The Star Trek Ethnic Stereotype Equivalency Guide by hatless is onto something, but why waste your time critiquing Star Trek when it's being effectively killed off by Paramount? Let's talk about George Lucas, since his work is still attracting new viewers.

Star Wars, far more than Star Trek, puts aliens in roles that once belonged to non-European humans. On the other hand, Lucas is consciously trying to emulate the fell of old movie serials--so it isn't surprising that their character types show up. Sure, the bad guys in Phantom Menance sound like Japanese from old movies about World War II--but then, the Imperial bad guys from the first trilogy sound like Germans from WWII movies (that is, they have British accents). So really, Lucas is just following the conventions of his genre. The same logic explains Jar-Jar Binks. (By the way, people, how do you expect Everything to become sentient if you talk about Jar-Jar without linking him to stereotyping?)

It seems quite blatant which races correspond with aliens in Star Wars. Note that these views are not the views I have of these races; just the stereotypes portrayed in Star Wars. As far as I'm concerned, racial difference is just cosmetic and superficial. And I still say Star Wars rules, at least the original trilogy.

  • the Trade Federation of episode 1 obviously represents pre-WWII Japan and to a lesser extent, the merchandizing aspects of Japan today. According to the stereotype, the Japanese want to hoard trade rights unfairly and take monetary advantage of everyone.
  • Jar Jar, I think, is just supposed to symbolize any 'dumb' or 'primitive' race, as are the rest of the Gungans. Think about it - Gungan = Gunga Din... coincidence? I doubt it. Like in the old poem, the gungans are the harmless race of inferior, kindly creatures who redeem themselves by being obedient and dumb. You could say Jar Jar was black, but he could also apply to just about any other race which lacked in technology and was taken advantage of by those damn white people.
  • The Hutts - obviously supposed to be Italian or Sicilian, and in the Mafia. If you've seen the outtakes of the original Star Wars, before they had decided that Jabba was to be a slug-like alien, he looked like an Italian guy...
  • Watto, the cheap, fat flying blue bee, is supposed to be Jewish. He has the accent and everything. And of course, he is cheap and merchandizing, as the Jewish supposedly are according to the stereotypes.
  • Those damn Ewoks are probably supposed to be Native Americans - shown as a group of funny, dumb guys who run around naked in the forest. The simplified little tribal culture displayes the way a lot of people look at the Native Americans, as an extinct tribe which had quaint little cultures and traditions, not as an equally valid race.
  • Jawas/Sand People These are obviously supposed to be Arabs, running around in the desert hoarding random shit and shooting at people. Tatooine is supposed to be the middle east, a desert land which seems like it wouldnt be significant but is a big crossroads of everything. I don't know what would symbolize oil, tatooine seems pretty barren of resources.

As for all those regular humans... I think it is largely a symbol for the American Revolution... except the 'English' are more like the Germans of WWII. The whole thing with Darth Vader and the Death Star represents a victory of humans over technology. (Although when it got to the point of blowing up the big yellow donut it just got stupid...)

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