Monday, November 28, 2016

Star Wars Rogue One: Boston's Own Donnie Yen, Finally an Asian Brother


So I was talking on the playground with a fellow Asian Dad. And the conversation came to Star Wars. Because my kids had watched a ton of these movies and shows over the Thanksgiving Holiday. I had seen posters of Donnie Yen and the Star Wars thing but I hadn't put it together that not only is he a main character in the upcoming movie, a Star wars 3.5 if you will, taking place between return of the Sith and a New Hope, but he is  GOOD GUY!

My fellow Asian Dad friend played it back for me, "He takes out like ten storm troopers with a stick-"

"Not even a light saber?"

"No Watch the trailer, I was watching it and I was like 'Finally we have an Asian brother in one of these movies.'"

Cause yeah.. the thing is... I don't know if you noticed, but Star Wars is Asian as hell... with out being Asian at all.  I mean I'll go to the closest thing I have to the movie industry, which is the Master Mandy Chan aka Mr. No one, AKA the REAL Mandy Chan. But he was talking about first watching "Kung Fu" and first watching Star Wars, and how he thought a) it's cool that George Lucas created these characters out of thin air but that a lot of Hong Kong people thought that B) "Hey you took our Sifu/To dai Relationship." Master and Disciple became Jedi and Padawan. But it was done in such a cool way, they had to like it.

Joseph Cambell, talked about Star Wars as the modern myth in the Power of Myth or Hero with a Thousand faces or one of the many book he wrote about. Anyway check out this clip of the interview with Bill Moyers. He talks about the Japanese Sword Master.





And in Rogue one, there is no doubt that Donnie Yen's character is much like the blind swordsman popularized in Japan, and the character also uses a cane. Apparently Bruce Lee has wanted to play a Kung Fu version of this role, but didn't get a chance. Asians have gotten a better chance in Sci Fi, whether it is Ming Na in Star Gate or Grace Park in Battle Star Galactica, or going back to the original Star Trek with George Takei. But it's true. Star Wars has been pretty white for a movie whose magic is primarily based off of Buddhist Philosophy and Kung Fu and Samurai flicks. When you break the movies down it really turns out that their ideas are what carry it forward. 

But to have Boston's one as the good guy, of course I had to throw some sort of post out there. And think of the doors that this could open for Donnie Yen. Hollywood yes... but let's look at Disney's other big well spring of stories... Marvel. Shoot I've been watching several Marvel series about small neighborhoods in New York like Hell's Kitchen and Harlem..... After this Star Wars movie maybe Donnie Yen could be in one about Chinatown.  And why not Boston's Chinatown. After all, that is where he is actually from. I mean technically Newton but his mom's Kung Fu school is still in Chinatown. Donnie Yen could actually play himself. And from what I hear there is a real plot. Hung Ching supposedly protected a gang from New York from moving and taking over Chinatown. Sounds like the plot of Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones if you ask me. An dthe whole gentrification thing was in there too in those New York films. 

How badass would that be coming off of the buzz from this movie? And what with Jason Yee and Mandy Chan and the Aflek brothers and Matt Damon being from here too?  Am I getting ahead of myself? I'm just saying with  Disney and Donnie together... it could totally happen. 
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