r/StarWars 28d ago

George Lucas Rejects ‘Star Wars’ Critics Who Think the Films Are ‘All White Men’: ‘Most of the People Are Aliens!’ Movies

https://variety.com/2024/film/festivals/george-lucas-star-wars-critics-all-white-men-cannes-film-festival-1236015478/
11.9k Upvotes

1.8k comments sorted by

3.5k

u/GlorifiedCaveman 28d ago

It was also the 70s-80s. That was the majority of Hollywood at the time.

2.6k

u/zerocoolforschool Ahsoka Tano 28d ago

Yeah I’m tired of people looking at history through a modern lens. George was ahead of his time with Leia and then Lando. Hollywood was 99% white guys at that time. People need to give more credit to people who were trying to make progress back when that was not the norm.

1.3k

u/MechaPanther 28d ago

It's worth looking at the roles applied to the non white men in the cast too. Both Mon Mothma and Leia are shown as the leaders of the rebellion and Lando is the ruler of a successful city. They're not just playing bit characters, they're playing successful leaders.

375

u/RavioliGale 28d ago

I think it might be worth noting how race/gender casts are distributed among factions.

The "all white men" critique does apply in one area: the Empire. But wouldn't you expect an authoritarian regime to be intolerant to diversity?

Our female leaders however are part of the rebellion, on the side fighting for independence and freedom. The rebellion also features a few other alien races unlike the Empire which is strictly human.

This is reductionist but in the OT the good guys are more diverse than the bad guys.

153

u/Lordborgman 28d ago

I have very vivid memories of the Empire being extremely based off of Nazis and them being super human centric. The officers in most of the EU and movies were always white British sounding posh people. Which made characters like Daala and Thrawn special. Now suddenly the empire remnants and what not are very diverse, it's extremely whiplash style change. Makes sense for the Rebels to be as such, or the Old Republic beforehand, but NOT the Empire.

29

u/amberfill 28d ago

Wouldn't the remnant have to bend "purity" rules to survive? Even the Nazis weren't above having foreign soldiers.

9

u/Lordborgman 28d ago

They did not in the EU, to my recollection. That new and some of the characters seem far to well established as if they had long been in the Empire for some time, most notably: Moff Gideon.

→ More replies (1)
→ More replies (2)

17

u/endersai The Mandalorian 28d ago

I have very vivid memories of the Empire being extremely based off of Nazis and them being super human centric. The officers in most of the EU and movies were always white British sounding posh people. Which made characters like Daala and Thrawn special. Now suddenly the empire remnants and what not are very diverse, it's extremely whiplash style change. Makes sense for the Rebels to be as such, or the Old Republic beforehand, but NOT the Empire.

West End Games really leaned into the idea of the Empire having an anti-nonhuman bias, and I like that about the Empire. I don't want diversity in the Empire's ranks; I don't want diverse enemies who smack of militarily pretty fascism. They should be vile.

12

u/Lordborgman 28d ago

Indeed, that was always how I felt. It also made those special empire characters so much more impressive. Like, they are FORCED to work with Thrawn, because he was just that damn good. With all the racism around him and still does his thing, which makes it feel just how awful they are.

9

u/endersai The Mandalorian 28d ago

And also, you look at Thrawn and go, if they overcame their prejudice because of his talents, his talents have to be extraordinary indeed.

→ More replies (2)

7

u/Nukemind Ben Kenobi 27d ago

Fully agreed. I miss the Human-Supremacist Empire, in part because the EU made it clear Palp’s didn’t even agree with the idea. He just thought it a great way to divide his enemies and get cheap labor so he was more than happy for mass discrimination for his own petty goals.

The Empire would still be Human Supremacist, but liberalizing, when Pelleaon shook an alien Supreme Chancellor’s hand (good old Ponc) and it wouldn’t be until over a century later when Rodians and other aliens would be full Imperial citizens under the Fel Empire- though Jagged Fel already started many reforms in ~40ABY.

→ More replies (11)

48

u/SkyIcewind 28d ago

The Empire is VERY racist in the EU.

Straight up anti-alien policies, massive alien enslavement, etc.

Thrawn's like, the one exception.

11

u/lucklesspedestrian 28d ago

On top of that, Thrawn (and Daala) were exceptions ONLY because of their strategic prowess (FWIW in Daala's case she was also sleeping with Tarkin)

→ More replies (1)
→ More replies (4)

5

u/Ok_Astronomer_8667 28d ago

At the end of the day though I do like how the OT Empire was basically just evil British people in fancy decorum-pleasing uniforms, it was so on the nose but it just worked to sell the cold regime. There is nothing more classic than a British baddie

→ More replies (4)

55

u/EquationConvert 28d ago

They're also not just successful leaders, but people.

Decades later, we've been inundated with films made by people who have unconscious bias and conscious anti-bigotry, who can't imagine a woman or a black man as people but can imagine them as "strong" so they write them as mary sues.

Lando and Leia's humanity jumps out of the screen at you. I can empathize with them every time they make a hard choice, and as a child I could learn from their emotional journeys and have it inform how I faced similar decisions later on in life. They were deep characters with story arcs that tied into the major themes of the trilogy, and George invested a lot of thought into writing and which in turn caused the audience to invest in them deeply. They weren't just token representation to be inspiring to people who looked like them, they were ultimately inspiring to all little kids.

317

u/siliconevalley69 28d ago edited 28d ago

The first Star Wars movie opens with Princess Leia confronting Darth Vader to his face.

The force has always been female.

That's what's been so obnoxious about some of the over-the-top marketing and promotional puff pieces about Disney's Star Wars stuff like it's blazing some trail of diversity that was never there except for the fact that it's always been there and Lucas blazed that trail from the start.

Leia, Mara, Ahsoka (edit: Padme, Jyn Erso, Jaina) are fan favorite female characters from each generation of Star Wars that predates Disney but for some reason there's this perpetual drum beat that somehow this is all new to Star Wars.

87

u/burnerfun98 28d ago

That's what's been so obnoxious about some of the over-the-top marketing and promotional puff pieces about Disney's Star Wars stuff like it's blazing some trail of diversity that was never there except for the fact that it's always been there and Lucas blazed that trail from the start.

