EDITOR’S NOTE: The article below is a fan submitted article to AgeOfShitlords by Christopher McClung. The views expressed within it are the author’s alone, and may or may not be shared by the administration of the site.
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Star Wars-a film full of adventure, wonderment, and action. Rogue One-a film full of violence, diversity, tough chicks, and parallels to the war in the Middle East..?
Of course, everyone with any knowledge of WWII can see the huge influence it had on the original Star Wars trilogy. The Empire are space Nazi’s, this explains why they all look not only intimidating, far more badass than anyone in their path. So it would make sense to take influence from more modern real world wars for a more modern Star Wars film. However Rogue One, in some places, takes inspiration from the wars going on in Middle Eastern countries. This would be fine, but the problem is, it has a lot of creepy implications, and most of it is because of the strange choices made by the filmmakers’ in regards to the use of accents.
Rogue One is extremely diverse and goes above and beyond to include everyone and make sure every demographic is represented. However, upon further inspection, every single rebel, AKA good guy, in the film (excluding a few laughably disturbing CGI versions of the original cast for all but like 10 seconds of screen time) has a non-American accent and is a “minority”; the only exceptions are women and an old Englishman. Although this shit is infuriating, it’s not that big of a deal-that is, not until another layer is peeled. Aside from those couple people from the original 1977 cast, the only people who have American accents are in the Empire. As expected, everyone in the empire is a white male.
This could all be coincidental, sure. But looking back to The Force Awakens, there are protagonists who have American accents, but you got a chinaman, a man of the latino persuasion, old people from the original 1977 cast, and an African American person of color. The choice of making the black kid have an American accent was especially odd seeing as how the actor actually has an English accent. Why would they go out of their way to have the black guy speak with an American accent, but be sure to have the white female lead speak with a non-American accent? I know what you’re wondering, and the answer is yes, the cast of this film is also as diverse and colorful as a 48 pack of Crayola crayons (excluding the fact that the only main characters who are white men are either part of the Empire or are from the original 1977 cast).
(Look how proud Director JJ Abrams is of his diverse cast)
When put into context, those accents and knowing the racial demographics of each side, Rogue one‘s first major action scene is a bit of a head scratcher. The scene takes place in a crowded desert city occupied by Empire troops, when suddenly, “rebels” draped in rags and armed with guerrilla tactics ambush the troops. This is all fine and dandy if you aren’t thinking about it. In fact, upon asking others who have seen the two most recent Star Wars films didn’t even notice this aspect of it-that is until it was brought to their attention. From what has been presented, it seems as though the filmmakers’ are making a bizarre comment on America’s occupation of Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. America is this big evil white man organization and it’s up to the more progressive and diverse rebels to get them out of their home. Are they implying that The rebels represent ISIS fighting Americans? Certainly seems like it.
(Deplorable white men jumping innocent blind Chinaman)
Star Wars was always completely separate from actual issues. It was straight fantasy with some inspiration from reality. Even though it’s subtle, telling people that they are bad for being American, white, and for being a man is disturbing, especially because this is a children’s film. When Star Wars used WWII as inspiration it worked because that war was more black and white, the Nazi’s were bad. Most people would agree with that. The shit going on with the sand people in Afghanistan isn’t so clear. When you try to shove real world issues as complex as America’s current foreign policy in a film aimed at children, it comes across as insidious. It’s not appropriate for a series as simple as Star Wars to use this climate as a template because in today’s world, there isn’t any black and there isn’t any white, just shades of fuckin’ grey.
(A simpler time in which American-born white men were allowed in Star Wars)