Last Jedi Minute 57: Sentience

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Date

April 20th, 2021

Summary

Rose Tico tells Finn why Canto bites and guest commentator Chrysanthe Tan can’t disagree!

Guests

Chrysanthe Tan

Notes

Film

  • Starts with Finn and Rose experiencing the fun that only comes with fa<n>thier racing, and ends with BB-8 arriving to join in on the fun.
    • This minute is the first time they say "fathier" out loud. It's the first word spoken in this minute.
  • Binoculars shot (a Star Wars staple).
  • First appearance of Temiri "broom boy" Blagg.

Podcast

  • Alex's pronunciation of "fathiers" and his mistaken belief that it isn't said aloud in the movie.
  • These binoculars look cheap. But they also amplify the sounds as well.
    • Is that diegetic, and does it matter?
  • Finn was enslaved as a child and now he's seeing other enslaved kids. It brings up the problem with his (lack of a) story arc that he should be motivated by trying to free slaves (vs callously mowing down other first order troopers).
  • Bargwill Tomder.
    • Infected ingrown nose tendrils.
    • The lazy shorthand of making bad guys ugly. What if he traded places with the master codebreaker?
      • This stereotype is harmful in the real world.
      • See also: Bias against people in Star Wars with prosthetics.
    • Alex's beef that many Sequel aliens sound the same.
  • Finn is super clueless.
    • Per the novelization, Rose is trying to psychoanalyze Finn and figure out what his deal is. She comes to the realization that Finn latched onto Rey like a baby bird imprinting on its mother.
    • It's clear from the book that Rose likes him at this point.
    • Referenced: How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the "bigger Luke" theory.
  • The music is muffled as it's coming through the door so it's clearly source music rather than incidental (see yesterday's minute). Referenced: the call is coming from inside the house.
    • Although there are a ton of songs in American Graffiti, there's no score, it's the soundtrack to the characters and not to the audience.
    • Since the music is diegetic, we lack the "privileged position" of the audience.
  • Jockey silks.
    • They look like Sgt Pepper's or Power Rangers.
    • They're really specific, like nautical semaphore flags.
  • Pete likes the silks and racehorse names but he's against horse racing from an animal cruelty perspective.
    • It is logically inconsistent to consider yourself an ethical fathier racer.
    • Horse racing bothers Chrysanthe both in real life and on Canto Bight.

Sentience

  • In the real world, horses are considered sentient because they can experience sensation, but Star Wars has a different definition of sentience.
    • The line between what is an alien (person) and what is a creature.
    • Also many droids are considered sentient.
  • In Star Wars, intelligence is more important and valued than ability to feel pain, for example. Creatures only matter if they are intelligent.
    • What is the least intelligent organism that still counts as "sentient"? It depends on if they can communicate with humans. It's a very ableist way of looking at things and highly problematic.
  • The way we tend to do things on earth is that there's humans, who have basic rights, and then there's everything else that we can do with as we please.
  • The Clone Wars cartoon episode with the Zillo beast is devastatingly sad.
    • The Zillo beast is considered to have "emerging sentience" but that's all.
  • Animals past a certain size are just considered beasts.
  • Our collective responsibility as humans.

Other notes

  • In Canto Bight the fathier races are kept going on perpetually so you really don't know what time it is.
  • "Lousy beautiful".
  • Star Wars (especially the first one) has been very black and white (sometimes literally) but as the series has gone on it's gained nuance.
    • The added layer of the war profiteers selling to both sides. War as a business.
    • Do we ever know the full chain of custody for the things we buy?
    • Anti-capitalism message in this movie.
  • Organic plug for Chrysanthe's show, and http://moviesbyminutes.com.

Meta Minute

  • 38:27 podcast episode length.
  • In the anthology book Before the Awakening, it's revealed that immediately prior to the battle on Jakku, Finn was sent in to help violently end a strike by some miners, and also found himself unable to shoot a negotiator. So Jakku was not the first time he saw action, but it is likely the first time he saw a fellow stormtrooper killed.
  • Unfortunately the Star Wars Music Minute is not listed on the movies by Minutes page. Somebody get on that!

Quotes

  • Alex: No I am your fathier.
  • Alex: Mea-frickin-culpa already.
  • Pete: (as Finn to Rose) <brightly> Oh, where are you from? Maybe I bombed it.
  • Pete: I don't like riding other animals until they die. Like, that's not a good thing that we should support.
  • Chrysanthe: I…wh—how…what?!
  • Chrysanthe: (re: the Cloddogran slave driver) What's his name, Bilbo Baggins?

Links

Audio only
http://www.starwarsminute.com/2021/04/20/last-jedi-minute-57-sentience
Video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liaPtRTlCYw

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