Sign In

The Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars movie. Or is it? — Page 10

Author
Time

Bingowings said:

Watching Buffy The Vampire Slayer used to be a bit problematic in Britain because Americans don't use the term "Spastic" or "Spaz" in the same way it has been used here.

"Spaz" in Britain is a term used to target people suffering with Cerebral Palsy and "Spastic" by the mid-seventies had become so commonly used as a derogatory term that the National Spastic Society eventually felt it necessary to change it's name to SCOPE. 

I am not sure what gave you the impression that the term is used differently in the States, but as an American, I can confirm that "spastic" and "spaz", for short, both refer to CP here as well.

When I was a kid to call someone a spaz was to suggest that they were uncoordinated or incompetent physically and/or socially. A guy who loses control of his tongue when talking to a pretty girl, or someone who totally fumbles the ball when it was thrown to them in football, both would have been accused of being spazes when I was in school (and Buffy was airing). "Retarded" and "gay" were common insults (though also frequently used among friends) back then as all, and all three have kind of fallen out of use in today's much more politically correct world.

 

Jawas seem to be a fully sentient species with a culture and a language so is Threepio being racist when he calls them "Disgusting creatures"?

I think he is.

Whoa, wait? Where is your history of repression here? There are no indications in the film that Jawas are repressed. We see them drinking at the bar and all over Mos Eisley like any other kind of alien, and in fact, we probably see more of them than any other one type of alien (including humans), so it is even possible they could be the majority or the planet's native inhabitants.

Author
Time

The Tuskens and The Jawas were there first but do they have a say in local government?

Do they hold any position of authority or privilege?

All we see them do is serving the oppressors by tidying up and recycling unsightly mechanical litter dropped by the invaders and hanging around outside booze dens and mixing with the criminal fraternity.

The first sign of any trouble the Imperials swarm in and massacre them.

If anyone asks questions the Tuskens get the blame.

Indigenous majorities can be repressed too, just look at the former Rhodesia and South Africa until recently.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Dp2OfIT_M

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Bingowings said:

The Tuskens and The Jawas were there first but do they have a say in local government?

Do they hold any position of authority or privilege?

All we see them do is serving the oppressors by tidying up and recycling unsightly mechanical litter dropped by the invaders and hanging around outside booze dens and mixing with the criminal fraternity.

Who are the oppressors/invaders? The Empire? The only reason there are Stormtroopers on Tantooine at that point is to find the droids.

You obviously know a great deal more about the EU than I do, I hypothesized that Jawas may have been the original inhabitants of the planet for all we know, and you confirmed that they were along with the Tuskens. I really don't know anything about any of that to comment on it, nor do I really care to know. I have no idea who runs the local Tantooine government or if the Jawas get a say or not, and again, I don't really care to know.

But, lets just pretend for a moment that the Jawas are the planets majority, and while there are a lot of them around doing menial crummy jobs, there are also Jawas living like kings in other parts of the planet and that they do, in fact, make the laws and call the shots in the planet's government.

Given the above, suddenly Threepio's lines are no longer racist?

 

I honestly think you are mixing up the attitude of bigotry/racism/classism/intolerance/etc. with cultural perceptions of what is appropriate or acceptable. In the 90's I could have called my friend a "spaz" or a "retard" in front of my teacher and she probably wouldn't have thought much of it (beyond "Hey, stop name calling!"), now if a kid uses "retard" or "spaz" in school, he is going to at least get reproached for it, maybe worse. This is because we have grown more sensitive toward disabilities as a culture. In reality, it was no better (or worse) to belittle people with cognitive limitations in the 90's by using the term "retard" as an insult than it is today. Cultural perception on the issue has shifted, and it is no longer as acceptable.

It would always be racist to make a belittling comment about black people, no matter which way history had turned, but given a "history or repression" it has become taboo. But that is something entirely different. This line of thinking is the only way I can make a modicum of sense out of your argument. Otherwise it is just ridiculous to say that looking down on someone of a different race than you isn't racism sans a history of repression. It always is by definition, regardless of the cultural context. Racism, bigotry, etc. is an attitude and a state of mind that can exist anywhere.

