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About the Star Wars Reboot Series

I received an interesting email over the weekend that was talking about the Star Wars series. In-case you hadn’t noticed, Rogue One, the first spin-off of the reboot series, released its first teaser trailer over the weekend. Fans seem to be pleased with how it looks.

My friend was not. He pointed out that in the entire Star Wars reboot series, with the exception of the original characters that play supporting parts, there are no white male protagonists, only white male antagonists.

Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens

TFA boasts of three protagonists, just like the original and prequel series.

Oscar Isaac – Hispanic Male

Daisy Ridley – White Female

John Boyega – Black Male

It also boasts of one primary antagonist.

Adam Driver – White Male

Rogue One

Rogue One is said to have three protagonists also.

Felicity Jones – White Female

Diego Luna – Hispanic Male

Riz Ahmed – Asian Male

It also boasts of one primary antagonist.

Ben Mendelsohn – White Male.

 

What do you think?

Is this casting just a coincidence? Or is there something more sinister at play?

 

 

 

 

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28 Comments »

  1. I don’t think most people think of Oscar Issac as Hispanic. His name doesn’t sound Hispanic, so I’m willing to bet most people think he’s a white guy. I thought Forrest Whitaker was playing a main bad guy too, but I’m not as familiar with Star Wars as others are.

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  2. Are we supposed to feel sad and/or worried about this trend? Frankly, I can’t help but cackle at anyone (male, female, etc) who thinks that Rogue One is a bad movie because it’s got a female lead and a diverse cast.

    The only thing I see as a potential problem for this film is that some people are confused/don’t know that it’s not a sequel to TFA. I’m inwardly cringing at the marketing because it can go wrong so fast…

    (Not surprisingly, I LOVED THE TEASER and am presently wishing that it was December so we could all enjoy it on the big screen.) 🙂

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  3. It seems to be a trend in certain circles among those in the entertainment industry lately. Rey in Force Awakens was practically a Mary Sue, and I think Rogue One is setting up the protagonist the same way, by the look of the trailer.

    Producers and Directors and obsessed with appearing “progressive” and “anti-racist” and so end up filling out diversity quotas for cast members regardless of the actual ability of the actors.

    There must be equal race and gender representation at all times, regardless that the fact minorities are actually a minority of the population.

    And casting a White Male in a lead role as the “Hero” is seen as regressive and sexist.

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    • White people will be the minority in America in the next few years. I want to say 2018 or 2019 is when it’s going to happen. (I should say this isn’t my opinion it’s been in the news for the past several years.) World wide white people aren’t the majority. There’s like 2 billion Chinese, 1 billion people in India, then you’ve got a billion in Brazil. That’s over half the population on Earth between those 3 countries. So saying “minorities are actually a minority of the population” isn’t accurate at all.

      I don’t want it to seem like I’m disagreeing with your overall point about many of the diverse characters being forced, but I do think there’s a reality that’s hit Hollywood that the movie business won’t survive if they don’t cater to other countries & other races. People of other races like to see themselves in characters on screen. If those characters are always side kicks or villains they’re not going to be as interested in going to the movies every week, or every month if they don’t start to see lead characters that are like them. (I’m probably not articulating this as well as I wanted.)

      The point is that with white people in the US about to be outnumbered by “minorities” Hollywood has realized that many of those minorities may not go to the movies as often as white people because their parents stopped going to movies because there was never a character like them, so their kids went less to the movies, now they’re having kids & not going to the movies as often. It will eventually hurt their business in a huge way. Basically Hollywood is trying to correct something they ignored for decades. The problem I have, & I think you have, is that they’re over correcting by a ton. So now they could risk losing some white people that are only seeing themselves as villains or side kicks.

      Sorry for the fucking essay I just wrote!

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      • That’s true, White’s are a minority, World Wide. But it’s rather patronizing of Hollywood to think that it’s apparently the only place that makes movies in the entire world. There is Bollywood, there is Chinese cinema. etc etc. Hollywood is American, so you’d think it would obviously there will be a majority White cast, and the audience expects to see that. Just as when an audience sees a national film, they expect their own people starring in it.

