Sunday, August 17, 2008

Star Wars: Gay Wars

A long time ago, in a politically correct galaxy far far away...

Parents taking their children to see the latest installment of the Star Wars saga may have found themselves in the uncomfortable position of having to explain why Jabba the Hut's uncle Ziro is speaking with a lisp, wearing makeup and feathers and doing nefarious things to his nephew's son. Not exactly the kind of family friendly fun they had in mind.

If the latest trilogy of prequels wasn't enough to sink the once great sci-fi franchise, this sudden embrace of Hollywood-style PC brain washing likely will. If this is the kind of agenda people can expect to find being pushed on them in the upcoming television series that is being spun-off from the film, we're guessing its ratings will be dead on arrival.

It's one thing to be tolerant of people's sexual preference and what they choose to do in the privacy of their own homes. It's quite another to be subtly pushing an agenda on an unsuspecting youth.

George Lucas should be ashamed for interjecting this kind of social issue into a children's movie that is supposed to be about conveying the moral values of right and wrong, good and evil, and having faith in a power greater than your own.

Meanwhile, I am sure it won't go over well with the homosexual community that the one gay Star Wars character is the stereotypical creepy uncle and just so happens to be one of the evil characters in the film.


Uriah said...

Your one of those "Agenda" people aren't you. Two things:

For one, the show is a narrative, and narratives get classified as Art. Art is often reflective of society and requires no explanation and is not subject to idealistic restrictions such as the one your trying to do.

Two, television is often produced as being representative of society in some fashion (to produce identification). Being aquianted with the gay community myself, I would say there are quite a few out there. Having one character in a series seems porportionally representative of that which exists naturally.

If you would like to push your "agenda" furthur, I would suggest criticizing the way the character is portrayed. That affect will influence the childs perspective about gays much more than the fact that there is a gay person on television. I think you would agree keeping gays off television sends a much stronger message to the child, unless that is your intention in all of this.

James said...

Uriah, thanks for commenting.

First, let me kindly point out that this is a political blog and thus perfectly appropriate for discussing such issues.

I can also tell you must not be a fiction writer, because if you are, you would know that it is the job of the skilled writer to limit their writing to elements and scenes that serve to move the story and overriding theme forward.

For example, do you know if Obiwan Kenobi is gay or not? Does Anakin prefer Wookies to Twileks? Is Princess Leia pro-life?

Of course not, because these issues are not germane to the theme of good versus evil. Had the theme of the film been about discrimination and acceptance, the use of homosexuality in the hut character would have made perfect sense. Since that is not theme, it not only does nothing to move the theme forward, but it only serves as a subliminal message to the viewer.

You'll also notice we did point out in our post that the use of homosexuality in the evil uncle reinforced negative stereotypes about homosexuality.

Art often imitates life, but not always. And while it is true that 1 to 2% of our society is homosexual, what does depicting that do for the story? Our society is also made up of 30% black and about 32% Latino, yet there are only a couple black characters and no Latinos. So if the writers were looking to mirror society, they've failed miserably.

If anything, the original trilogy was ingenious in its approach to race. It made it a non-issue. We didn't care that Lando was black, or that the voice of Darth Vader was that of a black man. It simply made no difference. We loved or loved to hate the characters for who they were and what they did, not because of the color of their skin.

Sexual preference should have also been addressed in the same manner. There was no need to discuss it; no story need to overtly reference it. So shy did it need to be said at all?

We should be teaching or kids that sexual preference is not an issue, that it is the actions of a man that define him, not who he dates.

Interjecting sexual preference in the way they did does just the opposite. It accentuates what makes people different and neglects the positives of what makes them the same. It makes people question the motives behind the use of homosexuality, because it so clearly had no place in the overall story line, again, only reinforcing the false belief that homosexuals are trying to force their lifestyles on others.

Uriah said...

Well said.

The only thing I would say is storytelling is much more complex than simply keeping the story limited to a "theme." The best writing comes from adding historical and cultural significance to a story without deterring its original direction or as you mentioned, "theme."

Adding lifestyle choices, political opinions & individual character ideology without actually doing it (thus deterring from the theme) is, in my opinion, where I find the best writing. I would agree from your description that they have not acheived this with the character Ziro in the upcoming series, making him stand out more as a social/political statement rather than character development as it may or may not have been intended.

I would attribute it to poor writing rather than Hollywood agenda. I think we overdo that a bit much anyway.