The Independent says Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace is racist in a new article.
“[…] [Star Wars: The Phantom Menace] was, after all, a children’s film about taxes, trade disputes and a racist space frog almost played by Michael Jackson.” […]
Jar Jar wore flared bell-bottom trousers and spoke in heavy Caribbean patois (“Dissen gonna be bery messy! Me no watchin!”). He made Lucas look regrettably unaware of American entertainment’s dark tradition of “coon” caricatures, positioning black characters as dim-witted fools whose speech and idiocy are played for laughs. Lucas claimed the character was inspired by the Disney character Goofy and denied all accusations of racism, but many people were unconvinced. The Wall Street Journal called Jar Jar “a Rastafarian Stepin Fetchit”, a reference to the 1920s/30s actor synonymous with the term, having perpetuated negative black stereotypes across a number of roles throughout this period. “There was something about his demeanour that suggested blackness and that suggested, more specifically, stereotypical blackness,” Michael Dyson, professor of African-American studies at Columbia University complained to CNN after the film’s release.
The problem with The Phantom Menace’s approach to people of colour didn’t end with Jar Jar. Watto, a greedy, hook-nosed businessman whose love for cash not even the force could buckle (“your Jedi mind tricks don’t work on me, only money!”) was accused of pedalling antisemitism, while the cowardly Trade Federations bosses who wore mock oriental robes and spoke with exaggerated Asian accents also drew criticism. […]”
But most of the African-American viewers don’t share these views. A 2017 poll shows that 88% of them had a favorable impression of The Phantom Menace. The movie is even more popular among them than among Whites or Hispanics.
As for the other accusations, The Independent can’t quote any Jew or Asian complaining about the “racism” of The Phantom Menace toward them, which speaks volumes.
As a reminder, The Phantom Menace is still the 18th highest-grossing film in Japan.