The Star Wars Liberals Want

As is customary whenever a new Star Wars film is about to come out, Vanity Fair runs a special edition with gorgeous photographs by the renowned Annie Liebovitz. The Last Jedi is no exception since the magazine just released four special variant covers to this year’s Star Wars issue. They’re all great, but one photo definitely stands out the most for us nerds of color:

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An Asian American Woman is the Hero of Star Wars: The Last Jedi

This morning was the long anticipated Last Jedi panel at the annual Star Wars Celebration convention in Orlando, and it didn’t disappoint. In addition to seeing Force Awakens breakouts John Boyega and Daisy Ridley reunite on stage, the world was officialy introduced to Kelly Marie Tran. Even better? We finally got a sense of who her mysterious character is and how she fits in the saga.

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The Significance of Kelly Marie Tran in Star Wars Episode VIII

Last week was a pretty discouraging one for the APA community — and for all POC folks — with Scarlett Johansson as Motoko Kusanagi, Tilda Swinton as a bald Tibetan monk, and Nat Wolff as Light Yagami. There has been massive outrage on many fronts and thankfully, the concern has been taken seriously by major publications such as the Hollywood Reporter. Over here at NOC, it’s been covered numerous times, so it’s safe to say that the anger and frustration is still very much present for many of us.

Let’s, for the time being, look at a happier place; to a story where a relatively unknown Asian American actress by the name of Kelly Marie Tran has been cast to play the new female lead for Star Wars Episode VIII. Not much is known about the role but being an actor in Los Angeles, it helped knowing a few folks who went in when auditions took place last September. The role was open to ALL ETHNICITIES and was surely for the new female lead in the upcoming Star Wars chapter. Whoever would get the role had to have a chemistry test with John Boyega (whether it’s a love interest for Finn or someone who is best friends with him is unknown) and once they nailed that, the rest would be history.

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#Stormpilot: How Finn/Poe Could Become Canon (and Why It’s a Good Thing)

Stormpilot: It’s the fandom pairing of the decade! And it just might come true.

“Girl, please,” you might be saying, but just listen to me! Not only could it happen, but if it does, it’ll change the game forever (and in a good way.) First let’s get into the timeline. Keep in mind: the timeline is intense. Let’s get into it:

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The Psychology of Star Wars: The Force Awakens — Could a Stormtrooper Become a Hero?

by Ali Mattu, Ph.D | Originally posted at Brain Knows Better

Note: No big spoilers here, at least nothing beyond what’s shown in the trailers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and what occurs in the first 15 minutes of the film. 

The essential psychology of the Star Wars saga is mindfulness. “Using the force” is all about embracing the present moment. That’s what Yoda taught Luke and it’s something Anakin never picked up from Obi-Wan.

Mindfulness continues to be a part of J.J. Abrams’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I can’t get into specifics because things would get spoilery, but it’s safe to say the climax of the film is a moment of mindfulness. We also see new characters develop meaning in their lives, just like Han Solo did in the original trilogy. The way The Force Awakens honors the past mythology (and psychology) of Star Wars while also refreshing it for a new generation is a big reason why I’m a fan of the film.

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For the Love of FN-2187: Why John Boyega as Finn is One of the Best New Characters in Star Wars

by Jamal Igle

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a juggernaut. Critically acclaimed and the current holder of the title of “biggest film opening of all time.” It’s an engaging film that engrosses the viewer and harkens back to the early days of franchise. As it is with all things pop culture, particularly in the age of internet piety, the film also has its detractors. The complaints range across the spectrum but one of the most pointed complaints have been towards Finn, the character portrayed by British actor John Boyega. Two writers whom I’m good friends with — Hannibal Tabu and Joe Illidge — have both written pieces complaining about the character for similar reasons, calling him inept, and even neutered.

I love you guys, you know I do, but I couldn’t disagree with you more. Now this is going to be a rather spoiler filled piece, so if you haven’t seen the movie, now’s your time to hit the eject button and go look at Buzzfeed.

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NOCs of the Roundtable: Hot Star Wars Takes Awaken

You might not have known, but a little movie opens this weekend. It’s called Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Heard of it? Well, it’s already shattering box office records worldwide, and it’ll probably be the highest grossing movie of the year. And there’s only two more weeks left in the year.

Anyway, a bunch of the NOCs have already seen the movie and want to share their thoughts. We’ll be updating this Roundtable throughout the weekend as more of us head out to the multiplex. In the meantime, know that anything and everything after the jump are massive Star Wars spoilers. Be warned.

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Fear Leads — Anticipating Star Wars: The Force Awakens

by Brandon Thomas | Originally posted at The Fiction House

There’s only one thing about Star Wars: The Force Awakens that scares me…

It’s not the question of whether or not it’s going to be any good, because I know it will be. It’s not the possibility that the movie will birth an everlasting big screen dynasty, because it’s too early in the game to speculate on that. It’s not the intentional absence of Luke Skywalker from everything, because I think it’s admirable to preserve such a fundamental question for the actual movie. It’s not even minor spoilers, though I am taking some protective measures, and have sworn off any further clips, now that I have my Finn focused TV spot to watch over and over again.

No, what I’m afraid about more than anything else, is the true revelation of Finn’s overall role within this new trilogy.

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Dear John Boyega…

First off, so very many congratulations for your role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I doubt that any of us can be as happy as you are about your casting, but most of us are ecstatic that you are more than just a one-off or a token in the Star Wars universe. Since being cast as Finn you have been rendered, effectively, immortal and omnipresent. You will be in films, made into toys, on posters and trading cards, possibly even comic books, we will be able to play you in video games, your face will be emblazoned on novels… you will be everywhere, for a very long time. Unless something happens where all media is destroyed, you will be famous for the rest of your life. And probably for some time after. Congratulations. I cannot imagine how heady a feeling this must be for you. Continue reading “Dear John Boyega…”

Racism Tries to Come For A Galaxy Far, Far Away

Originally posted on Ebony.com

Even a galaxy far, far away can feel the effects of racism and White paranoia. Over the weekend, a group of our less enlightened brethren got the hashtag #BoycottStarWarsVII to trend. Why would anyone want to boycott one of cinema’s most venerable franchises? Well, according to some, the new Star Wars film (to be released on December 18 and helmed by geek-favorite J.J. Abrams) promotes “White genocide.”

Yes, you read that correctly.

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