So loads of people are pointing out that Rogue One is Les Mis in space, right? Well, if it is, then Jyn is Grantaire and Cassian is Enjolras.
I agree that there’s something of Enjolras in Cassian, but I think that Jyn is more of a Marius – quiet, serious, restrained, stays away from people, her agenda is more intimate than that of other members of the uprising – she does all of it so that her father’s sacrifice will not have been in vain.
I think that if anyone is a Grantaire, that’s K2 – sarcastic, gloomy, and only there for Cassian.
I feel like @lushthemagicdragon will have thoughts here.
Rogue One is not Les Mis in space because they were successful, and they were all people who were actually subjugated and oppressed by the empire. The whole reason why Les Amis failed as opposed to the June Rebellion which happened 2 years later was because they were a bunch of very well educated well off kids who didn’t consider the needs of the poor as well as they thought they did. They genuinely believed that the poor would join them when they were not strong enough in numbers and there was more to lose than to gain. Les Miserables takes place during a MINOR insurrection that did very little. Rogue One is about actually successful rebels fighting back and dying for its success.
BUT If we’re going to make the comparison then I would say yes Grantaire is K2 and Cassian is Enjolras and Jyn would be Marius, but I would not make that comparison too heavily. It’s a stretch.
I’m sorry, I know this post is probably months old already but I just have to respond to this.
Firstly, the “June Rebellion which happened 2 years later” IS the one in Les Mis and IS the one that failed. The “successful” revolution was the one two years earlier, in July 1830, although it only succeeded in installing a new king in place of the old. The July Monarchy wasn’t overturned until February 1848.
Secondly, sorry but you are literally getting this whole thing completely backwards. I want to seriously underline this:
THE JUNE UPRISING DIDN’T FAIL BECAUSE THE POOR DIDN’T SUPPORT IT.
IT FAILED BECAUSE THE BOURGEOIS FAILED TO JOIN IN.
Here’s the thing: it was a working class insurrection. 66% of the insurgents were working class and most of the rest were shopkeepers and clerks.
This was a general trend too: all the successful revolutions in France were at least partly backed by the bourgeoisie. 1789, 1830 and 1848 all had significant bourgeois support. As a rule, it’s the working class uprisings that ended up being crushed.
Don’t blame the students who actually allied themselves with the working class. Blame the bourgeois National Guard who allied with the authorities. Or blame the old wealthy high-profile liberal leaders who failed to give the insurrection their public approval which could have turned the bourgeois moderates against the king. Or hey, maybe blame the ACTUAL AUTHORITIES WHO DECIDED TO FORCEFULLY CRUSH ANY SIGNS OF REBELLION AND WHO ALSO LIED TO THEIR TROOPS ABOUT THE WHOLE THING.
I know, I know, none of this is common knowledge and I’m not like expecting everybody to do extensive research on the June Uprising, not even all Les Mis fans. Although you could have at least read the Wikipedia article before trying to actually comment on the events.
(Btw if you or anybody reading this do want to do some research, here’s the starter pack: Louis Blanc’s account & the relevant chapter from Jill Harsin’s book about the revolutions of the early 19th century. For the more detailed (and infinitely cooler) stuff, check out these handy resources.)
What IS a fair criticism is Victor Hugo’s decision to sideline the working class leadership of the insurrection in favour of the student characters in his book. But that’s a whole another topic and that’s why the Printer!Enjolras headcanon exists.
Also remember that Feuilly is canonically a worker. We could also get into the whole topic of “how privileged were the Amis” but I’m not going to. This post is already getting long and besides other people have made that point better.
Reblogging for someone giving lots of good information with good links so that I don’t have to go digging around for anything, and also to give my two cents on Rogue One.
There are tons of parallels to be made between Rogue One and Les Mis (hence why those who overlap between the two are doing so). And I would say that if you think the *success of a revolution* is what determines its relevancy/legitimacy, then you have missed the point of both stories. Granted it can be more easily overlooked in the Les Mis musical, but even there the entire point of the finale there is that *it mattered*. Even if you don’t succeed, even if you go into a tomb that’s just barely illuminated by the dawn, the fact that you tried to make the world a better place matters.
