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Unread 01-14-2013, 04:59 PM   #1
Art of Hilt
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Default Star War's Big Gay Planet

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BioWare wants to take you to a gay bar. Or rather, a gay planet. Star Wars: The Old Republic is being updated to include a rather inelegant solution to its lack of gay characters -- a planet called Makeb where all the homosexual elements of the galaxy can be found.

Oh dear.

Makeb will appear in the Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion pack, and will include characters with "flirtatious" dialog for same-sex players -- a move that some feel amounts to digital segregation.

This attempt at compromise has had the unfortunate result of making everybody unhappy. Gay players now feel like a gated afterthought, while homophobes are spewing their pathetically predictable outrage at having to share the vastness of space with some gay people.

"It will ruin the game and make a lot of people leave it," reads one such utterly selfish comment.

While BioWare's catching a lot of heat from all corners, and the idea of a single planet housing all the gay elements of the universe comes across as alienating and just plain weird, I find it hard to be totally mad at the studio here.

It's true that Makeb makes the idea of gay relationships look more of an afterthought than ever, but most other videogames still struggle with after-afterthoughts, and you'd be hard pressed to find many other mainstream studios with a more consistent track record of not being shit about acknowledging homosexuality. Not to mention, the source material wasn't exactly a guiding light on the topic, so BioWare's been bolder than most others have been.

Makeb itself is something of a stop-gap while BioWare works on companion characters with which to enjoy "same gender relationships," something executive producer Jeff Hickman admitted would take more work than expected.

"I realize that we promised SGR to you guys and that many of you believed that this would be with a companion character," he wrote. "Unfortunately, this will take a lot more work than we realized at the time and it (like some other pieces of content we talked about earlier in the year) has been delayed as we focused on the changes required to take the game Free-to-Play. As we have said in the past, allowing same gender romance is something we are very supportive of."

Of course, there's a fair argument to be had in saying it's better to wait for a real effort than toss out what amounts to a virtual paddock area. The creation of Makeb, while likely infused with nothing but good intentions, has nonetheless come off as rather tasteless. I mean, if you imagined a planet that housed all the women, or all members of a certain nationality, even those with limited empathetic ability should be able to see the issue.

BioWare's intentions and past record doesn't make the situation cool in any way, but in a world of entertainment where "person is gay" is still considered both a joke and the punchline to the very same joke, it feels wrong to pour overwhelming scorn on a studio that's at least trying, in its own awkward way. It shouldn't be free from criticism, either, but I dare say the reaction could benefit from being a tad more tempered.

Quite a knotty issue indeed, and one of those instances where, while I can understand where BioWare's coming from, I can't help feeling this is a situation it could've afforded to wait on until it got it right.

Oh, and to the homophobes -- I hope you find yourself one day sucking on the biggest penis ever, belonging to a guy dressed up like one of the Cantina band. And you love it. And you ...

Don't.

Know.

Why.
http://www.destructoid.com/star-wars...--242389.phtml

Aha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Aha ha ha ha ha ha hah ha ha

Aha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

It's ridiculously clumsy, sure. I'd be a lot more offended if it was their final solution, but since apparently it's not, I'm only slightly offended. But the kind of offended that's easy to laugh at because aha ha ha holy shit it's literally a giant pink planet.
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Unread 01-14-2013, 05:03 PM   #2
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At this point I'm legitimately starting to wonder if Bioware is deliberately trying to tear themselves apart as violently as possible. There is literally no way anyone at a staff meeting signed off on this with a straight face.
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Unread 01-14-2013, 05:10 PM   #3
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So, what will Makebian's look like? Humans with funny foreheads? Humans with bright pink skin? CGI monsters?
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Unread 01-14-2013, 05:15 PM   #4
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While I understand that an ideal society would incorporate exclusive spaces for members of the LGBT community to congregate without the majoritarian influences of 'mainstream heterosexual society' coercing them into conformity, I can't say I care for the implicit notion here that, even in a utopian science-fiction universe, homosexuals would be segregated onto one planet, and you'd never see them on all the other, "more important" planets.

I mean can you imagine the reaction if Bioware had just tossed all the minority-race characters onto a single planet, as if that's the only place you'd find them? I don't understand why there wouldn't be a similar outcry here. Are heterosexuals and members of the LGBT community in the Star Wars universe incapable of merrily coexisting as equal participants in society? Is bigotry still a thing there? This is particularly strange because it isn't like Star Wars segregates aliens and humans. Different species of aliens can be found interacting just about everywhere else, and you'd think that would be a far bigger cultural hurdle to overcome.
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Unread 01-15-2013, 11:15 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Solid Snake View Post
While I understand that an ideal society would incorporate exclusive spaces for members of the LGBT community to congregate without the majoritarian influences of 'mainstream heterosexual society' coercing them into conformity, I can't say I care for the implicit notion here that, even in a utopian science-fiction universe, homosexuals would be segregated onto one planet, and you'd never see them on all the other, "more important" planets.
I'm sorry did... did you just call the star wars universe utopian? The universe where being evil and corrupt grants you the power to shoot lightning from your hands? Just Star Wars has always been kind of a crappy place to live. Sure there are cool things to do but thats because its a universe of corruption, violence, and hatred.

