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

Star Trek did ok a decade earlier.

ETA: Not GREAT. But ok and could have done better (esp re: women)

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The “why is everyone white?” criticism is absolutely on point, but the “why are there humans on other planets that would have totally different evolutionary processes than Earth?” part completely misses the concept of the Star Wars franchise.

Star Wars is not, and never has been, “Science Fiction” in the traditional sense of the term and looking at it through that lens isn’t the right way to appreciate it. Star Wars is better understood as a FANTASY franchise in the same vein as Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones. It’s a story about knights and swordplay and princesses and wizards and dragons and evil sorcerers. The only difference is that instead of setting the story “a long time ago in a Kingdom far far away” it’s set “a long time ago in a Galaxy far far away.”

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Convergent evolution is a thing. Of course, it would still be incredibly unlikely, as coming up with something similar enough to us to be recognizable as “us”, would require a planet pretty damn close to earth, with a similar geologic and biospheric history.

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Fair enough; but Sagan was a scientist, so of course he would consider SW from a logical, scientific standpoint.

He wasn’t wrong to point out the arrogance of mankind that is evident in the franchise.

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If people’s fiction is even MORE racist than reality, that’s shitty fiction if you ask me.

He wanted to, but was overruled by the network - No. 1 in the Pilot. Later Trek series have done better (DS9 directly addressed racism in the US, had a Black lead, and some pretty bad ass women who weren’t just defined by the men in their lives). AT THE TIME, though, Nichelle Nichols was one of the few Black women on TV who was not a maid, but a respected individual with rank and respect of her colleagues. When she wanted to quit, Dr. King told her no. From our perspective today, TOS was surely lacking in numerous way, but at the time, it was pretty groundbreaking in terms of racial representation. :woman_shrugging:

It’s a Space Opera based on samurai films…

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For sure, the Empire is basically a bunch of colonizing Space Nazis and the Old Republic wasn’t much better.

“I don’t have to listen to these wild accusations!”

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Fuckin’ A.

In a constructed reality where the author can do anything they want, so many still choose to make all their primary characters cis-het White males.

I’ll never forget Whoopi Goldberg’s comment on seeing TOS the first time as a kid:

“Mama; there’s a colored (Black) woman on tv, and she ain’t no maid!

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star-wars-luke-milk

Right? It’s easy to see how ham-fisted some of their attempts to talk about racism via allegory was on the original show. But TOS was a product of its time, and the fact that Roddenberry specifically wanted to make a show that had a post-racial global society that had managed to get its shit together and take care of all of humanity was pretty great. I will say later shows dealt with complicated issues a bit better over all.

Also, speaking of Whoopie, when Patrick Stewart came on the View a few years back to talk about the first season of Picard and told her she was going to be on the second season, she was SOOOOO CUTE!

I love that shy/embarrassed smile she has.

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I remember that; it was totally adorbs.

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It can be argued that in Star Wars, the Empire is really the good guys. See, e.g., https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/weekly-standard/the-case-for-the-empire or (more up-to-date) Star Wars: 15 Reasons The Galactic Empire Was Actually Good .


Yes I’m an adult and I own this toy… (Bandai has an entire line of Samurai themed star wars figures)

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It does make perfect sense that the Washington Examiner would support the Space Fascists up to and including acting as apologists for the Empire’s acts of wholesale genocide.

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I just saw an article there about how the real punk rockers were all conservative and loved Reagan… so…

It’s pretty far right…

:woman_shrugging:

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The shame of this is that Sci Fi is a wonderful medium to explore ideas. It should be easy to have diverse representative casts and perspectives. And I like to think a good number of Sci Fi fans crave this, and don’t represent the very vocal super toxic horrible Star Wars and Star Trek fans who get too much attention on their internet soapboxes.

I think there are some shows that show this and at least part of the genre has been evolving (albeit mainly on tv).
Star Wars to its credit had a strong female character. Star Trek TOS has been discussed here and the later series have been imperfectly but positively increasing diversity. The Expanse is my favourite sci fi show in many years and it has a wonderful diverse cast (while except for Cas Anvar) that just feels organic.

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Doesn’t mean they don’t have a point, though. If the right-wing media says that the sun rises in the East and water is wet, that doesn’t make it wrong.

(I’m not a huge fan of the Washington Examiner but then again I’m not a huge fan of Star Wars, either.)

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The spacemen up there now are white & billionaires, for a big place, space sure sucks.

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With the way they’ve actively been denying the rest of reality, it would not surprise me if they said the exact opposite.

Always consider the source, no matter what is being stated…

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Hah. As far as I’m concerned you need to complete at least one orbit around the Earth before you get to call yourself a “spaceman”.

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Then you can call me Mr. Spaceman!

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