Lit Sexualizing in EU–does it fit Star Wars?

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Revanfan1, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. Revanfan1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    This has been on my mind for a while so I decided to bring it up here. There has been a lot of sexualizing of women in the EU–especially by certain authors. Does this fit with the theme of Star Wars?

    In the first two movies, ANH and ESB, there was nothing sexualized about Leia; she wore full-body outfits that never even revealed her ankles, AFAIK; she was basically a Mennonite with a gun. The closest thing to a "revealing" outfit she wore was the semi-low-cut dress in the ceremony scene at the end of ANH. She was never looked at as a symbol of sexual desires but one of power. Sure, Han and Leia kiss, but any kid with a mommy and daddy had seen kissing before. It was not until ROTJ, when Carrie Fisher claimed she didn't have enough interesting outfits, that the designers got "creative" with her–that, of course, being the slave bikini. Leia, who had for so long been a symbol of power and a role model, was suddenly a sex symbol amongst male fans, to the point where there is even a fan site dedicated to Leia's Metal Bikini.

    This, in turn, led to a vague sexualizing of Padme in the PT. There was nothing revealing about her outfits in TPM, but by AOTC she wore two blue outfits with the midriff bare, one cut high and one cut very low:

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    This is not to make mention of her back-baring dress on Naboo or the black dinner dress that was the worst possible thing to wear in front of a hormone-crazed Anakin. Then, on Geonosis, she wore a very tight, white outfit that conveniently gets its middle cut out by a Nexu. (How does that happen, anyways?)

    Now, I understand that this does seem to be a theme in Star Wars since ROTJ. But...has it become over-done in EU? Let me elaborate. Of all the outfits above, only Leia's drew attention to her...well, I'll be blunt–her breasts. Padme's all drew attention to her midriff instead, save for the dinner dress, which was just plain tight everywhere.

    In EU, however, authors seem most happy to focus on breasts; in the first X-Wing book, it is stated that Erisi has her flight suit unzipped enough that Corran can see a lot of her cleavage. In the next book she was wearing a disguise that left little to the imagination. In the fourth book, it is stated that most Thyferran women wear extremely revealing "costumes."

    Then there are Denning's books–oh, there are Denning's books. How do I begin? Well, the first time we see Alema and Numa Rar, they're both dressed in "dancing shifts," which wouldn't be all that uncommon for Twi'leks, but it just gets worse from there. Alema touches Anakin in ways that suggested to Han "she knew more than he was comfortable telling Anakin about" or something like that. Then in the DNT, Alema gets it all out. From wearing a spacesuit so small it'll "rip if she leaned over" to the jacket unzipped all the way down to her navel, it's all there. And then in Invincible, Tahiri gets the same treatment, seducing Ben Skywalker while dressed like this. Or Leia and Han joking about bondage, or Leia dressed as a sexy, sexy alien in a tube top and Daisy Dukes.

    And one of the biggest books to do this is the MedStar duology–though it can be partially forgiven for at least being a M.A.S.H. reference. From Jos walking in on Tolk while she's mostly naked in the changing room, to Barriss meditating naked just out of the shower, it's all there.

    I'm sure there are more examples out there *cougcoughLegacycoughcough*, but I think I've given you sufficient examples to know what I'm talking about. So: discuss.
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  2. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    I think sex has a place in Star Wars but it should remain PG because it's a children's story and the NJO is a disastrous display of how "darker and edgier" fails.

    I'm okay with the James Bond movies, though, level of "fade to black."
  3. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    The sexualization of Padme in AOTC was intentional from what I read; she had feelings for Anakin and didn't want to acknowledge that, but it came out in the way she dressed while he was around. I can understand that and it doesn't bother me.

    I haven't read a lot of the material you mentioned but it does seem, based on several descriptions on this forum, that the post-NJO EU gets more sexualized and in weird out-of-character ways. (Leia in Daisy Dukes? Really??)

    What's funny is that The Approaching Storm has Anakin, Luminara and Barriss all stripping to their underwear, with Luminara dancing on the backs of several bovine-type creatures wearing only her skivvies, and it's not sexual at all.
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  4. Revanfan1 Force Ghost

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    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    Yeah, I remember that and it wasn't in the least dwelled on in a way that would suggest the author intended anything sexual.
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  5. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    It was convenience. Clothes got in the way. And I think Anakin and Barriss were bathing; that's not normally done with clothes on. I found it funny that they didn't even notice each other though.

