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Lit Ignorance is Bias: The Diversity Manifesto

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

  1. CooperTFN

    CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus star 6 VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 1999
    There's an interesting idea in the comic Invincible that I think Star Wars could benefit from. The main character is a hybrid of human DNA and an alien species called Viltrumites - a highly competitive race that has been breeding "weaknesses" out of its members for thousands of years; the conceit is that their genetic makeup has evolved to the point that they can impregnate pretty much any species they conquer and even largely overwrite the other species' characteristics in the child.

    It's a little out there, I suppose, but if human-alien hybrids are going to be showing up more and more often, I wouldn't mind a retcon to that effect. Humans have been around forever, after all, and like we're always saying on here - they don't need to function exactly like Earth humans.
     
    Iron_lord likes this.
  2. Zorrixor

    Zorrixor Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Not necessarily that out there these days now the broader sci-fi community is more used to things like the Asari reproducing with anything on two legs (or even not two legs).
     
  3. Random Comments

    Random Comments Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Sep 25, 2012
    He was the stepfather? I haven't been paying enough attention, have I?
     
  4. CooperTFN

    CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus star 6 VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 1999
    Trust me, it's easier that way.
     
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  5. Mechalich

    Mechalich Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 2, 2010
    The Mother Machine bit really, desperately needs detailed expansion right now, since it is quite possibly the most universe altering set of short paragraphs since the Rakata were introduced in the first place. How many species, what proportion of the galaxy, how varied, how extensive, who the ultimate base models were, we really need to get some idea. At this point, the range of interpretation is incredibly wide, from a conservative view that the Mother Machine generated a relative handful of species, to the broad view that almost all humanoid sentient life in the galaxy shares a basic origin and the overwhelming majority of their differences were artificially produced (for myself, I prefer something of a middle ground, with significant evolution via strong selective forces through planetary colonization but a considerable amount of horizontal genetic exchange leading to commonalities between humanoid species, especially in the internal structures).

    Regardless, it needs to be mentioned, because the Mother Machine is basically a mechanism with which to directly formulate the diversity balance the galaxy should have, so LFL needs to start picking some numbers.
     
  6. Rilwen_Shadowflame

    Rilwen_Shadowflame Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Yup, stepfather. So apparently he can only love and take care of them if they're not all the way alien.:rolleyes:
     
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  7. GrandAdmiralJello

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

    Registered:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Pestage's sweet hat (mitre? cassock?) alone should excuse the series from a poor diversity score.
     
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  8. AdmiralNick22

    AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    May 28, 2003
    The respect that Y-wings and Y-wing pilots get for being tough and determined is enough for me!

    --Adm. Nick
     
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  9. Skaddix

    Skaddix Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 3, 2012
    Well having a mother machine lets you crossbreed across species a while lot easier.
     
  10. TheRedBlade

    TheRedBlade Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 17, 2007
    What do we count Pestage as? He seems to be a pretty unhealthy shade of grey.
     
  11. GrandAdmiralJello

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

    Registered:
    Nov 28, 2000
    So he's quite the éminence grise.
     
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  12. CooperTFN

    CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus star 6 VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 1999
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  13. Esg

    Esg Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    >2012
    >Caring about Wolverine

    Oh wait that Pak's extreme X-Men. Great now I wanna buy it...
     
  14. Robimus

    Robimus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 6, 2007
    The TCW Character Guide text shows the daughter as being Cut's step daughter but also is clear that Cut is Jek's dad. I don't know if another source has come along since then to change that.

    I think the initial idea was that they were both to be his kids, but they didn't think that one through very well. Either that or the Episode takes place in year 5 of The Clone Wars, which would be a whole other can of worms.

    I don't know how I feel about that. It kinda just seems like weak story telling, but then I'm never into the alternate dimension/time travelling stuff.
     
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  15. Esg

    Esg Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Under a lesser writer maybe, but Pak is generally solid
     
  16. Robimus

    Robimus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 6, 2007
    See I'm simply not big on taking established characters who have had known characteristics for decades and just flipping them on their heads as a publicity stunt.

    It would be like that post ANH 'STar Wars' comic series telling us that Han and Chewie were really lovers - it would get a ton of press but it would go against everything else ever written about the characters.
     
  17. Esg

    Esg Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Meh you don't read much Marvel. I've seen more rage inducing cheap storytelling from 616 then in alternate timelines *Cough*AVX*Cough
     
  18. GrandAdmiralJello

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

    Registered:
    Nov 28, 2000
    I recognize that name. Pak was one of the writers for Incredible Hercules. He's really good--at least judging from that series.
     
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  19. jedimaster203

    jedimaster203 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 19, 1999
    Nick doesn't need racial diversity, he need FLEET DIVERSITY :D
     
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  20. CooperTFN

    CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus star 6 VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 1999
    Yeah, Incredible Hercules was awesome. I'm still waiting for my Amadeus Cho ongoing. But on topic--having a gay Wolverine from another reality isn't the same thing as retconning that he was gay all along. And per Esg, "alternate timeline" has entirely different connotations in Marvel than it would have in SW. All that matters here is it's a gay version (seemingly, at least) of one of their banner characters in an ongoing series with "X" in the title, and that's a big deal.
     
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  21. Robimus

    Robimus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 6, 2007
    I don't think that it is all that matters.

    Why is the gay character relegated to the alternate universe?

    And is it actually Wolverine? I guess that question begs to be asked as well after what your saying.

    Does it score diversity points for Marvel? Maybe. It still seems to me like they are looking at some shock value alongsise an idea that that type of character wasn't good enough for their main timeline.
     
  22. CooperTFN

    CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus star 6 VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 1999
    Because if it was regular Wolverine they'd be doing the exact thing you were just complaining about.
     
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  23. Robimus

    Robimus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Do they have other comperable gay characters in the main universe?
     
  24. CooperTFN

    CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus star 6 VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 1999
    No one on Wolverine's tier, but several, yeah - including, allegedly, the "main" Hercules. Plus a gay X-Man took part in the universe's first depiction of a gay wedding earlier this year. Plus the Ultimate Spider-Man, who is arguably as prominent a character as the "main" Spider-Man, is a black kid named Miles Morales now. They've had a good couple years in this department - sure, you could complain about a lack of gay "A" characters, but those are all well-established as straight by now, so it's either alternate universe or retcon.
     
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  25. JediFreac

    JediFreac Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 7, 2002
    Greg Pak is a great writer--if he ever writes for Star Wars my head will explode. He does great work collaborating with Fred Van Lente, too.

    I don't know Pak personally, but based on what I do know about him, he doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would include a character from an underrepresented group just for a publicity stunt. I do want to note though, that alt Universe Wolverine has a moustache (Star Trek reference) so I wonder if it is also a subtle jab at DC's fizzle-out reveal that one of the alternate universe Green Lanterns is gay (*yawn*) which DID feel like a half-arsed publicity stunt to complete with the Northstar wedding. Even in making alternative universe characters gay as a tiny component of the plot rather than the big selling point, Marvel is gutsier (using a bigger character) and more nuanced about it.
     
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