Star Wars: Aftermath Author Offers Scathing Response to Criticism of Gay Characters

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Karadalis said:
Azure23 said:
Karadalis said:
Rosiv said:
Just as an aside, the author said there was, "an Latino man", but do Latinos exist in the star wars universe? Is there an earth with a Latin american population or some other explanation? I can understand black, because that describes skin color. I suppose the author could of gone with the concept of latino ~~ brownish dudes, seems a bit of an oversight though.
That just shows how bad this author is.. there are no "latino" in the star wars universe. There are only humans of different skin colors.. latino is more of a culture thing and im afraid there is no space spain or space mexico in star wars. Thus the author fails at star wars by inserting real world culture into a universe where earth has at best been described as a lost world.
So him using widely understood cultural signifiers instead of saying, "and also these kinda brown people that have this particular accent" is what makes him a bad author? I'm assuming he doesn't out and out refer to race in his novel, that's not happened in any Star Wars media I've consumed, it's not like his "Latino" character is referencing having grown up in space Spain or something. I'm sure the author has other faults, (I mean the low reviews weren't ALL from space bigots, just a lot of them), but it just seems odd that that's the thing you're pointing to to make your case for his badness.

Also, "fails at Star Wars?" We had a good laugh over that one.
Whos "we" exactly?

That he refers to "latinos" in a star wars setting is allready idiotic in on itselfe. It shows that hes a poor author, simple as that. A good author would have created a character based on the lore and setting of the fictional universe, its a huge galaxy with endless possibilities... and yet all he can think of is "latino in space"? What... do they hang around the bad parts of coruscant and call people gringos?

Its lazy and unimaginative and shows that he really doesnt give a shit.

What next? Space africans? Space chinese? Space indians? Space native americans? All onboard the lazy train! At this point good ol george could have written a better book... and he gave us the most cringe worthy romance since the twilight books for crying out loud.

Also to the person that quoted DBZ abridged...

Allways relevant!
Is there any evidence that he actually refered to them as latino in the book itself? If not, then it seems rather absurd to claim he's a bad author based upon content that isn't' even in the book.
Chuck Wendig said:
And I dunno if you noticed, but the three new protagonists of the movie consist of a woman, a black man, a Latino man. The bad guys all look like white guys, too. So many meteors. So little time to squawk at them.)
The fact that he mentions a "black" man, rather than an African should make it abundantly clear that what he referred to as latino is simply a human of similar ethnicity, in the same way you would simply say white, or black. But there isn't really any generic term for latino (maybe tanned, but that's rather broad), so he simply said latino to mean a human who's appearance is roughly analogous to our idea of latino.
It was a simple mistake he made while trying as hard as he can to cry "persecution" in order to deflect any criticism. You're over-blowing a petty quibble.

Edit: In actual fact, I somehow missed the fact that he's referring to the movie, and not his own work. So none of this discussion is even relevant.
 

Jake Martinez

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EyeReaper said:
Huh.. getting a sense of Deja Vu here. Just cross out "star Wars" and put in "Legend of Korra". Seemed just as childish for the creator to lash out then too.

But I do like that whole "Your train of thought is going to become extinct" as if no one should ever dare question why a certain character is in a work of fiction. I also like how the author agrees with a stupid hashtag.
#BAMHEADJOB.
Yes, the whole thing is kind of strange.

Let's say for a minute that I accept the premise that this is actually what the argument is about. That there are a group of people who just really don't want so many gay characters in a book for whatever reasons and despite the fact that there have previously been gay characters in star wars books that met no opposition from the fanbase. I'll let that last bit sink in a little bit so that people can understand why I'm skeptical of the initial claim.

So, accepting all that - the question then becomes, what does Chuck Wendig's "defense" of his artistic expression say about Chuck Wendig's motivations? Is he just taking easy cheap shots because his feelings are hurt? Or is he tacitly admitting to pandering? Is he shrewdly exploiting the media's current obsession with race/gender politics in order to drum up publicity, or to counter negative reviews of his book?

I have a hard time deciding what the purpose of his response really is considering that the only response that is needed is simply, "This is what I wanted to write, if you don't like it - then don't read it."

