Diversity In Star Wars

star-wars-episode-vii-logoCasting rumors have been flying around rampantly almost as long as we’ve known about the Sequel Trilogy and with the recently leaked Episode VII casting breakdown, it seemed like a good time to tackle an issue that’s been bothering me a lot lately: the lack of diversity in leading roles in the Star Wars galaxy when it comes to gender, race, and species.

The Star Wars galaxy is an incredibly diverse place.  There is an innumerous amount of different species in the galaxy far far away all living on hundreds upon hundreds of different planets.  So why is it the default in Star Wars films and literature to (almost) always make the protagonist a white male?

Think I’m exaggerating?  I recently completed a reread of 130 Expanded Universe books.  Out of those 130, only 15 of those books had a leading character who was not a straight white man, excluding books that you could potentially argue are led by Skywalker women.  Five of those books are the Republic/Imperial Command novels and I’m even including books like The Cestus Deception and The Approaching Storm which were co-led by aliens and (you guessed it) a straight white male.  15 out of 130. That’s about 12%.  In a galaxy where I couldn’t even name all of the alien species if I tried?  I haven’t sat down and looked at every single main book in the Expanded Universe but I reckon that number wouldn’t rise much above 15%.  That’s pretty bad and unfortunately, the films don’t do any better.

Star Wars is an epic universe that is ripe with opportunity for diversity.  This is science fiction we’re talking about here.  To quote writer Jane Espenson, And if we can’t write diversity into sci-fi, then what’s the point? You don’t create new worlds to give them all the same limits of the old ones.”  If the vast majority of the named cast is white and mostly male, then the creators are failing at truly embracing the core tenants of what science fiction should be about.  What really makes all of this jarring is when you watch the films (especially the Prequel Trilogy) and see the wide variety of species and races in the background.  It’s not that the writers and the character designers and the special effects artists are lacking in imagination because clearly those characters and those ideas are there.  So why haven’t we been seeing more Star Wars stories with more diversity in the forefront?

When looking at the films alone, it is easy to see the problems with the lack of women.  While we devoted fans could likely rattle off the names of over a dozen women in the Original Trilogy, casual fans would likely be hard pressed to name more than Princess Leia, Aunt Beru, and perhaps Mon Mothma and Oola.  Four named female characters in 387 minutes of film.  When you look at the Prequel Trilogy, that ratio doesn’t drastically improve.  The idea that women are incapable of handling themselves or of being leaders and heroes is absurd in Star Wars just as much as it is in real life.  After all, it was Leia Organa who was the best shot in the Original Trilogy and in The Phantom Menace, we saw Padmé and her handmaidens holding their own in the Battle for Naboo.  Of course, this is hardly a problem that is unique to Star Wars but is instead pervasive in Hollywood itself.  According to a study by the University of Southern California, only 29.9% of the 4,379 speaking roles in the top 100 grossing films in 2007 were given to females.  If the Sequel Trilogy is intending to keep to the pattern and focus on Luke’s child, then I suggest it’s high time a Skywalker daughter took center stage.

Many of the same diversity problems carry over to race and species.  The books have been at least somewhat better with trying to pepper the supporting cast with aliens and the Prequel Trilogy was filled with plenty in the background.  Again, the white actor preference for roles isn’t something that is unique to Star Wars in Hollywood.  According to a study at UCLA that looked at casting breakdowns in 2006, 69% of roles were reserved for white actors with 8.5% being open to actors of any race.  One of the things that thrilled me when I read the rumored casting breakdown for Episode VII was that no races were specified for the actors.  After the Hunger Games films specifically chose to look at only Caucasian actresses for the definitely not white Katniss Everdeen, this was a welcome change.  Again, the Sequel Trilogy has the opportunity to help fix a lot of diversity problems that the previous six films had.  They can set a precedent for years and for stories to come.

A lot of these arguments can also be applied to the portrayal of relationships.  It’s strange that in a HUGE galaxy with thousands of species and trillions of beings that we’ve barely seen any relationships that aren’t heterosexual.  In fact, we’ve seen more page time devoted to the Hutts’ asexual reproduction process than we have to same-sex couples.  The only instance that I can personally recall of seeing any was in Karen Traviss’s Legacy of the Force books.  Yes, dear readers, the world has seen gay Mandalorians and it didn’t end.  More homosexual relationships should be shown in the Star Wars universe especially in the books and heck, more sort of relationships should be shown in general because I find it hard to believe that every single species has binary sexes.

