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Star Wars: Entering an uncivilized era


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3 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

I don’t think Gungans are like black people at all, it sounds pretty absurd.

 

The whole thing about racist stereotypes is that they're not actually like the people they're supposed to be depicting at all. 

 

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7 minutes ago, DMC said:

I didn't say all Gungans - frankly I don't remember much more than the king or whatever right now anyway - I meant Jar Jar specifically.  If you can't see the obvious connections that's your problem.  As for your completely idiotic suggestion that identifying these obvious connections means you either have a political agenda or are racist yourself, LOL!

I mean you are looking at a stupid lizard rabbit who walks in dog poop and his first thought is ‘black people’. I think that says a lot. 
 

6 minutes ago, polishgenius said:

The whole thing about racist stereotypes is that they're not actually like the people they're supposed to be depicting at all. 

What if there is literally no connection at all, except in the head of DMC?

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3 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

I mean you are looking at a stupid lizard rabbit who walks in dog poop and his first thought is ‘black people’. I think that says a lot. 

It says a lot that you think 14 year old me was either an ideologue or a racist for recognizing obvious racist caricatures in a movie.  Especially considering you yourself just complained about the other obvious lazy racist caricatures in the same movie.  Your consistent tendency to write off anyone who points out you are demonstratively wrong as politically motivated (or, ludicrously, racist themselves) is really desperate and pathetic.

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47 minutes ago, Ran said:

Andy Secombe, the voice actor, really did base him on a Godfather-type Italian-American mobster. The Frank Pentangeli thing is spot on.

The early critics who called it anti-Semitic all cited the voice acting as part of their evidence, claiming it was based on Yiddish or Arabic, but I admit, I never heard it. Secombe said it was the voice he used for his audition -- character sight unseen (and I'm not sure it was designed by that point) -- after George Lucas's direction that Watto was like a "used car salesman". 

Now I actually have to watch Godfather II in the original.

This seems to be falling in line with Lucas' usual stick for colorful characters. He also had the voice-actor for Ziro the Hutt make a Truman Capote impersonation.

That, too, caused folks to critize the character for being a bad gay stereotype, never mind that being a gigantic slug with a high-pitched voice and a lisp literally tells you nothing about the sexuality of the person.

32 minutes ago, DMC said:

I didn't say all Gungans - frankly I don't remember much more than the king or whatever right now anyway - I meant Jar Jar specifically.  If you can't see the obvious connections that's your problem.  As for your completely idiotic suggestion that identifying these obvious connections means you either have a political agenda or are racist yourself, LOL!

The connection with Jar Jar is only there if you assume it is offensive and somehow wrong to have a black American actor voice a computer-generated amphibious being and have him talk pidgin English.

If Jar Jar were a character like Quarrel from Dr. No, a character who was visibly and intentionally a black Caribbean this would make sense. But a Gungan is neither human nor black nor is he standing-in for or representing black or indigenous people. He is a Gungan, his people were never enslaved by white people, and they have a culture and technology of their own.

And the Neimoidian thing I don't understand at all - they talk with a Japanese accent, but nothing, literally nothing about them actually seems Japanese or mocks Japanese. Having weirdo cowardly space aliens talk with a Japanese accent isn't a meta-comment that the Japanese are all weirdo cowards.

But to move the discussion away from the concrete examples:

Do you guys actually think movies like Star Wars should not use things like real world dialects and accents to underline or highlight that a species or group are different from another? I still think this is a great way to depict something like that.

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1 minute ago, Lord Varys said:

Do you guys actually think movies like Star Wars should not use things like real world dialects and accents to underline or highlight that a species or group are different from another?

The point, as polishgenius just alluded to, is the depiction should not be blatant racist caricatures.  The Japanese accent of the Trade Federation isn't a "real world" dialect or accent, it's a blatant racist caricature accent of the Japanese/East Asians.

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5 minutes ago, DMC said:

The point, as polishgenius just alluded to, is the depiction should not be blatant racist caricatures.  The Japanese accent of the Trade Federation isn't a "real world" dialect or accent, it's a blatant racist caricature accent of the Japanese/East Asians.

As a non-native speaker of the English language I cannot assess in what way this is a caricature. The French accent the Neimoidians have in the German version is a genuine French accent and, to my knowledge, in no way a racist caricature of a French accent (but then, I have no idea how something like that would sound). I know that certain fake Asian accents (Chinese not being able to differentiate between r and l, for instance) are considered to be clichéd and offensive, so is the Neimoidian accent something along those lines?