Also if we’re going to map E/R onto any of the Rogue One crew it should be the Force monks. Chirrut who holds onto his belief until the end, through losing his people and his home, through having his religion defiled and the bones of his temple turned into the greatest murder weapon in the galaxy. And Baze, who believes in nothing when we meet him, who mocks Chirrut, who stays *for Chirrut*, to protect Chirrut, and then dies with Chirrut’s mantra on his lips for the greater cause that needs them both.
(I’m not entirely sure who I’d map K-2 and Cassian onto. Maybe Joly and Bossuet? K-2 does seem to have some caring for how the rebellion goes, though his devotion is mainly to Cassian. Hmmm, that’s a tough one.)
Reblogging again just for the success point. I was thinking of talking about that too but then decided to cut all that out. But yeah, the whole attitude that “they failed, therefore they shouldn’t have even tried”… what use is that kind of thinking? How has giving up before you even start ever helped anyone?
I can’t resist the urge to link to this Mark Steel video where he’s talks about the French Revolution. (I tried to link straight to the relevant bit at 20:35, hopefully it works. He rambles on a bit but it’s good rambling.) Basically the relevant quote is “What would have happened if there had been no resistance?” and he ties that up with modern protest movements too.
Also the June uprising especially ended up being a big propaganda victory for the republicans. Just look at the effect it had on Victor Hugo who was a supporter of Louis-Philippe at the time. Maybe that’s not as epic as bringing down a super weapon but it’s far from worthless. And by extension… I mean how many people have been inspired by Les Mis? None of that would have happened without all those real people who thought it was worth risking your life fighting for something better, who were so brave that even many of their enemies came to admire them.
… Also that’s a good point about Chirrut and Baze and E&R. 😀 I’m perfectly content seeing the Rogue One crew parallels with Les Amis in a vague and non-specific way but of course it can be fun to make comparisons. (I think Chirrut and Baze could also be compared to Bini because, well, they are definitely “bini” the way Joly and Lesgle are bini, if not even more so.) It’s a bit like with Les Mis 1995 where many of the characters have aspects of multiple Les Mis characters, and the main Les Mis characters all have more than one stand-in in the movie. In that movie it was intentional but Rogue One kind of succeeds in doing the same accidentally.
Thanks for the link to the video–I hadn’t seen that before!
I just couldn’t let the idea that a revolution only matters if it succeeds go, because it’s so antithetical to both these stories (and to the real people and history Les Mis is drawing on). I mean, *we* know the Rogue One crew succeeded, but I think it’s super important to note that absolutely none of *them* got to know. All they had was hope, because that’s what you build a rebellion on. And whether it takes another five years or sixteen to overthrow the oppressive government, the earlier battles are what lay the foundation for what comes later.
Chirrut and Baze could definitely be good Bini as well! Their death scene just screamed E&R to me and my wife the first time we saw it, and I haven’t been able to shake it. I like your comparison to the 1995 Les Mis movie–everyone’s a mish-mash of various characters and it’s fun to see what parallels work where.
Great 😀 I’ve been wanting to spread that video lecture around a bit. I think it’s a pretty good sort of a simplified and comedic but still serious explanation of why
the French Revolution mattered and why the level of demonization it gets makes no sense.
And yeah, I agree, I mean there’s a very good reason why Rogue One literally ends with the word “hope“. Maybe it’s a bit on the nose but it kind of needed to be. (Also it definitely made me tear up in the theatre. There may have been a little bit of sobbing even, who knows.)
And it doesn’t have to fit perfectly in terms of plot and conditions for there to be a meaningful comparison to Les Mis. It was always meant to be a universal book anyway.
Yeah you’re right about the death scene. Definite OFPD vibes. Somehow I hadn’t considered it before but yeah.