Over on Twitter, which remains terrible, the #BoycottStarWarsVII hashtag started trending today. The reason it started apparently has something to do with the cast having non white actors and women in leading roles. I don’t know. I don’t really care. I don’t know who started it. Don’t really care about that either, but here’s a short writeup.
A brief pause for an important statement:
I apologize for making you aware this is a thing. It should not be a thing. It’s extra special dumb. Sorry.
I want to also say that it’s likely this is little more than elaborate trolling by people on the internet who enjoy that sort of thing. Well, fine. It probably is that. Still, people are still saying weird, terrible things in reaction to it because that is also part of what the internet is. What’s more, this general type of ridiculousness shows up fairly frequently.
Same as It Never Was
At least part of the argument seems to be that Star Wars was created by a white guy, features a white hero, and it should stay that way. Any deviation from that is, therefore, wrong and not true to George Lucas’ intent or the history of the Star Wars universe or whatever. It’s little more than an attempt to advance some sort of political agenda, apparently.
This is so, so confusing to me, and here are some reasons why in no particular order.
- Pretty sure Leia might have something to say about only men being heroes
- Lando Calrissian
- Mace Windu
- Darth Vader’s voice
- This is George Lucas’ wife, which doesn’t mean a whole lot on its own but might indicate he’s not overly concerned about white guys always being the hero or being the only important parts of a story.
- I thought Star Wars was about a scrappy bunch of rebels fighting against an oppressive, totalitarian empire that often tormented nonhuman species simply because they existed. The Empire were the bad guys, right?
- Also, it’s a story where an evil space wizard and his evil wizard apprentice fight against good guy space knights using telekinesis and laser swords.
- As I’ve said before, what you see as pandering might just be a response to market demand.
- A gazillion more reasons, but really who cares?
So the Story Goes
But here’s the thing I understand the least about all this, and the real reason for writing something. I’m framing it within Star Wars, but it’s really about storytelling generally.
I don’t expect every story to be particularly shocking or surprising, but it doesn’t seem that much fun to know pretty much exactly what’s going to happen. A story that conforms to previously established tropes too religiously seems pretty boring, at least to me.
Seeking to exclude certain types of characters (or plot lines or whatever) can do nothing but limit the kind of stories that are possible. If for some reason Star Wars is required to have only the white guys (or Hutts, or Wookies or Ewoks) be the hero or villain, doesn’t that pretty much tell us exactly what’s gonna happen right off the bat? I don’t understand wanting to limit where the stories could go. I don’t understand wanting to ensure there is almost no chance you’ll be surprised by what happens.
Man, this is dumb. Again, sorry. Carry on with your day.