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Lit Ignorance is Bias: The Diversity Manifesto

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

  1. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 1999
    Sadly, it's always tended to be that way. It's been true of comics too. Both mediums operate below the culture radar but, by doing so, get away with things they wouldn't with a higher profile. Charley's War is a good example.
     
  2. Jid123Sheeve

    Jid123Sheeve Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 9, 2016
    And also like comics (at least those not involved with the Big 2) there is a certain amount of purity around them that I can't point my finger on. Course that's not entirely true since everything has some executive wheeling and dealing.


    Also I will always joke that Owl House is essentially a good alternative to anyone wanting to get a harry potter fix without having to deal with harry potter anymore.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2021
  3. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 1999
    Sadly Jid, comics aren't pure.

    It probably isn't on the level of the gaming industry, but the comics industry has its own problems with sexual harassment and bad treatment of creators. It is not limited to either the corporate or independent sectors either.

    For instance - If you really disapprove of Scott Allie's conduct there's going to be a great many comics you cannot read because he was the editor on a lot of titles for years.

    This recently blew up with Frank Miller's Holy Terror being in the spotlight as he was dropped from ThoughtBubble due to it. Where it gets interesting is that Miller hasn't disowned his work of over a decade ago, but has said he's nowhere that perception and has been promoting anti-racist messaging on his socual media.

    Another high profile case from a year ago is Warren Ellis. It appears that he has been trying to improve how he acts, while shunning the spotlight he could easily get.

    In these cases, are the receny actions sufficient as forms of redress? I don't know, it's a complex area.
     
  4. Clone_Cmdr_Wedge

    Clone_Cmdr_Wedge Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Me, before watching it last night: Ah it's probably just Hooty hijinks.

    Narrator: It was not, in fact, "just Hooty hijinks."



    Not only are Luz and Amity officially an item, so were Eda and Raine.


    Got to say, if the timing wasn't intentional, then it's certainly an interesting coincidence.
     
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  5. Jid123Sheeve

    Jid123Sheeve Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 9, 2016
    Owl House stands on the shoulders of giants that paved the way for this moment

    starting with Korra and Asami in Legends of Korra

    Steven Universe

    then to She-Ra which took another bid step

    mane perhaps other I forgot mention

    Much work still to be done but much progress made
     
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  6. CosmoHender

    CosmoHender Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Dec 2, 2016
    While not as ground-breaking as The Owl House when it comes to queer representation, I did see Jungle Cruise on Friday and I was curious what others thought of it. I really enjoyed the film, which was like Pirates of the Caribbean meets The Mummy. The cast was great, but the reason why I'm talking about the movie in this thread is because of a particular scene where the character Macgregor comes out as gay to Frank. While he never uses the word "gay" he explains that the reason that he's so loyal to his sister is because he had previously rejected three attempts by his family to marry him off to highborn young ladies because of his affections lying "elsewhere" and his sister stood by him while the rest of his relatives treated him with disgust. I feel like this might be a controversial moment like some of Disney's previous attempts at a "first gay character" because of how the characters never say "gay", how it's a moment that can be easily edited out in other countries, and how the character is played by a straight actor. But I do have defenses to each point. I'm fine with the characters not outright saying "gay" because it does take place in the 1910s and so it makes sense that Macgregor would try to downplay it by just saying that his interests were "elsewhere" because the implications were still there. While it doesn't come up again, it doesn't need to since that wasn't the focus of the film. The adventure was. But it did serve the purpose of giving some motivation to flesh out Macgregor, who I really liked (especially since he reminded me of Jonathan, my favorite character from the Mummy trilogy). And even if the moment can be edited out, it's still there and is just a nice scene between characters. As for a straight actor playing a supposedly gay character... that doesn't bug me, just like when gay actors play straight characters. What matters to me is the performance, especially since acting is all about playing someone other than yourself. I mean, non-American actors don't exclusively play American characters. I don't think everyone will agree with me about this scene, but for me it was just another nice element in an already fun movie.
     
  7. AusStig

    AusStig Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Not really, we had one thread that got locked because people decided to get really into the micro detail about what the nazis did and how the Empire wasn't an exact copy of their actions. After that any discussion gets shutdown.

    And while there was a corse correction, by showing the imperial diehards as evil fanatics not good or decent people (less Robert E Lee more KKK).

    One recent thing has gone back on that, with Alphabet Squadron: Victories Price, going VERY hard on the "The Empire and Rebels are the same", even though these imperials are destorying planets in operation Cinder 2. So it seems like they have gone backwards.