While much of the focus on this piece has thus far been on the Sequel Trilogy, changes also need to made within the Expanded Universe novels.  There are multiple eras currently where stories take place within even more storylines.  Within those stories is relatively nothing demanding that the story’s protagonist be an inevitably white human male.   The supporting casts of the stories could use a bit more diversity too.   The Expanded Universe books certainly have made some progress here.  One only has to look at the post-Return of the Jedi novels to see more alien characters who have prominent roles like Admiral Ackbar or Borsk Fey’lya or Saba Sebatyne.  However, these characters are not the focus of the story but rather only play large supporting roles in the tales of the Skywalker clan.

In all fairness, the recent Clone Wars animated series has made some forward progress.  The inclusion of Ahsoka Tano as a main character when she is a female alien is wonderful as is the use of more female characters like Asajj Ventress, Bo Katan, Satine, and other female Jedi from the films who had only minor roles.  In the last year, we saw the publication of Into the Void which featured a female lead who wasn’t tied to a love story and also Mercy Kill which was led by a Gamorrean, Piggy.  Unfortunately, it’s not enough.

We need to have more parts of the Star Wars universe that feature more women and that feature them prominently as stars of their own stories and not the love interest or the accessory to someone else’s.  We need to see more human characters with a variety of skin tone colors.  We need to see more aliens being the heroes of their own stories.  It’s important that kids watching the films and the TV shows and that everyone reads the books can look at these stories and not subconsciously feel like they aren’t tales written for them because they almost only feature white guys.  While it may take a special sort of person to be a hero, we need to send the message that it doesn’t matter what a hero looks like or what gender a hero is.  A popular franchise like Star Wars has the opportunity to set a new standard for casting and for lead characters that others just might follow.

I’d like to take the time to go ahead and address a few specific points that could potentially come up.

But the Skywalker/Solos are white and they’re the main characters so the leads have to be white!
Yes.  Padmé, Anakin, Luke, Leia, and Han are all white.  That doesn’t mean that every person around them needs to be.  I invite you to give me one valid reason why Luke Skywalker’s wife in the Sequel Trilogy (whether it’s Mara Jade or not) must be white.  If you reason is “Mara is a red head”, then I welcome you to the wonderful world of wigs and hair dye.  This goes beyond the Sequel Trilogy and the Skywalker/Solo clan though.  Clearly, the stories being told in this universe have long since moved past only focusing on Han/Luke/Leia.  Stories set 1000 years before the Battle of Yavin or 200 years afterwards don’t have to be headlined by just white humans.  Create a compelling enough character and the readers or audience will connect with her or him regardless of what race or species or gender she or he happens to be.  That’s the mark of a good character and a good writer.

Sci-Fi is for men so the main characters should be men.
No.  Get out.  There are plenty of women who like and love Star Wars and other science fiction and fantasy properties.  And yes, they even read comic books.  In fact, two-thirds of the Tosche Station staff is female.  The recently published Into the Void featured a female protagonist and made the New York Times Best Seller list.  This is an antiquated myth and I won’t give it any more time.

Alien make up is elaborate and will take up too much time and money from the budget.
When you look at all the elaborate make up jobs done on extras and background characters throughout the Prequel Trilogy, this argument loses any of its punch.  If that’s not enough for you, take a look at the X-men films.  If they can go through all of that effort for Mystique then there’s no reason why Disney can’t do it for Star Wars.  Also?  This is Disney we’re talking about.  I think they can find money in the budget.

Audiences can’t connect with heroes who don’t look like them.
Ha.  Yeah, no.  I refer you to the point I made above. The idea that people can only connect with characters who look like this is absurd.  That is not to say that the Star Wars creators should continue to put forth main white male heroes though but rather that they should strive for diversity when it comes to casting these roles and focus creating well rounded characters. Make your characters compelling and people will like them and connect with them.  I promise you that white men are just as capable of cheering for a black female character in a story as Asian women are capable of cheering for the white male hero.

 

At the end of the day, Star Wars deserves to be a saga with more than one main female character per Trilogy and it deserves to be a saga where children of all races can look at the screen and not feel isolated because they don’t see any heroes who look like them.  These are films that should past the Bechdel Test with flying colors and these are films that should present a picture of a racially diverse group of heroes.  The Expanded Universe novels should take notes from books like Into the Void and Darth Plageuis and the MedStar duology and offer more leading roles for female and for alien characters and the books should present more than just heterosexual relationships.  Jane Espenson is absolutely right.  Why bother telling a science-fiction story if you’re only going to keep this world’s rules but add in space ships?  That’s not only a boring galaxy but it takes some of the marvel out of the genre.

