Lit Beating a Dead Eopie: The Diversity Thread (various spoilers)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by CooperTFN, Aug 20, 2009.

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  1. Genghis12 Manager Emeritus

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    Regarding post-Revan/post-TOR Exile (Major Exile Spoilers):
    It would be more appropriate to label her as tranparent-blue-skinned spirit. To a degree, I do think it starts to become a bit misapplied to discuss such smaller-scale issues as race, gender, or species, when life or "unlife" -- becoming one with the Force or not after the body dies -- becomes the major distinction. For the spirits out there keeping score, there's a lot more non-Caucasian non-spirits or women non-spirit characters than there are those entities who retain their consciousness after death. Does the consciousness of "the Jedi Entity" emulate a "white female" that was the "Jedi Exile" in life? Who knows. But, I find it interesting that she is described as TOR as being "Jedi Entity" as if she has transcended whatever it was - that defined her previously. Hell, it even apparently changed her hair color, too. [face_laugh]
  2. instantdeath Force Ghost

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    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    So none of the faces in KOTOR are the "right" face of Revan? Kind of annoying if so. I believe Revan was mentioned to have black hair multiple times in the novel, so it couldn't be the mullet man, unless that's already been retconned.
  3. Barriss_Coffee Chosen One

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    Jun 29, 2003
    star 6
    Revan basically looks like... Jaden.
  4. DarthRevan211 Jedi Master

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    Feb 17, 2008
    star 1
    Yeah, it seems Drew went with the timeline images that showed the black shoulder length hair, but the folks at Bioware wanted brown. To be honest, as a long brown haired white guy, I like their choice.:p
  5. Likewater Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2009
    star 4
    Wow...I imagined Revan as Latino...lighter Puerto Rican or Venezuelan.

    I can't bring myself to see Revan as another standard dark haird caucasian.... and yes I am a Big Fan of Jacen, Jaina, Anakin and Zek, Harry Dresden, Captain Kirk, Mr Spock, Wolverine, Chamber, Jamie Madrox, Sean "Banshee" Cassady (even though he is a red head and not dark haired), Tim Drake, Dick Greyson and so many others, But for the Forces sake can't the folks at show a little more imagination?

    I mean even DC comic is trying to push Static, and Mr Terrific, Jon Stewart and the newest Aqualad with its Young Justice.

    I don't mind dark haird caucasian male protagonist, But when you line up your heros and besides hair color 98% of those who share a sex and are human look alike...its time to start using the imagination.
  6. JediFreac Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2002
    star 4
    That's gotta be pretty low on the explanation list though. I mean, rather than a contrived explanation that allows LFL to continue churning out more white male protagonists, I'd like them to actually do something about it. There are a lot of excuses. Star Wars only made about ten years after the Civil Rights movement. Hollywood isn't diverse. The Skywalker family is white. Many fans are male/white. And now, space evolutionary biology. Bah, humbug. It still doesn't address the actual problem, even if it is a feeble attempt to explain why it isn't a problem.

    Unfortunately, after speaking to Shelly Shapiro and realizing that she just really doesn't get it, I do not have my hopes up.

    If they're a small fraction of the fan base, why cater to them so desperately? As Bioware has demonstrated with Saetle, despite changing her into "Pocahontas" these complainers are still buying, playing the game, and even engaging on the forums. They are really invested and not likely to bail. On the other hand, seeing Saetele as a woman of color doing cool things was one of the things that drew me in to SW:TOR. My friend who is not a Star Wars fan but is an MMO fan was also drawn to the game because of how prominently featured Saetele is (she happens to resemble Saetele.)

    There has got to be way to push writer David Gaider's perspective.
    "And if there is any doubt why such an opinion might be met with hostility, it has to do with privilege. You can write it off as "political correctness" if you wish, but the truth is that privilege always lies with the majority. They're so used to being catered to that they see the lack of catering as an imbalance. They don't see anything wrong with having things set up to suit them, what's everyone's fuss all about? That's the way it should be, any everyone else should be used to not getting what they want..And the person who says that the only way to please them is to restrict options for others is, if you ask me, the one who deserves it least. And that's my opinion, expressed as politely as possible.."

    Expanding who you cater to is a marketing advantage for a franchise that has already firmly grasped the white male market. *shrug*

    In other words, when people with sexist or racist views are complaining about a female Exile or brown Saetle, maybe consider as a sign that you are doing the "right" thing.
  7. Rouge77 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2005
    star 5
    I do think it's a problem, and a big one, but at the same time I don't myself expect them to do anything about it, so my own feeble theory at least offers a fan explanation for the things we see... ;)

    Because people who publicly applaud going the other way are a small fraction too, I think, and them being in my own opinion both more polite and constrained, are less likely to applaud or protest, whatever path is taken. Those who scream the loudest get the most attention and their importance is thus magnified far beyond their actual numbers.
  8. JediFreac Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2002
    star 4
    I learned yesterday that Sno E Blac, the model for Saetele Shan in The Old Republic, is hapa and goes to my school as a Women's Studies major.

    http://www.askajedi.com/2011/09/20/exclusive-interview-with-actress-sno-e-blac-aka-satele-

    http://www.dailybruin.com/index.php/blog/spotlight/2012/01/4f14a2c7423a4



  9. The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus

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    Nov 19, 2007
    star 6
    Interesting information on the nature of "near-humans" from an old WEG sourcebook:
  10. DarthIktomi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2009
    star 4
    Re: Revan, that's funny. Zekk always looked kinda Asian to me.

