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Lit Ignorance is Bias: The Diversity Manifesto

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

  1. MercenaryAce

    MercenaryAce Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 10, 2005
    There were some brunettes in Corruption.

    Personally....I am going to chalk it up to models. I mean, even beyond the diversity in skin color, the Mandos all had the same face and wore the same stupid jumpsuit, whereas the Onderonians have a wide array of detailed clothing.
     
  2. Likewater

    Likewater Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 31, 2009
    is not that another type of lack of diversity?

    "Naziesque" as the default bad guy? Why not a GFFA version of American antibellum aristocracy? Or ________-mans "Burden" of imperious expansionsim? Makes you almost miss the days of default russkie badguys from the cold war era! Look they space nazis!

    I know George Lucas is a Babyboomer and that generation was a direct spawn of World War II generation but fiction and well as fiction writers need to expand their horizons.

    Can we get a Space Sun Tzu? Space Kublikhan? Space Shaka Zulu? Space Napolion? Space Tokegawa?

    Is there a trope that states "Literary writers will only uses historical allusions from European and North American history circa 1920 to 1945?"
     
  3. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 30, 2000
    No offense but the Mandalorians as Nazis were after an exceptionally long period of evil corporations, weird aliens, and the Yuuzhan Vong.
     
  4. Mia Mesharad

    Mia Mesharad Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Didn't that turn out to be not Taung, though, just a society they had passed and taught some of their traditions while on their way to pre-Mandalore?

    That was one of the worst elements of TCW's Mandalorian-based changes. The damage to the planet was a stupid and unnecessary but superficial thing, and though the introduction of pacifism was ham-fisted in its delivery, it was an interesting concept.

    But prior to TCW, the Mandalorians were one of the most diverse societies in all of Star Wars. There were humans and aliens living together in equality: Calibops were on the same footing as Bothans, Togorians side by side with Devaronians, and Humans treated the same as Mandallians. The humans themselves were of multiple real world ethnicities. Black, white, Maori...with red hair, and blonde hair, and black hair, and multi-colored eyes. And even then, race had no real importance to the people themselves. Families were not only interracial, but interspecies. A black father who had adopted a white son, and a white father who had adopted Maori sons and a Twi'lek daughter. Gender role expectations were identical, too. Men and women were both allowed to be soldiers, parents, craftsmen, farmers—anyone could be anything. And homosexuality was not only tolerated, but fully integrated and welcome.

    TCW was awful in that regard. The New Mandalorian Royal Guard are explicitly all men, and the police have all been male as well. Not even Death Watch had any female members until Katee Sackhoff was cast and they could replicate her model. Instead of a diverse crowd of aliens, every one is human. Not a single person of color, either: everyone is white. Fair skin, blue eyes, and blonde hair are the overwhelming majority, with a brunette sprinkled here and there, and only a single person with red hair. And it was a specific choice to make everyone so, as revealed in the Creating Mandalore featurette from Season 2's DVDs. They decided Mandalore was going to be the white planet. And that sucks.
     
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  5. Likewater

    Likewater Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 31, 2009
    And the empire being the original space nazis?

    ticking off every nazi meritbage on the nazi scouts? It is something that is repeatedly done in Star Wars.
     
  6. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

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    Jul 30, 2000
    Yea and the Empire has never used the elements the Mandalorians had.
     
  7. The Loyal Imperial

    The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Please, no. No. No. A thousand times, no. Not until we're a long, long way past "Asians and black people aren't human because they look different and sound funny."
     
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  8. Esg

    Esg Jedi Knight star 4

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    Sep 2, 2012
    IB4 SW version of Ming the Merciless
     
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  9. The Loyal Imperial

    The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Don't give them ideas. They already have too many.
     
  10. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

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    Jul 30, 2000
    Besides, we already have HAD most of them.

    Especially Space Zulu.

    The irony is that people seem to have missed them because they were aliens.
     
  11. Esg

    Esg Jedi Knight star 4

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    Sep 2, 2012
    The difference being the species currently being discussed were indistinguishable from mainstream humanity and are just not Human just becuse
     
  12. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 30, 2000
    I am curious, seriously, whether there was anything racist about the Space Mongolians other than the fact they're Space Mongolians.
     