Wdym, Rey going "let go of my hand, I know how to take care of myself!" in TFA to show that she's a strong independent woman has the nuance and depth that only someone like Dostoevsky or Proust could bring to life /s

No problem at all with Rey or Daisy btw (I was one of the ones cheering loudest when she turned up at Celebration in London last year!), but I think it just really highlights your point that the thought and attention given towards having a female lead didn't really go beyond the surface level. And I think it's such a shame.

You end up with a girl who finds that her mother died protecting her and a potential "in" into the idea of exploring a lost chance at daughterhood and a relationship never allowed to blossom, and...instead Palpatine turns back up with no second thought given to Rey's actual parents, renouncing their name when she renounces Palpatine's and instead picks up the name of the kids of the man who was basically half Space Jesus and half Space Hitler instead.

Urgh. The Rise of Skywalker gets my blood boiling!

26

u/Kinggakman 28d ago

Some modern writers go so far they create something more sexist than what existed decades ago. It’s like they can’t actually imagine strong women and come up with a caricature that no one cares about.

11

u/[deleted] 28d ago

It boils down to being high priority and never being allowed to take a back seat when it should. It's actually a general issue where writers are not taking the time to build anything up. There's just a general impatience with everything and characters can't have level headed conversations, someone always has to be a loose cannon.

→ More replies (1)

40

u/KGBFriedChicken02 28d ago

Daisy Ridley is great. Rey is a fucking terrible character, but if you made her a man, that would not change the fact that Rey was a terribly written character. Daisy Ridley, like Hayden Chrstiansen, did an excellent job with the pile of garbage she was given.

6

u/sonofaresiii 27d ago

Rey is a fucking terrible character

::shrug:: I liked her. Honestly I really liked all the new characters JJ came up with (or whoever came up with them for his movie), they were really interesting and had a lot of potential

it's just a shame that they were then handed off to Johnson, who wanted to re-develop them with entirely different potential

and then back to JJ who was like lol fuck all this

but like as base characters, they, including rey, are all pretty cool imo.

→ More replies (1)
→ More replies (1)
→ More replies (3)

40

u/EquationConvert 28d ago

It's the Disney barbershop pole of progress. Same way they've been milking "first gay X" for decades, while cutting that content out of overseas releases. They have 0 interest in pushing the envelop, they just want to generate marketing material around different identity groups so people feel affinity to their products.

Sometimes, coincidentally, this leads to them actually doing good stuff, but IMO the credit for that goes to activists pushing for holding them to a higher bar, not Disney corp itself.

12

u/SoaDMTGguy 28d ago

I worked for Disney on Disney+ from 2018 through 2023. I can confirm that your basic description is how they approach everything.

8

u/OtakuAttacku 28d ago

I remember Acti-Blizz having a diversity checker that assigned numeric values to race, gender, sexual orientation and disabilities to score the heroes under development in Overwatch. Like I’m all for diversity but jesus christ, you are now scoring race??? That’s not the opposite of racism???

I’m sure every media company has some version of this, but yeah when diversity is a checklist that’s not a good sign.

6

u/SoaDMTGguy 28d ago

They don’t care about the issue, they care that customers care. They are like dogs doing tricks for treats. They don’t know why they get a treat for finding cocaine in someone’s glove compartment, they just know they get a treat.

→ More replies (1)
→ More replies (2)
→ More replies (31)
→ More replies (8)

447

u/enigma140 28d ago

It's also always a bit weird to apply modern ethics to the past and then criticize the art for being different than today's standards. I mean the movie was made by a guy In 1977 and is about space monks fighting space nazis as an allegory for the Vietnam War and protest against the draft. How many women do you expect in that movie?

If a woman made a movie today about a group of space nuns fighting against an oppressive matriarchal society I would fully expect the cast to be made of mostly women.

52

u/spoiderdude 28d ago

Yeah and Leia revolutionized the Sci Fi genre by being such a great character.

We wouldn’t have Ripley in Alien without the success of Leia as a character because she was originally implied to be a male character when she was written. It was early in production when Ridley Scott decided to make her a woman.

By having Leia subvert expectations of simply being a princess and a damsel in distress and having her take on one of the leading roles in the film, George changed the course of female characters in cinema forever.

→ More replies (6)

71

u/Blazr5402 28d ago

There's a bit of nuance here, I feel. Analyzing past art through modern views and perspectives is perfectly reasonable, as long as you remain aware of your biases. Attacking people - giving George Lucas shit - for making a movie in 1977 that doesn't live up to modern standards of diversity isn't.

18

u/Killentyme55 28d ago

Presentism...it's alive and well in spite of all the people trying to deny it.

10

u/RevenantXenos 28d ago

Media criticism should involve looking at the time and place media was produced in. If you are reviewing new movies you can skip over this part because the audience is already familiar with their time and place, but going back you need to put a movie in its context. When I rewatached the Sam Rami Spider-Man trilogy last year I was surprised at how different they feel from present day movies in tone and pacing because I think of them as modern movies and was trying to explain why they are so different to my wife because it was her first time seeing them. Going back even farther you really have to be aware of what the culture was like, what else was in the market and the big events that were shaping society, especially if you were not alive then. It's perfectly reasonable for a critical analysis to say Star Wars did X in 1977, that would not be done now in 2024 for Y reason. Then give the context for why X was done, why we think differently about it now and how that changed over time. That could apply to a lot of stuff from race relations to camera techniques. I think a lot of the job of analyzing older media is explaining to an audience why a thing was done, why it was important or noteworthy at the time and why it's done differently today. But when people today say "George Lucas is a bad person because he did X in Star Wars when he should have done Y" all pretense of valid criticism goes out the window and it's just a hit piece fishing for cheap engagement based on ignorant outrage.

→ More replies (1)

11

u/Divinedragn4 28d ago

Meanwhile I just see it as it is, a fun movie with glowy swords.

→ More replies (2)
→ More replies (53)

27

u/ThatFatGuyMJL 28d ago

He was also required, under law while filming parts in the UK, to hire X amount of British actors.

That's why the villains are british

→ More replies (9)

59

u/Johnny_Banana18 28d ago

Reading the article I am curious what criticism he is specifically referring to and how much of this interview was dedicated to that. I have seen so many times where someone makes a brief comment, sometimes in jest, a tabloid picks it up, then someone else responds to it, maybe briefly as part of a larger interview about something else, then another tabloid runs that.