The issue I have is that I really think you would have to view the Neimoidians as 'space Asians' to actually be offended by that. As an Asian/Japanese person you have to feel or think that this green guy, this weirdo guy with the ridiculous name of Nute Gunray is supposed to be you, to represent the way you talk and dress and act.

And I've honestly tremendous problems imagining that there are people out there who actually think 'that's me!' when they see Nute Gunray.

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Posted (edited)
58 minutes ago, DMC said:

It says a lot that you think 14 year old me was either an ideologue or a racist for recognizing obvious racist caricatures in a movie.  Especially considering you yourself just complained about the other obvious lazy racist caricatures in the same movie.  Your consistent tendency to write off anyone who points out you are demonstratively wrong as politically motivated (or, ludicrously, racist themselves) is really desperate and pathetic.

Except those ‘racist caricatures’ were obvious to you, not everyone, and the reason they were so ‘obvious’ to you is because you are hyper aware of racist caricatures. 
 

That’s my point here. It’s all about interpretation. You are the one here who cannot even fathom that other people might not agree with you or see things differently… or that you are just plain wrong. 

Edited by Heartofice
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4 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

Except those ‘racist caricatures’ were obvious to you, not everyone, and the reason they were so ‘obvious’ to you is because you are hyper aware of racist caricatures. 

Yep, the racist caricatures were obvious to me because I was educated and/or exposed to the history of such racist caricatures.  And if you are educated on the history of racist caricatures, as you claimed to be at least in the Jar Jar case, then they are indeed obvious.  That's inarguable. 

I understand they aren't obvious to everybody, which for the third time is why if you don't recognize it, I don't care.  Just don't tell me I'm either an ideologue or a racist for identifying the obvious connections.  It's hilariously preposterous to think I have any political motivation now, and definitely at 14, for doing so - if only because I don't think how many people can identify obvious racist caricatures in The Phantom Menace would have any substantive effect on the current political environment. 

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9 minutes ago, DMC said:

Yep, the racist caricatures were obvious to me because I was educated and/or exposed to the history of such racist caricatures.  And if you are educated on the history of racist caricatures, as you claimed to be at least in the Jar Jar case, then they are indeed obvious.  That's inarguable. 

I'd suggest you were educated or trained to 'see' those caricatures, even when they aren't there. It's not objectively true that Jar Jar is a racist caricature, its subjective. It's YOUR opinion. It's based on your own prejudices. Now if you had those prejudices at 14 then, thanks for telling us about it.

But then you are still throwing out words like 'obvious' so not sure anything is sinking in here.

 

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1 minute ago, Heartofice said:

I'd suggest you were educated or trained to 'see' those caricatures, even when they aren't there. It's not objectively true that Jar Jar is a racist caricature, its subjective.

Nope.  Education is not subjective.  The obvious connections to prior racial caricatures in media is empirical.

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Quote

 

The PT does have quite a few well-directed scenes - most scenes with Ian McDiarmid are pretty good, for example, but also many a scene in TPM is not bad due to the acting of Liam Neeson.

 

I agree that Neeson lifts TPM but McDiarmid is very much phoning it in for most of the trilogy, and by the time of Revenge of the Sith he's given up and has gone full Pantomime Dame on us. His gurgling and giggling during the various fight scenes is atrocious and his "seduction" scene with Anakin is begging for a laughter track. He might as well be saying, "Hey Annie, I'm TEAM EVIL, we have cookies. Want to join up?" rather than doing his whole weird Darth Plagueis the Wise schtick. He has a few okay scenes, mostly in TPM, but he's otherwise mentally checking out and cashing the cheque.

McDiarmid is a fine actor in other projects but in the PT he's really not on his best form, and with the scripts he was given, that's no surprise. Apart from Neeson I'm not sure if there are many actors who rise above the material, certainly not Portman, McGregor or Jackson, and we know how good they are from other projects. The only reason Christensen got as much hate as he did is because people hadn't seen him in other films where he was great, whilst they had the others.

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2 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Apart from Neeson I'm not sure if there are many actors who rise above the material

Even with Neeson, I think he benefits from being present for the most grounded chunk of the film, actually being on a set with other actors for the most part. Whether he would still have prospered in AotC and its almost entirely CGI environment I’m not so sure.

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23 minutes ago, Heartofice said:



But then you are still throwing out words like 'obvious' so not sure anything is sinking in here.