    Karen Miller's TCW novels had a couple of hot Anakin/Padme scenes, one involving Anakin talking about what tasted better than chichi berries, but they were newlyweds.
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  6. Sandtrooper92 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2013
    star 2
    No. It cheapens the product. I think it is analogous to modern day comic books. You can't go into a comic book store without seeing that sort of thing. The same goes for the amount of gore seen in comic books.

    Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk 2
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  7. Trip Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2003
    star 4
    I don't really feel like wearing clothing that bares more than one's hands, feet, or face is inherently "sexualizing".
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  8. Revanfan1 Force Ghost

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    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    I read those books but I can't recall that. Hmm. Well, at least Anakin and Tahiri's romance will forever be held in our hearts as the innocent romance of young teens–they truly loved each other, not just something the other had.

    And no, it's not–there's nothing wrong with sleeveless shirts or a short skirt, or even a V-neck, but when it goes as far as dipping "all the way below the navel" or "Daisy Dukes and tube top at age 60" it gets a bit much.
    Last edited by Revanfan1, Aug 31, 2013
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  9. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I don't either. The way the scene is written becomes sexualizing. I don't inherently find that a problem either, as long as the sexualization fits the scene and isn't gratuitous and the characters are in character.
  10. squir1y Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 1, 2003
    star 2
    In The Empire Strikes Back, we saw Luke in his underwear in a bacta tank. Double standard... Haha kidding

    I remember in the Jango Fett/Zam Wesell comic duology, we saw Zam naked when she was transforming back to human form from a Dug form. She quipped to Jango that,"A real gentleman turns his back when a lady changes." And he says,"I'm no gentleman. And that's not that kind of changing most people talk about." Thought that was funny.

    Sexualizing Star Wars doesn't bother me as long as it's not too graphic. Save that for the hormone-fueled teenage fan-fiction writers. I've seen some weird ones...
  11. Revanfan1 Force Ghost

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    Jun 3, 2013
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    I agree with this–The Approaching Storm being one such example–but I will say that many times, maybe even most times, when the characters are in revealing outfits it is for sexual purposes.
  12. squir1y Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 1, 2003
    star 2
    A lot of times, it's a question of perspective. This pic may be more love-oriented, but I find it to be quite sexy

    [IMG]
  13. Revanfan1 Force Ghost

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    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    You're right, it's partially perspective, because I only see two lovers kissing. Though I could see why someone would think that–Jaina's posture, in addition to the fact that she's wearing a low-cut tank top, could be considered sexual. I don't see it that way, personally, just as some others might not consider what I consider too much sexual content to be anything.
  14. squir1y Force Ghost

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    Feb 1, 2003
    star 2
    A wise man once said,"Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view."
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  15. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    Just gonna leave this here.

    [IMG]
  16. AnakinColodin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2009
    star 2
    I actually Just reread that book. It was Anakin, Luminara, Barriss and Obi-wan all stripping down. They had been riding several days on a prairie and had to also run away from some predators prior to this scene, so they were covered in dirt, dust, there own sweat plus Subaatar sweat. They are cleaning themselves off and the animals as well, in fact Obi-wan starts to you the force to shoot jets of water against the Subaatars sides and Anakin and Barriss start using the same force technique to splash each other. It was actually a cool little scene and nothing sexual about it even with two 18-19 year old Padawans in having a splash fight. Anakin got a rare chance to act like a kid again. came off much like a family day at the lake or the beach with the two kids playing, Luminara releaxing and Obi-wan doing something practical.

    That book has some great little moments for Anakin before everything major starts to happen(this is the mission they had just returned from at the beginning of AOTC.) The Yiwa clan makes them perform at dinner in order to get directions from to where the overclan might be so you get Anakin singing a song that Shmi used to sing to him, Barris doing a gymnastics routine with lightsaber, Obi-wan tells a story and Luminara does a very intricate display of telekenisis using sand
    Last edited by AnakinColodin, Aug 31, 2013
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  17. FTeik Force Ghost

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    Nov 7, 2000
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    Wouldn't Jaina need a ladder or a box to stand on, considering her official height? :confused:
  18. AnakinColodin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2009
    star 2
    She is about 1.49 meters tall per Wookiepedia which is 4 feet and about 9 inches tall, Jag is listed at 1.79 meters tall as the tallest that Wookiepedia gives with the shortest being 1.6. so Jag is anywere from 5 feet 2 inches tall to 5 feet 8 iches tall meaning either Jag is short like Uncle Wedge or he is tall like Soontir. I am going to go with the taller estimate for him as he is not described as being below average height. My sister is just under 5 feet tall and her husband is 6 foot 2 inches tall and she kissed him at there wedding fine without wearing high heels.
    Last edited by AnakinColodin, Aug 31, 2013
  19. Rogue_Follower Manager Emeritus