28

u/[deleted] 28d ago

This is the case the vast majority of the time. Some low effort journalist will rip a line from a podcast interview and turn it into a 6000 word article for the ad revenue.

→ More replies (1)

18

u/McFlyyouBojo 28d ago

Yeah. You don't just decide that a major norm in whatever business needs to change and then immediately just make that change and have everyone cool with it. You need trailblazers that will absolutely hopefully be surpassed.

It's a shame that we look down on these trailblazers the way we do.

→ More replies (1)

13

u/idejmcd 28d ago

Not to mention an ambiguously gay droid couple and Chewbacca.

→ More replies (4)
→ More replies (59)

5

u/imbued94 28d ago

Is still the majority of Hollywood. It's what 71%? Shouldn't representation be somewhat Representative?

90

u/Dagordae 28d ago

Which is why it’s kind of weird that he denied it.

Star Wars was overwhelmingly populated by white men. Not because of any statement or racism or whatever but because that’s who the assorted staffing companies had on hand and alien costumes are expensive.

Same reason a majority of bit characters were British: The sets were in the UK when the UK film industry(and the UK overall) was extremely white.

67

u/pewdiepastry 28d ago

Us Americans love a good British villain as well.

61

u/alcaste19 Hype Fazon 28d ago

"You may fire when ready."

knees go weak

24

u/pewdiepastry 28d ago

Perfect casting. Timeless performance.

8

u/alcaste19 Hype Fazon 28d ago

And slippers!

25

u/DegenerateCrocodile 28d ago

Being the bad guys is what the British are best at!

17

u/TenaciousJP 28d ago

My favorite is the opening credits of Deadpool where they straight up say the movie is starring "A British Villian"

6

u/HandsomeBoggart 28d ago

Centuries of practice from being a real expansionist Empire does that. They got that shit down cold.

22

u/River1stick 28d ago

The uk is still extremely white fyi

23

u/Indiana_harris 28d ago

Outside of London were around 90% White I think and in Scotland is around 98%.

5

u/rugbyj 27d ago

And the next largest diaspora here is South Asian, not Black. Which you wouldn't think whenever you see any mention of inclusivity/racism, which always seems to be the Americanised version, focused on Black slavery style rhetoric. Despite the vast majority of black people in the UK coming here hundreds of years after we abolished slavery.

We've got our own race/class problems, I think we need to focus on those rather than importing someone elses.

→ More replies (1)
→ More replies (1)

9

u/Feats-of-Derring_Do 28d ago

It was their main export for a long time.

→ More replies (2)
→ More replies (12)

23

u/JCWOlson 28d ago

While not quite the same, it's a bit like people complaining about the lack of black representation in Canadian shows - chances are if you rounded up 20 random Canadians for a cast, none of them would be black, but four or five of them would be Asian and one of them would be Aboriginal, and you'd have an equal chance of one of them being East Indian as you do of one of them being black. Canada is cold and people from hot countries are just less likely to move here

Insisting that there needs to be a large population of black Canadian actors represented by a large percentage of the cast means you don't care about the actual racial demographics of the country, especially when you consider things like that any black kid in Canada is far more likely to become a doctor than any black kid in the USA

→ More replies (2)

15

u/[deleted] 28d ago

[deleted]

→ More replies (2)
→ More replies (62)

647

u/tangmang14 Luke Skywalker 28d ago

Idk as a brown dude who grew up poor in the deserts of the southwest with a single mother... I hella related to kid Anakin

119

u/FridayNight_Magus 28d ago

As an Asian kid growing up in the 90s, I never once cared about the color of the characters. I just knew I loved Luke and crew. It wasn't until someone else told me I should be offended in my 30s that I even thought about it. For the record I still don't care because all I know is I love Luke and crew.

22

u/platinumrug 28d ago

That's the thing that's been really annoying about consuming media nowadays, as a black dude growing up in the 90s, I too never once thought about it watching OT & PT. While I LOVED seeing Lando and Mace act out and do their thing, I didn't resonate with them as much as I did with Obi-Wan or Luke in some cases. The characters are what matters, even if representation matters (and it does), it matters more how well the character is written. While I love Mace and all of his scenes, Sam and Terrence did a great job in their respective roles, they weren't relatable to me on a cultural level. Or even a regular person level, for me personally.

10

u/space_guy95 27d ago

There's this strange idea nowadays among some progressive circles that you can only truly relate to people who are the same race/gender/age/sexuality or whatever other dividing factor they can think of. I find it to be ironic that the same people who shout loudly about inclusion and diversity also struggle to relate to anyone who isn't exactly the same as themselves, it's like a self-imposed segregation.

I'm a straight white man and when I think of my favourite characters in games and TV/film race/gender/etc doesn't even come into it, because even if they don't look like me or have the same experiences it doesn't mean I can't empathise with them...

6

u/xmagie 27d ago edited 27d ago

I watched the OT when I was a young teenage girl. My favorite character was not Leia but Han. Not because Harrison Ford was handsome (although, I was not blind) but because I envied him... for the Falcon mainly. I also admired him. He had a special and trusted friend in Chewie, he had the Falcon which was both a home and a way to earn money and to go on living this free spirit life (although on the illegal side, a lot on the illegal side!), he was traveling from one planet to another, he was living tons of adventures...

I loved that character for his way of life. That was so not me and it's still not so me. I wish I had the courage Han had to live this kind of life but that's not my case (hell, I think even if I was offered to live such a free spirit life, I would lack the courage to make that jump). Han Solo was the opposite of who I was and still am, but I loved him for that, for being so different from who I was. It was entertaining.

I loved Lando, too. What a funny character, so charismatic; I sooo want a show with him when he was young. And once again, a young black man living in the underworld, soooo not me. But I sooo want to watch his younger years on tv.

Nowadays, we are supposed to be narcissist viewers and love ourselves on tv, aka loving people who are the same gender, the same race, the same sexuality... if you want representation, that's fine. But there are plenty, plenty of viewers who just want to be entertained and not to look into a mirror to watch themselves.

→ More replies (1)
→ More replies (3)

307

u/stupidtyonparade 28d ago

Because race shouldn't be what defines us.

276

u/CapnFulch 28d ago

instead, podrace should be what defines us.

77

u/CatCreampie 28d ago

Now THIS is podracing!

