Pop Rocks: J.J. Abrams Is Directing The 7th Film In That Racist Star Wars Franchise
Let's just get this out of the way:
The Galactic Empire, with their sharp-dressed yet poorly trained shock shock troops and totalitarian aims, have long been established as based on Nazi Germany. George Lucas apparently felt using space Nazis as the bad guys absolves him of any responsibility for making just about every other race in the Star Wars universe an alleged stereotype. For example:
Jar Jar Binks
I don't see the entire Gungan race as represented poorly in the prequels (or The Phantom Menace, anyway), just Jar Jar. Simply put, he's a fucking idiot and Lucas is deserving of every criticism leveled at him.
But Jar Jar has it pretty easy compared to the women of the prequels. Anakin's mom Shmi languishes in slavery even after her son becomes a Jedi. Padme gets in the occasional fight, but is generally relegated to wearing leather and dying in childbirth. Hell, Princess Leia got to kick more ass, but even she had to wear a bikini.
I don't know if I buy the "Neimodeans embody negative Asian stereotypes" argument. Certainly they have suspiciously slanted eyes and speak what could be described as vaguely Asiatic sounding pidgin English. And it's true one could rightfully accuse the Chinese of predatory policies like those embodied by the Trade Federation. All the same, I'd like to point out two things:
1. The Chinese are so sensitive about this kind of thing that FilmDistrict changed the villains of the Red Dawn reboot to North Koreans so as not to offend them. Of course, it's possible Honey Badger Lucas doesn't give a fuck, which leads me to:
2. Any Asian stereotyping is far less an offense than Lucas' persistently asinine habit of giving his characters cute names, such as "Nute Gunray" -- a play on Newt (as in Gingrich) and Reagan (as in Ronald).
Mos Espa junk dealer Watto is a "Toydarian," which is apparently Lucas-speak for "Jewy Jew McJewenstein." Every negative characteristic is right there: the exaggerated hooked nose, the Hebrew accent, the spurious association with slavery. And if all that wasn't enough, check him out in Attack of the Clones:
You've got two choices of sentient species on Tattooine: desert marauders who are both savagely hostile and dimwitted enough to believe an old guy in a robe is a Krayt Dragon, or diminutive scavengers out to hustle honest famers out of their hard-earned ... whatever currency they used. Clearly Lucas regards all desert-dwelling peoples as subhuman. I mean, Anakin confesses to murdering an entire Sandpeople settlement, including women and children, and the first thing out of Padme's mouth is, "To be angry is to be human." No wonder the Gungans hid from you Naboo assholes.
You heard me. For someone as unapologetically hirsute as George Lucas, he sure gives his hairy brethren a hard time in the Star Wars movies. Chewbacca, the franchise's most famous Wookiee, suffers abuse throughout the series, both of the verbal ("Someobody get this walking carpet out of my way," "Laugh it up, fuzzball) and physical (Imperial torture, Ewok torment) variety. Hell, the Ewoks were supposed to be Wookiees until Lucas realized the marketing potential of stuffing his movie with teddy bear creatures. And in the end, Chewie doesn't even rate an appearance on Jedi's poster.