Lit Ignorance is Bias: The Diversity Manifesto

Discussion in 'Literature' started by CooperTFN, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    All I'm saying is, the Jag statue wouldn't be dressed like that. Or, indeed, exist at all, because the whole point of that line is "look at the babe".
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  2. Esg Jedi Grand Master

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    >That feel you get when we will never get a Tyco and Wedge working out statuettes
  3. Robimus Force Ghost

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    Goran is a very prominate supporting character in the LOTF books, the acting leader of his people in Fett's absense no less. I'd also mention that in my opinion the A Practical Man short story contains Goran as a POVcharacter and lead character.

    So basically Traviss gave us a homosexual character who is a leader of one of the most popular sub cultures of Star Wars, bad ass warriors no less. She showed him killing Vong, beating up and serving as mentor for Jaina Solo and to an extent running Mandalorian affairs.

    Yeah, make him a lead character - I'll buy the book. I bought the Sacrifice paperback just to have a copy of A Practical Man because I enjoy the character so much(even though the rest of that story leaves a lot to be desired for me).

    Star Wars can and should do more, but to toss a wet blanket over what has been done seems counter productive.
  4. Grand Admiral Crumb Jedi Knight

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    I wonder if the lack of force sensitive aliens is partly because Palpatine had their planets made uninhabitable? I know there is mention of Haruun Kal being bombarded due to essentially the entire population being highly force sensitive.
  5. Esg Jedi Grand Master

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    He did it alot. See the Filucians
  6. JediFreac Force Ghost

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    I think characters from minority groups often get flak for being "tokens" but the problem shouldn't be with the fact that the exist, it's with the latter sentiment--the straight white male protagonists are what drive the tokenism, not the minority inclusion.
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  7. Reveen Jedi Grand Master

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    Yeah, it probably all comes down to the privileges of who gets to matter anyway rather than numbers. Even if the whole rest of the cast was black/latino/gay it's still the Oliver Queens and Katniss Everdeens who are going to get most of the spotlight. Bildungsromans are hot $@%& again nowadays and only someone relatable to the vanilla middle class can topple the dystopian whatzit.

    I often wonder whether the problem is that privileged audiences will genuinely have trouble relating to a non-white and non-straight protagonists or whether writers just think they do.
    Last edited by Reveen, May 3, 2013
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  8. Zorrixor Chosen One

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    In the end it's the latter. Look at something like Blade -- the fact Wesley Snipes was black didn't stop him being hugely popular ten years ago; it was the white characters who ruined Blade III.

    I wanted to punch Ryan Reynolds every time he came on the screen (admittedly, I want to punch Ryan Reynolds in virtually any film he's in, so I accept my view here is somewhat biased :p).

    There's a lot of video games that illustrate this too, as while there's just as many generic vanilla video game protagonists as there are cookie-cutter white male film stars, there's also lots of popular heroines or characters from other backgrounds.

    But you're also right that audiences can be their own worst enemy as well, simply due to the fact that they tell themselves they won't like something just because oh no "she's a girl!" or "he's black!" But when they actually sit themselves down? Nine times out of ten, most people -- unless they're actually a closet racist -- find they can relate to those characters. Why else do so many fanboys play Mass Effect as a female Commander Shephard? Or pick TOR genders based on who the better voice actor is?

    It's just a shame that writers don't seem to appreciate that. After films like Avatar, you'd think Hollywood would have noticed that the public are much more willing to root for the underdog nowadays than they were twenty years ago, back when the big bad military dudes would have been the bad boys that the audience cheered for, whereas today people got behind the blue people and saw through the hotheaded egos of the cliche white male action star supertroopers of the 1980s. I just hope we're not going to see a rebound back to the same cliches again, as while someone like Dante was always a white male, what they've now done to the character in DmC makes me worry that we may be moving back toward the industry comfort zone again of the worst possible cliches, when they could be doing the opposite and taking advantage of current trends to push boundaries even further.
    Last edited by Zorrixor, May 3, 2013
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  9. themetresgained Jedi Grand Master

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    She's described as petite, so her legs should be a lot shorter. IDK I'm not a huge fan, but I'm not big on the anime styling anyway.
  10. Havac Former Moderator

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    Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void DP: eight people. Only four of them are humans. Only one of them is white. That white human is a woman. Coop, we have achieved 100% diversity.

    And not just that -- the protagonist is a woman of color, and the other main character alongside her is a Twi'lek. The villain is a man of color, and the main authority figure, Master Dam-Powl, is a female Cathar. Of all the other characters who come up throughout the book, and I'm only about 2/3 of the way through, I really can't think of any other humans. This is pretty much exactly what this thread wants.
  11. instantdeath Force Ghost

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    I had no idea that was coming out so soon; for some reason I was thinking a Julyish release on that. Nice to see a new author utilizing the many different aliens of Star Wars.

