Tuesday, May 11, 2021

The significance of rainbows in Wonder Woman 1984

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One of the small details hidden throughout Wonder Woman 1984 is that rainbows are everywhere. The Amazon Olympics at the beginning of the film utilize a rainbow flag system to mark how far each contestant has gotten, and the fireworks display Diana and Steve Trevor fly through definitely presents all the colors of the spectrum. A brilliant array of hues was even used on many of the WW84 promotional materials in the lead-up to the film’s release. What’s the deal with all of these vibrant shades?

There are a few possible explanations. The bright color palette could be in service to the bright neon shades prevalent throughout the 1980s. It could be related to the fact WW84 was, at one point, slated to come out in June of 2020, which is LGBTQ+ Pride Month (and Wonder Woman has been confirmed to be bisexual in the current DC Comics canon). However, there’s another way of looking at rainbows that ties them more directly to the film’s themes.

Rainbows have often served as symbols of hope throughout civilization (via BBC). After all, you only get such a beautiful display of light after a rainstorm. A rainbow promises better things can come, and that’s exactly the lesson Diana needs to learn in WW84. When the movie starts, Diana is suffering from loneliness, still reeling from Steve’s death during the events of the first movie. She’s unable to move on, which is why her wish for the Dreamstone is to reunite with Steve once again. However, she has to exchange a good portion of her powers to bring Steve back, and the only way she can regain her strength is to renounce her wish and move on from Steve once and for all.

She has to learn to let go and recognize she can be happy in the future even if Steve’s not in it, and we kind of see that at the very end of the film. As Diana watches a Christmas celebration, she smiles at the handsome man, played by Kristoffer Polaha, who was possessed by Steve’s spirit throughout the rest of the film. While nothing is made explicitly clear, it suggests that Diana can find love elsewhere and still lead a rich, fulfilling life. She’s been through a lot, but there can still be hope somewhere over the rainbow.

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