 

Yeah, there definitely does seem to be at least one person who is oblivious

I will say that @Lord Varys has a fair point - if the other language dubs don't have the stupid Carribean dialect or the horrible generic Asian accent they're probably not nearly as obvious. In that case it's probably better to acknowledge that and not assume that's the case for all the translations. 

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4 hours ago, Werthead said:

The only reason Christensen got as much hate as he did is because people hadn't seen him in other films where he was great, whilst they had the others.

Shattered Glass is *awesome*. And I give Jumper points for being a groovy action flick.

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7 hours ago, KalVsWade said:

The better way to do alien accents is literally how the OT did - all aliens speak different languages and everyone responds to them in English. 

This is ultimately what one of the Prequel Trilogy fan edits ultimately chose to do with those scenes, and from the little I've seen of one clip, it is a stylistically superior choice.

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9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

As a non-native speaker of the English language I cannot assess in what way this is a caricature. The French accent the Neimoidians have in the German version is a genuine French accent and, to my knowledge, in no way a racist caricature of a French accent (but then, I have no idea how something like that would sound). I know that certain fake Asian accents (Chinese not being able to differentiate between r and l, for instance) are considered to be clichéd and offensive, so is the Neimoidian accent something along those lines?

The issue I have is that I really think you would have to view the Neimoidians as 'space Asians' to actually be offended by that. As an Asian/Japanese person you have to feel or think that this green guy, this weirdo guy with the ridiculous name of Nute Gunray is supposed to be you, to represent the way you talk and dress and act.

And I've honestly tremendous problems imagining that there are people out there who actually think 'that's me!' when they see Nute Gunray.

But when they hear Nute Gunray talking with an accent that points in the direction of bad WWII-Pacific or yellow peril films, that is a problem.

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There’s probably some second-hand stereotyping going on, Lucas was influenced by Flash Gordon so some Ming the Merciless probably bled through to the Neimoideans. Also, I’m surprised no one’s mentioned the slanted pupils of them … that’s unfortunate, on top of the accent.

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6 hours ago, Denvek said:

But when they hear Nute Gunray talking with an accent that points in the direction of bad WWII-Pacific or yellow peril films, that is a problem.

Ah, okay, I get that.

I guess there are really folks who jump from accents in such movies to 'those beings represent/are space Asians, Jews, Caribbean people, etc'.

In the case of Flash Gordon I definitely understand it - but there looks and speech go together. Ming really is a clichéd space Asian, if you will ... but the Neimoidians are not, regardless how they talk. I still can see how people would draw parallels to such movies, but Star Wars clearly isn't that kind of thing.

Thinking about the PT, I find the whole diverse interspecies thing there handled much better than in the ST (where you effectively get as many aliens as in the OT) or the shows. The PT does have the Senate and the Jedi Council, two non-human enemies, alien cloners, Jar Jar, etc.

The OT just had Chewie, Ackbar, and the Ewoks. And a bunch of background guys in the cantina. That the ST and the shows followed the OT's example in that regard was something I never liked particularly.

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Ah, okay, I get that.

I guess there are really folks who jump from accents in such movies to 'those beings represent/are space Asians, Jews, Caribbean people, etc'.

In the case of Flash Gordon I definitely understand it - but there looks and speech go together. Ming really is a clichéd space Asian, if you will ... but the Neimoidians are not, regardless how they talk. I still can see how people would draw parallels to such movies, but Star Wars clearly isn't that kind of thing.

"Clearly" is often a very subjective word. And just because you or I don't necessarily see it as a big problem doesn't mean other people won't. And even if none of the people working on the PT intended to make those parallels, the people who do see them should still point them out so that next time they can avoid any inadvertent stereotyping.

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

In the case of Flash Gordon I definitely understand it - but there looks and speech go together. Ming really is a clichéd space Asian, if you will ... but the Neimoidians are not, regardless how they talk. I still can see how people would draw parallels to such movies, but Star Wars clearly isn't that kind of thing.

In addition to the thick accent, their attire is based on chinese imperial regalia and their colony planets are deku, cato, and koru (japanese inspired). :dunno:

Their native language of "Pak Pak" is also ... something else. Not something from the film, but built off of that foundation. https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Pak_Pak

  • Myo not fee werr. ("I do not feel well.")
  • Zuwenda! ("Surrender!")
  • Aands zup! ("Hands up!")
  • Retweet! ("Retreat")
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