In case you’ve missed the latest dust-up, activist director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy has unnecessarily created a controversy all of her own when she recently reframed her earlier arguments about men and film when she told a CNN reporter: “We’re in 2024, and it’s about time that we had a woman come forward to shape a story in a galaxy far, far away.” Think what you may, but we here at SciFiHistory.Net thought that Obaid-Chinoy smacks of everything that’s wrong within the entertainment business today, that being of hiring a candidate for a job based almost entirely on one’s gender (it would seem) as opposed to credentials that indicate this storyteller both understands an Intellectual Property and can effectively add one more chapter that fandom will embrace. Given the lady’s already established preference of “making men uncomfortable” and the fact that – despite Lucasfilm and the Walt Disney Company’s best effort – Star Wars is largely a male-centered space saga, her comments seem tone deaf and equally divisive.
However, I’ve already cautioned readers not to make too much of Ms. Obaid-Chinoy’s obvious grab for publicity.
Yes, yes, and yes: there’s a layer of arrogance to her persona, but that’s not uncommon for a filmmaker who has risen quickly to a level of prominence amongst her peers and has been repeatedly rewarded for exposing the evils of Eastern civilization. (Sorry, folks, but there’s truth in them thar hills.) Follow her level of thinking, and – to a degree – there’s some application here in the Outer Rim. Vader’s a man, and men are bad. Palpatine’s a man, and men are bad. Moff Gideon’s a man, and men are bad. See where this is going? In fact, I’ve both watched and read so much Star Wars I can assure you that one thing we haven’t seen all that much of is – ahem – bad women. Respectfully, they’re a rarity in this sector of space, so maybe someone should instead give Ms. Obaid-Chinoy a primer on Star Wars lore.
As an olive branch, might I recommend a bit of reading?
So far as this reader is concerned, one of the most fascinating series to come from Random House on the whole Star Wars scene has been the ‘From A Certain Point Of View’ collection. The release dates of these anthologies were coordinated with the 40th anniversaries of the original films – Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Return Of The Jedi (1983) – giving each volume the chance to present short stories that creatively intersect the people, places, and events of each production. In other words, the adventures of From A Certain Point Of View: The Empire Strikes Back might focus in on a secondary character shown briefly on screen, but the story enhances this participation by giving it greater depth or, in some cases, a completely different perspective entirely. Thus, each books adds something to the wider Star Wars legacy by dabbling within established continuity.
Rather than push a message or mash a political perspective where it needn’t be, these books exist to simply entertain …
… and this reader has found them wonderful.
Folks interested in picking up a copy of From A Certain Point of view are encouraged to follow the links below. Merely click on a box, and you’ll travel through hyperspace to the destination of your choosing.
In the spirit of fostering amity, I heartily encourage the lady to pick up these volumes and educate herself to the vast diversity that’s already been on display without her assistance before casting aspersions on what has come before. These stories are fantastic and fanciful, and every one of them -- regardless of quality or relevance – fits damn near perfectly without trying to foist an ideology on any of the – cough cough – 71 different genders allegedly out there in our world today. They transport us out there; and – by doing so – they relieve of us the trials and tribulations of daily life … exactly what entertainment was designed to do.
Save your gender politics for the Oscars ceremony where they belong.
Instead, may I suggest: “These are the droids you’re looking for.”
May the Force be with you. Always.