Analyzing the Star Wars universe can eventually turn up some interesting parallels to our real world. Even so, a lot of intriguing mystery still exists in how things differ in their universe from ours. One of those is in how each warring side views racial relations, and if they consider themselves truly progressive socially.
Fans recently took to social media to bring up a neglected question: Was the First Order in the new Star Wars trilogy really socially progressive? Reason being is they seemed to hire a few minorities, if even finally hiring women.
As usual, this created a debate in the fan community, if a friendly one. Appearances in the First Order were also likely deceiving.
Was the First Order really hiring minorities?
From an earthly standpoint, it seemed like the First Order really had turned progressive in creating more diversity hires. When looking at Finn as a Stormtrooper, it appears the First Order was doing a better job on bring black people into the fray than the Resistance was.
On the other hand, they never really explained what race really means in that universe. Was a black man really like an African-American, or something different in the Star Wars realms?
There was a clear distinction between men and women, however. The First Order was obviously having no aversions to hiring women in a few top positions. Captain Phasma is just one example there.
Over on Reddit, someone started a thread about this very subject, and intended as a joke. The conversation turned a little more thoughtful since it was a question seldom asked.
Some other progressive things the First Order was doing
In the above thread, it was also noted the First Order was using other progressive tools that one might usually equate to far-left politics on earth. For instance, they were using a form of solar technology on their new Starkiller Base, something never seen before in the prior films.
Even the Resistance hardly ever dealt with these things, or at least what was seen on-screen. Is this a sign the First Order was not quite as bad as it seemed?
Based on the above Reddit discussion, it was clear most fans understood this as just writers trying to bring a bit of the real world into the story. Having the First Order doing them gave more of that gray area between bad and good the new trilogy focused on.
Yet, were they really as progressive as they appeared? Looking at how things worked in the Star Wars universe, they were likely a lot worse than what was seen.
Proof the First Order was the least progressive
It was no secret the original Empire was based on the Third Reich in WWII, with Darth Vader being the galactic Hitler or maybe Goebbels. With the First Order, things seemed to have evolved a little due to time, if ultimately having a bias against certain races.
Said one user on Reddit above: “That is socially progressive by Earth standards, but in-universe inter-human racism isn’t really a thing and both the Empire and FO were pretty terrible to non-humans.”
Proof does exist the First Order only hired human species and never any aliens like the Resistance does. By definition, the Resistance is ultimately more diverse when looked at as species diversity. In their realm, this is likely more important than what a human looks like.
While the initial Reddit thread was in jest (including the First Order violating OSHA regulations), it broached whether the franchise should ever address who really is the most progressive in the galaxy far, far away.
Source: Showbiz Cheat Sheet
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