16

u/TwistedBamboozler 28d ago

catcreampie beat me to it

→ More replies (3)
→ More replies (1)

9

u/viotix90 28d ago

I'm a raging podracist.

But jokes aside, why haven't we gotten more podracing in SW media? I wanted an arc in the Clone Wars with adult Ani racing, maybe undercover, to win a McGuffin under the noses of the Separatists.

They had something similar to podracing in the Bad Batch but not quite it.

7

u/Wantstopost 28d ago

An updated podracer game would be spectacular.

→ More replies (1)
→ More replies (3)
→ More replies (91)

10

u/chaosgoblyn 28d ago

How do you feel about sand?

→ More replies (1)

21

u/VengefulAncient Ahsoka Tano 28d ago

"They look like me" is the most primitive way of identifying with/relating to the character (which, by the way, is completely unnecessary to appreciate media to begin with, and people should stop obsessing with that). Shared experiences are what actually unites us. Shared values is the ultimate.

→ More replies (7)
→ More replies (10)

2.6k

u/Flying_Sea_Cow 28d ago

On that note, does it feel like there are less aliens in the Disney series' to anyone else?

1.2k

u/Tessek22 Enfys Nest 28d ago

We need more weird aliens - with alien languages too. Some of them just look silly speaking clear English.

761

u/Timmah73 28d ago

They need to go back to the gold standard of the original cantina scene with all sorts of werid shit speaking alien languages

177

u/unshavenbeardo64 28d ago

Not gonna lie, i really liked all the weird creatures in Antman Quantum Mania.

58

u/Azriels_Subtle_Knife 28d ago

About the only good thing about that film… the story was dogshit 🫠

20

u/FlameDragon55 Darth Vader 28d ago

Not enough Luis.

5

u/Azriels_Subtle_Knife 28d ago

The real star of the franchise 😂

→ More replies (1)
→ More replies (4)
→ More replies (1)

35

u/Puffen0 28d ago

The reason why that scene even came about is bc a lot of the aliens were different costumes just left in the prop/wardrobe department that they made a few customizations to. Thats why there's a literally devil as on of the aliens lol. And it fucking worked!

11

u/Polyrhythm239 28d ago

I mean that devil looking species ended up having an actual name and shit right? At least in EU canon?

7

u/Puffen0 28d ago

They all are official species. I was just talking about their initial creation before any lore was made for them

→ More replies (4)
→ More replies (1)
→ More replies (1)

15

u/_IratePirate_ 28d ago

Bro that scene was so atmospheric. Felt like I was in the fuckin cantina just witnessing what’s going on

20

u/baseball_mickey BB-8 28d ago

And human bartenders who say "we don't serve their kind here"

15

u/LectureAfter8638 28d ago

What an oddly specific prejudice for a bar filled with everything.

48

u/Spliff_Politics 28d ago

It might have to do with a massive war where one side exclusively used droids that happened in the past. I could be wrong, though.

7

u/Missus_Missiles 28d ago

You're wrong. It's not that they're droids. It's that R2D2 and C3P0 are a gay couple.

/s

→ More replies (1)

28

u/Beegrene R2-D2 28d ago

Droids don't buy drinks. They take up space that could go to paying customers.

10

u/Jazz7567 28d ago

It's like George said in the interview, the only beings being discriminated against are the droids.

4

u/ussrowe 28d ago

Service for older model androids was discontinued.

→ More replies (1)
→ More replies (24)

29

u/Slick424 28d ago

The first movies used a lot of real language that just sound alien to an english speaker. The Ewoks speak Tibetan, for example, and Greedo spoke Southern Quechua.

5

u/Striggie 28d ago

Nien Nunb speaks Kikuyu, a language from Kenya.

90

u/Resident-Employ 28d ago

Yeah, what is the deal with that? People can’t handle reading subtitles? It’s immersion-breaking.

69

u/Tessek22 Enfys Nest 28d ago

Look up Tulli Mu from Jedi Survivor. There’s no way that creature should speak with a generic human voice!

64

u/JudasBrutusson 28d ago

On the other hand, Skoova Stev is perfect and I will suffer no changes to their voice

25

u/PuddinPacketzofLuv 28d ago

Yeah, pretty sure the entire SW:JS community would riot if they changed Skoova at all in any future appearances.

4

u/RevenantXenos 28d ago

If you take a shot at the king expect his nation to retaliate.

→ More replies (1)

12

u/MIke6022 28d ago

I had to look this masterpiece of a character up because for a moment I thought he was another Glup Shitto.

5

u/Tessek22 Enfys Nest 28d ago

The Scottish accent fits the character perfectly.

→ More replies (1)
→ More replies (2)

29

u/UnnamedArtist 28d ago

Reminds me of kotor and how they handled the Wookiees. You’d hear them speak, but it was all subtitles.

4

u/ANGLVD3TH 28d ago

And every single non-Wookiee that didn't speak Basic spoke like 4 or 5 different lines of Huttese on repeat.

→ More replies (1)
→ More replies (1)

27

u/sentimentalpirate 28d ago

There weren't any subtitles in the original trilogy were there?

Jawas, Ponda Baba, Chewie, Nien Nunb, Ewoks.....

Oh wait Jabba! Was he the only one who got subtitles? That's the only one I can remember. I suppose he also showed up in ANH in the special edition.

41

u/MindlessArmadillo382 28d ago

All the small characters would have their lines reiterated by another character.

Chewie grab me a wrench!

Rawr

What do you mean you lost the wrench!

As a viewer you just subconsciously know the rawr meant “I lost the wrench”

Truly clever writing

→ More replies (2)

36

u/mgslee 28d ago

Greedo spoke huttese in ANH with subtitles

There's been plenty of opportunity to have Aliens speak non-basic but they've declined.

Recently while watching Tales of the Sith, I was really expecting the little Alien dude who guided the couple to Barris to speak an alien language but he spoke basic with not much of an accent.

10

u/Hageshii01 Grievous 28d ago edited 28d ago

It really really bothered me in the Clone Wars that Anakin, while speaking directly to someone like Jabba, doesn't speak Huttese. It's basically a second language to him, we see him using it as a kid.

Is it possible that he doesn't use it much and thus lost a lot of the ability? I guess. Could he maybe refuse to speak it because it reminds him of his time as a slave? Maybe. For whatever reason it just sorta feels like a copout.

