Anyone Can Be a Great _________

One comment that has come up repeatedly is how the reveal of Rey’s lineage is obviously intended to state “anyone can be a jedi” – reinforced by a scene at the end.

Most of them would have even been fine with that as an answer if it had been handled better – there are aspects of Jedi lore that actually support that. It’s less what the answer was, than how it was presented, told, and brought to its conclusion, in a way that made even many youtube reviewers who had liked The Force Awakens bothered.

The thing is, while soviet/communist “praise” of the common man may be a thing, it’s not an exclusively collectivist idea. For that matter, there’s an example of a movie that the entire point of the movie was just that – and it was done better.

Ratatouille.

A main conflict in the movie, beyond our goofy protagonist wanting to be a great chef and not hacking it and the plot where customers are misled and bilked by the “eeeebil businessman”,  involves the phrase “Anyone can cook”.

The crucial point is that, if memory serves, the restaurant reviewer Anton Ego had a hatred for the restaurants’ now deceased owner for coining that phrase. The conflation was that “anyone can cook” meant that “everyone” can – and who better than a food critic to know that there are people who can burn water to a bitter crisp.

The turning point was the realization that a good cook could come from anywhere. The book was not a sell out, but encouragement – encouragement for those who lacked the time and the knack to nevertheless become adequate and better themselves, and a reminder that a fantastic cook could come from anywhere.

It wasn’t a statement of equality of outcome, but one of opportunity.

Frankly, while not my favorite Pixar movie, and despite the ick factor of rats in a kitchen, if reviews and commentary are to be believed it did that theme better than The Last Jedi, and was a better movie than the similarly themed The Hundred-Foot Journey (complete with extra doses of overcoming racism and bigotry, etc.)

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