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Lit Diversity in SW Lit - Coop's Temporary Whining Thread

Discussion in 'Expanded Universe' started by CooperTFN, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. Kais Jai Sheelal Jedi Grand Master

    I think we need to look at this from a Star Wars angle and not from a Hunger Games angle. Is this relevent to Star Wars?

    In some ways I guess it is. The OT gave us Luke, Han and Leia as the principle heroes, with Han & Leia getting together their children were also white. Luke married a white lady as well.

    That said the main villians of Star Wars from the OT were all white guys. Palpatine. Tarkin, Vader, Fett. Only Jabba breaks the mold.

    I don't know that this is a huge issue in Star Wars. Nobody was upset when Lando or Mace Windu got their own books or series. In fact I think people would love to see more of that.

    In Ahsoka, TCW's gives us an orange skinned girl with headtails as a main character. Anybody upset about that? If there is I haven't seen it.
  2. GenAntilles Jedi Master

    Yeah I can't think of anything in Star Wars where people were upset at a particular character's race.

    If the author described the character and the visual reflects the authors description then any argument against that visual representation it is stupid, and if it is because of race it is racist and stupid.
  3. shepherd492 Jedi Master

    Could that be because Star Wars is a visual presentation that is then translated onto print, which is the opposite of Hunger Games? Would it be different if Star Wars started as books, and was adapted to movies? Would people who read the books prior to seeing this new star wars movie be outraged when Lando turned out to be a black guy, when they had him pictured as white (despite what the author may have described him as being within the books.)
  4. manisphere Jedi Master

    I could see it happening. But I would like to think that SW fans wouldn't be shocked or put off in that situation. I'd like to think that we're a bit more open minded. Maybe I'm wrong. If you give as much credence to the Force as we do, it shouldn't be an issue. You know. Crude matter and all that.
  5. shepherd492 Jedi Master

    There are idiots in every major fandom out there (and probably most smaller ones too.) I think death threats and the like are just as disgusting as what we are discussing here. I guess what I mean is, yeah, Star Wars fans shouldn't be offended by something like that, and most probably wouldn't, but there are always fools who latch on to major properties and mess it up for everyone else.
  6. CooperTFN Jedi Grand Master

    The way this issue tends to translate most directly into SW is with the reference material. There are a lot of novel-only characters - Cal Omas, for example - who could look like pretty much anything. Many people may picture them as white, but some could easily picture them as nonwhite and no one could tell them otherwise. If that were the end of it, then maybe it wouldn't be that big of a deal.

    But sooner or later someone ends up in an Essential Guide. Because most of the creators are themselves white, and there's nothing to contradict them, they go ahead and assume the person is white. This drags on for ten or twenty years, and next thing you know you've got a cast that looks like this:

  7. The Loyal Imperial Census & Games General Manager

    Or, in other words: seven white males, two white females (one dead), a fish, and a lizard.

    Also an oddly accurate description of the average dramatis personae...
  8. shepherd492 Jedi Master

    Is the person to the right of Saba (or whoever) an alien? I can't really tell. Either way it is pretty embarrassing. I can buy the general lack of difference in skin tone in the Star Wars universe (evolution or planetary climates or whatever) but there is no reason for all the Jedi to be human.
  9. The Loyal Imperial Census & Games General Manager

    That's Streen. He's human.
  10. CooperTFN Jedi Grand Master

    The hardest thing to deal with about that picture is that you can't point the finger at any one person. Not the artist, and not even (necessarily) the creators of those characters. "I'm white, so I assume characters are white" is not an unreasonable way to feel, but when that remains the prevailing attitude for long enough, this is just the natural result.
  11. The Loyal Imperial Census & Games General Manager

    Here's another (perhaps even more unfortunate) example, from Warfare.

  12. Dr. Steve Brule Jedi Master

    Jaime Lannister?
  13. Skaddix Jedi Knight

    Look Part of the Problem is at least for Books in America your conditioned to think white until its made absolutely clear they are not white which can be difficult especially for star wars. If I want to do it for modern lit, I just say African American, Chinese, Arab and etc u get the idea. Or I give them in obviously Chinese name although I should note this is not absolute. Some Harry Potter Fans were to dumb to figure out Cho Chang was Asian. Seriously it does not get more obvious then that and their in Britain so its not like there are no Asian People in the country. So for Star Wars its hard because u cannot use any of that and if u just use Brown or some descriptor somebody else will come by and make them white no doubt assuming they have a tan. So its tricky. Heck in the Hunger Games this was spelled out in the most obvious fashion and some readers missed it and went on racist twitter rants. Sure Cinna is unclear but Rue and Thresh were explicit.

