Prequel Trilogy

The Mary Sue says the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy is “incredibly racist”

tpm12

From The Mary Sue‘s Katrina Jagelski:

“[…]  George Lucas was attempting to create something of an atypical examination of light and dark with the prequel trilogy, but found his vision muddied by a convoluted story and incredibly racist stereotypes that gutted his commentary on toxic masculinity. […]”


The article doesn’t explain this serious accusation.

0 Comments

  • Cryogenic

    And, funnily enough, their article, a mere two days’ old, is already out-of-date:

    “Here’s what on our plate right now: an Abrams-helmed Episode IX, a full Rian Johnson trilogy, a Jon Favreau TV show, a possible Solo trilogy, a Boba Fett spinoff, and an Obi-Wan spinoff. It’s enough to make me want to plug in that weird Podracing game for the N64 and ram into walls for hours on end while sobbing uncontrollably.”

    Nope. No spinoffs or TV shows. Not anymore. Everything is back on ice again.

    Might wanna get back to playing that N64 game, anyway…

    As for “incredibly racist stereotypes” (or, for that matter, “a convoluted story”)…

    Yuck! Give me a break. They prefer the safe, PC, utterly forgettable Disney “aliens” instead?

    Because just those sorts of complaints clearly led to Disney bleeding wit, whimsy, complexity, and imagination from Lucas’ fantasy world. And it was also an excuse not to even try. Maz next to Yoda? It’s like sparkling water next to lemonade. We know one is a dud. Why have the dud when you can have the real thing? Sorry to all the sparkling water fans out there.

    When these people have also banished whiteism, maleism, heightism, muscularism, goodlookism, romanticism, Orientalism, Occidentalism, corporatism, and heck, plagiarism, from the films, maybe then they’ll be left with a set of movies they can really enjoy. But I wouldn’t expect it.

    My point here, among other things, is that Star Wars is a heady mix. I didn’t hear these politicized, instrumentalized complaints before the Internet. Moreover, anyone can stick an “-ism” on anything and make a fuss about it. It doesn’t mean what you’re seeing is really there; or in the way you think it is.

    LUKE: What’s in there?
    YODA: Only what you take with you.

  • Stefan K

    You can always discuss whether the PT used stereotypes in the wrong way. However, I cannot see how they conclude that the PT was “incredibly racist.”

    • Cryogenic

      Right. Sincere discussion can’t hurt anything. But throwing out a term like “incredibly racist”, without explanation, just to virtue-signal, is pretty pathetic.

  • Alexrd

    There’s no much wrong in this that I can’t even…

    “a convoluted story”

    “incredibly racist stereotypes” (oh, the irony)

    “his commentary on toxic masculinity”

    What?! His movies may be a commentary on a lot of things, but definitely not on any perceived toxicity in masculinity. Lucas never indulged this cultural marxism crap.

  • KirkMan1701

    Finding racism and racist stereotypes where none exists just to try and justify this toxic nostalgia for the old-school Star Wars aesthetic and that abominable nostalgiafest of a sequel trilogy masquerading as diversity in representation. Yes toxic masculinity is a real issue, but I saw no toxic masculinity being promoted in the SW prequels since Padme was a major protagonist and Jar Jar didn’t so any sing of poisonous masculinity in his character and he feels more effeminate to me which is a trait that toxic masculinity would openly despise. The “Jar Jar is a racial stereotype” nonsense has been refuted to death before.

    I don’t mean to get political here, but I have to point out that previous commenters on this post used right-wing buzzwords like “virtue-signaling”, “PC”, and “Cultural Marxism” and talking like that will only feed into their stupid narrative that anyone who hates the sequel trilogy is a bigot. I would really appreciate it if we can please stop it with the right wing buzzwords since they are both unnecessary and improper and talking like that will help the prequel-bashers win since it will only serve to validate their idiotic arguments and points. There is enough to hate about the sequel trilogy without right-wing talking points or complaints about diverse media representation, and that enough to hate about it is TOXIC NOSTALGIA which motivated original trilogy-obsessed Internet bullies to drive George Lucas away from Star Wars.

    • Alexrd

      None of those terms are ‘right-wing buzzwords’ (there’s nothing wrong with being right-wing either, or left-wing for that matter), let alone improper. They are real things that you can support, despise or be indifferent about. I despise them, therefore I criticize whenever I see them. And this article objectively has it in spades.