Same with Ahsoka never speaking Togrutan, even in the slavery episode that heavily featured Togruta who she interacted with.

It's a whole galaxy of aliens with billions of languages. I just want to see them explore that more.

→ More replies (7)

9

u/Sere1 Sith 28d ago

Greedo and Jabba in ANH, Boushh (Leia's disguise in RotJ) and Jabba in RotJ. Nothing in ESB.

4

u/Lone_Wolfen BB-8 28d ago

Greedo had subtitles too.

→ More replies (1)

4

u/BubbhaJebus 28d ago

Greedo in the cantina in ANH was the OG subtitled alien speech scene. It's quintessential Star Wars. It left an impression on me in 1977 when I saw it as a kid.

Jabba had subtitles in ROTJ.

→ More replies (1)
→ More replies (1)

10

u/wazzup4567 28d ago

It is. Look at the lazy fuckers who complained about Parasite.

→ More replies (11)

63

u/fredagsfisk Sith 28d ago

Yeah, one of my biggest problems with Disney Canon is that the aliens are so often reduced to just "[insert Earth culture] but in space" or act like generic humans who happen to look different from other humans.

There are a few exceptions, like Babu Frik, the Lanai, or the Noti from Ahsoka, but mostly they feel like they could just be replaced by humans without it changing anything.

Sure, Legends could get a bit Planet of Hatsy at times, but at least the aliens usually had some characteristic that set them apart... and there are/were a ton of species which did have strongly developed cultures which affected how they would react to things, act, or speak.

20

u/Sere1 Sith 28d ago

I also liked that there was a wide variety of aliens that you could find all over the galaxy in addition to the locals of any given world. Humans are everywhere, it stands to reason we'd find Twi'leks and Togruta and Mirialans and such everywhere too, while at the same time each sector of the galaxy having races you only ever really see there like the Ewoks at Endor or the Gungans at Naboo.

5

u/McFlyyouBojo 28d ago

I really dislike how in every video game that has Jawas, the go to line they always have them say is "OOH-TEE-NEE!" as if that is one of the only words they know

→ More replies (1)

10

u/CuteAndQuirkyNazgul Count Dooku 28d ago

We haven't seen Geonosians in live action since 2002.

13

u/minimandunc 28d ago

There extinct mostly after the Death Star construction

→ More replies (2)

9

u/Feli_Buste25 28d ago

Ok but the friendly mole guy from Kenobi speaking perfect English was very funny

→ More replies (1)
→ More replies (20)

239

u/Moneyfrenzy 28d ago edited 28d ago

Ahsoka is the only Live Action SW project where the lead isn’t a human

Grogu could be considered one of the 2 leads of Mando. And Mando has a bunch of aliens in every episode

167

u/TheHabro 28d ago

I'd say Grogu was more of a plot device than an actual character so far.

88

u/mcvos 28d ago

Lack of aliens was the one weak spot of Andor. (I think there's two scenes with aliens?)

28

u/alan_blood K-2SO 28d ago

There were more than two scenes but aliens were definitely featured less than other shows. The criticism was acknowledged by the show's creators and they promised to try to work more aliens into the second season.

42

u/TheyCallMeButch 28d ago

I think that might actually be a credit to the show. The Empire is EXTREMELY Xenophobic and it’s hard to explain that in live action. It’s talked about all over the books though. You can’t have a band of rebels try to infiltrate an Imperial Base if one of them isn’t human. It just doesn’t work. You could maybe argue Ferrix not having enough but it wasn’t at all uncommon during that period for there to be more human settlements.

Eli Vanto explains it best in the book Thrawn. He talks about how after the Clone Wars aliens were often seen as the cause of that war because of the coalition of Separatists and that even though there were many species in the Republic, humans were seen as doing the brunt of the work and the Empire did nothing to quell those fears of other species.

21

u/menomaminx 28d ago

COUNT THE ALIENS was a party game at my house every time there was a new Andor episode.

yeah, nobody's getting drunk on those numbers ;-)

32

u/CTeam19 28d ago

In Andor's defense? Given the Empire's position on the vast majority of Aliens(hint a lot of genocide) it makes sense not to have a ton of them when many episodes are an Imperial Prison that isn't mega manual labor(aka where wookies are needed) and the Imperial Security Bureau wouldn't have many if any.

→ More replies (1)

7

u/JorenM 28d ago

Finally, a drinking game for all ages. 😂

→ More replies (8)

3

u/Babayaga20000 28d ago

Well he is a baby...

→ More replies (4)
→ More replies (11)

86

u/MetaphoricDragon 28d ago

To me the issue was there were less recognizable aliens. At least with the sequel movies, the tv shows have gotten better about this. But I think throughout the sequel trilogy we had Chewbacca, Nien Numb, and I think there was a Mon Cal officer? New aliens are fine, had nothing wrong with Ello Asty and the others like him but it was weird there were so little other recognizable alien races. particularly in a giant scene like Canto Blight, That ended up feeling like it was out of Men in Black not Star Wars.

Honestly I got way to excited when the Ishi Tib officer showed up in Ahsoka

28

u/fredagsfisk Sith 28d ago

But I think throughout the sequel trilogy we had Chewbacca, Nien Numb, and I think there was a Mon Cal officer?

The fact that they brought back Akbar only to have him die in the background (only acknowledged by a single line of dialogue) in TLJ, and brought back Tantive IV and Nien Numb in TROS to destroy/kill off screen...

To me the issue was there were less recognizable aliens. At least with the sequel movies, the tv shows have gotten better about this.

Out of curiosity, I checked Wookieepedia's lists for sentient alien appearances for the sequel movies. Italics means their first appearance was in the sequel trilogy or anything published as part of direct movie tie-in projects:

TFA: Abednedo, Artiodac, Blarina, Bravasian, Caskadag, Candovantan, Crolute, Culisetto, Delphidian, Dowutin, Dybrinthe, Frigosian, Gabdorin, Hassk, Hoogenz's species, Kyuzo, Melitto, Mon Calamari, Narquois, Nu-Cosian, Onodone, Ottegan, Shozer, Stennes Shifter, Sullustan, Tarsunt, Teedo, Ubdurian, Urodel, Wookiee, Zenezian, Zuzabol

Out of 32 species, 8 had appeared before the Sequel Trilogy. Out of those, 4 first appeared in the Original Trilogy, and 2 first appeared in Legends.