Ukomba said:
Chuck Wendig is a F***ing liar. The criticism of his book is because it sucks. No one for the side that supports the EU cares about gay characters. In fact, The EU had Gay characters 16 years ago and no one made a big deal about it. Chuck is just screaming bigotry as an excuse, and because MEDIA will just accept it without question. The way he's using homosexuality as a shield is actually quite disgusting and bigoted and I'm shocked sites like this fall for it.

Hey Jared Jones. If you want to get some information from the pro-legends side of things, I'd be willing to talk to you any time. Don't let this turn into another #GamerGate thing.
This to me is the most interesting allegation about the entire issue. In fact, it also rings the most true to me because I am extremely cynical about these kind of subjects and how they have been manipulated by people and portrayed in the media.
 

Shanahanapp

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There were 2 or 3 clones in the Republic Commando books who had girlfriends. Even though they were clones. It made little sense and felt shoehorned in. But I didn't hear criticism of that. No "No sexuality in my Star Wars" there.

Just saying.
 

Randomvirus

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Pinky said:
dirtysteve said:
That aside, it does look like the author was trying to make the point that if you criticise him, you MUST be a White male. It's a poor job all round there, compounded prejudice.
Well white guys do have a near monopoly of whining about stuff online.
Really? Pretty sure there's plenty of off-white people complaining online. You know even non whites are allowed to use computers now, right?
 

Pinky's Brain

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Randomvirus said:
Really? Pretty sure there's plenty of off-white people complaining online. You know even non whites are allowed to use computers now, right?
I didn't say complaining, I said whining. I don't mean the stream of consciousness messages people put on social media, mobile phones have helped make that relatively equal. Futile arguing like we are doing on though? When people put effort into arguing with strangers on the "old" internet while accomplishing nothing, in that rather peculiar hobby white men are over-represented due to self selection.

Kinda like in PC gaming in the west (Larian's amazing discovery of that fact gender wise amused me).
 

TwistednMean

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I don't have any idea why anyone thought this piece is newsworthy. But I personally dislike authors who try to pull a double narrative in their works.

If it's Star Wars then it should be about Star Wars and not about gay women of color jedi having their rightful triumph over heterosexual, cis-male, patriarchal sith.

But to each his own I reckon. Jazz hands for Wendigs's triumph over a segment of fans, whom he off-handedly calls "the shitty Empire". Nicely done.
 

happyninja42

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Ukomba said:
Chuck Wendig is a F***ing liar. The criticism of his book is because it sucks. No one for the side that supports the EU cares about gay characters. In fact, The EU had Gay characters 16 years ago and no one made a big deal about it. Chuck is just screaming bigotry as an excuse, and because MEDIA will just accept it without question. The way he's using homosexuality as a shield is actually quite disgusting and bigoted and I'm shocked sites like this fall for it.

Hey Jared Jones. If you want to get some information from the pro-legends side of things, I'd be willing to talk to you any time. Don't let this turn into another #GamerGate thing.
Not sure how you can say it's an excuse, when there are several quoted criticisms that speak directly about the gay characters as being a negative aspect of the book. If the reviews quoted had simply said "Poor writing, poor quality, shoddy craftsmanship, bad story." and then Chuck was talking about bigotry, sure, your comment would have merit. But there are 2 quoted in this article directly that talk about the introduction of gay characters, and the representation of gay characters being one of the major flaws with the book.

So yeah, his response is valid. You can say it's a poor response, or over reactive, or whatever, but it's a valid response considering some of the criticisms.
 

Techno Squidgy

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Aetrion said:
Maybe Wedge Antilles, who was Luke's old buddy from Tattoine? They could have had a relationship, hence why Luke misses him so much, but he dies in Episode 4
You got the wrong wingman. Biggs died in the Battle of Yavin, Wedge survived both Death Star attacks.

So, I got no comment on this whole situation, other than, why wouldn't there be gays in the Star Wars universe? I'm gonna buy the book, see if it's any good, see if these gay characters are actually well written. It's got a pretty damn high bar to pass though, seeing as it's replacing the X-Wing series. Also, any suggestions for old EU books to pick up? The only ones I've read are the X-Wing series, and Death Troopers. I am planning on picking up the Thrawn books.
 

zinho73

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Ftaghn To You Too said:
It sounds like everyone here is kind of an asshole.
Excellent observation.