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    Fixed.
  20. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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  21. AlyxDinas Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2010
    star 4
    Execution of content always trumps the content itself. Sex or anything of the like is one the table, I'd say, so long as we're not dealing with explicit material. Writing has no limits, even in an IP like this. The only "limit" to writing is the talent of the writer.
  22. AnakinColodin Jedi Grand Master

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    Jul 28, 2009
    star 2
    Cad Banes Parents!
    Last edited by AnakinColodin, Aug 31, 2013
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  23. kataja Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2007
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    This is really a difficult topic, as "sexualizing" is often more a hot topic than a matter that's really properly analyzed. For many, sex in itself it problematic, other times, sexualization is equalled to 'objectification* (usually of women) which in torn is equalled as bad and supressing. I mostly respect the first in the name of modesty and personal lines, though I myself am very pro talking about sexual matters - the latter can really irk me, as it's often done in the name of protecting women. That said, we also DO live in a world where women are seen as objects-of-sex-only, which is (IMO as in probably most people on these forums) a bad thing.

    In general, I think it's very much allright to show sexuality in EU and I don't mind mentionnings of scatinly clad women in novels. Not when said women as shown strongvilled and capable. To me that's the key. Ok, I don't mind one Oola either (I have no clue of her personality -she might have been stongwilled too - bit we really don't see enough of her to knowr, do we?) but I'm happy we don't see many of her. She IS an object (by her lack of displayed subject). Leia in ROTJ - on the other hand - is a NOT! She is a subject that can be objectified - but when done so, without loosing one bit of her integrity!! Point it - objectification - or sexualization - isn't bad in itself. Not at all. We're all objects - objects of desire is just one thing. The customer I meet at job is an object. The actor I adore in an object. The man before me at the queu at supermarked who can't find his purse when he's supposed to pay and seriously delays my homecoming schedule is a very annoying object. Objectification isn't bad, unless it prevents me from seeing the subject behind. The man I'm married to was an object to me for years ( a shield for loneliness, an object of desire, a poetential husband) until he forced me through blood and tears to see all the aspects of his real subject. In short - I don't see it as problematic if a woman is shown desirable - as long as she has enough character display to balance it. Leia definitely has that. Jaina was a fresh page for a long time - but as the EU has progressed, she has proven herself able to carry it too.

    I can still get annoyed of Mara Jade's leather catsuit - becasue it's so darned unrealistic!!! I don't mind her being a beautiful woman ( if we really want to banish sexualization, then we should only write about really ugly people!!) . I don't mind her getting into situations where her sexulaity or looks are at display. But I want to see her mind when she does, I want to get into her head - and I want to see those situations pulled of with some style.

    I never minded Nathalies Portmans bare belly (save that it was sooo typical for the time the films were released) - but I did mind the theater costumes she rocked around in most of the time. And I minded the lack of her voice in ROTS!
  24. Revanfan1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    Mara's catsuit annoys the fire out of me–why? Because it's not the way she was written in Zahn's book, it clearly said she had sleeves–she would have to, to have a sleeve gun!

    It was typical of that time, wasn't it? You couldn't watch a movie, TV show, or cartoon at the time without seeing a girl's belly button. I don't think I even noticed the first time I watched AOTC–I was only eight years old at the time and girls were "icky" at that age–but I definitely noticed by the time I was ten or twelve. Then again, I noticed Leia just fine at that time, too...

    But anyways, I feel like the authors usually keep a fine balance in their inclusions of sexual content–except, as before said, Denning.
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  25. kataja Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2007
    star 4
    That said, I'm sick and tired of so called "strongwilled women" too. Like was having a strong will the passport to being treated fairly!

    But there's really so many clichees when we discuss these things so whatever we say, we get caught in our own words! I'm not going to glorify Denning - but why is him writing about a woman who wares a tight suit worse that Mara's kriffing catsuit??? The problem with the catsuit isn't even that it's tight - it's the lack of sleeves, the idea that it by any chance could be leather (!) and the lack of sleeve blaster. And of course the handy lack of tunic which she Wears in the novel but was handily left out in the comics :rolleyes:

    And indeed, that's not even a big problem - let the boys drool ( I certainly drool over Mark Hamill) . It's ok, really it is! As long as she gets a proper character arch!
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