      And none of us is responsible for the stupid logic and accusations expoused by others. If they come up with a false narrative against you, then it’s up to you to criticize the narrative. Not cower in fear of being called something that you are not. That’s what identity politics are about. Those people don’t judge you as an individual. They don’t address your argument. They give you false labels, misassociate you to groups and attack you for what other people might or might not do. Defamation and ad hominem are their ways.

      • KirkMan1701

        You are in deep denial about those right-wing buzzwords and there is a lot wrong with being right wing such as homophobia and climate change denial to name a few and one big problem I have with the left is the holier-than-thou “go vegan” movement such as PETA. There is absolutely no such things as “PC Culture” or “Cultural Marxism” and and I will accept any attitude that talks like that. Those buzzwords are used to brand and put people into boxes as to avoid listening to anything they actually say which is a form of ad hominem known as poisoning the well.

        We don’t need to brand the SW prequel-bashers nor put them into any boxes to discredit them since their arguments alone are invalid and it has nothing to do with this imaginary “cultural Marxism” and instead is fueled by bad nostalgia. Any of Mr. Plinkett’s criticisms of the SW prequels can also be used against the original trilogy. The diversity in representation in the sequel trilogy is a mere smokescreen for toxic nostalgia in storytelling and aesthetics and I see through smokescreens like this with ease. Please stop worrying about the imaginary “PC culture” and Cultural Marxism” and focus on the real issue of TOXIC NOSTALGIA which drives the whole SW-prequel-bashing problem!

        I am NOT saying that all nostalgia is toxic, I am only saying that obsessively hating on something and all who enjoy it out of your own nostalgia is a toxic form of nostalgia. You can see that I am using the words “toxic” and “nostalgia” together to describe the type of thing that is the main root of SW prequel-bashing.

      • Cryogenic

        “Those people don’t judge you as an individual. They don’t address your argument. They give you false labels, misassociate you to groups and attack you for what other people might or might not do.”

        Alex has it right. A political doctrine based on placing people into group identities is regressive — indeed, it’s intellectually lazy, divisive, and dangerous. As if you could know everything there is to know about me if I tell you my skin colour, my gender, and my sexuality. Please. People shouldn’t be treated as homogeneous blocks, especially when they’re trying to debate or be heard.

        It’s the same toxic rot that has overtaken a major Star Wars message board. Anyone who dares to call Rey a “Mary Sue” or insinuate such a thing must be an alt-right, swastika-loving, goose-stepping, sexist, misogynist, vile, bigoted, hateful turd looking to cause a fight and bring about the downfall of Western democracy. Things have really veered into ugly territory the past two or three years.

        I don’t want to see similar nonsense here. Just let people comment as they choose. If you don’t like the atmosphere, why not simply refrain from commenting — or at least restrain yourself from making soapbox judgements about the way other people comment?

  • KirkMan1701

    I apologize for the heated political argument here since the comments of this particular post were filled with more right wing talking points than on other Naboo News posts I have seen or commented on and Alexrd tried to rationalize those buzzwords I called out. Using right wing labels like “virtue singling, “PC culture” or “Cultural Marxism” will not get anyone on the other side to take you seriously and someone calling the SW prequels “racist” is no excuse to talk like that. There is more than enough to discredit and refute the SW prequel-bashers without resorting to branding them with right-wing buzzword labels, I didn’t want to be political as much as to give some constructive criticism. I did not want to start an argument and I hope this comment will resolve the matter especially since this is more comments on a Naboo News post than I would have done otherwise.

    The infamous “George Lucas ruined my childhood” nonsense is one example of how the SW-prequel-bashing problem is based on toxic nostalgia and one can address that up front without any buzzwords or branding period. SW prequel bashers clearly lack any understanding of the Star Wars prequels based on their lousy assumptions about the meaning of Star Wars. This is a smattering of why SW prequel-bashers are incorrect coupled with their use of defamation and ad hominem attacks etc.

  • Cryogenic

    Well, frankly, I’m not sure why you’re ranting here. You’re coming across as bad as the moderating force on a major Star Wars message board that has criminalized tropaic terms like “Mary Sue” in an effort to shut down complaints about the Rey character — and, by extension, criticism of Disney and their completely infallible and morally perfect (rolls eyes) stewardship of Star Wars and Lucasfilm as a whole. Note that the moderating force has never tried to stop people from openly accusing the prequels of having racist characters or complaining that Padme’s tragic end makes her an “outdated 19th Century stereotype” (indeed, one of these people, who used to repeatedly mount such criticisms, bashing both Anakin and Padme as “morons” and “wusses” in ROTS, is now a mod aggressively laying down and policing the application of the Mary Sue rule).

