A Reflection On Captain Marvel

*May contain spoilers!*

I am a huge Marvel fan. Just to put it in perspective, my dream date is making a blanket fort, ordering extra cheesy pizza, and watching Marvel movies under it (just a shameless plug in case any cute boys are needing the perfect way to ask me out on a date!) Needless to say, I was ecstatic when the film Captain Marvel was released. However, after finishing the movie and reflecting, Marvel’s new movie is more than just a superhero movie.

This was Marvel’s first Avengers-related film that followed the plot of a woman superhero. Previously we had only seen movies about Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America, but women superheros were always left to the side. Black Widow, who is a total badass, was introduced to Avenger’s fans’ with little background involved. The choice of producing a film about a woman superhero is not only empowering, but it makes me proud to be a fan of a company working towards equality.

One of the main themes of the movie was Vers trying to contain and control her emotions in order to become a Kree warrior. At first, this seems like a reasonable request of her mentor, Yon-Rogg, played by Jude Law (insert heart eyes here). While watching the movie, I understood that the need to control Vers’ emotions was necessary to controlling her powers, but after reflection I realized that the “problem” with emotions was specifically targeted to women. In society women are seen as “too-sensitive,” “overly emotional,” and my personal favorite, “dramatic.” This was displayed through Vers in the film, but in the end, it was her emotions that saved her and protected others. Yon-Rogg challenges Carol to prove her worth and strength by engaging in a fight without the use of her powers and emotions. Instead of participating, Carol uses her emotions to kick alien ass and send a message to the universe. Being emotional is often seen as a negative characteristic, but the film Captain Marvel showed that emotions are important and powerful to both superheros and individuals everywhere.

Another theme in the film was blanket hatred held by Vers (and viewers) towards the Skrulls. Without any questions, I hated the Skrulls with a passion in the beginning of the movie because all the characters in the movie did. I didn’t question what had started the hatred or what the Skrulls side of the story was, I just hated. Towards the end of the movie, the truth about the Skrulls was revealed and I felt guilty for my blind hatred towards these aliens who had been misunderstood and attacked for a long period of their existence. Sound like anything similar in today’s society? Today there are a plethora of groups that we are told to hate and many of us do so without gathering more information or forming our own opinions. We are told to hate people who practice the Islamic religion because they are all terrorists. We are told to hate people who live in Mexico because they only want to steal American jobs. We are told to hate people who use the assistance of welfare because they are lazy and will not work for money like the rest of society. Just like Vers and the Kree community, we choose to hate these groups of people without knowing their story. Once Vers realized that she was Carol, she was able to see the ignorance that she had previously embraced, and set on a mission to make wrongs right. I hope that we as a society have the courage to follow in the steps of Captain Marvel and fight for inclusion and acceptance on the planet of C-53 (Earth for all you fake fans!)

On the topic of acceptance, a main part of the film focuses on the dilemma of finding a home for the Skrulls. Separated from his family by attacks by the Krees, the “villain” in the movie, Talos, is only trying to be reunited and find a safe place for his community to live. Countless instances in the past few years have been similar to what Talos faces in Captain Marvel. On January 27, 2017 President Trump passed Executive Order 13769. The order titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” is often referred to as the Muslim ban. The Order suspended Syrian refugees from certain countries from entering the US. This ban allowed for exceptions which prevented families from being with one another and put the lives of many in danger. Another example is President Trump’s zero-tolerance immigration policy executive order. This impacted many individuals, especially Mexican immigrants. The order kept families from being reunited with one another and gained national media coverage due to the conditions of those detained. Like the Skrulls, these groups of people are only looking for a safe place to grow a community and family. The latest Marvel film takes note of an important issue today, and uses its platform to to convey a message: everyone deserves a safe place to call home.

Watching movies and then comparing them to reality can seem impossible, but the movie Captain Marvel takes hard-pressing societal issues and illustrates them in a way that reaches audiences of all ages. This film has set the bar for all upcoming superhero movies to take a stance on issues that impact us all. Movies like Captain Marvel have taken the power and responsibility to change the minds and educate audiences around the world.