January 26, 2016

It was a long time ago ... in a galaxy far, far away you idiot

I know, I know ... just when you think you've seen it ALL, along comes something else.

PBS(!!) recently gave Muslim activist and author Haroon Moghul a forum by which to lobby for a Muslim character in, of all places, STAR WARS.

Indeed. For, we all know that everybody immediately associates "Ben" and "Luke" with their religious origins. Mm-hmm.

Right.

Star Trek would make more sense for this activists's desires; of course, however, there's been very little discussion of Earthly religions on the many Trek shows over the universe's 50 years.

And hey -- wasn't the captain of the Kelvin in JJ Abrams' 2009 Trek reboot a Muslim? We actually never knew, just as we don't know much about any Trek character's religion, but he sure looked like he could have been (especially since the same actor played a Muslim in Iron Man and, not to mention, has a Pakistani background.)

Back to Star Wars: couldn't it be argued that the famous Admiral Ackbar from Return of the Jedi is based on the Arabic word "great"?

Oh, and lookee here -- someone agrees with me from six years ago:

…the Arabic word for "great," akbar, has been adapted into George Lucas's Star Wars franchise, in the form of Admiral Ackbar, a heroic character and military commander whose success in space helps Luke Skywalker and the Rebel Alliance repel Darth Vader's Galactic Empire. Featured in Return of the Jedi, Ackbar is just one of many characters and settings in the Star Wars universe that have an Arabic background. Luke Skywalker's home planet, Tatooine, takes its name from the Tunisian city of Tataouine (al-Tataouine in Arabic). Darth Vader's home planet is Mustafar, a slight variation of Mustafa, an Arabic name that means "the chosen one" (and is one of 99 names for the Muslim prophet Muhammad). Attack of the Clones showcases Queen Jamilla, whose name is a slight variation of jamilla, an Arabic word for "beautiful." And Revenge of the Sith features Senator Meena Tills, whose first name means "heaven" in Arabic.

So, give us a break already, Mr. Moghul. Islamophobia, such that it is, still lags well behind anti-Semitism as a social/cultural problem, and it's really not even close.

Maybe we actually need more overtly Jewish symbols in our science fiction.

Posted by Hube at January 26, 2016 10:25 AM | TrackBack

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