While the hype swirling around those silly little Porgs that pepper the screen in Star Wars: The Last Jedi is completely understandable based on looks alone, one group of characters has been vastly underrated, and frankly, it's an abomination if you ask me. The dark horse I have in mind? The caretakers who keep the Jedi village on Ahch-To looking fresh as hell, that's who.
Even a Star Wars franchise novice such as myself picked up on how epic they are right off that bat, and I've only seen one-and-a-half of the movies in my 25 years of life. Why should you be as obsessed with them as I am? Because if the Jedi are the head of the universe, then the caretakers are the neck that supports it. And newsflash people: without the neck, there's no head!
Rian Johnson, the writer-director behind the latest installment, explained just how important the caretakers are in an interview with Entertainment Weekly in August, saying, "They're kind of these sort of fish-bird type aliens who live on the island. They've been there for thousands of years, and they essentially keep up the structures on the island."
And FYI: a thousand years is a hell of a long time.
What's more, in the same interview Rian said that the gaggle of fishwomen (literally) are meant to represent matronly nuns who live by themselves. These are some strong, independent fishwomen who don't need no man. Seriously, they don't, because apparently they can reproduce on their own, and that's pretty iconic.
But his best sentiment came when the issue of how they talk to Luke cropped up. Apparently, the caretakers can chat with him using a "Scottish fish talk," but they're not exactly over the moon to have him hanging around all doo-da day and merely "tolerate" his presence. Boom: roasted.
The caretakers are dedicated laborers who are overworked and underappreciated.
To be completely honest, it seems like the caretakers don't really tolerate anyone, as if you needed another reason to love them. Take the scene where Rey is sneaking in some solo lightsaber training with Luke watching from afar. She accidentally slices a gigantic rock in half only to helplessly watch it tumble off a cliff onto the poor caretakers who are busy carrying their wheelbarrow full of stones that no doubt took eons to load up. (Sorry, but they don't strike me as the most nimble creatures on the planet.)
Rey broke their damn cart and didn't even apologize for it. As the camera pans down to the caretakers, you can't help but wonder what's going through their heads. I'm thinking it's more of a: "Holy sh*t, here we go with these damn humans again totally f*cking up my chores that I do for free!" or "You'd think if they can't help they'd at least stay out of the way. This island doesn't maintain itself, heathens!"
The bottom line? The caretakers are dedicated laborers who are overworked and underappreciated. And I, for one, will not stand for it.
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