        It’s quite interesting, if you go and look at the market research for Hollywood movies in different countries, you find that when Hollywood plays to its traditional strengths, instead of diversity pandering, the movies tend to do a lot better.

        Go check it out, it’s quite interesting stuff.

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      • @Some Nobody

        Sorry the comments don’t let me reply to your second comment for some reason. Not sure if you will even see this. I know the research with Hollywood & other countries. I was kind of born into the business, so I keep up with all that. The biggest thing that is a problem with other countries are black actors. 5 Years a Slave had to put Brad Pitt & Michael Fassbender on the posters because people in some countries wouldn’t go see a movie with a black lead. China is one of those countries. But if Hollywood put a Chinese actor in a lead role it would still do great in China, so would movies with a white lead. For whatever reason people in China tend to not like black lead actors in movies. What is still true in other countries is if you have an actor from India in a lead role that movie will usually do better in India, if you have a Chinese lead it will do better in China, etc. The problem Hollywood has is they’re trying to cater to every race, religion, gender, but if they take a Chinese actor & put them in a lead role, that movie might not do well in the US, or India, or Brazil. If you put a Brazilian actor in a lead role it might not do as well in US, China, or India.

        Yes, other countries have a film business & Hollywood is based in the US, but the companies that own those studios want to be world wide. To do that they can’t always have white leads. The research has been changing recently, that’s one reason there has been a big change in how many minorities get leads. It’s not just people in the US that are complaining about diversity that are the cause of this change. The major studios are owned by conglomerates & the share holders for those companies want them to not only do well in the US but around the globe. I talk to those people regularly. They only care about money & they view diversity as the latest “trend.” The shareholders see the film business in other countries as cutting into the potential profits of Hollywood studios. For years they didn’t have any real competition in other countries. There was a film business in other countries, but it was just starting out, trying to catch up to Hollywood. Now it’s cutting into their business so they’re trying to be more diverse with roles to cater to more people. That’s the idea at least. I just don’t believe you can possible cater to every group. They’re trying, but I think all that’s going to really happen is you do better in some areas & lose customers in others. I think we agree about that, but disagree about their reasons for being diverse & if it’s good or bad of them to do.

        The film business has always been a part of my life so I become a long winded asshole about it sometimes! 🙂

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  4. There are still plenty of movies out there with white male leads. So what if this movie want diversity? Whats the big deal? What their doing is not representative of whats happening in ALL HOLLYWOOD movies, look at all the Marvel movies or even Jurassic World. Movies with lead white male actors arent becoming a extinct. There are still a tonne of them. I think your seeing more diversity because people are sick of seeing the same thing over and over again. diversity gives new blood to old ideas. Hollywood has run out of ideas, its all comic book movies and reboots.

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    • The thing that concerns some people is that characters in these movies are no longer about their struggle or development during the movie, or how they are written. The characters are there merely to represent an identity. Look at the two leads in Force Awakens, where they both said in an interview they were hired for what they are, and how they looked, rather than acting or chemistry etc etc… Then they go on to write a plotline that attempts to be progressive, but comes back as pandering at best, and fan fiction at worst “Girls can’t do anything? Well this Girl is the best at EVERYTHING!” – “We weren’t sure if you knew the empire was Nazis+KKK, but heres some overt symbolism to make sure a 5 year old could get it. And the Black Actor will destroy them!”

      Alls these people are concerned with is “look! First Asian in a Star Wars film!” not a good product. You could say Force Awakens was merely Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope for Diversity.

