japan. njs

camelpoojuice  asked:

Has there been an ask about Star Wars here before? I tried seeing the tags but I didn't see any. I know a lot of people are hyped about the new Star Wars but I could never really get into it as a child and even now. I see so many things about Star Wars are inspired by or taken from different Asian cultures, bits and pieces, but there's barely any Asian people in it.

I don’t believe we’ve gotten asks about it before, but I’ve been waiting. Oh have I been waiting. Because I can relate. I saw it as a kid and was honestly repulsed. Back then obviously I didn’t know the meaning of cultural appropriation, but I saw it and was mad that a white woman got to wear things from my culture but I couldn’t. Apparently in the comics there were Asian characters, but in the movies.. Where?? What Asians?

Since I’m not into it either I’ll only talk about a few specific instances of appropriation that boil my blood:

Natalie Portman as casted as padme has been placed in tons of appropriative costumes. Her hairstyles have been appropriated from Hopi hairstyles. You can even see in the link a photo of the actress who played leia in this hairstyle right next to a Hopi woman. Natalie Portman has been placed in Mongolian traditional hairstyles/ headdresses, makeup and attire, Japanese kimono and hairstyles. Princess leia’s “slave outfit” is also creepily reminiscent of WE/ME/NA dance outfits. 

George Lucas did this, maybe not knowingly, because people think Indigenous and Inner Asian cultures are “becoming extinct”, “wild” and therefore “exotic”. They’re othered in real life and this movie mimics that. He thinks that because Hopi people and Mongolians aren’t well known that people won’t recognize the blatant theft of these significant cultural fashions. He also apparently thinks that Inner Asian, Indigenous American, and East Asian cultures are interchangeable which is racist and harmful. 

The entire premise of the movie is appropriation. Apparently even the Jedis were based off of Chan Buddhism and Hermetic ideology. (Normally I wouldn’t consider Hermeticism a religion that can be appropriated from, but in the context of this movie North African cultures are already being appropriated from so it creates an environment that makes appropriation and bastardization of Hermeticism possible). There are so many instances of cultural and religious appropriation that I don’t have the energy to list it all. It’s bad.

I’m glad that there are a few more cast members of color because it means representation. Which is good. Being able to see yourself in a character in a major film is amazing. But the glaring racism repulses me, and I didn’t get to see myself in any characters when I saw the movies, just a white lady in yellowface wearing my culture, and badly.
-NJ

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