Star Wars is one of the most popular franchises in history. The first film, released in 1977, created the blueprint for modern science fiction, and created the framework for movie trilogies. No other movie has ingrained itself into popular culture like Star Wars. The Empire Strikes Back has one of the greatest twists in movie history, the lightsaber is the most recognizable, fictional weapon in the world and everyone loves Han Solo. Except black people. For some reason we haven’t fallen in love with the series like everyone else. We don’t know random facts about the series. We don’t cosplay. We don’t geek out over toys, trailer or plot speculation.
I think an interesting conversation can be had about racisms effect on black people’s ability to create and enjoy science fiction, but that not for today. Here are four not-so-serious reasons why we should love Star Wars.
The Empire Is Basically White Supremacy
All the best science fiction act as allegory to real life. Most people see the Empire as the galactic equivalent to The Axis of Evil and the Rebellion as The Allies. Well, in terms of race, we can look at The Empire, with its white Stormtroopers, rigid structure and desire for universal control, as the perfect parallel to White Supremacy. The Rebels are a bit less organized and more a rag-tag bunch, looking to disrupt the power structure oppressing them. Black people should relate to the Rebels. The Civil Rights Movement was a rebellion. Does that make MLK Luke Skywalker? Who would be The Emperor?
Luke Skywalker Knows The Struggle
Luke Skywalker is at the center of the original trilogy, and its his arc, from boy to hero, that makes Star Wars so interesting. Luke knows struggle like no other in the galaxy far far away. For starters, he comes from modest and humble beginnings on Tatooin. He grows up with his orphan parents, never meets with mother, and has a complicated relationship with his father. His friend is practically a Space Pirate. He kisses his sister. His homeboy, Ben Ken-Obi, is killed. He goes on a pilgrimage and gets advice from a hippy-dippy mentor in Yoda. He goes on to save the universe. Sound like Nat Turner, Malcolm X and Harriet Tubmen all rolled into one… with a lightsaber.
Midi-Chlorians= The Force = Melanin
The Force is mystical energy in the Star Wars universe that binds all living creatures. Jedi are able to control the force to do extraordinary things like control lightsabers, choke enemies from afar and control minds.
Black people are special, I have no problem admitting that. I don’t think we’re better or superior to any group, but I think our history, resilience and culture makes us unique. We’re basically Jedi. Michael Jordan? Michael Jackson? Toussaint L’Overture? Jedi. Despite all odds we continue to do incredible things. Its obvious that The Force is strong with us.
Darth Vader Is Black
The center of the entire Star Wars Universe. The main character of the entire six-film saga. Anakin Skywalker, also know as Darth Vader, is black. The strongest, bad ass, weirdo in the universe, who still believes in some ancient religion? Sounds like one of my Nigerian uncles. Look at his outfit! He’s the most forward-thinking Sith Lord when it comes to fashion. He’s literally the Kanye West of The Empire. Plus he voiced by James Earl Jones… that’s as black as it gets.