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Is Star Wars racist?

is star wars racist

We recently celebrated “Star Wars Day”, and the cast of the new movie was also just released, and it has led to a lot of people bringing up the fat that in the original series, there was only one black actor.  But is that because of racism?  Let’s look at it from a different direction, the Star Wars Galaxy may exist within our own universe, but does that mean that everything is the same there?

First, lets look at the differences between their galaxy and ours.

The first difference is the diversity of life.  Sure, it’s possible that there are as many aliens in our galaxy as exist in theirs, but they sure aren’t making themselves known.  In the Star Wars galaxy, there are aliens everywhere.  It’s like every planet (and their moons) have life on them.

The second difference is that the planets themselves are less diverse.  While there are many planets, they all seem to have one major theme.  Earth has multiple different biomes covering its surface.  Here we have oceans, deserts, polar ice caps, mountains, jungles, etc.  Everything you can think of, we have.  But in Star Wars, you have the ice planet Hoth, or the desert planet Tatooine.  Like trees?  Check out the Forest Moon of Endor.  Even Coruscant is nothing but one giant city.

Physics itself is different there.  They have earth like gravity on all space ships, regardless of size.  They have the Force.  They travel via hyperspace.  Laser fire travels slower than bullets.  It’s a weird place full of weird things that we would never expect to be able to happen here.

Now, the second thing to look at, are the beginnings of humanity here on Earth.  There are two ways that humans could have come about.

The first option, is the religions one.  God(s) made humans, and as such, the different races, because they wanted to.  Whether it’s a curse, or just different materials used when creating man, we have different skin color because it fit some divinely powered beings whim.

The other option is the scientific one.  Mankind evolved out of a line of primates somewhere in Africa, then moved to the fertile valley of the Middle East to develop civilization, and spread throughout the world from there.  Due to the different environments encountered, and the different ways of life developed by humans in different corners of the globe, we evolved with minor differences, such as our skin colors. This is the option that we’ll use as we look over the Star Wars Galaxy.

When moving to the Star Wars galaxy, it’s a little different though.  Nobody knows where humans come from.  Their home world is suspected to be one of the core worlds, but nobody really knows.  It’s believed that they started on Coruscant, but even by the time of the Infinite Empire, they were spreading to different worlds, so it’s hard to tell. Even without knowing their home world, we can still take a few educated guesses at how humanity evolved within the Star Wars galaxy.

Since the diversity of the human race on Earth came about due to the diverse nature of our planet, should we rally expect the same thing to happen in Star Wars, where their planets lack that kind of diversity?  If humanity started on Hoth, it wouldn’t matter how far and wide they spread across the planet in their early years, they would still find nothing but ice.  Same thing for Tatooine, Kashyyyk, or Dagobah. Humans on one side of the planet would face the same things as humans on the other side. That’s not to say that there wouldn’t be any differences, but in a world without Africa, Asia, The Americas, India, or Europe, would you really expect to see Africans, Asians, Indians, Native Americans, or Europeans?

This isn’t to say that humanity didn’t evolve at all. There are many Near-Human races that either evolved from humanity, or developed from one of our close ancestors. Fans of the Expanded Universe will know Grand Admiral Thrawn, who is of the blue skinned Chiss. If you’ve played the Knights of the Old Republic games, then you may remember the Handmaiden, who was half human, half echani, another Near-Human race. One that is so close to human, that we can actually breed with them and produce offspring.

Is it possible, that instead of winding up with the races that we have here on Earth, due to the extremes faced on the different planets, they instead evolved to become the Chiss, Echani, Miraluka, or any number of other Near-Human species?

Evolution of Star Wars

There is one other option for how humanity came to be in the Star Wars galaxy, and that’s panspermia.  We already know that travel from galaxy to galaxy is possible.  It’s how ET came to us from the Star Wars Galaxy, and how the Yuuzhan Vong (who themselves are eerily similar to humans at the genetic level) came to invade the Star Wars galaxy.  While the Great Hyperspace Barrier does seem to make it incredibly difficult to move from galaxy to galaxy, it doesn’t completely prevent it.  It’s entirely possible that humanity came to the Star Wars galaxy during the time of the Celestials, roughly 100,000 years before the original trilogy.  There have been so many empires to rise and fall between then and now, nobody knows exactly what happened during their reign.  It’s entirely possible that all humanity as it currently exists, came about because of some intergalactic travelers came from earth with a ship load of people.

There are plenty of times in our history when a group of people disappeared without an explanation.

It always comes back to this

Well, there are some explanations…

Maybe the Ancient Astronaut Theory is right? What if the Colony of Roanoke didn’t just vanish, what if some ancient alien species brought them to Coruscant, and then vanished themselves? If all humans came from a small colony of Europeans, would we expect them to be as racially diverse?

There is one final theory. You see, the Emperor himself was incredibly racist. This is why all his troops are human. Almost all his advisers are human. Literally anybody that had anything to do with him was human. Dude thought aliens were second class citizens. He was pretty much a magical space Hitler. Maybe after he had the Jedi killed, he called for the execution of order 67, the killing of all the black people in the galaxy.

Magical Space Hitler

Honestly though, yeah, it was pretty much just white casting directors casting white people because they thought that’s what a white audience would want to see. This is why I think they should make a true to the books version of Dune, a story where a white kid leads an army of Middle Eastern people on a guerrilla war, culminating with the detonation of atomic weapons and the overthrowing of the old government.

On second thought, maybe the world isn’t ready for that just yet…