Author
Time

I disagree with Bingo that a history of repression needs to be present in order for racism/speciesism to occur, however I still don't believe Leia's "walking carpet" comment denotes an incidence of either on her part.

For example, what if Han had been the one walking in front of Leia and she had said, "Would somebody get this self-righteous dolt out of my way?"  Or what if Luke had been the one blocking her and she had said, "Would somebody get this undersized pipsqueak out of my way?"  Such comments, while rude and insensitive, are not racist, nor would they be interpreted as an attack on anyone who is unintelligent or short.  Rather, they are personal attacks on the individual.  The "walking carpet" comment, then, should not be seen as a speciesist comment on the entire Wookie race, but rather as an affront towards Chewbacca alone.

“It’s a lot of fun… it’s a lot of fun to watch Star Wars.” – Bill Moyers

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Was Chewbacca the first Wookiee Leia had ever seen? She may have thought he was a normally hairy creature or an abnormally hairy creature. I don't believe it is relevant. It was the venting of negative emotions in a lazy, selfish manner. People who are not racist are still capable of this, and sometimes it manifests in an unintended racial slur.

I don't think oppression needs to exist, laziness and ignorance seem to do a pretty good job. I know people I would consider racist against white Americans because they judge them all to be as stupid and greedy as some of the decisions made by their government. To judge a group negatively based only on a selection of individuals is prejudice, if that group is a race doesn't it become racism?

Also, interpreting this from one side of the camera makes no sense. Especially when it's the wrong side. Inventing real-world issues in a fantasy universe diminishes its intended escapist value. Keeping the discussion within the Star Wars universe rather than also exploring the real-life attitudes and intentions of its creator and the resulting perceptions of its audience diminishes the value of the discussion.

The fact is that George is a racist and sub-consciously injected his prejudices into Leia's character, which it is why it is ambigous. It is not a statement but a fuzzy reflection.

Author
Time

doubleKO said:

The fact is that George is a racist and sub-consciously injected his prejudices into Leia's character, which it is why it is ambigous. It is not a statement but a fuzzy reflection.

 I think this discussion is interesting and has value, but I think this is a pretty heavy step to take based on what was meant to be a funny line in a rip-roaring adventure film.

I'm not sure that any insult-humor is automatically indicitive of the author being subconsiously racist. I'm also not sure that one character being rude to another (and I have no doubt it was supposed to show Leia was not a sweet lady) means the author is promoting an ideology.

Author
Time

Too far?

It was really only my top two paragraphs that were serious :)

Author
Time

doubleKO said:

The fact is that George is a racist and sub-consciously injected his prejudices into Leia's character, which it is why it is ambigous. It is not a statement but a fuzzy reflection.

and we wonder why people this site is a little bonkers...

Author
Time

doubleKO said:

Too far?

It was really only my top two paragraphs that were serious :)

 Oh. Nevermind then.

 

On a side note.... it occurs to me that Han calling Jabba a "slimy piece of worm ridden filth" doesn't fit this conversation about 'racism' or 'speciesism' so much.

That's an insult that could just as easily be directed at a human. On top of that, there's no reason to think Jabba's species is particuarly slimy, filthy, or worm-ridden. They're just a series of non-specific insults.

Just the other day I was called a 'greasy bastard' after winning a wager. I actually have quite dry skin, so I assume it was figurative.

Author
Time

timdiggerm said:

doubleKO said:

The fact is that George is a racist and sub-consciously injected his prejudices into Leia's character, which it is why it is ambigous. It is not a statement but a fuzzy reflection.

and we wonder why people this site is a little bonkers...

