May the Fourth Be With You

The reason I’m making Star Wars is that I want to give young people some sort of faraway exotic environment for their imaginations to run around in,” he said in an interview. “I have a strong feeling about interesting kids in space exploration. I want them to want it. I want them to get beyond the basic stupidities of the moment and think about colonizing Venus and Mars. And the only way it’s going to happen is to have some dumb kid fantasize about it — to get his ray gun, jump in his ship and run off with this wookie into outer space. It’s our only hope in a way.

– George Lucas

As a kid, Star Wars confused me. The awkward names of characters and the different languages spoken by the non-human space dwellers was a difficult barrier for me to penetrate. It wasn’t until the prequel trilogy, yes, the universally hated trilogy, that I had a solid connection to the Star Wars universe that was mine own. I was a little confused as to why there was so much anger and hate towards the character Jar Jar Binks. Then learning about the treatment of the actor, Ahmed Best, it did lead me to question the entire franchise.

In our modern nerdom/fandom, like in our polarized political landscape, there is a shift in our discourse. This shift has allowed blatant racism, sexism, homophobia, and other hate speech to be spoken loudly and with pride. From Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm to Halle Bailey as the Little Mermaid, racism and sexism and other “isms” has always existed, but remained out of the mainstream.

This was the case with John Boyega and Kelly Tran (Finn and Rose) during their time in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Its disgusting.

In the end, like many a Christian song lyrics read, “Can’t let them steal my joy.” It’s a shame that in parts of our American society, hatred is viewed as a strength. In actuality, it’s the epitome of weakness; a weakness that if unchecked, can cause irreparable damage to the landscape of our nation and our world.

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