‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Still Struggles With Race

Posted on December 28, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the movie everyone is talking about. It’s breaking records with each subsequent day it is in theaters. And after successfully avoiding spoilers before seeing the film for myself, I can say that the actual content of the film was overwhelmingly successful by staying true to the spirit of the franchise. But the Star Wars film franchise was born way back in 1977, and that classic sentiment could use an upgrade.

In the fantasy world of Star Wars, poverty still exists, but the “haves vs. the have-nots” trope is largely absent. Sexism remains an obstacle. But in almost every instance where it presents itself, that sexism is either beaten to a pulp or has the life choked out of it. And in a galactic war setting with a mixed bag of aliens apt to show up at any time, race doesn’t even seem like a reasonable discussion to have. Still, it is odd that the Star Wars films deliberately steer clear of any talk of race but have no qualms about forcefully dealing with other areas of marginalization, even empowering those within those marginalized groups.

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