2017 was a weird year. This was largely because it was a year, and years are weird.
Nevertheless, "The Last Jedi" felt like a decent cap to it, and one of its central messages made it especially fitting for the purpose. Specifically, the one against reliance on idols.
I liked how this was delivered, for the movie didn't decry them outright. It showed their potential for disappointment, but it also emphasised the need to move beyond that disappointment.
This year will be remembered in the minds of many as one in which several cultural beacons were irredeemably tarnished by the light shone upon their indiscretions. These luminaries meant much to their fans, and now those fans are left with a mess of feelings they never expected when they gave their hearts to ostensibly infallible heroes.
But heroes are no less fallible than anyone else. Open your heart to them. Sure. Of course. But don't give it away to anything. Own your heart. You're the only one who'll always be there to protect it. And if the people who've touched it turn out to be less than what you thought, the choice to move forward rests solely with you.
Did Joss Whedon speak to your soul? Were your feminist ideals kindled by the fiery panache displayed by Buffy and her ilk? Or even the stated beliefs of her creator? Great. Nothing can take that away. Joss is hardly the first teacher who failed to live up to his lessons. It doesn't diminish those lessons.
I've always been one to celebrate art even if the artist isn't personally deserving of esteem. Now I'll say that what an artist meant to fans who knew him before some dark revelation can survive afterwards. If you were inspired by your love for Joss or anyone else, you can keep that inspiration even when that love is brought down. Joss's philandering doesn't detract from what he taught you. It just gives you a chance to show that you learned it better than he did. As Yoda said, a teacher can be something for a student to move beyond. Every experience is a lesson, and you get to choose what you learn from it.
Like Hollywood, the Jedi Order's an institution that means many things to many people, but it's also made up of people, meaning that it's prone to foibles just like its followers. Its mistakes might shake it up, but its strengths persist, and it's up to the individual to do a better job of carrying those strengths forward. That's some of what I got from the movie. Don't worry about tearing stuff down. Take what you need and build something from it for yourself.
Grandmaster versus Supreme Leader! Who wore it better?
Giving it up to the G man. Dude can accessorize.
Also colour blocking. Also Jeff Goldblum.