anghraine: cassian andor and jyn erso exchanging a glance (cassian and jyn [glance])
[personal profile] anghraine
I saw one of the periodic posts/articles about how Very Important it is that Jyn and Cassian didn't kiss before they died in each other's arms because it would be a hastily tacked-on attempt to make their (otherwise platonic) relationship romantic. Which it isn't, though of course fans can ~read into it~ whatever they want.


The thing is, I totally agree that it's a good thing they didn't kiss onscreen. But it's not because it would be some half-assed attempt to force the relationship into a romantic box at the last minute. It's soaked in romance tropes from beginning to end, and specifically a very recognizable sort of quasi-antagonism+irrational fixation/expectations+UST+gradually developing respect and affection romantic narrative. Like, I'm enjoying the Jyn/Cassian Persuasion AU on AO3, but trope-wise it has Pride and Prejudice all over it.

(There are even some structural similarities, taken loosely. Cassian and Kay essentially initiate hostilities, but he's able to quickly re-evaluate and is clearly both charmed and impressed by her from very early. It doesn't prevent him from a calculated interference with one of her loved ones, however, leading to a nasty but air-clearing fight that drastically changes their view of each other, particularly hers of him, and results in unspoken but decisive conciliation, mutual trust, and character growth. It's pretty typical for that sort of romance in general—but it is pretty fun to see it as genderswapped Han/Leia run through a P&P blender.)

Really, I'd go further than "well, I think it does seem romantic, with or without anything explicit like a kiss." For all the talk of fans reading into it because of blahblahshippingwhatever, I think that people who see these (and many more~) as cinematic markers of platonic friendship are, frankly, the ones reading their desired narrative into things. At least personally, pretty much everything I've seen is very conceptual—things like it not being the sort of movie that needs a romance, or about the appeal/significance of a female protagonist not having a romance plot (or even not having a male co-star, which ???). I see a lot of arguments about why the platonic friendship narrative is desirable, but very few about why it's what is there

Now, I can respect the people who have said straight-up that they don't like that sort of romance, so they're using the little bit of wiggle room that no kissing+no explicit declaration gives them to go LALA NOT LISTENING. But the people who insist as inarguable fact that it's actually platonic/ambiguous and that something overtly romantic would be a fundamental disruption of their arc? No, I quite genuinely think that is the projection onto what's in the movie. 

(Without going too far, it's particularly prevalent in professional reviews/commentary, much like Finn/Rey before it. And, okay, I despise a good 90% of the Finn/Rey fandom with all my soul (I love their relationship, find the shippers unbearably toxic). But I do think the 'it's really ambiguous we just don't know but look A STRONG WOMAN WHO DON'T NEED NO MAN that's so important' urgency around these specific pairings is ... extremely dubious.)

In any case, the reason I didn't want them to kiss by the beach is simply that ... between the light and the beach and the embrace, a kiss would just be obnoxiously clichèd. It'd be a lazy way of telling us something we already know (or should), and I think distract from the tragedy of the moment. In fact, I think it's why the most overtly romantic moment, filmed in intimate close-up with flickering shadows, is the scene in the elevator, not the beach—that is, after their reunion brought about victory and as they're escaping together. The high of the plot's arc and the high of their relationship arc strike together and reinforce each other, rather than one jarring with or diluting the other.

(There are ways in which different emotions absolutely do mingle, of course, and effectively so—largely because it's reaching for the bittersweet rather than disastrous. But this specific part is clearly structured so that the romantic arc spikes earlier, packaged into the quasi-eucatastrophe of the transmission segment. Then it drops to something more subdued as they face and accept their deaths, the mood one of firm melancholy. I think the tragic end is much more effective that way.)

Sort of a tangent. But anyway, a kiss at the end in particular would be trite and emotionally disruptive. A kiss in the elevator would be less so, but still pretty damn, and the scene is all about the heavy lights and shadows that evoke emotion by what's concealed in the shadows (and abrupt cuts) more than what's seen. (In an odd way, it runs on the same appeal as unseen threats in certain kinds of horror—keeping them in shadow makes them more frightening than knowing the details.) A kiss in pretty much any scene of a very action-dominated film would be pretty superfluous, and therefore condescending. ("You clearly can't figure out the basic relationship arc without someone holding your hand and explaining it like you're seven!" Uh, no thanks, don't stop the plot for me.) It should be organic, and I don't think RO is the sort of movie where it would have been. 

But in terms of their in-story relationship, it wouldn't be a tacked-on last-minute swerve at all. It's a very persistently, very recognizably romantic arc.

And they totally kissed in the elevator.

on 2017-03-08 11:55 pm (UTC)
rj_anderson: (TFA - Crossed Sabers)
Posted by [personal profile] rj_anderson
*loud and sustained applause*

And they totally did.

on 2017-07-10 06:25 pm (UTC)
kaoriva: (kosem3)
Posted by [personal profile] kaoriva
Jyn and Cassian had plenty of sexual tension and suggestive body language to be a merely platonic relationship lol. I may not be a fan of shipping googles in fandoms, but Jyn and Cassian have too obvious romantic undertones, even Felicity say something about that in an interview, if I recall correctly.

and yeah, they totally kissed in the elevator.

on 2017-07-11 07:41 pm (UTC)
mollivanders: (star wars jyn faith)
Posted by [personal profile] mollivanders
A kiss in pretty much any scene of a very action-dominated film would be pretty superfluous, and therefore condescending. ("You clearly can't figure out the basic relationship arc without someone holding your hand and explaining it like you're seven!" Uh, no thanks, don't stop the plot for me.)

I'm glad so many of us were able to follow this ;)


anghraine: from the 2005 p&p: darcy standing at a piano while georgiana plays it (Default)

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