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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. JackG Jedi Grand Master

    Yeah, in FOTJ it was like 1,000 human Jedi, 200 Bothan Jedi, and 12 Jedi of other races.
  2. The Loyal Imperial Census & Games General Manager

    I do wonder if it might be an effective strategy to actually beat the authors to the point on this topic. Fill in various (important but previously unseen) roles with a diverse background cast, and then let the writers draw upon that resource without having to worry about doing the diversifying themselves.
  3. CooperTFN Jedi Grand Master

    Even if we could wave a magic wand and turn every single background character nonwhite, that doesn't really make things better - I know I make a big deal about Diversity Scores in here, but the real problem isn't the percentage of diverse characters, it's the dearth of worthwhile roles for them.

    Without taking the onus away from editorial entirely, maybe we should start treating this more as an author issue? Allston (and Reaves, for that matter) indeed proves that they won't actively oppose diverse casts when they're presented, so maybe the most effective thing we can do is start bringing the "fight" straight to the people creating those casts - going to signings, interacting with them online, and specifically asking them to make their forthcoming books more diverse. We've got three new books from Christie Golden in the works as we speak, to say nothing of the two new "Rebels" authors - now's the time to bring this up with them, not after the books are already out and we're disappointed.
  4. CooperTFN Jedi Grand Master

    Just gonna leave this here...

    Christie Golden
    Sword of the Jedi
    Tim Lebbon
    Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void
    Martha Wells
    Untitled Leia OT Novel
    Kevin Hearne
    Untitled Luke OT Novel
    I'm disregarding Denning and Reaves/Bonhoff for the moment since their casts are probably pretty well decided at this point. Plus we pretty much know what to expect from them by now; these four are likely the most impressionable in terms of what SW fandom is expecting of them.
    Zhen Zhen likes this.
  5. jedifreac Jedi Master

    Thanks for inspiring me, Coop. I went ahead and left a comment on Wells' livejournal post about the project (http://marthawells.livejournal.com/501112.html?page=2#comments) Because there is a link in my comment (I uh, *cough* link her to this thread), the comment is currently in moderation. Supportive comment from author NK Jemisin (an author who is good at writing diverse characters) in the comments to Wells gives me faith!
  6. MercenaryAce Jedi Master

    Martha Wells? Well I'll be...that is one of my favorite authors. I didn't know she was going to write star wars!
  7. CooperTFN Jedi Grand Master

    I'm often at a disadvantage in these situations, because I don't really read SF/F beyond SW - I never have the slightest idea what to expect from the new people, in terms of diversity or even if they're any good whatsoever. In a way it's nice, because I get to pick up things like YDR and Traitor with no preconceptions and be completely blown away.

    But then, sometimes I pick up Jedi Trial...
  8. imiller Jedi Master

  9. CooperTFN Jedi Grand Master

    Also: just read Clone Wars: The Sith Hunters. The good news: prominent new asian Jedi Master. The bad news: He's kind of presented as Jedi Bruce Lee.

    And then Maul kills him. But still.

    It's actually a surprisingly important story to this whole Maul thing - we get to see Maul's escape from Naboo in broad strokes, and we see (what's implied to be) the moment Palpatine realizes Maul is alive.
  10. CooperTFN Jedi Grand Master

    Interesting exchange from imiller's link...
    [face_laugh] =D=

    (continuing)

    Also:
    This would've been roughly fifteen years ago (and possibly the Bantam people to an extent), but it's interesting to see it acknowledged.
  11. RC-1991 Jedi Master

    Arguably the most important part of @imiller's link is that KJA ripped off his shirt.

    In all seriousness, that is one fascinating interview. I especially like Zahn's comparison to Elizabeth I.
  12. imiller Jedi Master

    Something about Mercy Kill that bugged me in an otherwise quite enjoyable and diverse book was the description of one of the character's skin as being "yellow." In a galaxy without an "Asian" planet, how do you describe someone with Asian features and coloration without pushing some pretty nasty buttons in our own world (as "yellow" does for me)? (It doesn't help when you consider which character does it.)
  13. Rogue_Follower Lit Moderator

    When I read it, I assumed Allston was describing a Barriss Offee-like skin tone, rather than making an oblique "Thaal looks Asian now" reference.

    [IMG]

    Still a poor choice, though, considering real world history...
  14. Gorefiend Jedi Grand Master

    I think he is meant to be "near-human" - like the green skinned Etti. As Asian people are not yellow skinned.

    Edit: Rogue is a Spaceninja :p
  15. Sinrebirth SWC, ToR and EUC Mod-Imperator

    I thought Thaal was just trying to be an alien?
  16. imiller Jedi Master

    Quite possibly I am oversensitive. Though if the near human thing is the case, I think just calling his skin yellow is a bit unfortunate. Could have said "Thaal looked like a Mirialan, with that species' trademark yellow skin and tattoos" or somesuch.

    Still curious how to describe Asians without an Asian planet, though.
  17. CooperTFN Jedi Grand Master

    You're not the first one to raise that issue here, miller - check a few pages back. It didn't even occur to me before that the character might be intended as something other than asian, but I haven't read the book yet, so all I know is what people are describing.
  18. instantdeath Jedi Grand Master

    Call me naive, but when I first heard that a character was described as "yellow", my first thought was "alien"... like a Simpsons shade of yellow. I didn't bring this up because I have not read the book, and I just assumed it was confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt that the character in question was human.

    Because, y'know, describing an Asian person as "yellow skinned" is pretty outdated.
  19. The Loyal Imperial Census & Games General Manager

    Doesn't stop people from still doing it, though.
  20. Gorefiend Jedi Grand Master

    Hard to say, as even the Epicanthic fold is something not uncommon in central and north Europeans, just seems less prominent do to different facial features. Properly way easier to keep the book description vague on it and when they come to official art giving more characters Asian features, as the lack of diversity just becomes way more jarring if you see it in group art. ;)

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