  13. Mia Mesharad

    Mia Mesharad Jedi Master star 4

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    Sep 2, 2012
    Are you referring to the Ming Po when you say Space Mongolians?

    The racist issue is that when they make these visually Asian characters, or black character in the case of Adi Gallia, to be something other than human, the implicit message is that white is the human norm and those who do not conform to that are somehow alien.
     
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  14. RC-1991

    RC-1991 Jedi Master star 4

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    Dec 2, 2009
    With the space Zulu, I think that Chuck is referring to the Amanin, particularly that one arc of Empire where "Tank" Sunber reenacts the movie Zulu, with the Amanin filling in the titular role.
     
  15. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

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    Jul 30, 2000
    Wouldn't a better message be taken from that that aliens and humans are identical so there's no need to create arbitrary labels?
     
  16. Esg

    Esg Jedi Knight star 4

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    Sep 2, 2012
    I don't see it
     
  17. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

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    Jul 30, 2000
    Adi Gallia is a near-human. Mace Windu is a human. An Epicanthix is a human except for something similarly arbitrary.

    Twileks can interbreed with humans and produce Twileks.

    Isn't the greater lesson differences are purely make-believe.

    Ahsoka being an alien could have made her less of a role model for girls but she's treated as identical to a 15 year old girl in virtually all respects.

    "Racism is bad" is something that Lucasfilm clings to pretty hard in the series.
     
  18. Jeff_Ferguson

    Jeff_Ferguson Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 15, 2006
    Sure, credit goes to them for making Ahsoka a non-Human, but that's an entirely separate argument. What Bella and others are emphasizing is how incredibly problematic it is to create a culture of white Aryan Humans and call them Human, and then to create a culture of Asian Humans and call them not Human. It's a reflection of an out-of-date Occidental, colonial, and even racist idea that white is the norm, and that's a very different discussion than the "We need more non-Human main characters" one. Making Ahsoka a Togruta may say "Racism in the Star Wars universe is bad," but making the Ming Po non-Human is saying "Racism in the real world is OK."
     
  19. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

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    Jul 30, 2000
    Are Mandalorians human in the Star Wars universe or are they mandalorians?

    This is a serious question that could well end up being that given the Nightsisters aren't human.
     
  20. Jeff_Ferguson

    Jeff_Ferguson Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 15, 2006
    The sw.com profiles on Satine, Almec, and that loser kid all say Human. But given how subject everything is to whim and revisionism on that show, even Obi-Wan might end up being a member of the Stewjonian species by next month.
     
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  21. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 30, 2000
    They could all be Epicanthix.

    Filthy Epicanthix.

    We need to go need write-ups talking about that vile race.
     
  22. Mia Mesharad

    Mia Mesharad Jedi Master star 4

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    Sep 2, 2012
    Species traits aren't the same as demonyms. It would be different if they said Ming Po was the name the people referred to themselves as, while genetically they were still human. Instead, they decreed that all of these people were of a different species entirely, which itself is known as the Ming Po race. They could theoretically save themselves with a later retcon clarification that that's what they had been intending, but just based on the way these things have been handled previously, it's much more likely that the powers that be don't even see the mistake they've made, and if they do, don't see it as a legitimate mistake that would require fixing.

    Also, the Nightsisters are actually a religion, and therefore like the Mandalorians, theoretically open to anyone who elects to join the group.
     
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  23. CooperTFN

    CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus star 6 VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 1999
    Oh my god please let that be the plot of Crucible.
     
  24. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

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    Jul 30, 2000
    I dunno, I just assumed they were Hobbit-sized aliens who were just possessed of Mongolian features and culture.

    I suppose the racism comes in the fact that these are probably the ONLY Asians in Star Wars other than Bultar Swan and "Guy in A-Wing" from Return of the Jedi.
     
  25. Esg

    Esg Jedi Knight star 4

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    Sep 2, 2012
    And Echu if you want completion