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      • Look at the two leads in Force Awakens, where they both said in an interview they were hired for what they are, and how they looked, rather than acting or chemistry etc etc…

        Thats such a gross exaggeration. Daisy and John had to audition for thier parts. And there would have been were screen tests and readings done. You make it sound as if they randomly chose some girl and some black guy. Disney made sure that this time they had quality talent for this Star Wars, especially after the clusterf*ck that was ep 4-6. Say whatever you want about the 2 leads, they were a million times better than Natalie Portman and Hayden Christenson. I know the script was bad seriously they made it unbearable. (And remember that kid in episode 1? He was obviously chosen for how he looked and not for his talent.) And Natalie Portman was awful in the Thor movies, she;s not that good as actress. I wasnt even that impressed of Black Swan. Why she was even chosen I still dont get. You cant tell me there werent better actors than Natalie and Hayden. What a clusterf*ck that was.

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    • Oh, didn’t you know that this movie is the final death knell for roles for ALL white male actors in Hollywood? *cue disaster movie soundtrack* /sarcasm

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  5. I find this whole post odd. Sinister? What a very strange word to choose when referring to diversity in casting. I’d think this was an April Fool’s troll-bait post but it’s dated April 11. Some of the comments are quite cringe-inducingly awkward and loaded with white privilege (and I say that as a white woman of Northern European heritage). Oh my god, a few films have non-white-male leads, IT’S THE END OF CINEMA AS WE KNOW IT.

    Obviously not, but even if it was … er, good? Most of these blockbusters are so similar as to be interchangeable. Anything that makes them a bit different is good. There are hundreds of thousands of talented English-speaking male and female actors of all different ethnic backgrounds out there, so I think even if a director deliberately decides ‘hey, let’s look at casting Not White Male’ for the main roles, they can still find the best people for the job. Calm down, dears.

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    • Diversity in casting means excluding white men apparently. I shouldn’t have replied the second I saw you use ‘white privilege’ unironically.

      ” so I think even if a director deliberately decides ‘hey, let’s look at casting Not White Male’ for the main roles,”

      This is discrimination.

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    • Thank you for providing the users of The Gossip Life with your opinion on everything, Judge Kit Kat. There’s such a bloody arrogance to your post that I refuse to believe you posted it with a straight face.

      In response to the Prosecution’s assertion that the reaction seems to be “Oh my god, a few films have non-white-male leads.” I’d argue no one reacted as hysterically or irrationally as that. Instead, I’d insist people found it strange – and dare I say sinister – that every film in an entire series (Star Wars reboot series) has non-white-male characters, despite the little known fact that white males are still a dominant part of the Western World in population. Diversity and equality means fair representation, not under representation of a gender / race that you may have felt was overrepresented in other media.

      “IT’S THE END OF CINEMA AS WE KNOW IT. Obviously not, but even if it was … er, good? Most of these blockbusters are so similar as to be interchangeable. Anything that makes them a bit different is good. There are hundreds of thousands of talented English-speaking male and female actors of all different ethnic backgrounds out there, so I think even if a director deliberately decides ‘hey, let’s look at casting Not White Male’ for the main roles, they can still find the best people for the job. Calm down, dears.”

      This is where you lose any argument. Encouraging and praising discrimination of any kind if offensive to us all. Would you be fine if white women were discriminated in a corporation because another corporations has white women in abundance? I’d hope not.

      Ultimately, if the Star Wars producers have made a conscious decision to discriminate against a gender and an ethnic group, then that is highly questionable and needs investigating. I’m looking at the evidence in The Gossip Life’s article and to me, it’s overwhelming.

      Stick around. I like fellow Internet lawyers. You’re my type of “white woman of Northern European heritage.”

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  6. Just curious, Rupert, why you seem to think I have no right to comment on this post?
    (‘Thank you for providing the users of The Gossip Life with your opinion on everything, Judge KitKat.’)

    Why is it outrageous for me to express an opinion, but not for you?

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    • Once again you’re projecting. I never claimed you didn’t have a right to post here. You’re using your constitutional rights as we all are. I took umbrage to you judging the comments as if your opinion is somehow superior, hence the “Judge Kit Kat” moniker.

      You seem very judgemental. You can’t argue the facts, so you argue with the people. It’s poor form.

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