    Your criticism isn’t necessarily as constructive as you think it is. And, for what it’s worth, you may want to look into the term “virtue signalling” which I used. Read the Wikipedia entry and please tell me what qualifies it as a term primarily associated with one side of the political spectrum or the other:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtue_signalling

    For the record, not that I should HAVE to defend myself here, but I’m left-wing and despise Trump and the Republican party — partly for the things you outline. Denial of climate change and the various factors driving it is utterly abhorrent to me. As is homophobia. We really have a fight on our hands if we want to preserve this planet and save it for future generations. We are currently in the middle of a Sixth Major Extinction Event — yet very few people are aware of it and absolutely no political force on Earth with any real power is doing much about it.

    Frankly, it’s not clear to me we will survive the next fifty years. At the moment, we’re doing almost everything possible to drive the planet into ruin, and to enlarge pain and suffering on the Earth. Take income inequality. Fix that and a myriad of other problems become easier to solve. In any case, this isn’t a political discussion forum, so I’ll leave things here. I would just appreciate it if you wouldn’t throw around inflammatory rhetoric and jump to unjustified, unsupported conclusions based on people’s word use. Thank you.

    • KirkMan1701

      Thanks for enlightening me about your positions on certain things since I am one who say to correct me if I am wrong since I was worried given the history of that language with many other people. When I am worried on certain things, I hope to be proven wrong on my concerns since I was growing up in the 1990s, so thank you for correcting me. One could criticize Rey without calling her a Mary Sue which I have done so banning the use of the ONLY ONE WORD like “Mary Sue” will not deflect any other criticisms of Rey that do not use that ONE WORD. Yes certain words that actually mean something specific about real issues can be turned into buzzwords if they are thrown around enough.

      • Alexrd

        You mean words like racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe and nazi have been thrown around? You know, words do have meaning. Some people can use words as buzzwords, and others can try to discredit the opinions they don’t like to hear by calling them buzzwords.

        Mary Sue is a term that has existed for decades. If a character fits the description of a Mary Sue, then it’s only natural to expose said character as a Mary Sue. Instead of complaining that a certain character is called a Mary Sue (specially when there’s evidence to suport that claim), one can come up with an argument that disproves said claim. And then we can have a debate over it instead of immediately trying to discredit the perfectly valid opinions of people as ‘buzzwords’ or associate everyone that belongs to a certain political wing to bigotry.

    • Cryogenic

      Right on, Alex. “Mary Sue” is a term that very much precedes the Disney films. It’s not as if it was conjured up just so people could bash the new characters or malign the actors or the writers or whomever. Banning it and ignominiously associating it with sexism and misogyny are Orwellian gestures. People are literally now forbidden from using a harmless container term (albeit one with a pejorative bent), and by extension — and this is where it really gets insidious and is obviously the injunction’s true purpose — from making or THINKING of making certain types of arguments and putting forward certain types of opinions. It’s censorship: A coercion/intimidation tactic to make people feel uneasy about saying and thinking certain thoughts and therefore a form of thought control.

      The institution of such a rule, after a fanbase that has already hosted a variety of conflicting opinions and sentiments over the years, is rather shocking — if not entirely surprising. You might believe that the people in favour of such measures would have matured enough to realize that Star Wars fans are not an homogeneous block and that tastes and perspectives naturally differ. But no. Many Disney fans, never really on-board with the prequels, and who often spent (and continue to spend) considerable time and effort laying into them, don’t want to have serious criticism thrown back at their precious movies. And as for the mods themselves, the enforcers of such a rule: Power has gone to their heads. The chief lesson of Star Wars has not been learned: Power itself can be evil.

