Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Diversity in Star Wars

Image result for the force awakens
In the movie Star Wars- The Force Awakens, race stereotypes are enforced and denied. This movie came out in 2015 and has definitely come a long way since the first Star Wars movie, A New Hope, in 1977. In A New Hope there were no main characters that were African American. However, in this recent Star Wars movie, Finn is an important character (not a main character) and is African American. The main character, Han Solo, however, is white. Han is seen as the superior man in this movie, which plays into the white male stereotype. However, Finn is not portrayed as the stereotype, he is seen as kind and gentle instead of aggressive, and falls for Rey, the female main character. This movie shows and breaks stereotypes at the same time by promoting the white masculine man who is usually the main character in action movies, while also showing a kind and caring black man as an important character in the movie as well.

During the movie, Han is portrayed as the wise man with the knowledge and skills to keep you alive. Han was a chief figure in the Rebel Alliance and has power in this movie. When they are on the Falcon, the Rathtars come and Rey asks “What are you going to do,” Han replies “Same thing I always do, talk my way out of it.” This shows Han’s power. When Finn first meets Rey, he runs over to save her because she is being attacked by people who want BB-8. Finn wanting to help defies the aggressive and intimidating label put on African American men. Finn asks Rey, “What happened to you. Did he hurt you?” when they find Rey during one of the scenes. This shows his gentleness and love towards Rey.

In most action movies, like Indiana Jones and the Mission Impossible movies, the main character is a white man. This movie does play into that stereotype while also taking a new path, a path that is putting African American men as characters that are not always the “bad guys,” but as the same roles that the white actors play.

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