Cable wrote: ↑
19 Nov 2018, 17:04
I would rather see the full story as it has developed in the canon over time.
If you go with how it is originally written, this happens only after already killing literally billions of people. And that is who Jean Grey would be to the casual fan: a mass murderer. The Empire would be the heroes of the story for successfully stopping her, even if it is her who realizes she needs to die for what she has done in the end
See, that’s not how I read DPS. Jean didn’t “realize she had to die for what she’d done.” Jean realized she had to die so it wouldn’t happen again.
She was not accepting a retributory punishment, she was heroically sacrificing herself. Jean was not morally culpable for the deaths of the broccoli people, because she was literally mad with power. But she also came to realize she couldn’t prevent that from happening again if she was alive, and so she stopped the evil madness by sacrificing herself.
As Uatu explained, “Jean could not help but respond to [the Phoenix Force], be changed by it, and in time overwhelmed
. So, she briefly became the Dark Phoenix
...Yet when faced with a choice between keeping her God-like power—knowing she would wreak death and destruction across the stars—and dying herself, she chose the latter
. That’s what makes humanity unique...this extraordinary capacity for self-sacrifice
.” (Emphasis in original
The language “could not help” and “overwhelmed” negates Jean’s culpability, because the Phoenix force coerced her actions. But as Jean herself said,
“I can’t forget that I killed an entire world—Five Billion People
...I want no more deaths on my conscience. [To live and fight] I’d have to stay completely in control of myself every second of every day for the rest of my immortal life. Maybe I could do it, but if I slipped. Even for an instant, If I failed, if even one
more person died at my hands...”
Jean is mentioning the five Billion not because she needs to pay for their deaths, but because she understands that she could be compellled to do it again
, and that’s too high a price to pay for her survival. She’s not dying because of her guilt, or some retributive justice, but because she is making a choice about the future
It’s also worth noting that Lilandra never talks about punishment or retribution either. She only mentioned that “Phoenix must be destroyed,” “to ensure the safety of the entire universe.” The only time punishment, retribution or any related concept is mentioned at all is when the Chancellor says, “She’s suffered enough? Tell that to the spirits os the D’Bari dead—who cry out for vengeance
!” But Lilandra shuts him down immediately, tellying him to “be silent.” Nowhere else in the story is Jeans trial or death treated as some kind of payment for the acts of Dark Phoenix. It is entirely viewed through the lens of whether she is a risk to kill again.
Nightcrawler has some doubts towards his own ability to “forgive,” Jean for what “she’s done,” but (a) Kurt is not in a position to really know or understand the coercive power of the Phoenix, so he’s not a reliable arbiter of her moral culpability, and (b) whether she’s deserving of his forgiveness is not the same as whether she’s deserving of punishment, So I don’t see that monologue as a nod towards some kind of moral retribution; instead its a portrayal of reasonable inner doubts—doubts that he resolves in her favor. The final moral calculus is not that Jean’s culpable, but that she’s heroic and must sacrifice herself for the future, not pay for the past.
Now, whether that moral subtlety could be translated to a mass market movie is beyond me, but that’s what I want to see.