Wednesday, December 3, 2014

What Do You Mean "Dark" Side of the Force?

Forget Michael Brown and "Hands Up Don't Shoot"--we have a new racial controversy in America: Black Stormtroopers in the new Star Wars movie.  Director JJ Abrams released a "teaser" trailer of Star Wars Episode VII--The Force Awakens on the internet last week which should have given us long-time fans reason to celebrate.  But instead, the release was overshadowed by the social media firestorm created by a split-second shot of a black man in Stormtrooper armor.

The tidal wave of negative accusations that Abrams was "playing to racial stereotypes" by casting a black man as the bad guy sapped all of the excitement out of finally getting to see some footage from the eagerly-anticipated new flick.  Nevermind that the image is shown completely out of context and we have no idea how or why this actor is in that costume.  Let's not forget that in the original Star Wars Episode IV--A New Hope, both Luke Skywalker and Han Solo donned similar Stormtrooper costumes to access the Death Star cellblock to rescue Princess Leia.  That certainly didn't make them "villains" did it?  My favorite argument was "everyone knows Stormtroopers are clones of a white guy!!"

The blowback became so extreme that the actor himself--John Boyega (who is British by the way--so I guess his politcally-correct racial identification would be African-English?) also had to take to social media to tell everyone to chill out.

This is not the first time that the Star Wars film series has come under fire from those on the Left.  The original three films were criticized for their lack of Black actors.  The three prequel films were questioned for the "semi-Ebonics-type" language used by the hated character Jar Jar Binks.  So JJ Abrams had to know that he was going to face similar over-the-top reactions to his casting in the next three films.

But that is where we are now in America, where the slightest possibility that a Black person might be cast as a "bad guy" in a fictional movie sets off a "racial controversy".  So good luck fixing anything involving real humans.

No comments:

Post a Comment