I wish I could have held my tongue about not being serious. This had so much more mileage, but I just couldn't do it :P

Author
Time

timdiggerm said:

doubleKO said:

The fact is that George is a racist and sub-consciously injected his prejudices into Leia's character, which it is why it is ambigous. It is not a statement but a fuzzy reflection.

and we wonder why people this site is a little bonkers...

Because we are so quick to tear into our fellow forum members and call them crazy? Yeah, I can see that.

It was clearly a joke. Wookies don't exist in the real world... so George couldn't really be racist against them.

 

I do think it is evident that George (who claimed Chewie was inspired by his dog) continued to see Chewie as more of a pet like character than an actual individual equal to the other main characters. Among other things, he did just as much as Han and Luke in the princess' rescue and the destruction of the Death Star, yet no medal.

Author
Time

Sigh ... don't you people know by now that when George fails to tell a story properly, you have to go to the EU to fill in the gaps?

;-)

Author
Time

I wonder what Threepio clapping his hands sounds like?

Author
Time

Could someone just change the name of this thread, "Is Princess Leia a racist?"

;)

Author
Time

CO said:

Could someone just change the name of this thread, "Is Princess Leia a racist?"

;)

 I think only Smatt can do that, and he thinks we're all a bunch of jerkoffs

Author
Time

Maybe he could change it to 'Is Princess Leia a Jerkoff?'

 

;)

<span style=“font-weight: bold;”>The Most Handsomest Guy on OT.com</span>

Author
Time

Flicking through Simon Pegg's autobiography the other day, in which he discusses Star Wars a lot, he claimed that Lucas said in an interview in 2001 that Empire was his least favourite film in the saga.  Pegg provided a link (don't know how hard he had to look to find it) but I find the statement a bit dodgy.  I think there's plenty of evidence weighed against it but, on the other hand, maybe George was just getting tired of hearing that the best film in the saga was the one that he didn't direct and was the least like all the other episodes.  I dunno, just postulating here (and I don't even know what that means).

 

Anyway, is it the best Star Wars film?  No, but in the context of when it was released, it's certainly the bravest.

 

[returning after a long absence, hopefully with my sense of humour intact this time - well, I changed my meds so who knows?]

That's some bad hat, Harry
Author
Time

Easterhay said:

 

Anyway, is it the best Star Wars film?  No...

Phew! Glad you cleared that one up!

Author
Time

Star Wars (1977) possessed an energy that none of the sequels/prequels have been able to match. It has a certain freshness and innocence to it. The terrible shooting conditions, time constraints, and limited $ and technology forced talented people to great heights of innovation and creativity. It also has the best pacing of any movie I have ever seen; a lot of the credit goes to the editing skills of the two Lucases (Luci?).

Empire, for all it's merits, is a Hollywood film. Quite frankly, I do find Empire a little boring at times and I sometimes think the "darkness" of the material actually did more harm than good to the series.

Return, for all it's faults, is Hamill's best performance. Since he is what the series is all about I always thought Return was underrated. I can see the critics point of view of course; the totally mailed in/coked out performances by Ford and Fisher, teddy bears etc.

I've become more and more like Anchorhead - the original film is kind of in a separate category of it's own and is almost always the film I choose to watch when I watch a Star Wars movie. It is, in a way, the only Star Wars movie. The truest to George's vision from 1975/76 (no matter what he now claims).

The prequels just suck, although TPM was at least an attempt to make a film with an original vision. I think. It still sucked.

“It is only through interaction, through decision and choice, through confrontation, physical or mental, that the Force can grow within you.”
-Kreia, Jedi Master and Sith Lord

Author
Time

I think you are looking for a different thread.  This thread is about Leia the Racist until S_Matt returns to this jerkoff forum.

Author
Time

TV's Frink said:

I think you are looking for a different thread.  This thread is about Leia the Racist until S_Matt returns to this jerkoff forum.

Now I feel stupid. Thanks a lot Frink!

“It is only through interaction, through decision and choice, through confrontation, physical or mental, that the Force can grow within you.”
-Kreia, Jedi Master and Sith Lord