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16 comments

1 calochortus  Fri, Jan 25, 2013 8:56:18am

It will be a great day for humanity when you can have the bad guys be any race, color or creed and no one thinks it is representative of the entire group. Apparently that day is still a long way off.

2 Grendeler  Fri, Jan 25, 2013 9:09:28am

re: #1 calochortus

It will be a great day for humanity when you can have the bad guys be any race, color or creed and no one thinks it is representative of the entire group. Apparently that day is still a long way off.

Its not a long way off, it is in a galaxy far far away…

3 celticdragon  Fri, Jan 25, 2013 9:26:02am

re: #1 calochortus

It will be a great day for humanity when you can have the bad guys be any race, color or creed and no one thinks it is representative of the entire group. Apparently that day is still a long way off.

There is an incredible amount of butthurt over at Lawyers, Guns and Money concerning the ‘racism’ in the LOTR and orcs, who some folks seem to believe are supposed to be teh lawless brown skinned hordes that Tolkien was skeered of.

Never mind that the books and movies are specific that orcs used to be elves until Morgoth and Sauron ruined them (representing a physical manifestation of spiritual corruption from a Christian standpoint).

4 philosophus invidius  Fri, Jan 25, 2013 10:32:09am

There is a point to the criticism. Yes, the Hagia Sophia was a church first, but it later became a model for mosques. Why does Jabba’s palace have that look? Because it looks like something that the “Other” from a strange exotic land would have. Of course, all of Tattooine is “Oriental”—including a “wretched hive of scum and villainy” for which no counterpart exists on the “Western” planets.

More racist is the depiction of Ewoks, Jar Jar Binks, Trade Federation guys, Tusken Raiders, and Jawas. And the idea of Stormtroopers who are mindless and expendable human beings also sets a troubling example for how to think about enemy soldiers.

5 philosophus invidius  Fri, Jan 25, 2013 10:33:45am

re: #3 celticdragon

As a Jew, I don’t find the idea of a cursed race to be a benign one.

6 rosiee  Fri, Jan 25, 2013 10:39:07am

re: #3 celticdragon

Well, there is not one black person in the LOTR nor the Hobbit, so, draw your own conclusions.

7 Romantic Heretic  Fri, Jan 25, 2013 10:53:29am

Sigh. Some people are so anxious to be victims.

8 Red Falcons of America  Fri, Jan 25, 2013 10:57:45am

Yeah, Star Wars is a racist universe. There’s Watto, the hooked nose greedy antisemitic caricature, and Jar Jar and the gungans who are stereotypes of a black Caribbeans.

9 Red Falcons of America  Fri, Jan 25, 2013 11:12:40am

re: #1 calochortus

Media is a reflection of our society. Portrayals of individuals as villains when there defining trait on screen is related to there race, ethnicity or culture is dangerous, as they effect our ideas and assumptions about actual human beings in a negative manner. It’s a vicious cycle, as white supremacist assumptions built into the American experience get filtered though hollywood and sold back to us confirming our fears and biases.

No more is this prevalent in Hollywoods treatment of First Nations and Aboriginal peoples. For an exploration of this watch the film Reel Injun (trailer here:

10 JRCMYP  Fri, Jan 25, 2013 11:35:33am

How could anyone listen to Jar Jar and not CRINGE.

11 Destro  Fri, Jan 25, 2013 12:59:51pm

Austria’s Turkish community said the model was based on Hagia Sophia mosque in Istanbul and that the accompanying figures depicted Asians and Orientals as people with ‘deceitful and criminal personalities.’

You mean the Hagia Sophia church that the deceitful and criminal Asiatic Turks massacred and genocided Greeks and Armenians for to make it a mosque?

12 Destro  Fri, Jan 25, 2013 1:04:36pm

There is a point to the criticism. Yes, the Hagia Sophia was a church first, but it later became a model for mosques.

Actually, churches in Damascus became models for Mosques long before the Turks got to Constantinople.

Islam, in it’s early period is considered by some scholars to actually be the last Hellenistic age after Rome.

13 Destro  Fri, Jan 25, 2013 1:06:58pm

re: #4 philosophus invidius

There is a point to the criticism. Yes, the Hagia Sophia was a church first, but it later became a model for mosques. Why does Jabba’s palace have that look? Because it looks like something that the “Other” from a strange exotic land would have. Of course, all of Tattooine is “Oriental”—including a “wretched hive of scum and villainy” for which no counterpart exists on the “Western” planets.

More racist is the depiction of Ewoks, Jar Jar Binks, Trade Federation guys, Tusken Raiders, and Jawas. And the idea of Stormtroopers who are mindless and expendable human beings also sets a troubling example for how to think about enemy soldiers.

Star Wars was based on 1940 serials with the introduction and chapter format. Also, mythology, on which the Star Wars movies borrow (including cowboy western mythology) is based on simple archetypes - black and white hats.

14 EPR-radar  Fri, Jan 25, 2013 1:13:49pm

re: #6 rosiee

Well, there is not one black person in the LOTR nor the Hobbit, so, draw your own conclusions.

As I recall, Frodo and Sam came across the corpse of a black enemy soldier on their way to Mordor (this scene itself is pretty neutral), so it is not completely absent from LOTR.

Moonbats can work themselves into a lather by the color coding in Tolkien’s work (fair-skinned westerners vs. dark-skinned easterners, and their varying predilections for ending up in service to the Enemy).

For my part, I don’t see much “there” there. I can’t get too excited about a minor bit of color-coding (perhaps unconscious), and as likely to be derived from Celtic mythology as from more unsavory sources.

15 celticdragon  Fri, Jan 25, 2013 4:47:44pm

re: #6 rosiee

Well, there is not one black person in the LOTR nor the Hobbit, so, draw your own conclusions.

The mythology was supposed to be a modern substitution for all of the legends and myths of Britain that were lost after the Norman invasion (an act that Tolkien deplored as having destroyed much of the cultural heritage of Britain).

There was simply no historical analog for Africans or Asians in that kind of setting, much as it would make no sense to drop in two or three Norse in the middle of A Thousand and One Arabian Nights.

16 celticdragon  Fri, Jan 25, 2013 4:51:03pm

re: #5 philosophus invidius

As a Jew, I don’t find the idea of a cursed race to be a benign one.

I don’t think that they are “cursed” in the sense that you mean so much as they have been ruined by a malevolent influence. I do admit that there does seem to be an issue of free will, however, that would be problematic in that the orcs had no say in what happened to them.


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