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The premiere of “Rogue One,” the first stand-alone “Star Wars” film, is six weeks away, and fans have gathered online to speculate about what treasures the film will hold. What’s the deal with the set photo of a shaggy alien that looks a little like a robo-sasquatch? What are the chances that all the rebel heroes will survive to the end? Is Darth Vader going to murder any of them personally? Oh, and how is this movie going to treat women?
“Rogue One” stars Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso, the newest bold “Star Wars” brunette, and the conventional wisdom is that her very existence confirms the franchise’s recently enlightened embrace of strong female characters. But a vocal group of die-hard female “Star Wars” fans is asking for more. Online, they form a rich community of women who come together to bond over their “Star Wars” obsession, cast a critical eye on the role of women in the films and embrace minor characters overlooked by the fandom at large. In doing so, they’ve created for themselves what the films still don’t quite deliver — a “Star Wars” universe that revolves around women.
The neighborhood grocery store — with its dim and narrow aisles full of provisions precariously stacked from floor to ceiling and the cashier who greets you and your dog by name — is a critical piece of a New York life. Supermarkets of suburban proportions, like Whole Foods, are making their mark on the city; Wegmans will open its first city store, in Brooklyn, in 2018.
But while these stores have distinctive — and sometimes pricier — offerings like artisanal cheese and artichoke ravioli, they cannot replace the labyrinthine corner market, a linchpin for any neighborhood. It can keep a neighborhood manageable for new parents who need diapers now or seniors who cannot carry their groceries a long way.
In its celebration of romantic love (in an egalitarian, improved family) as the apex of American philosophical commitments, Kaag’s book is extremely contemporary. It does somewhat evade how the key philosophers it addresses — Emerson, James, Royce, Hocking — sought their solitude or love in further relations to the supernatural, God or some godhead, and moved from immanence to transcendence, not the other way around.