    I wonder what shorthand they use in the GFFA. Referring to Luke as a "light-skinned, blue-eyed blonde" for the fiftieth time has got to get old, and doesn't do much to say about his facial features.
  11. JediFreac Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2002
    star 4
    [/quote]

    This is just weird, I would assume that the near-human designation represents a significant shift in DNA. It seems weird that a human responding to an environmental condition (turning stumpy or brown) is suddenly considered no longer human.
  12. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Speaking of near-human, I always thought near-human referred to things like Kiffar and Rattataki.

    But the Darth Plagueis book calls a number of aliens "near-human", including an Aqualish. I don't feel like that's right, but Wookieepedia seems to indicate that "near-human" and "humanoid" have been used interchangeably by certain authors.
  13. The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus

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    If I had to speculate as to the in-universe reason behind it: perhaps the definition is the pseudoscientific product of a pro-Core/pro-Human movement (Pius Dea?), aiming to elevate the inhabitants of the relatively similar and Earthlike Core Worlds (Alderaan, Chandrila, Corellia, etc.) over the more diverse and less hospitable colony worlds, which would be more likely to produce such adaptations? Might explain a number of those peculiar categorizations of "near-human" species with few or no actual noticeably "alien" traits.
  14. JediFreac Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2002
    star 4
    That's not bad, since in our world "race" is a constantly shifting category. I could see near-human also as a political device. I just wish this would show up in the books.
  15. Nagai Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2010
    star 3
    Am i the only on really happy about the expansion of Kaleesh, Ongree, Ratataki, Anomid, Kel Dor, Nautolan and Dashade expansion in SWtor?
  16. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    In terms of what, biological history? Characteristics? I'm not playing thus far.
  17. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    I guess it depends on how closely aligned in time, culture, and genetics one is. Yesterday I saw an article talking about neandertals, and kept forming a binary of them vs. "humans." By pretty much any standard, neandertals are a type of human. A short, barrel-chested, big-faced, bigger-brained species of human, but still part of that family tree, to the degree that interbreeding is possible. If they lived among us today, I'm almost certain we'd regard them as people. (Or at least, it would significantly complicate the definition of person, similar to how chimpanzees, bonobos, and other great apes do in the real world, except more intensely.)

    Exactly how "near" to "humanity" a population is considered probably has to do with cultural/geographic/temporal isolation and the philosophical alignments of the people doing the defining.
  18. Nagai Jedi Youngling

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    Nov 15, 2010
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    In terms of new relevant individuals showing up who belong to those species.
  19. DarthIktomi Jedi Master

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    May 11, 2009
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    Consensus has gone back and forth on modern human-neanderthal matings, though. I mean, it's in the "anatomically, no reason why not"; I'd assume all bipedal primates mate the way humans do. (Thankfully, fetuses usually grow to fit the uterus, as anyone who's ever raised horses can tell you: A mule is always bred with a male ass and a female horse specifically so it will have the horse's size.)

    The bigger question is things like, did neanderthals have an extra pair of chromosomes or not? (And no, these don't give us s00perd00per vampire or werewolf powers. Chimpanzees have one more pair than humans. And don't get me started on Breaking Dawn.) If they did have that extra pair, then things get more difficult. If their chromosomes were different in structure in other ways, then things get more difficult.
  20. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    True that consensus went back and forth, but now that part of the neandertal genome has been sequenced and neandertal traces have been found in contemporary humans (those who have any non-African ancestry, anyway), it's pretty clear that it was possible for the two groups to mate.

    And I threw the whole mating issue in there because it's a convenient way to define species, but great danes and chihuahuas are technically the same species yet they'd probably have a very difficult time successfully mating. So that may not even be a great benchmark...
  21. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    Heh. Ass.

    Wait, what were we talking about? Oh right, near-humans.

    One thing for us to keep in mind is that the term "near-human", or even "sub-human", is probably far more politically charged on Earth, where "human" is essentially synonymous with "sentient" and comes with a built-in value judgment, then it is in GFFA culture, where thousands upon thousands of species are regarded as every bit as evolved as humans, if not more so. Outside of the Core, people might even prefer to be regarded as near-human - so it could be that many different human subcultures IU actually see it as being in their interest to err on the side of not being fully human, even when the scientific basis might be sketchy.
  22. jSarek VIP

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    A mule is always bred with a male ass and a female horse because if you do it the other way around, you don't get a mule; you get a hinny.

    I'm not so sure about that. It clearly wasn't the case at the height the reign of the Empire, when Human High Culture was lionized galaxywide; and I think even in other eras, the cachet of humanity was not eclipsed by even the most prestigious of other species.
  23. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    Whatever the prevailing culture was at the moment, you can't see ex-CIS pockets of anti-humanism hanging around? "The South will rise again" kind of stuff?
  24. Gorefiend Chosen One

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    Oct 23, 2004
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    Interestingly outside of the Sith the most lasting and properly effective enemy of the Old Republic where the Hutts and their servants. Alien looking and thinking Slavers, Merchants and Raiders from beyond the Republic, always there, and always active and by the Atlas one of the major reasons for the Republics rapid expansion, as ever more worlds joined as to not fall under Hutt sway. A lot of Anti-Alien thinking would properly be carried over from that time.

    The CIS had plenty of humans in its ranks (it was lead by one), and it seemed to really be more a political thing rather then a race thing.
  25. jSarek VIP

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    Eh, I suppose. And I suppose during the early years of the Fey'lya presidency, when pointed anti-humanist rhetoric was the order of the day, it might also have been the case. Still, I think at best this situation was a rare exception to the rule.
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