Patty Jenkins responds to controversial Wonder Woman 1984 plot point – CNET

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Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) together again in Wonder Woman 1984.


Clay Enos/Warner Bros. Pictures

WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD

Whether you love or hate Wonder Woman 1984 (currently playing in select theaters and available to stream on HBO Max) one thing’s for sure — Steve Trevor (played by Chris Pine) coming back from the dead is a bizarre twist.

After all, when Steve died at the end of 2017’s Wonder Woman movie — a story set almost 70 years before 1984 — fans might have been confused how he not only survived his death but also never aged. 

Now Wonder Woman 1984 director Patty Jenkins is defending the controversial choice to bring his character back into Diana Prince/Wonder Woman’s life for the new movie.

The Wonder Woman 1984 plot revolves around a special artifact called the Dreamstone that has the power to grant one wish for whoever holds it — kind of like the horror story concept of the mystical Monkey’s Paw. When you wish for something, there’s always some strings attached.

After all, it was the God of Lies who gave the stone its power in the first place. When the Dreamstone grants a wish, it then takes something else of equal importance from the wisher. However, before fully understanding the devious quid pro quo nature of the stone, Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) wishes for the return of Steve and, the next day, he returns. 

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Steve Trevor (Chirs Pine) isn’t who you might think he is in Wonder Woman 1984.


Clay Enos/Warner Bros. Pictures

But here’s where it gets tricky in the movie. Steve isn’t exactly the same guy she remembers from her past. In fact, Steve has basically taken over the body of someone who already exists. And he didn’t get consent first either. Also, just to make it extra confusing, Steve looks like this different person (played by actor Kristoffer Polaha) to everyone else. 

Another very problematic point here is that if Steve isn’t really Steve, that means Wonder Woman is possibly getting physical with a stranger and not her beloved Steve. Though in the movie it’s implied, there’s no actual sex scene between the two characters.

The lack of consent is what got a lot of fans up in arms about the movie. Jenkins could be simply playing with that well-known story trope of characters body-swapping as in the movies Big and Freaky Friday, where consent is not given. 

This “body-swapping without character consent” plot device has been used in movies, TV shows, comics and video games for decades, and especially prevalent in entertainment from the ’80s. But this is an era where that old body-swapping without consent plot device might not be as politically correct as it once was.

A fan named Dustin Philipson on Twitter came to Jenkins’ defense about the body-swapping in Wonder Woman 1984 saying that not only is this a common plot device in fiction, but also in this particular story the body-swapping was “undone” when people took back their wishes.

While Jenkins did not offer any additional insight into the plot device used in Wonder Woman 1984, she did agree with the fan tweet by responding with “Hahaha. Exactly @DustyDontShoot!!” 

It would have been more ideal for Jenkins to offer more of her own thoughts about the body-swap device, but for now, this will serve as some explanation for the lack of consent during bodyswaps.

As expected, some fans responded to Jenkins’ retweet with their own theories.