    Might actually be the rare SW novel I have to pick up right away.
    Last edited by instantdeath, May 9, 2013
  12. Zorrixor Chosen One

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    This is already out? Wow, I didn't realise that either.

    Time to head over to Amazon.
  13. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    Huh. Well, I guess we can close the thread now. Mission accomplished, everyone! Pack your things!

    ;)

    No, but seriously, awesome. just for that, I will now buy it this month at the HC price instead of paperback-waiting.
  14. Mechalich Force Ghost

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    Hmm...I wonder...if you took the OT and rated it 0 and Into the Void a 1, and all the materials in between, would the graph show a steady rise as you went further backward in time? I sort of think it might.
  15. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    You tell me...

    Show Spoiler
    DotJ: Into the Void - 100

    TOR: Revan - 50
    TOR: Fatal Alliance - 75
    TOR: Deceived - 66

    Darth Bane - Series Avg - 64

    Knight Errant - 75
    Darth Plagueis* - 67
    The Cestus Deception - 80
    TCW: No Prisoners (total count) - 74
    TCW: Gambit: Stealth - 63
    TCW: Gambit: Siege - 71

    Coruscant Nights - Book Avg - 65

    Series Avg - 77

    The Last Jedi - 76

    The Force Unleashed II - 57

    Death Troopers - 60

    Shadow Games - 59

    X-Wing - Book Avg - 44
    Series Avg - 54

    Scourge - 91
    Dark Tide I: Onslaught - 64
    Dark Tide II: Ruin - 46
    Balance Point - 64
    Dark Journey - 60
    EL: Rebel Dream - 58
    EL: Rebel Stand - 60
    Traitor - 83
    Destiny's Way - 70
    FH: Remnant - 69
    FH: Refugee - 70
    FH: Reunion - 72

    NJO Series Avg - 69

    Dark Nest - 65

    LotF: Betrayal - 50
    LotF: Bloodlines - 40
    LotF: Tempest - 60
    LotF: Exile - 52
    LotF: Sacrifice - 52
    LotF: Inferno - 53
    LotF: Fury - 33
    LotF: Revelation* - 48
    LotF: Invincible - 52
    Legacy of the Force - Book Avg - 49
    Series Avg - 58

    Crosscurrent - 57

    Fate of the Jedi - Book Avg - 51
    Series Avg - 61

    Legacy comics - 73
  16. Mechalich Force Ghost

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    [IMG]

    The above graph charts the diversity score against the natural log of the BBY date for all pre-OT references (starting with Shadow Games). A linear representation of the dates was too unwieldy to try and utilize. The resulting trendline is well...not so great. More data points would help, since the majority of pre OT releases are comics, not novels (note this is not a request for some vast scoring effort, just a comment on the limits of this thought experiment).
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  17. Grand Admiral Crumb Jedi Knight

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    I think with the rising humanocentrism towards the Galactic Empire it's fair to think the galaxy's non-human population would grow more ambivalent toward the human population. It's likely to think this might not change even for quite a while after the Empire's fall, especially considering the unstable peace in the galaxy since its demise. If Disney doesn't blunder the EU out of existence we might see more diverse stories further towards, and I hope past, the Legacy comics.
  18. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    Number one: :eek:

    Number two: for whatever reason, when you said "all the materials in between", what I thought you meant was chronological order by release date, i.e. 1977-2013. You're probably on to something there (at least with the OT and its ensuing Big Three spinoffs being a leading driver of low scores), but what I'd really be interested in is whether scores have trended higher over the lifespan of the franchise. Even that could benefit from more data, of course.
    Last edited by CooperTFN, May 9, 2013
  19. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    Gah, I should start compiling a score for Legacy vol.2. Not a ton of characters introduced yet, but the inclusion of the alien governor, Sauk, Stazi, K'kruhk, AG-37, and a few others might make it score better than I think. I will give it another issue or two before starting, but hold me accountable, @CooperTFN!

    --Adm. Nick
  20. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    In the meantime you can work on creating DPs for the Bantam era. :p
  21. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    Wait, no one has done the BFC series yet, according to your list above? Holy crap, how did we miss that? It presumably scores very high. I might need to make that a project of mine.

    --Adm. Nick
  22. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    Like I said - no DPs back in those days. Someone would have to actually look at each book critically and think about who would have been there if there had been one.
    Last edited by CooperTFN, May 9, 2013
  23. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    Well, I will see what I can do. Those books are chalk full of non-human characters! I am not sure about diversity in terms of non-WHM's or women, but all NR scenes are full of non-human senators, officers, and the like. Really, in that respect, I think the BFC was ahead of it's time.

    --Adm. Nick
  24. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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  25. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    My skills are better suited for naval combat and strategy formulation, not spelling. :p

    --Adm. Nick