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'Star Wars' had a race problem

Discussion in 'Movies' started by pearl, Jun 26, 2022.

  1. pearl

    pearl Well-Known Member

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    I am not a follower of the Star War movies, I liked the original, but then lost interest, so I really have no personal opinion as to this series itself. But the series has come up in conversations that seem to be not favorable with the casting.

    For some years now the Star Wars franchise has been faced with a virulent strain within its fandom that harasses and threatens actresses and people of color who are given significant roles. These fans claim that the move to make Star Wars more diverse represents a betrayal of the saga, in that it attempts to inject the politics and anxieties of our world into a story that was never about that. Don’t impose your 21st-century prejudices and anxieties on my universe, the argument goes.

    There is a lot about this argument that is wrong. Though each film begins famously, “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away,” the origins of the Star Wars saga are deeply rooted in George Lucas’s real-world concerns about totalitarianism. Plus, one of the things that has always distinguished Star Wars is its “window on a whole world” aesthetic. Watching a Star Wars story there is always the sense of so much more going on outside the frame. Even characters who are glimpsed wandering through a shot or operating in the background are given names and their own action figures. We’re always only following one story amid a whole universe of others.

    Given this, the idea that everyone we meet should be white, straight and/or male actually contradicts the rules of that world. The introduction of more people of color and women in the most recent Star Wars movies and television series is a correction of an error, not an error in itself.

    It’s true that Star Wars spent almost 40 years being a story mostly about white people. “Episode VII: The Force Awakens” was the first live-action Star Wars film to feature a person of color in a leading role or a woman as the lead, and that came out just seven years ago. The weight of that history has an impact. The sequel trilogy (Episodes VII-IX) was a mess when it came to race and gender; Finn, the Black former stormtrooper who was the co-lead of Episode VII and has tons of chemistry with his fellow lead Rey, becomes more of a supporting character in the latter films, mostly so that there is more room for Kylo Ren, another white guy. John Boyega, who played Finn,told GQ later, “What I would say to Disney is do not bring out a Black character, market them to be much more important in the franchise than they are and then have them pushed to the side.”

    ‘Star Wars’ has a race problem — and casting more people of color won’t fix it. | America Magazine

    My daughter who is a fan seems to have no problem with the casting. Just wondering what the problem is.
     
  2. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    I have a lot of thoughts on this:
    a. Is it racist to imagine a universe that doesn't have every single human skin color possible, yet does have alien skin/fur colors?
    b. There's always the reverse: If George Lucas had been African-American or some other ethnicity, and he would have put the main characters as people who share his skin color, would that have been racist?
    c. Personally, I feel there's not enough purple characters. Way too many green ones. I find that to be racist.
    d. A wise comedian once said: "Han shot first-- because he's racist..."
     
  3. osgart

    osgart Nothing my eye, Something for sure

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    I don't see any intentional race issues with Star Wars nor do I think there's any racial errors in George Lucas's story. Perhaps Disney has those issues, but Lucas's Star Wars has nothing like that.

    The Star wars Saga just happens to be a story about a particular white family at it's core. I'm sure future Star Wars stories will have other characters that are from other races.
     
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  4. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue Twilight, not bright nor dark, good nor bad.

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    Even Carl Sagon alluded there is a wookie problem.

     
  5. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise
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    Ironically Lucas originally wrote SW as an allegory of the Vietnam War

    But yeah, based on my interactions over the years, the so called “fandom menace” are a bunch of raging misogynist racist bigots.
    A stain on the overall fandom, if you ask me.
     
  6. pearl

    pearl Well-Known Member

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    Interesting, that I had not heard. I had heard it originally had something to do with Nazis.
     
  7. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    I remember complaints that this was racist....
     
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  8. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    It's not racist, it's just practical.
     
  9. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    Aye, the original script called for a sword fight,
    but Ford & so many crew were sick that Ford
    crafted this easier scene. Something ordinary
    became something brilliant.
     
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  10. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise
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    Well I think the imperial empire was largely modelled after the Nazi regime
    But yeah Lucas has been quite explicit in his inspirations for SW. Indeed there are a few, which often happens in art

    The Real History That Inspired 'Star Wars' | HISTORY
     
  11. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    It is brilliant. :D
     
  12. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    And racist....so I've heard.
     
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  13. Yerda

    Yerda Well-Known Member

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    There are going to be a segment of any large fan base with vile opinions. A much bigger problem for Star Wars seems to be the constant decline in quality.
     
  14. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    I don't think there is any problem, other than what could be expected from a popular show. Sure there are racists that will make stupid comments, but it has nothing to do with the general Star wars fan. These racists people will be there no matter what, it's what they are about.

    Disney's handling of Star wars is absolutely appalling, the new character Reva, were completely butchered, not because of her color, but because the character she plays, as with all the others were so poorly written that people didn't like them, and obviously she might not have been the best actress for the role either. But race for the general Star wars fan had nothing to do with it. But Disney do spend a lot of energy on these few cases, which seems to shadow over the whole Star wars issue, which is that Disney Star wars is simply not very good.
     
  15. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    The last trilogy was a great improvement over the second (I, II, and III) racially. The Gungans had all of the negataive stereotypes of black people from 1950's sitcoms. I have no idea how Lucas thought that those characters were a good idea.
     
  16. Truth in love

    Truth in love Well-Known Member

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    As a die hard huge fan of SW a few thoughts.

    1. The accusations of being too white are unhelpful. Lando was a major player in 2 out of the original 3 movies. Vader was voiced by Jones. There is massive inclusion of many aliens too. The bad guys are raging racist one of the top good guys is green. Sure it won’t get the racial pandering award like the Brandy Cinderella, but they were pretty well done.


    2. shameless pandering does take away from the story.
     
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