Bring in some much needed diversity to the tales of Star Wars.  The audience is there.  The audience will appreciate it.  Become the saga where anyone can be a hero regardless of race, gender, or species because that’s the diverse sort of leading cast that this story both needs and deserves.

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38 Responses to Diversity In Star Wars

  1. Nanci says:

    Great article, Bria.

    One thing I like about the prequels is the attempt to bring in more diversity. If you look at the Jedi Council, and characters like Jango, Boba, Panaka, Typho, etc, the prequels clearly did a better job than the OT at that. Not to mention all the aliens (which makes me wonder why Luke's Order seems to be vastly human, but I digress).

    But you're right, that doesn't happen with the main protagonists. One thing I thought of was what if Qui-Gon had been female? As much as I love Liam Neeson, casting a female Qui-Gon would've been really interesting.

    I'd love for the ST to feature two female protagonists and one male, as opposed to the traditional two male, one female ratio. Let's mix it up a bit!

  2. Ed says:

    Political correctness - can't escape it, even in a galaxy far, far away...

  3. This was great! I wrote something similar based on the breakdown that was released and I'd love too see real diversity in the future films. One of the points I made was that Star Wars is for everyone, so the movies and expanded universe should reflect that. http://thewookieegunner.com/2013/06/19/casting-begins-for-star-wars-episode-vii-2/

  4. Jacee says:

    Official petition for Shalla Nelprin to be one of the main characters in an upcoming film. I have been /so good./

  5. Lora says:

    RAmen.

    However, I will argue that SW isn't sci-fi, but fantasy set in space. But that's another discussion. ;)

    I've also recently given that whole 'what if Mara had a different skin color?' idea some thought. It just hit me that there was no real reason for her to be white, but that she could just as easily have been dark skinned or asian. Sure, red wouldn't really be natural then, but I could live with black hair. Just keep the green eyes. ;) And now I'd love to see a dark skinned Mara, either as a drawing/paiting or cosplay. I think it could work quite well.

    Yeah! for diversity, and here's to hoping. :)

  6. prophetize says:

    I was hoping that by 2013 we wouldn't even be talking about skin color at all.

  7. MG says:

    This is the first blog entry I've read on this site and I couldn't agree more. Thanks for exploring this topic. I hope it really becomes an issue that JJ Abrams and Kathy Kennedy can't ignore. Star Wars is for everyone and it's an international phenomenon. If nothing, Celebration Japan and Celebration Europe proves that. We shouldn't be limited to white male leads, especially in this day and age. And no, having Sam Jackson as the one human Jedi who isn't white in the films isn't enough (and in some ways makes it worse).

    I also feel it exacerbates the situation when you have aliens who seem to reflect negative ethnic stereotypes. I'm not saying Lucas intended to be racist or anything, but it's a lot harder to ignore questions about whether certain species like the Neimoidians or Gungans are ethnic stereotypes when there are no actual Asian humans and very few African American humans in the films.

    Same goes for gender roles. I love the fact that more and more female characters are being highlighted in EU and Clone Wars, but we're certainly far off from where we should be in 2013. Even with Ahsoka Tano, a character I really appreciate, why did she have to start by wearing a tube top? And even her redesign was questionable. These little things are frustrating and disappointing.

    With the ST Lucasfilm has a chance to really make a positive impact and have strong, interesting female and ethnic minority main characters. I hope they take the opportunity to do that. I'm not saying that should be the primary focus of the ST of course, but it shouldn't be ignored either.

  8. Anonymous! says:

    Hear, hear!

    It is my greatest hope that the Powers That Be are reading all these websites - I don't think I've seen a single fan site that has not had at least one article/comment like this one. My greatest hopes for the Sequel Trilogy are: female main character, (preferably not a teenage Katniss-clone but I'll take that over damsel/love interest any day), surrounded by a diverse cast of humans (race, age (women do not disappear when they turn 25!), gender) and LOTS of cool aliens. Female Twi'lek with a speaking part who is not a dancer? Female Jedi who speaks? Non-white characters? YES PLEASE! :)

    As to "Star Wars is for boys" - I've been a Star Wars fan all my life, and I can vouch that fully half my sci-fi loving friends are women. In fact, they were mostly women until I got to college and met some more male fans. Star Wars needs the equivalent characters to Major Sam Carter (Stargate), Aeryn Sun (Farscape), Agent Dana Scully, (X-Files) and Captain Janeway (Star Trek Voyager). Out of 6 films so far, a grand total of Leia and Padme in the "awesome and has a speaking role" isn't cutting it anymore.