Heck one of the Emperor's big changes was ethnic cleansing of the new empire. This isn't a place of peace and understanding to start with
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Unread 01-15-2013, 11:31 AM   #6
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I'm sorry did... did you just call the star wars universe utopian?
Yes.

It's a cheery, pleasant sci-fi series that isn't remotely dystopian. The bad guys are the kinds of over-the-top caricatures traditionally associated with fairy tales. Aliens and humans of all races and creeds are intermingled in society. Sexism, racism and specieism do not appear to exist, or at least they're not commented upon. Technology has progressed in such a way as to cure many ills in modern society. Technological innovations are seen from the sole perspective of positive progression. Civilization has spread throughout the galaxy.

I'm not saying the Star Wars universe is perfect. There are unfortunate SJ implications in various omissions and the expanded universe incorporates some darker elements than we see in the films. But, as contrasted with dystopian science fiction, Star Wars (the films) stems from a genre of sci-fi that's intended to instill us with awe and wonder as to what a potential future might be like. Its success is a reflection of our desire to imagine ourselves in that future, as contrasted with science fiction that plays upon our fears of how far humanity will fall.

You seem to be assuming that "utopian" fiction can't have villains or conflict, which seems rather absurd. Mass Effect is utopian sci-fi too, even with the Reapers. Look at all the different species, solving their conflicts with amiable diplomacy! Look at how technology provides Shepard and his crew with so many wonders for us to marvel at!
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Last edited by Solid Snake; 01-15-2013 at 11:33 AM.
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Unread 01-15-2013, 11:42 AM   #7
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Yes.
Sexism, racism and specieism do not appear to exist, or at least they're not commented upon.
There are also no women and almost all humans are white. It is also a series in which the native inhabitants on a planet are treated as backwards savages because they are tired of humans taking their land.
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Unread 01-15-2013, 11:55 AM   #8
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There are also no women and almost all humans are white. It is also a series in which the native inhabitants on a planet are treated as backwards savages because they are tired of humans taking their land.
*sigh*
You're completely misconstruing my point.

My original point was that the social justice issue of segregating homosexuals is even worse in utopian science fiction than in dystopian science fiction. You pointing out additional social justice issues in the Star Wars film only furthers this critique.

You're presuming that my identification of Star Wars as a 'utopian' work of fiction is intended to imply objective perfection or the attainment of an ideal society. If that were the case, there'd be no such thing as 'utopian' fiction because every work of fiction requires antagonists and requires the existence of conflict.

That's not what I'm arguing.
I'm saying there are two kinds of science fiction: Utopian and dystopian.

Utopian plays on hope as a central emotion and tone to its audience. The mood of the fiction is intended to illustrate "a future you look up to in awe and respect; a place you'd want to be." The fact that you might actually not want to live in the Star Wars universe because of all the very accurate criticisms you've made in your analysis of that galactic civilization's issues doesn't change the manner in which Star Wars is presented. The bright and whimsical orchestral pieces, the way technology and innovation are always shown in the most positive light, the fact that the films fail to actually dissect the various injustices in its society, the fairy-tale resolutions of the plots -- this is a utopian fairy-tale adventure. Do you ever doubt that Luke Skywalker is going to blow up the Death Star? Are the consequences of the destruction of an entire planet and the genocide of Alderaan actually seriously explored, or does the movie just skip any such analysis and jump right into the next virtuous fanfare?

It's also a science-fiction piece written for the benefit of privileged boys in a patriarchal civilization, so it's filled with all the social-justice issues mentioned and it has all kinds of problems worth critiquing. But those criticisms are even more cogent because the theme of the work is intended to be utopian; in other words, because Star Wars is presented to children with such an idealistic gauze, it's even worse that oppression and privilege are present in the story. If the story was dystopian and presented a remarkably darker future with a darker tone, that'd be different, but that's not the case in Star Wars.

I mean I think what you're saying is "All of these consequences of plot points in Star Wars would lead to all these injustices and all these atrocities that would make the universe a terrible place to live in." Which is fine. But that isn't what's actually on-screen. What's on-screen is a film that doesn't want to bother with all those little details of how horrible life would be for the average impoverished farmer on Tatooine, because instead it wants to tell you a utopian fairy tale about Luke defeating evil with the mystical Force and a glowing sword.
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Unread 01-14-2013, 05:19 PM   #9
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Star Wars has always been big on planets full of minority stereotypes. Can't really fault BioWare for acting in the spirit of the canon.
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Unread 01-14-2013, 05:21 PM   #10
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Isn't everyone in Star Wars universe already gay? There are 3 women in the whole galaxy and an endless supply of sexy maori dudes.
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