On Sunday, an anonymous user uploaded a 46-minute cut of Star Wars: The Last Jedi titled "The Last Jedi: De-Feminized Fanedit" to torrent site The Pirate Bay. The self-described Last Jedi "chauvinist cut" was greeted online with outrage as well as some real skepticism; as in, most people weren't sure if the creator was a troll, considering the cut was described as "The Last Jedi minus Girlz Powah and other silly stuff."
All that "silly stuff" includes anything to do with "whiny/reluctant/murderous psycho Luke," Kylo Ren being an emotionally complicated character, and every Canto Bight scene. In this cut, male characters are pushed to the forefront of the choppy storyline and women are stripped of their power. Naturally, the internet reacted in spectacular fashion.
Laura Dern's Vice Admiral Holdo is nowhere to be seen in the chauvinist cut, as, clearly, her challenging Poe Dameron's (Oscar Isaac) impulsive moments of machismo is unacceptable — a woman couldn't possibly be the hero of the Resistance. Instead, Poe is the one who comes up with Holdo's kamikaze plan and dies in a hyperspace induced flash of glory. General Leia Organa dies at Kylo Ren's fingertips after he does pull the trigger in the opening assault, and Leia doesn't save herself using her Force abilities. Phasma "is finished after the first blow by Finn," since "women are naturally weaker than men, she isn't Force-sensitive, and we know nothing about any exo-skeleton in her suit [sic]."
Perhaps most damningly, though, this cut removes fan favorite character Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) from any position of power or agency. Rose is reduced to a prop, is only around to smile at Finn and scream his name, and is no longer spurred on by her sister's tragic death (Paige Tico, for what it's worth, has no part in the film). The nail in the coffin is the creator calling Rose the "Asian chick" and Paige (Vietnamese actress Veronica Ngo) the "China girl" without actually naming them, adding overt racism to an already sexist passion project.
The biggest question surrounding the chauvinist cut — other than "Why?" and "What the f—k?" — is whether or not this is for real. So far, no one has come forward to claim the edit, which is, honestly, a smart move considering how much the internet has enjoyed railing on it.
The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson signal boosted the fan edit when he took to Twitter to publicly laugh at the edit itself and, by extension, the "MRA" (Men's Rights Activist) who is presumed to have made the edit.
Some fans expressed hatred for the new direction Johnson took the Star Wars universe when he put women and people of color in positions of power and subverted expectations like never before. Whereas J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens had been criticized (by what we can probably assume is a similar group of people) as a rehash of Star Wars: A New Hope for a 'PC' audience, The Last Jedi was seen as too innovative; the man-children couldn't believe that their hero, Luke Skywalker, could ever be jaded by such a cruel world, that a girl could continue to be a complicated hero, or that women could make just about every major decision in the film.
These haters and trolls were presumed to be mostly straight white men, the kind who have expressed self-righteous ownership over Star Wars and the science fiction genre for decades. The Last Jedi chauvinist cut, even if it is the work of a particularly bored troll, is a product of this supposed proprietorship over a fictional world and its fictional characters. It only goes to reason that the more diverse and out of the box the storyline gets, the more whining the world will be subjected to — and the more MRA roasting we'll witness.