MSNBC host Melissa Harris Perry, in addition to comparing black people to the bestial Wookies, complained Saturday that Star Wars is racist because Darth Vader totally looks like a black guy.
“I know why I have feelings — good, bad and otherwise — about Star Wars,” Perry explained. “…I spent the whole day talking about the Darth Vader situation.”
“The part where he was totally a black guy, whose name was basically James Earl Jones,” she said. “While he was black he was terrible and bad, awful and used to cut off white men’s hand, and didn’t actually claim his son. But as soon as he claims his son, goes over to the good, takes off his mask and he is white — yes, I have many feelings about that.”
Mediaite’s resident Star Wars experts have looked into the issue and determined that Perry is wrong.
- Darth Vader first tells Luke that he is his father when he is still in his black armor, or “a black guy” as she puts it. There was never a point where he didn’t “claim his son”; as soon as he discovered Luke was alive, he took steps to reunited the family and “rule the galaxy as father and son.”
- The decision to dub over Darth Vader’s voice with Jones’ was made in post-production. He was originally voiced with a Scottish accent.
- Of course Vader is depicted as white when his helmet comes off. As the father of lily white Luke and Leia, it would have been a little jarring if he was a Korean dude or something.
- The notion that dark is evil and light is good is a well-established literary trope that predates American race politics, and dates back to the Bible.
- While there are only three Star Wars movies, rumor has it that George Lucas made a movie where Darth Vader is obviously white and goes around butchering children.
[Image via screengrab]
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This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.