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  10. Eric J. Brown says:

    While I wouldn't be surprised to see more alien diversity, or even a story centered around a female lead (which actually would be the easiest to pull off), I don't wonder if the OP isn't aiming a little high. Star Wars isn't just Sci-Fi or Fantasy - it was a Multi-Billion investment by Disney -- so don't be surprised or disappointed it's a bit formulaic. The job of the movie won't be to present some ideal or send a message about diversity -- it's going to be to make money, and as there already is a formula for making money, and it's not broken, I doubt they are going to do much to "fix" it... and certainly not something which is going to potentially tank it or make it controversial. That isn't the way of profit and cash out the wazoo.

  11. Darth Myon says:

    The main reason we don't see more diversity is because most of the people reading the books or seeing the movies can't relate to a different species. If you can't relate to the characters and put yourself in their shoes then it becomes boring.

    • Brian says:

      If this was true, books/films like The Hunger Games and shows like The Legend of Korra would have fallen absolutely flat on their faces. The argument that white males are incapable of relating to any character that isn't a white male is patently false. So is the inherent assumption in this argument that the only demographic that matters and is present within the Star Wars fandom is white males age 18-49. http://tosche-station.net/star-wars-needs-to-learn-from-korra/

    • Bria says:

      I think that's a ridiculous premise but even if you're right as far as aliens go, that still doesn't explain why we haven't seen more diversity when it comes to race and gender. Again, if you write a well-rounded and fleshed out character, audiences will be able to connect.

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  18. Andrew says:

    I’m a little confused on your intention of this article. The thesis of this is “the lack of diversity in leading roles in the Star Wars galaxy when it comes to gender, race, and species.” But this runs contrary to what you say later on when you said “While it takes a special sort of person to be a hero, we need to send the message that it doesn’t matter what a hero looks like or what gender a hero is.” If you truly want people believe that to be true, then your entire article is Bantha fodder. You point out that the lack of diversity and say it needs to change, only to say later that it doesn’t matter. Sorry, but that makes absolutely no sense.
    I would also like to point out something else I found in the beginning with regards to the number of female leads. Yes, I would say that 15 of 130 would be accurate when you’re excluding the Skywalker/Solo women in the family. Regretfully, in your case, there is not much difference when you take out all the Skywalker/Solo men in the family from the picture. In terms of Star Wars you can’t exclude the Skywalker/Solo family because they are the focal point of both the movies and the Star Wars expanded, too. So if you are going to judge how many Star Wars characters have female or alien leads you have to include the Skywalker’s otherwise you only have partial data that contains bias, and bias data is not good, especially from a statistical standpoint. Therefore, your percent would be much, much higher than where it is now. It’s also hard to say which novels have male and female leads when many Star Wars novels have many leads and hard to distinguish which one is the focal point of a book or series.
    Also, you said that the Expanded Universe needed to be more diverse, but focused only on the novels. You failed to discuss, and even bring up, comics, short stories, and juvenile novels. Your judgment is made on a small portion of the expanded universe and not in all of its aspects. In the comics, in terms of diversity, you see a HUGE change in terms of race, species, and gender, or, depended on your perspective, no change at all. The novels, in many cases, never say that the leads are necessary white or human or straight. As readers we make that assumption even though it might not be entirely accurate. For all we know Borsk Fey’lya was gay and that Airen Yage, seen in the “Star Wars: the New Jedi Order: Force Heretic I: Remnant,” was black. The only way we know is if the author says it, or when an artist creates it. Otherwise it’s open to the reader’s interpretation.
    Ultimately, whether the character is male or female, black or white, or alien or human, it doesn’t matter. Characters should be judged not by the physical features, but by their actions as that defines who you are. I agree that “we need to send the message that it doesn’t matter what a hero looks like or what gender a hero is,” but that message was not portrayed in this article. Instead, you talked about how Star Was diversity needs to change when really us as readers and watchers need to change how we perceive characters. We have to look at them not with our eyes, but rather our hearts. See how their actions and struggles shape them and not for their skin tones, species, and/or gender. That is what I think George Lucas and the numerous other creators of Star Wars characters wanted and still want in the thousands of characters that make up the Star Wars Saga.