TLJ: Abednedo, Alissyndrex delga Cantonica Provincion's species, Armo Malou's species, Bufopel, Caskadag, Cloddogran, Derla Pidys' species, Dynym Quid's species, Heptooinian, Keteerian, Lanai, Moldwarp, Mon Calamari, Nobillian, Ongidae, Palandag, Shozer, Silvasu Fi's species, Suerton, Sullustan, Tarsunt, Troglof, Ungrila, Unidentified species, Unidentified species, Unidentified species, Unidentified species, Unidentified species, Urodel, Wookiee, Xi'Dec, Yoda's species

Out of 32 species, 3 had appeared before the Sequel Trilogy. All 3 first appeared in the Original Trilogy.

TROS: Abednedo, Aki-Aki, Alazmec, Anzellan, Boosodian, Caphex, Caspus Pillar's species, Cingulon, Cyclorrian, Delphidian, Deymasollian, Didynon, Eupharus Biro's species, Ewok, Gabdorin, Ginmid, Ithorian, Jaluku, Jawa, Kessurian, Lacertilo, Mohsenian, Mon Calamari, Mythrol, Ovissian, Ozrelanso, Reesarian, Shahkirin, Shungbeek, Snivvian, Sullustan, Symeong, Talpiddian, Tarsunt, Trodatome, Unidentified species, Unidentified species, Wayuning, Wookiee

Out of 39 species, 10 had appeared before the Sequel Trilogy. Out of those, 6 first appeared in the Original Trilogy, and 1 first appeared in Legends.


So yeah, the % of seen-before-the-sequel-trilogy species per sequel movie is 25% for TFA, 9% for TLJ, and 26% for TRoS. Not going to look into how the prequel numbers compare, because that'd be way more involved and time consuming (Canon vs Legends, etc), but from a quick glance I'd put that number at around 20-30% for Phantom Menace at least.

Honestly, I think the bigger problem with the sequel aliens is that a lot of them (not all, but still quite a few) also have very similar features to each other. Wide mouth, brown/beige/blueish skin, wide set eyes, flat nose or open nostrils, etc. This makes them sorta blend together, stand out less.

6

u/Random222222222222 28d ago

Thank you for your work, and another thanks for pointing out why I never liked the sequel aliens designs. They all look too damn similar

→ More replies (1)
→ More replies (1)

24

u/truecore 28d ago

TFA added 19, TROS added 25 unnamed, no-info sentient species alone. Not only are they unrecognizable, they didn't even bother giving them a backstory. Including a character that actually has lines, Disney didn't even state what species Maz was. TFA also added 25 named species, while TROS added 21 (half of which were Resistance fighters, probably trying to add diversity in representation when compared to the Rebel Alliance).

https://alienanthology.wordpress.com/category/alien-compendium/

23

u/iisdmitch Baby Yoda 28d ago

Disney didn't even state what species Maz was

I mean we still don't know what species Yoda, Grogu and Yaddle are and Yoda has been around since 1980. I don't think we always have to know as long as the character is good.

8

u/kikimaru024 28d ago

While we don't NEED to know, it's weird how we know the mating habits of side-characters with 4 scenes in the entire trilogy.

→ More replies (1)
→ More replies (1)

10

u/blackbeltmessiah 28d ago

Of all the Tattoine griping I am 100% on board with Jawa and Tuskin lore expansions.

16

u/SometimesWill 28d ago

BoBF had Krrsantan, Cad Bane, the Tuskens, the Twi’lek, Grogu, Ahsoka, and a few others. If anything it features the most aliens that are actually meaningful in live action.

→ More replies (3)

5

u/Klutzy_Environment22 28d ago

It definitely felt that way even though I’m not so sure it’s true for the movies.  There are certainly less aliens than the prequels had but it feels about the same as the originally trilogy. Andor definitely had very few aliens but I believe there was a lore reason for it.

→ More replies (2)

41

u/[deleted] 28d ago

Yes. Not a critique or complaint about Disney, but it seems since they took over there have been less aliens.

36

u/shockwave8428 28d ago

It’s been better in some shows, but the prequels showed a lot of background aliens in some races shown in the OT, establishing they were fairly common in the galaxy. The sequel trilogy essentially only has old aliens if they’re the actual same person from the OT (ackbar, nien nunb, Chewbacca). They have aliens but they’re all new races, which is fine but I would’ve loved to see some old aliens show up since they’re well established already. The shows have done a great job of bringing them back (especially mando and boba fett).

→ More replies (1)

17

u/GRIZZLY_GUY_ 28d ago

That’s absolutely a complaint/issue for me tbh, aliens are supposed to be kinda frequent!

→ More replies (3)

23

u/AuthorHarrisonKing 28d ago

Less than the prequels more than the ot probably

20

u/not_a_flying_toy_ 28d ago

No?

Andor maybe. but the live action movies under Lucas had aliens mainly in background roles. The Disney series have had more aliens with speaking parts than the movies ever did, and the ST was about as alien heavy as the OT

TPM is the only film that has really solid alien representation, via Darth Maul and the Trade federation being so prominent

→ More replies (4)

42

u/Matstele Mandalorian 28d ago

Yes. While I’m 100% here for diverse representation, Disney seems to be under the impression that an Asian woman side character is the diversity Star Wars needs rather than a cosmopolitan galactic society with innumerable pockets of rich indigenous non-human cultures.

I’m more upset that every planet a character lands on seems to be some subsistence farming community of humans or human-passing people.

33

u/RedHeadedSicilian48 28d ago

Yeah, Prequels had several well-defined alien communities - Gungans in their city on Naboo, Geonosians in their spires, Utapau with their species caste system, etc.

Sequels and other SW media released under the Disney reign are more likely to have weirdly primitive villages largely populated by a multiethnic cadre of humans in peasant garb, and oh maybe an alien or two thrown in there for good measure. It’s what we got at the very beginning of TFA!

→ More replies (1)

23

u/True_to_you 28d ago

Well they never had Latin actors in co leading roles in Oscar Isaac, Diego Luna, and Pedro Pascal. Honestly it's just nice to see us up there without being a stereotype. 

→ More replies (2)
→ More replies (3)
→ More replies (101)

148

u/Sir_Couglet1 28d ago edited 28d ago

Wasn’t the leader of the Rebellion a woman?