      On top of that, you have the new movies’ unfortunate entanglement with identity politics — where Kathleen Kennedy and others not-so-subtly insinuated they were going to “improve” Star Wars and “fix” what Lucas got wrong or was too insensitive to get right in the first place. By this, I am referring to their aggressive fanning of the flames concerning race and gender. Have you ever heard them robustly defending Jar Jar, the Gungans, the Neimoidians, Watto, or Padme herself? I haven’t. Moreover, in one interview Kennedy gave, she tried to ring-fence the prequels as a “political” project of Lucas’, rather than allowing that all six of the former movies are political in nature, and that the political aspect is merely more pronounced in the PT. All deliberate tactics, in my opinion, to try and distance themselves from the prequels, while signalling with dogwhistle rhetoric that they know Star Wars better than its maker.

      Moreover, and this is where it gets really perverse, the political left is meant to be against corporate malfeasance and capitalistic power structures using doublespeak and other forms of deception to engineer and control the thoughts of others. But instead, aspects of the left are the ones now employing the very same tactics, in order to defend the machinations of corporations. Some kind of weird consumerist malaise has overtaken people and they can no longer differentiate, or so it seems, between what might be considered art and what is purely a product, and the sales/manipulation tactics that go with it.

      KirkMan — Don’t worry about it. Just watch this outstanding lecture given by Christopher Hitchens on the importance of free speech:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbJxdEg6kFk

      “‘Freedom of speech’ is meaningless unless it means the freedom of the person who thinks differently.” (Hitchens quoting Rosa Luxemburg)

  • Marshall

    Well, the Mary Sue has always been an annoying, Marvel butt-kissing, SJW, representation checklist website anyway so this doesn’t surprise me at all. They’re throwing a 19 year old argument that’s been debunked along time ago. Oh and they’re a “feminist” website owned by Dan Abrams.

  • KirkMan1701

    Alexrd said:

    “You mean words like racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe and nazi have been thrown around? You know, words do have meaning. Some people can use words as buzzwords, and others can try to discredit the opinions they don’t like to hear by calling them buzzwords.

    Mary Sue is a term that has existed for decades. If a character fits the description of a Mary Sue, then it’s only natural to expose said character as a Mary Sue. Instead of complaining that a certain character is called a Mary Sue (specially when there’s evidence to suport that claim), one can come up with an argument that disproves said claim. And then we can have a debate over it instead of immediately trying to discredit the perfectly valid opinions of people as ‘buzzwords’ or associate everyone that belongs to a certain political wing to bigotry.”

    Alexrd sounds awfully right wing and he is angry at the right being called bigoted despite things like their obsession with denying the LGBT people their equal rights and no; it is not throwing words like “bigotry” or “homophobe” around as buzzwords, it is an accurate description. I have zero tolerance for things like the right wing discriminatory opinion on LGBT issues since it is a form of intolerance, so please stop justifying ignorance and discrimination with the “opinion” excuse.

    For example, “prequel apologist” is a common buzzword used by SW prequel bashers and is used to refer to anyone who either likes the SW prequels or calls them out and it is very vague in its usage. SW prequel bashers use “prequel apologist” as a means to brand and put people into boxes as to avoid listening to anything they say.

    Revenge Of The Sith was against the Bush jr administration for that so-called “war on terror” and particularly the Iraq War as in Anakin saying “if You’re not with me, then you are my enemy” being pattered after George W. Bush saying “Either you’re with us or you’re with the terrorists”. In 2008, George Lucas gave $50K to fight against the anti-gay marriage Prop H8 which sadly passed but was luckily struck down in 2013. The SW prequels are also a cautionary tale about right wingers like Bush and now more so Donald Trump and warning the audience to be careful whom the elect. I didn’t want a drag out political argument so I want Alexrd to STFU since he is only escalating the situation that I wish to deescalate out of sheer cognitive dissidence.

    • Cryogenic

      @ KirkMan:

      “Alexrd sounds awfully right wing and he is angry at the right being called bigoted despite things like their obsession with denying the LGBT people their equal rights and no; it is not throwing words like “bigotry” or “homophobe” around as buzzwords, it is an accurate description. I have zero tolerance for things like the right wing discriminatory opinion on LGBT issues since it is a form of intolerance, so please stop justifying ignorance and discrimination with the “opinion” excuse.”

      ——————————-

      Well, actually, I’m the one that inputted some of those terms that Alex objected into the discussion — but merely as an academic exercise in refuting the idiocy of dismissing people based on their use of a container term like “Mary Sue”. It’s easy to stick other labels on people without trying to understand their position. The former allows you to signal to your fellow tribe members that you continue to support their ideals and wish to continue to belong to the group, while the latter is dangerous because a) it could get you banished from the tribe you perceive yourself as belonging to by engaging an “enemy”/outsider, and b) it actually requires you to cast your emotionalism to one side and listen to someone whose views you may not like and are even afraid of hearing (for fear that the edifice on which you have built your whole identity might start tumbling down).