    • Bria says:

      Your first points indicates that it's you who is completely missing the point here. Yes, it shouldn't matter what a hero looks like but the problem comes when heroes in any media are overwhelming white and/or male. I'm going to fathom a guess here that you're a white male and have therefore never been faced with a media that overwhelming does not look like you. People deserve to have more than one or two tokens amongst their heroes and Star Wars absolutely has the opportunity to offer that. Studies have even shown that kids' self-esteem is linked to what television programs they watch and the race/gender of the characters on those programs: http://www.racebending.com/v4/blog/study-examines-television-diversity-self-esteem/

      And yes, you're right. Adding the Skywalker/Solo women back into the mix would skew the numbers a bit higher. HOWEVER. Your point about it being difficult to say who the main character is in one of these books is incorrect. It might be a little trickier for many of the post-ROTJ books but I think it's fairly easy to point out that, say, Plagueis and Palpatine headline the Darth Plagueis book or that several of the doctors, Den Dhur, and Barriss Offee headline the MedStar books or that Jaden Karr headlines the Paul Kemp books. These are just a handful of examples, obviously.

      Yes, I did focus mostly on the films and the books. I never denied that. I don't have ready access to all the data on the comics and didn't feel it was right to include those without having all of the information. However, as to your point about it being our assumptions, I think you'll be hard pressed to find many people who say that character race in books relies purely upon that. Take, for example, the Wraith Squadron books. Shalla Nelprin is blatantly described as having dark skin. Other characters like Ton Phanan do not get a skin colour qualifier but when official art happens, characters like Ton end up being white. It's a failing of our society's way of thinking that the default is always and it would be great if more variety was the default but it just isn't. Also, 'for all we know' doesn't count here. It's not a true movement towards diversifying a universe unless it is actually put down in black and white. I invite you to look at the Harry Potter fandom and how people reacted to the revelation of Dumbledore being gay by the author outside of the books.

      I'm really not sure what your overall point here is except to say that I'm wrong but I (obviously) disagree and think that more efforts need to be made towards making diversity happen in a more blatant way that possibilities and potential assumptions and I will never go against the belief.

      • Andrew says:

        All I was saying in the first paragraph of my first comment is that you said that it should be more diverse but then went on to say that it shouldn’t matter what a character looks like, so the conflicting ideas left me a little bit confused. That’s all. And I’m not really debating with you with the Media as a whole, just in terms of Star Wars. I don’t know enough about the media to make a justifiable claim on all of its aspects, but as a Star Wars enthusiast with having read dozens of novels, comics, short stories, novellas, junior novels and having seen all movies and episodes of the Clone Wars (to date), I can make justifiable claims in that area.

        I have to respectfully disagree with you in saying that the author has “actually put [it] down in black and white.” If the author doesn’t specifically say that a character is a certain species, race, or sexuality then it is open for interpretation. If literature was cut and dry, this way or the highway, English classes in our schools would not be the same. Even the world without interpretation would be a vastly different place. Literature is open to the reader’s interpretation about the looks and actions of characters if not specifically addressed.

        Don’t get me wrong, I would LOVE to see more aliens have leading roles, but you have to take into consideration the audience. Both you and I have read dozens upon dozens of Star Wars novels and, most likely, have numerous guides to the galaxy as well. So we know what certain aliens look like by merely the name where as new readers or new people to Star Wars might be confused and could possible make the reading less enjoyable. By having human leads in novels you are essentially eliminating that confusion and they stick with the safe side. A reader should have to go to Wookieepedia all the time as he or she reads. And I think you would agree with me that the description of aliens in the novels are extremely lacking. Only Martha Wells’ “Razor’s Edge,” in my opinion, has had adequate description of alien species.

        This is why I brought up the comics in my previous comment. In the “Dawn of the Jedi” series the three lead protagonists are a very diverse group contrary to your typical trio. Sek’nes is a Sith male, Shae Koda is a human female, and Tasha Ryo is a Twi’lek female. Even the Temple Master of the Anil Kesh, Quan-Jang, is shown to have dark skin. Then, in “Lost Tribe of the Sith: Spiral” we see that the protagonists are a human female, Takara Hilts, and a dark skin human, Parlan Sinner. In the “Legacy” series we have Cade Skywalker who is a white human male, but his best bud is a dark skin male named Jariah Syn and Cade’s love interest is a Zeltron female named Deliah Blue. They even went as far as an interspecies relationship. Even the new “Legacy II” series features a lead of a female, Ania Solo. That is why I made mention of the comics. It contains break through characters with in them and why I said we can be too quick to judge and make assumptions on the looks of characters in the novels.