    Ok, so bold is why it is so hard to have any discussion about the Empire. People who say "Oh the Empire aren't Nazis they are x/y/z". Which is wrong. While Lucas may have taken inspiration from the US v Vietcong in Endor, but that does not mean the entire Empire is the US. Or even that they are applicable. Since the Empire destroyed Alderran, a planet part of it's government, to test a weapon and prevent rebellion. That is something NO nuclear armed state (including the Union of South Africa, a nation based on racism and black people being inferior to whites), did. In fact the closest example to the Death Star use to deal with rebellion is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oradour-sur-Glane_massacre, something done, by, the nazis (though it is far from the only one they did). Something Lucas would likely be familar with, since it was well known in the 60's and early 70's see here it is the opening of the episode.

    With examples like the Yinchorri massacre in legends https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Yinchorri#cite_ref-CE_24-0 and the Genocide of Geonosis in canon https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Sterilization_of_Geonosis, the reasons the Empire gives (Take the planet and cover up the Death Star [allegedly]), seem more like excuses to me. So we have a government that has 0 issues wiping out entire life and planets simply because it can.

    Also the use of the Death Star on Alderaan is something Tarkin himself says is not a military target. "Would you prefer another target? A military target? Then name the system."

    This means we have a government that will destroy a civilian target in it's own nation, just to test it's new weapon and try to prevent rebellion. That is not something the US has ever done.

    The Empire in the movies are very nazi, so why do people in our world like them? two reasons, firstly we lack context, their aren't doing warcrimes to us so we just see the cool, I mean even in our world a country has nazi themed weddings https://au.news.yahoo.com/people-horrified-bizarre-nazi-wedding-photo-shoot-005520699.html, also other places do that as dress up them https://edition.cnn.com/2016/12/27/asia/taiwan-nazi-school-asia/index.html.

    secondly, well fandom will fandom. Fans like stuff, someone mentioned Harry Potter, in those books JK HATED Draco and Slytherin and when she leanred fans liked them she wrote them as worse to stop it but it didn't work. So people will just like stuff even if the author doesn't.

    There are other reasons, that helped fuel this most of which come from old culture (the clean wehrmacht myth) and just some common military/sci-fi tropes (obstructive burecats and politicians being only bad people, military people being good [see Mass Effect trilogy for a recent example], planet of the Hats) and the zeitgeist of the time the works were written, coming together to paint the Empire in a very positive light.

    And as well the empire, stormtoopers in particular are recognisable. The good guys don't have that. I think Disney missed a chance by NOT getting the good guys a cool trooper look in the ST

    Something like the Alliance Marine
    [​IMG]

    Maybe with blue highlights and a more grey or white armour.

    Though I do think canon is moving in a better direction than legends. Maybe due to the changing zeitgeist since we are dealing with actual governments who are committing genocide (not that I expect Star Wars under disney to deal with that if things keep like they are now).
     
  8. VexedAtVohai

    VexedAtVohai Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 4, 2020
    That's a very different reading of Victory's Price.

    I'd say it goes for more complexity, and explores what motivates individual Imperials to commit atrocities (without treating it as justified), but it certainly doesn't treat the two factions as the same at all.

    ---

    I think the good guys' armour/uniform should show their faces. Valuing people's differences and what makes them unique (diversity, one might say) is an idea that Star Wars consistently treats as important.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2021
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  9. AusStig

    AusStig Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Did you read the part at the end when they all start playing a game while killing each other? Or the part where someone leaves the NR, while on the way to the final battle and tells others to come with him, and that this is treated as RIGHT.

    Yeah, but then you can't sell masks of the uniform. So it is more a sales thing.

    I would agree in general.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2021
  10. VexedAtVohai

    VexedAtVohai Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 4, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2021
  11. AusStig

    AusStig Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 3, 2010
    iI feel it is treated as right because by him being on the ship he stops a saboteur. He is also only criticised by Y-wing pilot, everyone else is understanding, instead of charging him with treason (note I don't think him leaving is wrong, I think his timing, knowing they are going into a big battle is bad and telling his squadron they are wrong to attack the Empire now is WORSE). He also never feels bad or regrets his decision, all he does is rationalise it.

    Instead the NR does nothing. No trials no looking into the guilty, he might have been wrong, though given how much they were hunting him in book one it does seem weird they DON'T use the info to go after other war criminals, almost like having them hunt him was just a plot device to drive him back to the Empire. But the book seems to say that ANY use of that info is wrong, that going after war criminals is wrong, which is not something I can ever agree with.

    The book still pushes this idea that Will is right and the NR is wrong to attack the Empire.

    That is not what it is saying. It is saying there isn't a big difference between the people who have been going around killing planets for (weeks?) and people trying to stop them.

