Sunday, July 17, 2016

Here is my real problem with the Wonder Woman movie being set during WWI rather then WWII

Others talk about how it seems like an obvious ploy to not seem like it's ripping off Captain America.  Others talk about how WWII is such an important part of this genre's history so it's a shame to miss out on the opportunity.  Others talk about how it might be a choice made because it overlaps with the Suffragettes, and whether that is good or bad.  But while I have moderate opinions on those things, my real issue is something far more real.

WWII is the ONLY War of the 20th Century where you can make a reasonable argument that one side was good and the other bad.  And the 21st Century has been even worse.  Now I've spent some time talking about how I question the traditional simplistic view of WWII, like my last Captain America post.  But at the end of the day there is no questioning that the Nazis were horrible and some good came from stopping them.

WWI is the Polar Opposite, WWII helped inspire the War of the Ring, but WWI inspired the Kinslayings of the Silmarilion.

No side has any real moral superiority in how WWI started, it was basically a rematch of the Franco-Prussian war.  It was something that many saw as an inevitable outcome of the irrational hatred European nations had of each other for decades before it started.  Not to mention the exact same Japan that was an Axis power was an Ally in WWI, the Emperor did change but it was the same Imperialist policy.  And this war factored into them expanding their Empire including their subjugation of Korea.  From the Pacific Theater's POV you could argue both were the same war.

My fellow Americans have convinced themselves that at least we had a just cause for entering that war, by painting the Lusitania the same as Pearl Harbor or 9/11.  But I view the Lusitania's sinking the same as I do the Main or the Gulf of Tonkin.

So the Wonder Woman movie will do 1 of 3 things.

1. WWI is just a framing device and not really what the conflict Diana is resolving is about at all.  Which will just make the decision seem pointless.

2. It will be a morally complicated story.  But I don't want that for the origin story, especially for the first big Screen Wonder Woman, since she's such a Feminist Icon I simply want to see her defeating the patriarchy.  The villains I want to have depth and maybe be redeemable like her Golden Age stories, but I don't want to question that Diana is on the right side.  Save the more ambiguous stories for the Sequels.

3. Or they will treat it the same as a WWII Superhero story anyway, German accents equal bad guys, ect.  And I simply won't be able to buy that.  When reading fiction written at the time in allied countries I can accept it, (Sherlock Holmes and Arsene Lupin both served as spies in fictional versions of that war,) because I get being caught up in a patriotic fervor at the time.  I remember how a younger more naive me reacted to 9/11.

But looking back on it now with a century of hindsight.  Part of me honestly thinks the world might have been better off if the Central Powers had won.  Hitler could never have risen without the trauma of Germany's defeat.  Britain and France wouldn't have redrawn the Map of the Middle East the horrible way they did.  And maybe Japan's imperialism would have been thwarted sooner.  But I suppose being an American saying that might inspire some to accuse me of treason.

Of course preventing the War from happening altogether would be best.  

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