Also, "latino" doesn't even make sense in a intergalactic culture.

The writer's answer made everything seem forced as hell.

Well, let's hope in the future the inclusion of gay, pan-sexual, black or orange people can come a little bit more naturally to everyone (writer's included).

Also, America's seems to be in a strange place right now, with a lot of sensitivity behind those social justice issues. Around here (Brazil) the fact the sormtrooper guy was black did not even registered. My daughter only found it strange because she thought that stormtroopers were all clones.
 

happyninja42

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Techno Squidgy said:
Aetrion said:
Maybe Wedge Antilles, who was Luke's old buddy from Tattoine? They could have had a relationship, hence why Luke misses him so much, but he dies in Episode 4
You got the wrong wingman. Biggs died in the Battle of Yavin, Wedge survived both Death Star attacks.

So, I got no comment on this whole situation, other than, why wouldn't there be gays in the Star Wars universe? I'm gonna buy the book, see if it's any good, see if these gay characters are actually well written. It's got a pretty damn high bar to pass though, seeing as it's replacing the X-Wing series. Also, any suggestions for old EU books to pick up? The only ones I've read are the X-Wing series, and Death Troopers. I am planning on picking up the Thrawn books.
Don't read the Thrawn trilogy. Seriously, I know fanboys practically ejaculate over that series, but it was shite. Thrawn was one of the most cliche, 2 dimensional villains ever. Being able to predict the battle strategies of various aliens because you've studied their art? Yeah, bullshit. As I've said before, that's like saying I know how the US Military is going to handle a war because I've devoutly studied Norman Rockwell paintings. It's utter stupidity. He was always so perfect and unbeatable. This flawless battle strategist. It was annoying. Hell I was like 14 when I read those and I felt he was a stupidly written character.

I haven't read much of the EU, so I can't really speak too much about it, but I read the novelization of the first Force Unleashed game, and I liked it a lot. It gave a lot more internal dialogue for what Starkiller was doing, and his thought processes about things. I'd suggest that one at least.

capcha: how's it going. Pretty good chapcha, thanks for asking. How's it going for you?
 

Soviet Heavy

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Shanahanapp said:
There were 2 or 3 clones in the Republic Commando books who had girlfriends. Even though they were clones. It made little sense and felt shoehorned in. But I didn't hear criticism of that. No "No sexuality in my Star Wars" there.

Just saying.
Those were the same books that also included Goran Beviin and his husband Medrit Vasur, and nobody batted an eye when they were revealed. In fact, most of the critics of those books hated them for the author's soapboxing against Jedi "fascism", not because there were gay mandalorians.
 

chikusho

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Houseman said:
I can see the "stop shoving this down our throats" thing. You don't have to include one of each race/sexuality/gender in your story, you know. We can tell when you're doing it just to say "LOOK HOW PROGRESSIVE WE ARE". It just looks like the author is just striking back because he got called out on it.
And you can see how all the people complaining are doing it just to say "LOOK HOW REGRESSIVE WE ARE". It looks like the complainers are just lashing out because they got reminded of it.
 

Aetrion

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Techno Squidgy said:
You got the wrong wingman. Biggs died in the Battle of Yavin, Wedge survived both Death Star attacks.
Oops.


Overall the problem with writing gay characters into fictional stories is that if you're really writing about lasers and spaceships then the sexual orientation of the characters simply doesn't matter. Trying to make it matter distracts from the story you should be telling.

It's why we consider romantic movies to be their own genre despite the fact that almost every movie has a romance in it and romances can play out in any setting. You could set a romance in deep space and have it feature laser battles, but it would still be recognizable as a romance, because the defining feature of it would be that the tension arc of the story would revolve around the outcome of the relationship, not about the outcome of the laser battles.

If you want to write about gay people then the story should actually be about a gay relationship. It doesn't really matter what the setting for that story is, but setting it in a scifi universe wouldn't make it a scifi story anymore than Brokeback Mountain is a western just because it has cowboys.

The opposition to gay characters in genre stories doesn't come from people disliking gay characters. It comes from people disliking having to either put up with shallow "diversity checklist" characters in their genre, or reading what might very well be a well written gay romance but isn't the genre they actually wanted to read.

