quiet genius, not a brash genius. His strength is empathy, not aggressiveness. Newt is trying to save the monster, not slay it. Newt Scamander did not draw the crowds like Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter, Tony Stark, and so on. Will the studios resist the temptation to introduce and emphasize alternate characters in the rest of the 5-part series?
THE EMPIRE. For the vast majority of residents of the Star Wars galaxy, daily life is unaffected by the Sith, the Jedi, and the Rebellion/Resistance. But what about life under the rule of the Empire? What exactly makes the Empire evil? What exactly are Emperor Palpatine’s policies and practices that Princess Leia finds so odious, besides destroying her home planet? Disbanding the Senate? Executing child Jedi? Martial law? Excessive commercial regulation that results in the black markets and smuggling and gangs that receive so much attention in the series? Commandeering natural resource to supply such a massive military force? Drafting children into military service to fight and oppress and die for the empire? Princess Padme sums it up: “So this is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause.” The Empire is a terrible place to live because its citizens’ individual freedom has been suppressed in the name of maintaining galactic order.
POP CULTURE DETECTIVE: VIDEO GAMES. Pop Culture Detective laments the fact that 93% of video games are combat, sports, or racing.
POP CULTURE DETECTIVE: THE JEDI. Pop Culture Detective theorizes that fan anger at Last Jedi is rooted in dashed expectations of male heroes who are challenged and changed by female heroes. The Jedi represent Stoic masculinity. As Anakin Skywalker discovered, suppressing emotions can be toxic.
POP CULTURE DETECTIVE: HARRISON FORD MOVIES. Harrison Ford’s most iconic roles are sci fi/fantasy. Han Solo, Indiana Jones, and Rick Deckard. Pop Culture Detective breaks down romance and sex scenes of these characters and draws some disturbing conclusions about the messages they send.
POP CULTURE DETECTIVE: RECRUITMENT. Watch the Independence Day sequel – and join the Army.