Posted by: Lister | November 11, 2007

Racism in Star Wars and Star Trek

I just found an essay on racism in Star Wars and Star Trek. (Via Doug’s Darkworld).

The essays make a lot of good points. I’ve often been bothered by Star Trek, myself. But I think there is an inconsistency.

I agree with the defence made in the part about Star Wars. The allegations defended against are that Star Wars was using stereotypes to tell us which aliens were which races. And I didn’t see the Neimoidian as Asian.

But then he takes Star Trek to task:

Race and culture are treated as synonymous and interchangeable concepts in Star Trek.

[…] It’s the worst sort of racism — while the PC thought police are rabidly attacking TPM for superficial nonsense such as verbal nuances and Jar-Jar’s floppy ears, Star Trek is promoting genetic determinism (the philosophy that genetics control your destiny) for all the world to see, and none of the politically-correct thought police notice or care.

Perhaps I’ve misunderstood, because I got the impression the author was saying that Star Wars was less racist than Star Trek. But, regarding the Neimoidians:

If there’s money to be had, a Neimoidian will be nearby. So says a common spacer stereotype, justified by the species’ reputation for excelling at business. While Neimoidians are generally a cowardly lot, in financial issues, they can be bold and aggressive.

Which is exactly the kind of thing he criticises Star Trek for.


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