No, Star Wars Does Not Emasculate Black Men

By:  H.T.

I love Star Wars, always have since my dad showed me A New Hope back when I was 7.  When it came to Episode 7, one thing that I often heard was that the new main character Finn was emasculated on account of him constantly losing in fights and the fact that it doesn’t appear as though Rey is attracted to him.  I could go in on how blerds, despite claiming to be more enlightened, still build their masculinity around characters who are billy badass and get the girl, which leads me to believe that this is more a matter of projection than portrayal of black men on screen.  Again, the fact is that Finn up till the beginning of the Force Awakens was a forcibly conscripted Stormtrooper that didn’t even get sent into battle.  So Finn is literally a janitor being forced into galactic civil war.  Again, of all the other main characters throughout the course of this franchise, they have some sort of combat training.  Mace Windu was a Jedi MASTER, Lando Calrissian helped Han fight pirates, Han Solo used to be a cadet for the empires’ officer training, Luke is also a Jedi MASTER, his sisters’ adopted family raised her up to lead the fucking rebellion.  Finn was just a Stormtrooper who hated his job and ran.

“But why does the black man have to be incompetent?”  Look, it’s a goddamn movie.  Who knows, by the next movie he might not be a Jedi, but at least he’ll be able to hold is own.  I’m sorry, but sometimes black characters aren’t seasoned vets by the time we meet them.  Sometimes we got to see GROWTH.  This goes to the issue that I often see with the demands for black characters and how they’re written.  Too often, the demand is that for the sake of not making black male characters look weak, we leave little room open for any nuance about them.  Hell, even in Gears Of War, those characters really did nothing in the way of making you feel attached to them.  Dom’s wife dying was played more for motivation to kill more than the fact that someone he loved just died.  Hell, Marcus has a son that looks white as hell and nothing like him!

If this is about the fact that Star Wars is a series that has a tendency to write strong women characters, fine.  If you want to complain that Star Wars not only doesn’t have black women characters in it, along with retconning the series to where now not even Han Solo’s Black wife is cannon, go right ahead.  But I have to say that issue is far far more logical than saying Star Wars hates black men because we aren’t in it enough.  The last time we were, we didn’t like it enough.  The reason prominent sci-fi writer Octavia Butler’s works have stood the test of time is because it was black characters exploring ideas and new worlds.  To me, the kind of person that would complain that one black hero wasn’t masculine enough feels like someone who wanted a retread of old territory and/or something that just didn’t fit in the story that was made.  Think about it, if Finn was an elite solider for the Empire, assuming he’s not a clone, him running would actually be harder as now him leaving would be a liability.

Remember when Finn ran, the most the empire showed concern in him leaving was when he was attacked by one Riot Trooper.  That’s it.  No one else came looking for him.  If you wanted a movie with a black badass hero, hope they make one about the Mandalorians or make another Rogue One type film.  But to go as far as to say this was sci-fi taking our balls tells me more about you than them.  

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