Wonder Woman 1984’s technique of reviving Steve Trevor has come beneath intense criticism. This is how the character’s return would possibly have been mounted.
Can Steve Trevor’s return in Wonder Woman 1984 be mounted? 2020 has been a year of valuable few blockbusters. When Wonder Woman 1984 was introduced for a December launch on HBO Max, followers have wanted ahead to a beneficiant serving of superhero optimism to go along with their Christmas dinners. The unique 2017 Wonder Woman movie was an enormous hit, with Gal Gadot arguably the spotlight of the DCEU to this point. Sadly, Wonder Woman 1984 has did not elicit the identical unanimously glowing response. In true 2020 type, the sequel is both a joyous return to carefree superhero enjoyable or an unforgivable abomination that pales compared to the unique, with little in the way of center floor.
Wonder Woman 1984 picks up Diana Prince’s story after a long time dwelling on males’ earth. Working on the Smithsonian alongside Kristen Wiig’s Barbara Minerva, Diana grasps the Dreamstone and, by chance, needs her ex-boyfriend again to life. Reunited with Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor, the couple makes up for a misplaced time after being separated in World War I. With Barbara’s Cheetah transformation eroding her humanity, Diana is compelled to surrender Steve but once more to save lots of the world.
Wonder Woman 1984 has confronted a spread of criticisms, from being a lot too lengthy to Cheetah’s drained “geek into villain” trope; however, the huge recurring offender cited by followers and critics is Steve Trevor’s storyline. Whereas Chris Pine’s presence is actually welcome, his comeback style isn’t solely weak from a story perspective, however morally problematic. This is how Steve Trevor’s Wonder Woman 1984 story would possibly have been improved.
The Downside With Steve Trevor’s Story In Wonder Woman 1984
Earlier than Wonder Woman 1984 hit theaters (and TVs, laptops, and tablets), most assumed Steve Trevor would in some way return through Maxwell Lord’s Dreamstone. The Wonder Woman 1984 trailers confirmed as a lot by exhibiting Chris Pine wandering via the 1980s Washington DC streets, mistaking rubbish cans for artwork, sporting terrible garments, and flying planes with Diana. Within the closing movie, Steve is wished again to life by chance by Diana earlier than Lord will get his fingers on the traditional divine rock; however, the normal precept is kind of what viewers anticipated apart from one main caveat – Steve returns within the physique of a random, dwelling man.
In storytelling phrases, that is much more difficult than it must be. Diana Prince is strolling around with a totally new man; however, he is portrayed by Chris Pine due to that is “how Diana sees him.” Wonder Woman 1984 retains the viewers that “Steve” is unique by exhibiting his reflection or citing “the opposite man,” nevertheless, it’s a cumbersome approach to reviving a personality from the useless. It fails to add something of substance to the story. Steve does not take long to persuade Diana of his id, so there isn’t any battle there. The scenes in faux-Steve’s residence have taken place at Diana’s or a shopping center. The ultimate change between Diana and the person Steve was inhabiting is of no consequence. The truth that Steve is in another person’s physique has no actual bearing on Wonder Woman 1984‘s plot and solely serves to muddy the waters of a return that ought to be touching and emotional, not invasive and head-scratching.
Then, after all, there’s a different drawback. After Diana realizes that Steve has returned, they embrace and kiss. Whereas Wonder Woman 1984 does not take pleasure in an intercourse scene, the pair later get up collectively, and it is clear they shared an evening of ardor. In contrast, Steve was, and this can’t be careworn sufficient, within the physique of one other man. Clearly, this raises the difficulty of consent. Diana is getting bodily with somebody who is not at present “there” on account of Steve occupying his physique, and when the Good-looking Man (that is his credit score) wakes up, he is none the wiser as to what occurred. The implications are creepy at finest and undermine the difficulty of male rape at worst. In an already loopy year, who would’ve had Wonder Woman 1984 being sexually problematic on their 2020 bingo card?
