Speculation Should there be gay characters in the ST?

Discussion in 'Star Wars: Episode VII and Beyond (Archive)' started by Jedi Mountain, Nov 12, 2012.

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  1. A Chorus of Disapproval New Films Riot Deterrent

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    Since the semantic-based arguments flow like fine wine in here, I will rephrase: Will there be left handed Irish-American immigrants as characters in the ST? I'm hoping for proper representation. I'd like a Lebanese female to represent my wife, too.
  2. LawJedi Force Ghost

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    @Pfluegermeister I disagree with your premise that "political correctness" is a filter through which artists are forced to reshape their art. Artists can figure out on their own how to portray all kinds of different perspectives. I would argue that, in terms of LGBT represenations in pop culture and arts, its the taboos and cultural finger wagging of the last century that have kept gay representation on a subtextual level.
  3. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    Considering women actually are underrepresented in film this is probably not the best equivalence fallacy to use.
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  4. Jango_Fett21 Force Ghost

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    What relevance does this question even have to ANYTHING having to do with SW and E7?
  5. A Chorus of Disapproval New Films Riot Deterrent

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    Sure it is, because neither of us actually care if we show up in a universe inhabited by frogling Jedi masters or Wookies. Asking for a Lebanese woman to inhabit a world where the average woman is actually a Twilek or a Hutt isn't reasonable. While I know you were being sardonic, I actually agree with you about heterosexuality in SW films. I could not possibly care less if there are any relationships on any level between any people in the new films.
  6. A Chorus of Disapproval New Films Riot Deterrent

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    Politicking presented as speculation.
  7. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    Well if we're going to engage her argument seriously, things like Crohn's and breast cancer (and physical disabilities, for that matter) were probably expunged long ago by modern medicine. There's a logical reason they wouldn't be around in the films. While it's very fair to point out that the SW films don't engage with second- and third-tier characters' romantic enterprises pretty much at all, and therefore happening upon a gay couple may not be statistically likely, I think the sticking point for a lot of people is that avoiding homosexuality as thoroughly as SW has is, indeed, tantamount to calling it an illness--insofar as it doesn't appear to exist at this point in GFFA human society.

    The amount of humans we've seen in the movies altogether really isn't that enormous, so a statistical argument could also be made that Lando didn't need to be black to prove that black people exist in Star Wars, but Lucas obviously decided that it was better to engage the complaint head-on and, yes, shoehorn a black person in there to demonstrate that this is a progressive culture.

    This is why I titled the diversity thread in Lit "Ignorance is Bias" - I think that very few people here, if anyone, would actually prefer Star Wars to engage in the hot-button political advocacy that so many are afraid of. But not dealing with gay people whatsoever isn't neutrality; it's implicit advocacy in the other direction. In three films, I'll grant you, it's not necessarily a huge problem. In nine, it starts to stand out. To say nothing of hundreds of tie-in stories.
    Last edited by CooperTFN, Nov 13, 2012
  8. Jango_Fett21 Force Ghost

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    Sexual orientation has never even once entered into the equation when it comes to the SW universe, so I see absolutely no reason why someone would even ask this type of question other than to 'stir the pot'.
  9. Pfluegermeister Chosen One

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    It's not my premise; I was just trying to mediate because I was getting the sense that people were beginning to suspect that Chorus of Disapproval was saying things he really wasn't. I just didn't think he was equating homosexuality with disease, and someone was suggesting he was. I just think he was asking the question: as you say, artists can figure out on their own what to do, but if someone asks if there will be characters in that art representing any certain interest, then exactly how much consideration does the artist owe the person asking that question? Should he/she be allowed to make the decision entirely on their own? If they decide for it, so much the better, but if they decide against it, does that lessen the art for the person who asked the question to begin with? Or is the art something that need not be saddled with such questions in the first place?
  10. A Chorus of Disapproval New Films Riot Deterrent

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    I agree with this to an extent... the sole extent being that we are talking about films not grounded in human reality. Or, at least, should not be... It sucks that there was a time when there had to be a Han/Leia "romance" in order to appeal to a specific audience, but we would probably much better served to not know what constitutes 'sexuality' in this fictional galaxy. Asexual, reproduction through livestock, intercourse with plant life, midichlorian conception, the list can go as far as an imagination would allow. I agree about the lack of diversity, but to pursue diversity of 'human' variants in a world that works best when it isn't so limited to 'humans' doesn't fix the much more important condition/reality of discrimination here on earth. I'm all for it if it somehow fits a story, but my sole argument in this thread is there are a lot of other voices not being represented that are not ever even remotely considered. If we want diversity, it should be diversity. Not 1 and some of the other.
  11. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    Except art is a reflection of the times, and consequently a "non-statement" is a statement, of a sort, since these considerations are far more widespread than they used to be. There is no such thing as non-political art.
    Last edited by Ramza, Nov 13, 2012
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  12. LawJedi Force Ghost

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    That's the artist's burden. If an artist decides to make a SW movie where the only female characters are chained to a train track and saved by the male hero, I'm damn sure going to be upset. Not just because of representation, but because art represents ideas, and I would disagree with the ideas behind that art (barring reasonable context: see racial issues in Cloud Atlas). Every audience member has that right, just as everyone has the right to think that Anakin was a poorly acted/written role.