44

u/FrancoisTruser 28d ago

Shhhhhh we ignore facts here

→ More replies (1)

3

u/bralma6 28d ago

The books have some really badass women in them too. Mara Jade, Jaina, Tenel Ka, Tahiri and Vestara.

→ More replies (9)

289

u/ICPosse8 28d ago

The sequels had very few aliens in comparison to the first six movies I feel

47

u/viotix90 28d ago

And almost no pre-existing aliens.

→ More replies (2)

74

u/Frunklin 28d ago

The only Jedi that went toe to toe with Palpatine and basically won if Anakin had not interfered was a black guy.

25

u/DoggoAlternative 28d ago

I dunno man the green guy was fucking him up pretty good too. Had to throw the whole ass senate at him to have a chance. And that was after he very nearly got executed by his own men and carved up the Jedi temple like it was a Christmas ham.

37

u/FuriousBeard 28d ago

The only race we should care about is the pod race. 

554

u/Vegan_Harvest 28d ago

Why are they bothering him about this or why is he bringing this up now? He doesn't own or control SW anymore and Disney isn't slacking on the diversity front. Especially from what I've seen of the Acolyte.

168

u/Michelanvalo Chewbacca 28d ago edited 28d ago

It's in the article...he was asked about it at Cannes.

28

u/NeferkareShabaka 28d ago

Are we supposed to read the article before commenting? Surprised! /s

→ More replies (3)

42

u/CrackPuto_ 28d ago

he said why, not where

→ More replies (9)
→ More replies (1)
→ More replies (46)

351

u/MikeyW1969 28d ago

I love these people who can't figure this out.

In the first place, the original trilogy has only a handful of consistent characters. And once they brought in Lando, one of that handful was black.

Besides, it's a universe where the Third Reich basically runs the entire galaxy.

And whining about women is stupid. EVERY single SW movie has a strong female character. Leia, Amidala, Rey, they're everywhere, he's always done a great job of giving women a role in the movies.

221

u/trippysmurf 28d ago

Leia is the first primary character to kill a character. Before Han shot Greedo, Leia straight up capped a trooper. 

85

u/Fermented_Butt_Juice 28d ago

Luke whined like a little bitch when the homeless old man he barely even knew died while Leia watched her entire home planet getting blown up while lying to the most powerful man in the galaxy with a straight face.

Keep in mind, this movie came out during a time when women had only had the legal right to get a credit card without their husband's permission for 3 years. Star Wars was way ahead of it's time.

35

u/Gloomy__Revenue 28d ago

Exactly. Don’t let the hair buns and dress fool you. Our Princess rocked a pair of boots and strangled a giant crime lord with her own slave restraints 😅

9

u/Chuck_Raycer 28d ago

"Men should be able to show emotion!"

Man shows emotion

"Lol, bitch."

4

u/I_hate_11 28d ago

You didn’t have to do Luke like that…

→ More replies (2)

55

u/GTOdriver04 28d ago

Also, as you said, Leia was one of the central characters. And she was powerful in her own right. Yeah she had to be “rescued” in the Death Star but once she was out she immediately went to work. She wasn’t given special treatment by any means and if anything showed Han Solo and Luke a thing or two.

57

u/freon 28d ago

And she wasn't "kidnapped" because she was "the princess", Leia was arrested because by Imperial standards she was a leader of a rebellion and was actively smuggling military secrets in furtherance of a conspiracy to commit a terrorist attack.

She then assisted in her own jailbreak, still brought out the intel, and successfully orchestrated said attack.

10

u/ShepardLuna 28d ago

Not to mention fed false information to Tarkin in order to protect the rebellion even while staring the death of her homeworld in the face.

3

u/freon 28d ago

And that was because she didn't give in even after getting interrogated by a TORTUREBOT, now that you mention it!

What a badass.

6

u/LonelyMachines Director Krennic 28d ago

Exactly! She stored classified documents on an unsecured R2 unit, dated a known drug smuggler, and contributed to the worst terrorist attack in the Empire's history.

And there are some unsettling rumors about, ahem, activities with her own brother.

28

u/Acct_For_Sale 28d ago

And Han also had to be rescued after Luke went to rescue the whole team on Cloud City..and needing to be rescued by Leia and Chewie

19

u/SmallsLightdarker 28d ago

The rebellion was led by a woman, too.

14

u/Fermented_Butt_Juice 28d ago

Also, she rescued herself just as much as she was rescued. The garbage chute was her idea after all.

→ More replies (3)

31

u/Michelanvalo Chewbacca 28d ago

6

u/Inner_University_848 28d ago

Yea, Vader was black until the end of ESB, I mean James Earl Jones did the voice and that’s what people hear.

9

u/BlerghTheBlergh 28d ago

That’s what I’m thinking, theres a lot old-Hollywood you can criticise for legitimate racism, sexism and homophobia. But SW was always kinda “woke”

→ More replies (3)

4

u/Pedro_Morales_Parker 28d ago

It’s the Roman Empire not the Third Reich

→ More replies (2)
→ More replies (46)

124

u/EggBonus 28d ago

I don’t want to hear it. Every clone, Jango, and Boba are Pacific Islanders.

74

u/paleoparkandgardens 28d ago

More Pacific Islander characters than any other movie ever… with a million more well on the way

→ More replies (7)

26

u/Personal-Ad6857 28d ago

This topic was boring 20 years ago

→ More replies (2)

38

u/[deleted] 28d ago

[removed] — view removed comment

→ More replies (3)

8

u/Isis_Cant_Meme7755 28d ago

Even if it is, so what? Not every race, ethnicity etc, needs to be represented in a story.

4

u/MehIdontWanna 28d ago

Leftists don't care about every race its really just about black people for some reason.

59

u/Berkyjay 28d ago

1) Who are these critics and what is the context of their critics?

2) Who cares if it is "All white men?"

→ More replies (10)

6

u/SureReflection9535 28d ago

What an absolutely brain-dead take when one of the main and coolest characters is Lando Calrissian

10

u/anarion321 28d ago

No one cares about good products anymore.

SW back then had better plot and vision.

→ More replies (1)

6

u/Fair-Fortune-1676 28d ago

Virtue signaling morons lmao 

22

u/Only-Ad4322 28d ago

I do remember one contemporary critic calling Episode IV “the most racist film ever” or something like that.

