This post might come a tad late, but frankly, i wasn’t sure if i should articulate my opinion about the topic of racism in fandom, but the recent negative comments about Episode VII being a vehicle to force certain worldviews onto its audience lessened my enjoyment of the current renaissance of a galaxy far, far away.
Let us turn back time to the fourth of september, Force Friday, when the marketing machine of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens was kicked down a mountaintop and set off an avalanche of merchandise that is still burying bank accounts under a fresh white coat of the beginning of a new trilogy.
But for me this day not only meant to get my grubby fingers on some toys but also kicked off a weekend with one of my favourite human beings, my Niece.
To explain the backstory further you have to know: my Niece is black.
She was nice enough to accompany her embarrasing uncle to the local store of a large company, and it was there that i felt ashamed for my fandom.
The shelves were filled better than i anticipated (it’s hard to come by the interesting stuff here in austria), but the figures that seemed to be glued to the pegs were Rey and Finn.
A possible explanation for this could have been the dialouge i overheared:
Kid: I want this figure.
Parent: The girl? Really?
Kid: Then i take this one?
Parent: “Finn?” (his real comment reffered to his skin colour in combination with a slur) Here take these instead.
Parent hands kid a Constable Zuvio and Luke Skywalker figure.
My Niece stood next to me when this happened and my brain was working hard to come up how to explanation for the mentioned exchange and actions.
I was going to get a Finn figure anyway and got the Black Series version off the peg, visible to the parent and his kid. (but inrecommend the 12-inch version because that face sculpt is incredible).
The parent might have no idea about Star Wars, but seriously, recomending ones kid to get an alien before he buys a female or person of colour toy?
Only a few people on this planet know about the story that these characters will appear in at this point in time, but the inclusion of people that weren’t prominently featured in franchises of that magnitude isn’t a scheme to force something on people, it is progress!
And it is not like our family did not have to learn this fact “the hard way”, thankfully we were educated through acceptance and love.
And i hope that some of the fans that are offended by a woman and a black man as the focus of the story learn to accept and like the changes.
I for one am glad that my Niece gets someone other than a blonde, white guy as the main focus of Star Wars.
Even though she does not care about the franchise.