Social Justice Crusades are a constant online, just like Murphy’s law. You can always expect one to be going on at any given time, just don’t expect anyone to pick up a ladle at a soup kitchen. The last one involved Captain America. It seems they are still targeting Disney-owned products because they are going after Star Wars now.
The Last Crusade
The latest crusade involving Star Wars isn’t new, but is one of the most enduring. It sees already established characters pushed into becoming LGBT icons from one day to another. For example, during the release of Captain America: Civil War, there was a real push to make Captain America and Bucky Barns into a couple. The main issue I took with this was that it wasn’t in any way organic. Nowhere in the comics did you see any hint at a romantic relationship between the pair, and you certainly didn’t see it in the movies. What you saw was a bond, a lifelong friendship between two men. And it felt that those involved in the crusade were just using examples of a strong friendship between the two men as an excuse to say they were gay – to push an agenda, not further the core storyline.
#GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend cause jfc its 2017 and everyone deserves it, especially Steve and Bucky
— Desiree J. Russell (@djlulu6) July 23, 2017
— j. a. malcolm (@whatajuju) October 5, 2017
— WeNeedLGBTQStories (@wnlgbtqs) June 16, 2017
If you want LGBTQ stories, here’s what you do. Write something original that’s good. That’ll do a lot more than just co-opting established characters.
Every time two men now hang out or have a bond, it’s reduced to something sexual. It’s ironic because normally from the social justice crowd you see them fight against that stereotype tooth and nail about characters they care about. This ignorance of basic human relationships tells me that a lot of these people have NEVER had a healthy platonic friendship before. I don’t know which is worse, that fact, or their delusions. But I digress.
Instead of creating a character whose sexuality is a part of their identity, something that can engage readers as their characters develop, they attempt to co-opt already established characters. They just copy/paste basic backgrounds onto already popular characters to fit their narrative. This to me just screams quotas and tropes. Aren’t those suppose to be bad?
The Newest Targets
The latest pair to be targeted by this crusade of Twitter warriors is Poe Dameron and Finn of the newest Star Wars trilogy.
All over the net, you see blog posts talk about a Finn/Poe love connection. Even Nerdist got into the action. Though they ignore the fact that there isn’t a foundation for that sort of relationship. Again, they are confusing the behavior of friends to that of lovers. What evidence do they claim to show that the pair could be in fact a couple? It’s all in their heads.
— Olivia Truffaut-Wong (@iWatchiAm) August 9, 2017
— Tee (@softdudebro) August 29, 2017
If a character just happens to be straight, or what’s more – if their romantic lives play no role at all – it’s not because of homophobia.
If I remember correctly, Finn was hitting on Rey on the Falcon right? Whatever the case may be, this crusade again is treating those within the gay community like exchangeable tropes.
Though I have my issues with the latest Star Trek series, Discovery. One thing it did right was how it treated the franchise’s first openly gay character. He was treated, and here’s the shocking part, like a normal person. In the show, he’s treated like a member of the crew, not a token out on display. He isn’t a character just shoved out into the camera to say “Look there’s a gay person here!” When you treat people of different backgrounds like that, it’s just dehumanizing to me, and just turns those characters into prop pieces to be included in a basic list to have on file.
Boyega isn’t the only actor part of the Star Wars franchise who is also making the pitch. Director JJ Abrams also had a few things to say about the possibility of a gay character in Star Wars. “So it seems insanely narrow-minded and counterintuitive to say there wouldn’t be a homosexual character in that world.” according to The Daily Beast, Abrams also said: “To me, the fun of Star Wars is the glory of possibility.”
I believe what he has in mind makes sense. Of course in the vast universe that is Star Wars, why wouldn’t someone be gay? But my point again is this: you have an entire universe to create a new character. There is no need for lazy writing and storytelling to get the point across. And I hope that Abrams goes that route if they decide to introduce a new character who is gay.
During this summer’s Star Wars Celebration Orlando, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy was asked about Finn and Poe’s connection. She talked about how fans are as part of the engine behind the franchise stories as the writers.
After 40 years of adventures people have a lot of information and a lot of theories about the way these stories can [go], and sometimes those theories that come up are new ideas for us to listen to, read and pay attention to. [It’s] clear that the fans are as much masters of this franchise as we are.
What Kathleen Kenndy said is quite interesting. We as fans have a great amount of power in the direction they take the franchise. As “masters” of the franchise, it’s up to us to expect a standard to be held by those creating within a universe that is just as much ours as it is Lucasfilm’s and Disney’s.
This is the core of the issue that troubles me. Some people use online activism and retconning to replace real-life work. Those are the people who spend countless hours tweeting, and re-tweeting useless hashtags and posts as if they’re doing something positive. Instead they harass industries into submission over the slightest offense. Or the issue of the week. Look at what has happened to Marvel over the last few years.
They decided to fully embrace the Twitter Warriors and their crusade to make the comic book world into their image. What has that gotten them? A record drop in sales. Marvel and other entertainment companies continue to forget this lesson.
Astro-Turfing Twitter Warriors don’t buy comics. They don’t watch movies. They find a cause, do their thing, and run off into the sunset looking for a new issue to embrace and tweet about.
Now, should there be a gay character in Star Wars? I don’t think that should even be the question. It should be: will there be a character in the franchise where being gay is but one part of their personality? Until we get to that point, we aren’t treating gay people as humans in entertainment, they’re just the new affirmative action piece that needs to be copy and pasted into everything. Doing this leaves those characters as one dimensional and hollow creations rather than something that could have been great.
Tell me, what do you think. Are these Twitter Warriors, and their endless crusade in the entertainment world doing more harm than good? Let us know in the comments below!