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Lit Ignorance is Bias: The Diversity Manifesto

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

  1. The Loyal Imperial

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

    Registered:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Han, Lando, Karrde, Booster? Boba, Jango? I'm not really seeing the similarities, unless we're using a very broad (and non-heroic) definition of fringe.
     
  2. AdmiralNick22

    AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    May 28, 2003
    If you are looking for a fantastic example of a person of color in Legacy that is a good role model, look no farther than Anj Dahl. Hotshot CF9 Crossfire pilot and the first known female commander of Rogue Squadron. I was so very pleased when they promoted Anj Dahl to Rogue Leader following Jhoram Bey's promotion to Stazi's second in command.

    --Adm. Nick
     
  3. Gorefiend

    Gorefiend Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2004
    I think in this case it was Pestage and Piett,o_O though don’t ask me for details, I literally just skimmed through the first 5 lines and immediately fled the site.
     
  4. beccatoria

    beccatoria Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Yeah I think that was me. Though obviously I'm not trying to excuse lazy and damaging stereotyping either. I think one of the things to take into account here is the scope of Legacy. It was always going to be largely about Cade, as a scoundrel in a callback to the grungier side of the galaxy that the OT introduced, (with the other largest section being the Felpire). Which isn't to say that we shouldn't think about this stuff, or that it doesn't play more poorly in the context of the entire EU than it does within the context of Legacy itself, but it's a story about criminals from the start. I don't think blanket refusing to include anything but white folks for fear of offending is really the answer in a situation like that. You can't make Jariah's character not-a-criminal, and I'm not sure making him not-black would be worth it. For it to be worth it, you'd have to think that the harm he does as in an initially stereotypical role isn't worth the positive fact that he's a detailed, well-rounded character who's clearly written with care and attention. (Although, of course, if you disagree that he comes across as a complex character with agency who is respected by the text, then that would explain our different reactions).

    Another thing is the context of Legacy itself. Skull Squadron has one several members which are from ethnic minorities. While an alien, Wolf Sazen has dark skin in human tones and I'd argue falls into that category of humanoid aliens like Ki Adi Mundi or Adi Gallia that are likely to be associated with the racial identity of the actor playing them. I think that Sinde and Dare of the IKs had darker complexions?

    I mean, even THOUGH I'm saying all of this, it's not like they took the opportunity to make Cade or Marasiah anything other than white. Or even Draco, to make a clear statement about the ongoing Imperial line. I was honestly surprised (and impressed) that they let the last Skywalker run off into the sunset with an alien.

    I'm not even really arguing that there's not a fair point to be raised about Syn's situation. But I do think in the context of all of the above, he's a good example of a situation where the character transcends the stereotype, and an example of where refusing on principle would have done nothing but ensure another white dude existed in the universe instead of a really interesting non-white one.
     
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  5. AdmiralNick22

    AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    May 28, 2003
    Until the sheer awesomness that was GAR STAZI appeared. It's no mistake that after his first appearance, originally intended to be a one off, he became one of the main supporting cast and a fan fav.

    So say we all! ^:)^

    --Adm. Nick
     
  6. The Loyal Imperial

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

    Registered:
    Nov 19, 2007
    I do disagree, which I suppose does account for a large part of the difference.
     
  7. CooperTFN

    CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus star 6 VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 1999
    We actually had a conversation about Sinde and Draco on the temp board. Nick, you did the Legacy score - do you remember what we decided on those?
     
  8. MercenaryAce

    MercenaryAce Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 10, 2005
    Don't forget that Luke was a woman at some points in the script and the original actor Lucas wanted for Obi-Wan was Asian.

    Imagine what the EU would be like today if that had been the movie that came out...not a White Human Male amongst the main heroes.

    Or would it have been too ahead of its time and not been a success at all? Even Red Tails made executives nervous because of its lack of a white male protagonist, and the seventies were worse.
     
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  9. The Loyal Imperial

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

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    Nov 19, 2007
    Not just any actor, either - Toshiro Mifune.
     
  10. CooperTFN

    CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus star 6 VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 1999
    That movie would never have come out. He barely got funded properly as it was.
     
  11. The Loyal Imperial

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

    Registered:
    Nov 19, 2007
    The inevitable eventual remake, however, is another story entirely.
     
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  12. AdmiralNick22

    AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    May 28, 2003
    In my scording, both Treis Sinde and Sigel Dare were considered white humans. Some folks thought they were tanner than others, but then again white people are not all one shade, or is any other ethic group. Some said that Treis Sinde looked Middle Eastern, IIRC. Sigel Dare has a southern European look to her as well.

    --Adm. Nick
     
  13. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Nov 28, 2000
    It depends on which issue you're looking at with Dare. In Legacy #0, she looked medium to dark-skinned, as well as in her initial appearance on Bastion, but when she was in the series with Sinde she definitely looked white.
     
  14. CooperTFN

    CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus star 6 VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 1999
    It's funny that comics can almost be harder to judge than novels; we know Kerra's intended look thanks to JJM, but in the books she's gone from Idina Menzel to Halle Berry.
     
  15. Gorefiend

    Gorefiend Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2004
    She seems to also have done a brief stint as Michelle Rodriguez in the Escape arc
     
  16. TheRedBlade

    TheRedBlade Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Didn't Jania get bumped up to Rouge Leader early in CivWar2?

    We meet Han at the point that he gets out of the drug-running trade, and Lando after he's gone respectable. Karrde, as I still picture him, is a dapper crime lord, not a street thug. But I think Syn would look right at home in the Mos Eisley Cantina or Jabba's Court.
     
  17. Robimus

    Robimus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Yeah, my take on Sinde was that he was black. I never even thought of him as being another skintone until someone brought it up here. None the less to me he's definitly not white. I kinda see Sam Jackson from Black Snake Moan there.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Speaking of diversity, looks like colors are back on the JC. Whee.
     
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  19. Todd the Jedi

    Todd the Jedi Mod and Soliloquist of SWTV star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Oct 16, 2008
    I guess Sinde having white hair colors my perceptions, no pun intended. Looking back he is indeed darker skinned, enough to be considered black. There's a lot of panels with him next to Sigel, who is clearly white, where Sinde looks significantly more dark-skinned. Sigel might be tan, but Sinde is definitely black, IMO.
     
  20. AdmiralNick22

    AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    May 28, 2003
    In this pic, he doesn't look African American to me.

    [​IMG]

    Tan, not black.

    --Adm. Nick
     
  21. CooperTFN

    CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus star 6 VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 1999
    Middle Eastern is my feeling. Even in his darker interpretations, it seems like a different tone of brown than "African" would be.
     
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  22. The Loyal Imperial

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

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    Nov 19, 2007
    How about we just copy-paste the last time we had this discussion? :p
     
  23. CooperTFN

    CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus star 6 VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 1999
    Heh. Someone should just dig up John's A&A thread and ask him.

    *nudge*
     
  24. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    I think Sinde looks more Middle Eastern. I'd disagree with Becca that Draco's white, too -- he appears Hispanic or perhaps otherwise Mediterranean to me.
    [​IMG]

    And while Kol, Cade, Nat, Roan, and Sia might have been white, we do appear to get our first minority Skywalker descendant in Legacy -- Roan's cousin Mohrgan Fel. So I'd argue that all of our senior Imperial Knights so far have been minorities.

    [​IMG]
     
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  25. The Loyal Imperial

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

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    Nov 19, 2007
    And so it was done.