    That does not excuse though the utter lack of diversity. John and Jan have created more nonwhite characters of note then Del Rey at least has ever done and definetly more then anyone else in recent times in the EU. So they deserve a round of applause.

    Now why there are reasons for demographics on Earth, none of those reasons exist in Star Wars Universe. I should also note we also deal with some disturbing basic Science Fails. Like How Every Hapes Person is White which is BS, Planet skin tones don't work like that in fact that its basically always Light on Hapes would tend to darken skin tones. Also overassinging of near human. Okay the Chiss that makes sense but come on most of them get that label for one or two minor gene differences like poor night vision, or always force sensitive.

    Now Another Problem is we basically focus on the Skywalker Clan so that now fills in your Dramtis with Luke, Jaina, Ben, Leia, Allana and Han Solo all white of course but that is six right there.

    Still it boils down to a lack of effort. I mean really ignoring Dawn of Jedi which seems to have produced one top tier Black and one top tier Asian Jed'aii. When was the last time we saw a Nonwhite Human Jedi who was lets be generous a one tenth as good as Mace Windu created by Del Rey because I sure as heck cannot. Lando and Chance are basically the only ones in the entire galaxies and they are not to our knowledge force sensitive.
  14. Skaddix Jedi Knight

    Double Post
  15. Skaddix Jedi Knight

    Still Good Topic I suppose. I just people of not besides John and Jan regularly commented.

    Which remind me Fastasy Books either use obvious analogies to countries so China would Be YanJing or something but they often use plants like grain, wood like ebony and metal to describe skin tones.
  16. GoodValors Jedi Master

    Thinking of the problems arising from Hunger Games and Harry Potter has highlighted something for me in Mass Effect. The games received a lot of press coverage for their gay and lesbian scenes, and across all three games you can sleep with numerous blue, or gas-masked, or crazily tattoed women as well... yet there's no black female characters on the Normandy crew?

    If you play a female Shpehard, I suppose there's Traynor in ME3, but she's not an actual companion character. Not Star Wars related I know, but I'm suddenly kinda surprised the cast turned out that way considering BioWare's otherwise rather diverse line-up.

    The Cho Chang haters would probably still assume YanJing was white. :p

    Using plants and such could be funny though... "Luke, what on Coruscant did you use back when you were growing up? SPF 5000? You were on a dust bowl with two suns blazing down overhead, yet you're still as pale as the fur on a wampa's backside."
  17. Skaddix Jedi Knight

    Good Point. Although treatment of the Black males varies. Speaking about Mass Effect quite a lot of complaints about the romances.

    I should say obvious to people who have seen a amp.

    Good Point on Luke though he should have a tan. Lets just assume the Force acts as Sun Screen.
  18. Jedi Ben Jedi Grand Master

    Isn't the explanation for Hapes that they're a bunch of pro-eugenics bunch of bastards?
    Join the Schwarz likes this.
  19. General_Un-Co Jedi Padawan

    I do remember being surprised when Dean Thomas was black in the Harry Potter movie, whilst it was specifically stated it in the book and I did notice it on re-reads, for some reason it didn't stick in my mind until I actually saw the character. I actually assumed at the time that his ethnicity was changed in the movie to 'Americanise' the cast.

    An interesting twist on this is how your local demographics effects your you views of Diversity.
    For instance I rarely notice the lack of 'Black' characters in Star Wars and other media and I often (as in the above example) jump to the conclusion that a non-white character is just there to fill a perceived racial imbalance. I believe the reason for this is a matter of geography, in Australia the black/aboriginal population is tiny. In my city this demographic would make up 1% or less of the population. So rather than fill a gap to me the inclusion of black characters tends to stand out. What we do have in Australia however, is an huge population of Asian peoples compared to other western nations. I would estimate around 10% of the population of Australian would be made up of Asian peoples, primarily Chinese, Vietnamese and Indian. So for me the lack of Asian people in the media always stands out.
    Where are the Asians in the GFFA? Is Bultar Swan the only Asian? Why are there no space Indians?
  20. Gorefiend Jedi Grand Master

    Funny enough early pic do have him with short hair :) the comic/TCG seemes to have changed it and it went on from there

    Well there is one blue guy, ;) plus you might argue it is a Sector conference which just happens to have lots of human worlds (though of course they should not all be white guys).

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