In 1978 Carl Sagan told Johnny Carson the big problem with Star Wars: “They’re all white”

Originally published at: In 1978 Carl Sagan told Johnny Carson the big problem with Star Wars: "They're all white" | Boing Boing

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The zenith of Tonight Show intellectualism.

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I could swear this was already discussed somewhere on this forum recently.

That said, Sagan wasn’t wrong.

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And, to be fair, this wasn’t only to blame on Star Wars. All Sci-Fi has this problem. Maybe Perry Rhodan had some representation awareness before this was cool, but anyway even it was not exactly that inclusive

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“I watched the movie ‘Logan’s Run,’ ” went one bit about the futuristic 1976 drama starring Brit actor Michael York.

“There ain’t no ni–ers in it. I said, ‘White people ain’t planning for us to be here.’

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Absolutely, most of it does.

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Octavia Butler much?

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Just look at the uproar in the fanbase when the new ones included the first Black people in prominent roles (aside from Billy Dee Williams, of course.) Racism in sci-fi is nothing new.

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To be fair, I took that comment to mean mainstream SciFi on the big and small screens.

To my knowledge, none of Butler’s phenomenal writing has been adapted to the screen yet… (Though I could be wrong, I often am.)

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It is said that George Lucas cast James Earl Jones as the voice of Darth Vader because he belatedly realised that there were no black actors in the film.

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None yet that I’m aware of either, but yay, they’re coming!

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Sweet!

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Exactly my point… Sci-Fi with a better representation was (and somewhat still is) a niche on a niche on a niche

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It’s kind of weird to picture Johnny Carson sitting in a theater watching Star Wars, but presumably it happened at some point.

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Aside from the wind issue, The Martian mostly got it right, and the wind issue was explicitly acknowledged as theatrical license.

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“SJW’s have been ruining Star Wars with their woke bullshit since 1978”

                                -Some asshole
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i think he has his tongue firmly planted in his cheek, but Mr. Sagan forgot that it’s science fiction after all, not science factual. It also takes place in a very small section of a single galaxy, and besides all that niggling, in an infinite universe, why wouldn’t it be possible to have a human-like species evolve somewhere besides here? c’mon, Carl, it’s gotta be possible

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On a related note, I was playing Alien Frontiers on Tabletopia a few days ago, and while it was fun to see sci-fi author names on the regions in the game, I found it disappointing that the game designers only chose white male authors. For a game designed in 2010, I would have hoped for a less narrow canon.

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Not only a human-like species, but one that speaks English!

If people are really bothered, they can pretend that the real events happened to aliens that looked totally incomprehensible, and what they see is a reenactment by human actors speaking English to make events understandable to a human audience. You don’t really want to see a movie about space slugs communicating through smell where a single conversation takes a day and ground battles drag out over weeks.

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