        In terms of movies and TV shows the creators have very little reason why they cannot have an alien lead. I, for one, hope they have more aliens with significant roles in the new trilogy, stand alones, and the Rebels series—which we now know to be true by the revealing of the new Sith inquisitor villain who appears to be Utapauian. So, I agree with you there, but it’s not a deal breaker or something that’s going to significantly sway my opinion in my regards to the story itself.

        In the grand scheme of Star Wars, even you can’t deny that great strides have not been taken over the past 35 years in terms of the role of race and gender in characters. Is it there yet? No, but it’s getting there. I wish that you would have addressed that in the article. You did say that you noticed change in the Clone Wars (and I agree with you 100 percent when you take a close look at the series and other stories there is a noticeable difference), but there have been strides in other areas as well. Like this year’s release of novels showed an even 3/3 split in terms of lead women to lead men in novels—possibly 4/3 depending on how you view “Crucible,” but as it is a more Han driven novel as Troy Denning said, so I don’t know if it can really count as a point for females. But it’s a topic that is open for debate and varies from person to person.

        In the end, I’m not necessary agreeing with you, but I’m also not disagreeing with you; it’s a little bit of both. I think that Star Wars is more diverse than you make out to believe, and that you neglected to touch upon a few crucial points. I think a more appropriate title for this article would have been “Diversity in Star Wars Novels and Media” as comics, short stories, novellas, and juvenile novels were not included and they make up a HUGE percentage of the Star Wars. I do, however, agree that leads could be a bit more diverse, but I think that the ethnicity or gender of a lead should not be the determining factor of a good or enjoyable story, but rather how that character acts and grows in the story.

        • Bria says:

          Look, you are clearly getting hung up on what you're convinced is a conflicting thesis and missing the point here and I have better things to do then run around in more circles. Bottom line is that yes, maybe the comics are doing a bit better in terms of diversity but as a whole, the Star Wars universe is not and it needs to be. And with that, I'm done.

    • Brian says:

      Conflicting Thesis. Those words. I do not think they mean what you think they mean.

      • Andrew says:

        The first point said "While it takes a special sort of person to be a hero, we need to send the message that it doesn’t matter what a hero looks like or what gender a hero is," but the thesis is "the lack of diversity in leading roles in the Star Wars galaxy when it comes to gender, race, and species." It was said that it doesn't matter, but the whole premise of the article is that it does matter; therefore, it conflicts with the thesis. If your trying to make a case that diversity matters then don't include a sentence that says that it doesn't matter what a character looks like when you're clearly stating that it does. So it does mean what I think it means.

        • Brian says:

          You may be the only person on the planet that reads that as a "conflicting thesis."

          What I'm seeing, is that you're hiding behind a veil of psuedo-intellectualism to justify perhaps a latent foundation of racism and misogyny. Whatever you're seeing here, it doesn't reflect well on you.

          What you're saying is akin to saying "Feminism is sexist because everyone should be equal." That is wrong. Much like your stance here is wrong.

          • John says:

            Hey Brian, I see a bit of what Andrew sees. She talks about the SW universe needing more diversity yet at the same time she is trying to say that a hero is a hero no matter what race they are and that diversity is the key to illustrating this. It took me a couple reads to see this because it is not plainly stated it is alluded to. The one irritating thing that I disliked was the jab at the authors for not including more diversity using this quote “And if we can’t write diversity into sci-fi, then what’s the point? You don’t create new worlds to give them all the same limits of the old ones.” This is unfair because all of the EU authors were under serious constraints as to what they could include in each novel, and were limited in their creation of new characters. This is because of Lucas's management of his franchise not because the authors didn't want to.

            • Brian says:

              So let's address your two major points.

              First, the central premise that Bria is trying to make and you and Andrew are trying SO hard to move the goalposts on (because you are uncomfortable losing your privilege or having your narrow worldviews challenged? I don't know) is that the hero doesn't have to be white. Your argument smacks of the inane reverse racism arguments. Bria is not saying they can't be white. Bria is saying they don't have to be white. These are two VERY different arguments, and you're chasing windmills trying to argue what she isn't.

              Second, that "jab" isn't directed at authors, it's directed at the franchise as a whole. If there are constructs in place preventing authors from doing this, that is what we take issue with. Again, you're supplying arguments that Bria isn't making and ignoring context to make yourself feel more comfortable.

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