17

u/After_Delivery_4387 28d ago

Id have thought Birth of a Nation would take that title but guess that shows how out of touch I am.

10

u/Only-Ad4322 28d ago

You possess a knowledge known by few and loathed by many.

→ More replies (1)

51

u/The_G0vernator 28d ago

Who cares? People need to stop being so obsessed with race and hitting these weird quotas.

→ More replies (7)

11

u/sssnakepit127 28d ago

Star Wars second biggest star, darth vader, was voiced by a black man lol.

→ More replies (2)

11

u/iamshifter 28d ago

1978 George: look! A space opera with an old white man as the epitome of evil!

2024: You racist! Stop promoting white supremacy!

→ More replies (1)

166

u/Dagordae 28d ago

No, most of the people are human. And in the OT almost entirely white men, hence the decades old joke about Lando being the only black guy in the galaxy.

Star Wars is and always was predominantly human, alien costumes are expensive.

30

u/yogo 28d ago

What about Willrow Hood?

Second black guy in the galaxy.

68

u/Gremlin303 Maul 28d ago

Technically all of the characters in Star Wars are aliens, none are from Earth after all

25

u/Samuelwankenobi_ 28d ago

Technically if Luke went to naboo or some planet that isn't Tatooine wouldn't he be an alien to the planet's native population

6

u/Gremlin303 Maul 28d ago

Quite true

→ More replies (1)
→ More replies (3)

62

u/smaxup 28d ago

There are only 4 female speaking roles in the entire Original Trilogy: Leia, Beru, Mon Mothma, and unnamed Rebel on Hoth.

8

u/stult 28d ago edited 28d ago

For context, by my count there are 31 speaking roles for human characters in the OT, the vast majority of which are imperial or rebel officers who appear for only a single scene before dying in battle or being executed. There are only four characters with lines that do not have military rank, do not engage in combat personally, and are not bounty hunters. Beru and Owen Laws, Mon Mothma, and the bartender from the cantina in ANH.

There are a total of 70 roles altogether, with 42 speaking roles if you include droid whistling and wookie fur yodeling as speaking, 40 otherwise. There are only eight major human characters (major meaning that they have lines and appear in multiple scenes), of whom Leia is the only woman and Lando the only clearly non-white character. Lando is also the only human character at all who is not white, unless you count Boba Fett as Maori based on casting in the prequels, but Boba Fett is never seen without his armor in the OT so there is no indication of his race, and even his species is not immediately clear.

This breakdown makes the bias seem a little less bad:

Human Characters with Speaking Roles

Primary Protagonists

  • Princess Leia Organa
  • Lando Calrissian
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi
  • Luke Skywalker
  • Han Solo

Primary Antagonists

  • Emperor Palpatine
  • Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader

Imperial Military and Bounty Hunters

  • Boba Fett
  • Firmus Piett
  • Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin
  • Admiral Conan Antonio Motti
  • Moff Jerjerrod
  • Captain Lorth Needa
  • Admiral Kendal Ozzel
  • General Cassio Tagge
  • General Maximilian Veers

Rebel Military

  • Raymus Antilles
  • Wedge Antilles
  • Arvel Crynyd
  • Biggs Darklighter
  • Bren Derlin
  • Jan Dodonna
  • Derek “Hobbie” Klivian
  • General Crix Madine
  • Jek Tono Porkins
  • Dak Ralter
  • General Carlist Rieekan

Of those listed under imperial or rebel officers, only Captain/Admiral Piett and Boba Fett appear in multiple scenes or movies. None of those characters play any major role beyond the one or two lines they have, and none appear in multiple scenes except possibly with a throw away death scene later in the movie after their lines (e.g., the A-Wing pilot that crashed into the Executor in ROTJ). When the OT was made, women serving in the military was far more controversial than it is today, although it still remains somewhat contentious even after all the other progress feminism has made. So to some extent, it isn't entirely surprising that there were so few roles for women when the overwhelming majority of human characters were uniformed military officers.

Spreadsheet with my data:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vQfOdaGzmcCLjZUmC615fN-GKUhnM_O6Fz9pBdfwZNektCexy_1IYjgh_whAne-GgyHxqqWTZ5f53RO/pubhtml

39

u/Notfriendly123 28d ago

There were like 16 speaking roles in the movie, 2 of them were droids and 3 were aliens so technically only 11 speaking roles, 4 out of 11 isn’t SO bad 

Here is a link that breaks down how the lines were distributed. Leia speaks the most in Empire but in all 3 most of the dialogue is spoken by Luke or Han 

→ More replies (32)

16

u/WilliShaker 28d ago

The female pilot that was dubbed over?

→ More replies (9)
→ More replies (48)

7

u/Jedibri81 28d ago

Yeah, Jar Jar was a black guy

7

u/BurnerBoot 28d ago

People always find something to complain about. They love to have drama in their existence.

Please just enjoy the fucking films for what they are.

22

u/SatanSavesAll 28d ago

Is everything raciest these days.

17

u/5549372729 28d ago

It’s the new age of fighting racism by being hyper focused on everyone’s skin color that is ultimately cultivating new racism.

10

u/SatanSavesAll 28d ago

so true, prob too much info. My kids are mixed and on the light side of skin color...My oldest was told by a classmate that she will never be beautiful cause she is not black like her mom...got to start them young

→ More replies (1)
→ More replies (4)
→ More replies (2)

13

u/A_SNAPPIN_Turla 28d ago

This type of criticism is absolutely stupid. Instead of shoehorning in a demographic and treating people like checkboxes the movies were made with intent and purpose. One of the most dehumanizing things you can do to a person is to treat them as nothing more than face. People are more than their gender or race. The leader of the entire damn rebel alliance was Mon Mothma a woman. This whole critique is asinine.

→ More replies (7)

74

u/Skilled626 28d ago edited 28d ago

Why is everything about race. I am Mexican and living in California. My parents never taught us to be victims, we were taught to be leaders. My brother and i were raised poorly and we are now both in different fields of work but he makes almost 400k and i make 300k. My race and unprivileged upbringing didn’t stop us from succeeding, and i owe it my parents who never talked about being victims of racism. I love Star Wars by the way. : )

Edit:

Go figure, i am a minority, with a hard upbringing and being downvoted because i shared how my Mexican parents taught us leadership instead of victimization.

→ More replies (42)