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DISENCHANTED AND DISMAYED: THE ONCE (MIGHT HAVE BEEN) GREAT HEROINES OF THE SITH AND THE MATRIX

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I hear the voice in my head saying, “run”, but I don’t. I move faster, faster towards the enemy. I only see the target in my sight. I see the enemy punching and yelling, kicking and taunting. Then in seconds, IMPACT! I hit the target, the enemy goes down and goes down hard. I turn quickly and see the shadow of my brother limping away.

The enemy still on the ground, my heart races and I turn quickly with out thought and speed away. My big wheel carries me slower now as I flee the scene. Knowing I saved my loved one from harm I feel stronger than ever.

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This is my only memory of a fight. I was 5 years old but the instinct to fight in defense of my family was so strong even then. Watching Star Wars Episode III, Revenge of the Sith I remember the time I ran my big wheel in to the back legs of the neighborhood bully. When I saw Star Wars Episodes I and II, I thought “WOW”, great character. Queen Amidala was a politician, a fighter, and still has time to find a relationship! Regardless of the merely satisfactory performance by Natalie Portman, it was still great to see that there were some female characters that were smart, strong and feminine. Now in the end of the Trilogy, the final scenes, the character of Queen Amidala has become nothing more than someone who needs saving. No longer in government, her relationship has failed in front of her and apparently her instincts never clued in, her child is in danger, and all she does is stand there. So my question is…What the Hell happened? If someone were to threaten my life or the life of someone I love, I know what I would do…drive my big wheel right into them.

A similar decline in a once great character can be seen watching the The Matrix Trilogy. That first scene where Trinity stands up and her fight or flight instinct kicked in and she decimated her opponents, I thought, “WOW”. The Trinity of the first Matrix had it all, she had brains, and brawn and she had found love. When it ended, I was filled with anticipation for the next film. I raced to see each movie when it was released, each time I left more disappointed then the last. Until finally I was left wondering, “Did I miss something?” When did Trinity, as Neo describes her in the first movie, “THE Trinity”, become so lame? I was so disappointed to see the heroines of the Star Wars and the Matrix Trilogy start out alone and strong and then love makes them naïve and weak. Love makes us stronger, it makes our instincts sharper, and it makes us more aware. When push comes to shove if we don’t know kung fu we use ever means necessary to protect what we love and believe in.

In the final installments of the trilogy, Revenge of the Sith and the Matrix Revolutions the female heroes both die. If you have seen the original Star Wars movies then you already know Amidala’s fate before Revenge of the Sith starts but even though I knew she would die I still did not expect her to go with out a fight. At least she has left two children to carry on the fight against the Empire. Trinity’s death seems to signify nothing. She dies flying Neo into the Machine world and that is it. Trinity gets no credit for helping save Zion from impending doom. Unfortunately, neither character dies heroic death, Amildala dies in childbirth having “Given up the will to live”, and Trinity dies from being a bad driver. Both feel like bad endings for what started out to be great characters. But in the end I am not the writer or director, so what do I know?

I know I felt a sense of disappointment as I left the theatre from Revenge of the Sith because these characters had so much potential to redefine the heroine in a positive direction, instead the movies end with no heroine at all. I think back again to my big wheel, what would have happened if I had lost my will to fight? And what would you do if you had the chance to save someone or something that you cared about? I don’t think I would just give up and drive my spaceship into a wall! What about you?


Links:
The Matrix Trilogy - Warner Bros. site
The Official Star Wars Site

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