Patty Jenkins has responded by agreeing with a Tweet that gives two defenses: firstly that Steve’s return is a homage to 1980s body-swap movies similar to Massive, and secondly that the intercourse by no means occurred because they want was renounced. Neither argument holds as much as scrutiny. Massive was launched over three a long time in the past (and these scenes haven’t aged properly), whereas Wonder Woman 1984 landed three weeks in the past and may have moved with the occasions. To deal with the second level, no quantity of want renouncing means the occasions of Wonder Woman 1984 did not occur. The Dreamstone does not work that approach, and neither makes the regulation.
A closing (and admittedly extra subjective) situation with Steve’s story in Wonder Woman 1984 is how it concludes. Diana realizes she has to let Steve go earlier than she will defeat Maxwell Lord; however, their farewell scene is surprisingly abrupt. After saying goodbye, Diana leaves Steve (and Good-looking Man) in the midst of a road riot. The viewers do not see Steve depart his vessel; however, they merely hear him shout, “I really like you,” as Diana runs away.
How To Repair Wonder Woman 1984‘S Steve Trevor Story
With Steve Trevor’s resurrection in Wonder Woman 1984 coming in for heavy criticism, how may his story be improved? The massive, straightforward repair is just not having him possess somebody. Through Maxwell Lord’s wish-making spree in Wonder Woman 1984, the Dreamstone appears to change actuality, relatively than conjuring needs from nothing. When Roger, the museum employee, asks for espresso, a colleague arrives with recent brews as an alternative of a cup magically showing within the wish maker’s hand. And when Maxwell Lord’s secretary asks for assist, recruits do not seem from skinny air; they’re diverted from different interviews. This would possibly present a canon rationalization as to why Steve Trevor is revived in one other man’s physique. However, let’s additionally have a look at what else the Dreamstone does – dragging an enormous wall from the earth, turning Kristen Wiig right into a cat, bringing Steve Trevor’s soul again from the afterlife, making Maxwell Lord the Dreamstone incarnate, and presumably these American nukes have been magicked up from the aether. Given everything that occurs in Wonder Woman 1984, it is not an enormous stretch to have Steve Trevor come again as himself, wanting precisely like Chris Pine, and in a model-new physique that he can do with as he pleases.
This easy repair addresses a lot of the Steve Trevor missteps in Wonder Woman 1984. The viewers do not have the awkwardness of getting their head across the dual-identity gimmick. There isn’t any want for a tenuous rationalization as to why Steve remains to be performed by Chris Pine. Even higher, the entire consent ordeal disappears totally. With a brand new physique courtesy of the Dreamstone, Steve and Diana can hump away with none murky ethical ambiguities that come up from an unwitting, unconscious third-get together within the bedroom. Is it a bit too handy to have Steve’s physique and soul return as one? Maybe, however, no extra so than discovering Maxwell Lord’s title within the Dreamstone container, flying to Egypt in a stolen museum aircraft, or any of the desires described above.
Steve’s goodbye is a bit tougher to repair. Diana flying to the satellite tv for pc base for Wonder Woman 1984‘s closing showdown is a standout second that requires her full energy; however, she will be able to enter that energy, whereas Steve is hanging around. To conclude Steve’s arc much less abruptly, this paradox may very well be performed extra explicitly within the movie, with Diana attempting to fly and fail. With Steve convincing Diana that she can fly, their goodbye change would observe, provided that she lets him go. She does so and soars into the air, however relatively than leaving Steve leaning in opposition to a random pillar, Diana (and the viewers) watch him changing into smaller as Diana features altitude, till the distant determine collapses to the ground. Visually watching Steve vacate, a Good-looking Man’s physique gives closure for the viewers and provides extra emotion to Diana’s first flight. It additionally is sensible that Steve would watch Diana for so long as he presumably can earlier than returning to the afterlife, relatively than simply hanging around on the street and shouting.