Apparently, white boy nerds aren’t ready to give up their monopoly on science fiction.
Well, not all of them. But enough to start a #BoycottStarWarsVII movement on Twitter in protest of the diverse main cast of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, deeming the act of casting the two main characters as a woman and a black man (in addition to a female Stormtrooper!) “white genocide.”
Yes, apparently adding a person of color and a woman to the all-white and nearly all-male main cast of the first six movies is an act of violence on the poor, oppressed white men. Some have even expressed disdain at the fact that director J.J. Abrams is Jewish.
On one hand, I’m feeling my own kind of nerd rage take over. These bigots are completely disregarding the message of the entire series. The Empire itself proudly enslaved other species, punished those who were strayed from the status quo, and strived for total conformity and the “natural order” of things. Any Star Wars fan should consider the fact that creator George Lucas would be far from accepting of this kind of rhetoric; his own wife, Mellody Hobson, is black, and black characters are not unprecedented in the series.
Key Rebel Alliance member Lando Calrissian was played by Billy Dee Williams, and uhh — Samuel L. Jackson anyone? His role as Mace Windu has long been a fan favorite. Of the many actors who have portrayed Boba Fett over the years, two were of Maori descent (Daniel Logan and Temuera Morrison), as were many Stormtroopers.
Even if you are all for the dark side, you can’t escape the black side. Darth Vader’s iconic voice, of course, comes from none other than James Earl Jones.
Even with these few people-of-color actors, it’s not enough. Representation seriously matters. The fact of the matter is that we all grew up with Han Solo and Luke Skywalker as white as bread, and with Leia as the only girl around to kick ass — when she wasn’t shoved into a bikini for a scene that is, unfortunately, her most popular among the demographic in question. Growing up white, you don’t feel the deficiency in heroes and characters who look like you, because they all do. A kid of color does, and as a result, believes that they just aren’t meant to be a hero, that they don’t have much dialogue in the real world either. If you ask me, the one female Stormtrooper, the one black dude and one extra chick in the lead aren’t enough. Because in my world, I’m surrounded by women — they’re half of everyone I know! — and people of color. In the world of science fiction and fantasy, many have made the point that racial diversity being unrealistic is ridiculous. But that’s the point. These white boys turn to Star Wars for fantasy. With people of color in the background, if even existent, and women serving to please rather than fight is their fantasy. How dare anyone disrupt that?
It’s 2015, folks, and if you’re even more bigoted than a society from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away — then may the Force be with you. God knows you need it.