      ——————————-

      “For example, “prequel apologist” is a common buzzword used by SW prequel bashers and is used to refer to anyone who either likes the SW prequels or calls them out and it is very vague in its usage. SW prequel bashers use “prequel apologist” as a means to brand and put people into boxes as to avoid listening to anything they say.”

      ——————————-

      Thing is: You’re doing exactly that to another person within this comments section.

      Why go after Alex here? I’m confused. You’re placing him on trial for things that aren’t relevant to the thread. If those issues are so important to you, why not go out there and fight them yourself? Join groups, wave placards, march, create petitions, write think-pieces, promulgate memes, donate to charitable endeavours, start a YouTube channel. Activism is important in a democratic society, after all. Scapegoating people and pointing fingers, on the other hand, strikes me as considerably less productive.

      ——————————-

      “In 2008, George Lucas gave $50K to fight against the anti-gay marriage Prop H8 which sadly passed but was luckily struck down in 2013. The SW prequels are also a cautionary tale about right wingers like Bush and now more so Donald Trump and warning the audience to be careful whom the elect.”

      ——————————-

      Lucas actually donated that amount twice: Once under his own name, and once under Lucasfilm. He’s a good man — and we owe our little fan worlds directly to him. Lucas has said he is really a child of the 1960s. His father had conservative values, but he grew up (or studied/made films) in a liberal hotspot of the world.

      And yes: I make a similar reading of the prequels. I don’t understand why any committed prequel fan would ever vote for Donald Trump (although I could understand them having problems with Hillary Clinton).

      So many lessons in Star Wars that are still not being heeded. This is why I have my doubts we’ll survive this century. When even a children’s fantasy series isn’t understood…

      • KirkMan1701

        Thanks for enlightening med about the trials you put Alexrd and I through because as i stated before, I hope I am wrong about my fears and say “correct me if I am wrong”. I am sorry for the harsh tone I exhibited at times and I hope to defuse this and you correcting me on a few key things really helps. I try to avoid scapegoating as much as possible and if it is pointed out to me with good argument and proof like what you just did, I correct it as best I can. I have researched the term “Mary Sue” a bit recently and saw it has a meaning beyond say being a reactionary buzzword.

      • Cryogenic

        @ KirkMan:

        That’s okay. I just don’t like seeing people falsely accused of things or made into examples. And I wouldn’t want to see the stifling, oppressive atmosphere of a certain Star Wars message board carrying over and gaining ground in other arenas where these movies are discussed. The “Mary Sue” term is certainly more than a reactionary buzzword. The true reactionaries are the ones that have banned it and feel emboldened in their rectitude and their censorious attitude toward other fans.

    • Alexrd

      “Alexrd sounds awfully right wing and he is angry at the right being called bigoted despite things like their obsession with denying the LGBT people their equal rights”

      What?! First off, I’m angry at anyone who attacks someone not based on what they said, but based on one’s own bias and assumptions. What you’re doing is prejudice, pure and simple. I never said I was right or left wing (I specifically said there was nothing wrong with being right or left wing). I never said anything about equal rights (for or against), and I never said anything about a certain group of people based on their sexual preferences. How you assumed all that is beyond me, but please, feel free to explain.

      “and no; it is not throwing words like “bigotry” or “homophobe” around as buzzwords, it is an accurate description.”

      No, it’s not. You just assumed everyone that belongs to a certain political wing to be a bigot. And you just baselessly assumed that I belong to a political wing that you falsely associate with bigotry and homophoby.

      “I have zero tolerance for things like the right wing discriminatory opinion on LGBT issues since it is a form of intolerance, so please stop justifying ignorance and discrimination with the “opinion” excuse.”

      It’s ironic how you talk about ignorance and discrimination when your own claims are ignorant and discriminatory.

      You’re free to be ignorant. I’m ignorant about a lot of things (and informed about many others). But when we are ignorant about something, we have a choice to not say anything and educate ourselves about that thing, or speak and reveal our ignorance to everyone and be judged accordingly. You did the latter, but it’s not too late to do the former and admit a wrongdoing.

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