Shmi Skywalker and the Females
Okay, women aren’t technically a race, but the status of female characters in the Star Wars movies deteriorated so rapidly that we can’t leave them out. In the original trilogy, we were at least given Princess Leia, a woman who was not only smokin’ hot but was actually intelligent and somewhat competent.
She could handle a blaster, threaten people with a thermal detonator, and wasn’t afraid strangle you with a chain if you sexually harassed her enough. She had goals, dreams, attitude, ambitions and above all, a personality.
In the new trilogy, on the other hand, we are given female characters like Shmi Skywalker, Anakin’s mother, who has no other character or purpose in life other than to advance the male lead’s plot points.
Shmi gets some lines in Episode one, where she looks sad and tragic a lot and talks about her important son. She’s apparently not important enough for a Jedi to release from slavery, though. I mean, come on. Surely Obi Wan could have pawned off a Jedi statue in Coruscant or something, and transferred some money over to free her later. Or Anakin could have brought up maybe rescuing his mother from slavery in all their years of training. But apparently it didn’t come up, because really the only important thing someone with lady bits can do in the new trilogy is die. And that’s only important because it’s an excuse for the male characters to get angry and dubiously become evil.
Another example if this progressive degeneration into lazy sexism is Padme, who in the first movie was making tough political decisions and ruling a planet. By the second movie, she’s reduced to sitting around in bizarre dominatrix outfits.
By Episode Three she’s reduced to Shmi Skywalker levels, doing little else but moping around crying, having babies, and dying tragically.
Jar Jar Binks and the Gungans
The planet Naboo is inhabited by two races: the cultured humans who build beautiful palaces and hold a cultured royal court and the Gungans who live underground and don’t understand technology. The main Gungan in Star Wars is Jar Jar Binks, a dimwitted but ‘loveable’ klutz who ends up helping out our beloved heroes. In the world of George Lucas, Gungans are also known as black people.
But Jar Jar’s skin is orange, you say. And black people don’t have long ears! Well, here’s a picture of the guy who played Jar Jar, and provided him with both his voice and gait:
Is there something George Lucas is trying to tell us?
Jar Jar speaks in a barely understandable simplified language. At first the audience assumes that English is not his first language, and that a kind of lingua franca has developed between the English-speaking human inhabitants of Naboo and the Gungans to allow them to communicate. However, when we see Jar Jar’s home, we discover that he communicates to the King in this language and that it’s all they’ve got. Since it seems to be based on English, one assumes that before they met the pale, cultured people of Naboo, they simply communicated by flinging mud at each other.
The Gungans don't have much to offer in way of culture, either. Political debates are settled by simply arguing really loudly and occasionally blowing raspberries. Wars are fought by slingshot, since the Naboo human weaponry apparently is too complicated. When Jar Jar actually gets his hands on a gun, tragedy is avoided only by the fact that the movie is clearly aimed at children.
It’s not that Gungans are bad people (or whatever), per se. They’re just simple, childlike loveable folk who are in firm need guidance by the upper races. One might say that they are the Nabooan's burden.Image Sources
- - Watto and the Toydarians: http://austenprose.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/watto.jpg http://www.completewermosguide.com/Black/Black_Watto.JPG http://www.scientificpsychic.com/alpha/fashion/hasidicHat.jpg
- - The Sandpeople: http://astromechbuilder.com/mechloader/d/3168-1/1-1.jpg http://www.egosystem.com/starwars/images/anh/stormtroopers_low_clearance.jpg http://www.touchnote.com/files/assets/RGS036.jpg
- - Nute Gunray and the Neimoidians: http://www.wizards.com/starwars/images/nute_gunray.jpg
- - Shmi Skywalker and the Females: http://www.starwars.com/img/community/event/museum/f19971001/mom_blaster.jpg http://www.starwars.jp/databank/character/image/shmi_skywalker.jpg http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_h8lco0yxl-k/Rl1B0e6dwlI/AAAAAAAAA3s/JvvK-L-TNdU/s400/anakin.jpg http://starwarsprequelappreciationsociety.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/ep2-1a-9528.jpg
- - Jar Jar Binks and the Gungans : http://media.monstersandcritics.com/galleries/1331422/0143917950085.jpg http://blogs.starwars.com/static/img/image-selector/full/prequel-trilogy/episode-i/25.jpg