“Star Wars” is more than a film franchise. It is a galaxy full of stories, heroism, and adventure.
For many fans, their love of the movie stretchings beyond a few hours on the silver screen. It’s a true community, a lifestyle, even a family tradition. “Star Wars” is a way of life.
That’s why fans around the globe are telling Disney to show up for characters from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds.
Fans of all ages are sharing why diversity, inclusion, and representation matter — even in a galaxy far, far away — with the hashtag, #SWRepMatters.
Because everyone from the young…
…to the young at heart, everyone deserves to see themselves in the media they ingest.
#SWRepMatters is about expanding the opportunity for others to watch faces like their own in one of the grandest cinematic escapades of our time. Star Wars is a 40 year tradition of exhilaration, romance, and mythmaking that all deserve to be a part of. 1/ x
— Ross Brown (@ Wolfesghost) January 19, 2018
“Star Wars” has an entire galaxy to draw from. Is it too much to ask to include more women, especially women of color? And once they’re there, perhaps let them talk to one another? No. No it’s not.
( Considering the above exchange, fans managed to come up with two more, but six brief moments in nine movies is still abysmal .)
It must be said that the “Star Wars” literature and comics have made a point to include women of colour as heroes and protagonists, but the reach of the films is far beyond that of the books. Devote us three-dimensional characters with arc, backstories, and challenges to overcome.
Because while diversity in the films has improved, it’s still lightyears behind where it should be.
TLJ had a lot more females than any other Star Wars movie thus far. And a lot more WOC. YET Most OF THEM DIED and yeah, we got an astounding WOC lead in Rose which is HUGE but representation is severely LACKING for black women and latinas( and every other group too) #SWRepMatters
— Jess Tico (@ spacejessss) January 19, 2018
And not just on screen, but behind the camera, too, in writers rooms and other high-profile creative postures. There’s lots of talk among fans about the mere potential of Ava DuVernay directing a film. And while she is amazing, she’s not the only girl of colour attaining moves.
No doubt Ava would be absolutely amazing! But #StarWars is also known for growing its own talent — what opportunities can they dedicate undiscovered black women and femmes, and other diverse artists, if only they looked harder? #SWRepMatters https :// t.co/ Y80FDsCMEt
— Book Wars Pod (@ bookwarspod) January 19, 2018
Because this is about more than lore and amusement, it’s about dollars and good sense.
In addition to being beloved by fans around the globe, “Star Wars” is one of the best-performing cinema franchises of all time.
As of spring 2017, ahead of the latest release, the franchise had grossed over $7.5 Billion dollars worldwide in box office receipts alone. This doesn’t include auxiliary merchandise like T-shirts, volumes, household goods, or collectibles. One research group calculated “Star Wars” plaything marketings totaled virtually $760 million. So this is more than a film or simply amusement, this is a true economic powerhouse.
As our population shiftings and demographics change, it would be economically prudent to represent and include resulting characters from as many backgrounds as possible. And with an entire galaxy of material to mine from and generate, the opportunities are endless.
They want our dollars. Ok. Then devote us more diverse characters. Gives us faces more like our own. We’ve proven time and time again that this works, so why is it we can’t black women on screen speaking more than 5 terms before vanishing? #SWRepMatters
— Wakandan Sith Witch (@ southerncynic) January 19, 2018
So before you next step back in time to a galaxy far, far, away, consider who you see and who you don’t.
Watch who gets to speak and who doesn’t. Who gets to have an emotional arc and who lives and dies in the background. And if you’re not satisfied with everything you ensure and hear, be a “force” for good and create your voice.
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