    Nothing, but they also give up and want to leave the war before the big battle, and that doing so is good.

    here is the thing, something legends also didn't get. You CANNOT have a complex Imperial post Endor (and espcially post shadow hand in legends). Once the government falls apart, with warlords (and cinder) any conflicted "my country right or wrong" types (who always forget the last part of that 'if my country is wrong I shall set it to right), would try to get out, to surrender or leave. There is a reason why the ww2 German leaders all tried to surrender after Berlin or Lee surrendered after Richmond fell. There is no country anymore, you [the leader] are the country to these men.


    I am not going to post there because it is limiting and I am still discussion the stuff before.

    @Jid123Sheeve

    If you don't want to discuss here as we could derail the thread that is fine, we can agree to disagree.
     
  12. Jid123Sheeve

    Jid123Sheeve Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 9, 2016
    I mean I guess we can get back to how the topic started which was

    how we feel about the Empirw having diversity in its ranks
     
  13. VexedAtVohai

    VexedAtVohai Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 4, 2020
    That's a very different criticism than saying it treats the two factions as the same. I don't think the book said there were no trials, but that the New Republic didn't hunt down every single Imperial, just those in command.
    The focus is on how the factions treat their soldiers, with a lot of emphasis on how the Empire takes people and slowly twists them until they're capable of horrible things (if they weren't already). That's what the database was for.

    Bringing attention to what the enemy pilots have in common doesn't negate the differences. It could be argued that the NR is too lenient, but that to me only separates it more from the Empire.

    You don't enter the Imperial forces as a psychopath, and not everyone is able to desert. For every Biggs and Han, there's at least one Yrica and Ciena.
    It's a fictional universe, there's a lot of things I consider less realistic than this. How well it works is subjective, I think.

    I don't think this really fits the thread topic anymore, so I posted there. The earlier discussion and the Victory's Price discussion can easily both continue in separate threads.
     
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  14. AusStig

    AusStig Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 3, 2010
    That comes later.
    I don't think they even did that (since that would be sensible and might have lead them to the FO). At least it was unclear.

    I agree with the first part, though I don't feel it does as good a job as Lost Stars, hence my recommendation that people read Lost Stars instead.
    I disagree with your last sentence. Since it DOES negate the difference since it says that the people who were committing genocide are the same as the people trying to stop them. The only thing they have in common is flying fighters. It is like saying "There isn't a real difference between Batman and the Joker".

    But if there are no consequences then people get away with their crimes, the NR punished EVERY imperial with the restrictions, rather than putting some on trial. (I went on more about how the NR was dumb in Victories Price, its in the thread and I don't want to repeat myself.

    Yrica was a coward, her own commander had to order her to defect, so that isn't complex, just scum. (she gets a character arc in the books and is a hero by the end). Ciena does try to get out right after Endor, by getting herself killed, so I would say that goes more to my next point.

    I don't care about realism. I care about the story being told. IF you tell people the die-hard space Nazis are good and decent people it sends a message that these kind of people are good. Where as if you say they are evil, it sends that message.


    That's fine. I won't post in the other thread. So I guess we can just leave this here.
     
  15. VexedAtVohai

    VexedAtVohai Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 4, 2020
    It doesn't say that.
    It doesn't tell people that.

    I really don't know what else to say at this point, it feels like we're talking about two different books.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2021
  16. AusStig

    AusStig Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Yes it does, that is the whole point of the scene where they play the game together. That they are all the same.
    Ok, if that is how you feel. But we did read two different books because we have different life experiences.
     
  17. Barriss_Coffee

    Barriss_Coffee Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2003
    I was reading the Aphra comics and came to this. Triple Zero knocks out the crew of the Executor using a human-specific toxin, because the crew is entirely human (a "monoculture" is his term):
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    In the last few weeks marathoning the Marvel comics, I've gotten through about half so far, so 2015-2018. The First Order is full of diversity (human and alien). The Empire is not. The Empire is usually always white male humans. There are a few notable exceptions among some important officers, but the rank-and-file background Imps are usually white males. Either the authors and artists did not get the memo that the Empire is diverse, or there was no memo. Clearly they're strived to make the rest of the galaxy as diverse as possible, so it's not that the authors/artists are racist/sexist/etc. Clearly the First Order is intentionally depicted as diverse as we see it in the films. Ultimately this appears to be a product of the Empire long being synonymous with an all-white male authoritative regime that we see in the OT, an image which was reinforced for some 25 years prior to Disney obtaining the franchise. Disney may say they want Imperial diversity, but they are not enforcing it.
     