    The lgbt community is undeniably statistically less likely to have representation, as this thread has discussed. But it's also easy to argue that it wouldn't require something so huge to slip in a little cultural relevance. But instead of bickering about that, wouldn't a better question be (for those willing to even discuss) how this community could be represented in SW in an artistically interesting way?
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  13. A Chorus of Disapproval New Films Riot Deterrent

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    Now, that I completely agree with.
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  14. Saurion-Fett Force Ghost

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  15. A Chorus of Disapproval New Films Riot Deterrent

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    I was just gonna say that about Shmi and her midichlorian 'beard' story. :p
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  16. Pfluegermeister Chosen One

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    There are countless examples of art where political considerations are not the primary considerations, though. Close Encounters of the Third Kind is not primarily about poltiics, though it does ask political questions - How much should a government conceal from the people if aliens were coming, if anything? Is a government the right sort of people to be overseeing first contact in the first place? Frida Kahlo did political art because she and her husband Diego Rivera were active Communists who gladly devoted their time and talent to their cause, but her primary focus in her art was deep personal and emotional concerns (her stillborn child, her physical injuries, her sense of alienation and rejection, her tortured relationship with her husband), rather than political ones. Albert Bierstadt and the Hudson River School never really worked politics into their gorgeous landscapes. King Kong can have political allegory read into it, no doubt, but politics isn't really a concern for that film. Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen is partly political and can also have political allegory read into it (and Wagner as a person was nothing if not political), but it is primarily a mythic multi-generational family saga dealing with deep psychological and emotional issues. Art is replete with examples of work that may dip its toe in politics but is nonetheless not compelled to make a "statement" or "non-statement" if the work in question just primarily isn't about that.
  17. LawJedi Force Ghost

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    No one will ever be able to convince that scene wasn't incredibly flirtatious. "Jango, your clones are very impressive." *wink* "Always a pleasure to meet a Jedi."
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  18. A Chorus of Disapproval New Films Riot Deterrent

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    Don't undersell the Jango 'firing off' a phallic projectile at ObiWan before they both rolled around together soaking wet...
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  19. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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  20. LawJedi Force Ghost

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    I undersell nothing.[face_mischief]
  21. Tim Battershell Force Ghost

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    I know some gay people -- my opinion is that their private lives are their business, no one elses.
  22. The-Eternal-Hero Force Ghost

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    Holy Cow, this is six pages long???

    Slow news week.

    The bottom line is that the Saga might be jam packed with LGBT but we'll never know since SW isn't about deep interpersonal relationships (and look where that got us, "Hold me, like you did by the lake on Naboo, when there was nothing but our love!") or sexual politics.
  23. Jinn-N-Tonic Force Ghost

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    I thought C-3P0 was suppose to be gay.
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  24. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    New proposition: raising the subject of homosexual SW characters is always worthwhile, if only for inching us the tiniest bit further past thinking gay-droid jokes are still funny.
  25. Big Bad Yoda Daddy Force Ghost

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    Here's the thing, if we're going for representation - well, there's a line. How do we decide which groups are showcased in the movie? Need more women? Gay characters? Old characters? Handicapped characters? Polygamist characters? Characters of any number of ethnic descents? At what point do we say "the story just doesn't need this"?

    If we're going for accuracy, well, the latest number I've seen is that 4% of American males identify as gay. (And, to be brutally honest, we would need gay men because if we included lesbians, it wouldn't be seen as inclusion, it would be seen as pandering to a majority male audience's sense of "hot.") So, with that number, and assuming with the percentages that the gay character is able to find a suitable partner within the universe, we should see 12 straight couples, and 1 gay couple.

    That said, I can think of only four on-screen couples: Owen and Beru, Bail and Mrs. Organa, and of course - Han and Leia, Anakin and Padme. Of those couples, only two were really important. IF there is another love story in the next trilogy, statistics would say that it should be a straight couple.

    Now, I'm not against gay characters being included in popular media. I think what many are saying is that, in a series like Star Wars, where there just aren't that many romances, a gay romance would feel far too forced. If it makes sense in the universe, by all means, include it. What I don't want to see is a gay romance for the sake of a gay romance. How I Met Your Mother did it wonderfully with the character of James. There are so many romances in the story that the absence of a gay character really would seem fishy. Harry Potter did it wonderfully with Dumbledore. I called him being gay long before Rowling announced it - and by the seventh book it really is obvious. However, it's never explicitly stated because, within the story - it just doesn't matter. He's a strong, character, who just happens to be gay instead of a strong, gay person, who just happens to be a character.

    Hope that makes sense.
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