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  18. CooperTFN

    CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus star 7 VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 1999
    My sense has always been that they're letting each creator approach the OT Empire as they like rather than enforcing one particular demographic concept--so we can get a bunch of white guys in RO and have Val in Solo walking around behind Imperial lines with her afro out and no one looking at her twice. As far as the FO I imagine it all goes back to them wanting a Black stormtrooper, and everything subsequent to TFA has taken its cues from that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2021
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  19. Jid123Sheeve

    Jid123Sheeve Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 9, 2016
    The latest issue of the Vader comic had aliens in Imperial uniform recently...but they were in administration and the work didn’t seem so glamorous so....there was that
     
  20. Ewoklord

    Ewoklord Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 15, 2014
    I was not attempting to say the "Empire are not Nazis, they're America," obviously the Empire is most directly inspired by Nazi Germany, but rather that America is an additional influence on the portrayal of the Empire. There is no one-to-one "Empire = [x]" equation because that's now how fiction works, but it would be blinkered to ignore that Lucas intended the Empire to in many ways reflect some of his thoughts on America at the time. The obvious inspiration for the Battle of Endor, as you cited, as well as the famous "The Emperor's name is Richard M. Nixon" quote. This has clearly been significant enough to continue beyond Lucas' tenure as Star Wars' head creative, as Rogue One has some of the more direct aesthetic and thematic allusions in the franchise. The entire sequence on Jedha, for example.

    You can't tell me that this shot of an imperialist force rolling an armored vehicle through the streets of a deeply religious, desert city:
    [​IMG]
    was not at least partially inspired by the countless newspaper pictures like this of the same:
    [​IMG]
     
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  21. Jid123Sheeve

    Jid123Sheeve Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 9, 2016
    The Empire is a evil you want it to be

    sometimes it’s a more overt political allegory

    Other times it’s more just the minions of the evil dark lord in your fantasy world

    different authors using the Empire in different ways
     
  22. CooperTFN

    CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus star 7 VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 1999
    I don't even really disagree with you but I don't think it would be very hard to find a Nazi version of that photo as well, or a Soviet one, or Imperial Britain, or...
     
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  23. MercenaryAce

    MercenaryAce Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 10, 2005
    Thinking about various things discussed here...it does occur to me that star wars has been adding plenty of queer representation in comics and books, but I can't really think of much in the shows which are more widely visible - though, thinking more, there isn't actually a lot of romance in the shows in general. Like, a surprisingly small amount in comparison to a lot of other shows out there I feel.

    Personally I am quite fond of the classic rebel trooper look myself. Though yeah, the Rebel Marine armor is really cool too. And infiltrators. And those grenadiers from the Force Unleashed dlc that I can never find pictures of.

    My personal favorite has to be the rebel battle armor from Galaxies though. I think it would work great as New Republic Trooper armor.

    The Resistance Trooper helmets are face covering though, aren't they?
    [​IMG]

    Meanwhile the Empire did have plenty of un-masked navy troopers as badguys in the OT (to say nothing of officers, and Jabba's goons)

    Oh yeah, that has been something that has been bugging me for a while, especially in a lot of commentary about "the Believer" going on about all the poor stormtroopers "just doing their jobs" when they got blown up at the end...clearly ignoring both that the empire surrendered five years ago and ordered its troops to lay down their arms, so there is no longer even the extremely flimsy "I was just following orders" defense to hide behind, and that it was clearly no secret that the refinery was going to be used to launch a terrorist campaign to rival the atrocities of Operation Cinder, so everyone there was clearly on board with that.

    That reminds me - I have seen a lot of people comment on the scene with the walkers in the bad batch having a resemblance to the Tianmen square incident, but it is not like dictators sicking tanks on protestors was an uncommon occurrence. There is a reason tankies are called what they are after all.
     
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  24. Jid123Sheeve

    Jid123Sheeve Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 9, 2016
    yeah that’s the sad thing because probably they know not a lot of people in the mainstream go for those.

    It’s like Owl House and She-Ra, there popular but not major motion picture popular
     
  25. Ewoklord

    Ewoklord Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 15, 2014
    Well, yeah, you're right there. It just seems like a very deliberate framing, and I would be shocked if it was intended as an allusion to the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan 40 years ago rather than the more contemporary images that are present in the public consciousness. Because those tanks are still there.

    Though if we're getting even deeper into it we have the Separatist occupation of Onderon, with the Republic arming and training anti-Separatist revolutionary Saw Gerrera who then uses that same arming and training to fight the very same government that trained him in Rogue One. It just fits pretty well, is all I'm sayin'.
     
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