It's the exact same reason why trying to force diversity into video games is so stupid. If all the character does is shoot aliens then any attempt to inform us about the characters sexual orientation will just seem forced and inappropriate. Making that character a woman, a minority, disabled or whatever is all irrelevant and nobody would even really take note unless you change the mechanics of the game to make it matter, at which point you're no longer delivering a good experience for people who really just wanted to shoot aliens and would have happily done it as a black woman if she had performed every bit like the typical roided out space marine.
 

Bat Vader

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Aetrion said:
I haven't read the book yet but are the characters gay as in one or two sentences and then never talked about again or is their homosexuality brought up a lot in a pushy sort of way?
 

Ukomba

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Happyninja42 said:
Ukomba said:
Chuck Wendig is a F***ing liar. The criticism of his book is because it sucks. No one for the side that supports the EU cares about gay characters. In fact, The EU had Gay characters 16 years ago and no one made a big deal about it. Chuck is just screaming bigotry as an excuse, and because MEDIA will just accept it without question. The way he's using homosexuality as a shield is actually quite disgusting and bigoted and I'm shocked sites like this fall for it.

Hey Jared Jones. If you want to get some information from the pro-legends side of things, I'd be willing to talk to you any time. Don't let this turn into another #GamerGate thing.
Not sure how you can say it's an excuse, when there are several quoted criticisms that speak directly about the gay characters as being a negative aspect of the book. If the reviews quoted had simply said "Poor writing, poor quality, shoddy craftsmanship, bad story." and then Chuck was talking about bigotry, sure, your comment would have merit. But there are 2 quoted in this article directly that talk about the introduction of gay characters, and the representation of gay characters being one of the major flaws with the book.

So yeah, his response is valid. You can say it's a poor response, or over reactive, or whatever, but it's a valid response considering some of the criticisms.
There are 507 reviews of his book, 54% of which are 1 or 2 stars. There might be a hand full of anti-gay criticism mixed in there, but the VAST majority are not and don't support that view. Chuck is trying to smear everyone with those handful of reviews and use it to try to save his mess of a book. So no, his response is not valid. He's fear mongering, and slandering in an attempt to pull a slight of hand to save his own reputation. There's no anti-gay conspiracy going on to attack his book.

As someone who hated and reviewed his book on it's competency, I am insulted at his balled faced miss characterization of my opinion. I want an apology from him.
 

Aetrion

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Bat Vader said:
I haven't read the book yet but are the characters gay as in one or two sentences and then never talked about again or is their homosexuality brought up a lot in a pushy sort of way?
I don't know, I haven't read it either. I'm just trying to explain why people react negatively to the idea of diversity quotas in books. There is simply never actually a reason to even go into a characters sexual preferences if you're writing a story about robots and lasers and space magic.
 
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Pinky said:
Well white guys do have a near monopoly of whining about stuff online.

On that note, I don't think Star Wars was really the best place for liberal propaganda on sexuality.
What exactly is the liberal propaganda here? I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume it isn't having a gay protagonist.

EDIT: That last line wasn't intended to come across as confrontational, although I think it might have. The author voicing his (albeit strong) opinion on the subject in light of people complaining about too much diversity doesn't sound like propaganda to me
 

Aetrion

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Diversity isn't the issue, the issue is when characters become nothing but vessels for identity politics or a shield to deflect criticism.
 

Azure23

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Karadalis said:
Azure23 said:
Karadalis said:
Rosiv said:
Just as an aside, the author said there was, "an Latino man", but do Latinos exist in the star wars universe? Is there an earth with a Latin american population or some other explanation? I can understand black, because that describes skin color. I suppose the author could of gone with the concept of latino ~~ brownish dudes, seems a bit of an oversight though.
That just shows how bad this author is.. there are no "latino" in the star wars universe. There are only humans of different skin colors.. latino is more of a culture thing and im afraid there is no space spain or space mexico in star wars. Thus the author fails at star wars by inserting real world culture into a universe where earth has at best been described as a lost world.
So him using widely understood cultural signifiers instead of saying, "and also these kinda brown people that have this particular accent" is what makes him a bad author? I'm assuming he doesn't out and out refer to race in his novel, that's not happened in any Star Wars media I've consumed, it's not like his "Latino" character is referencing having grown up in space Spain or something. I'm sure the author has other faults, (I mean the low reviews weren't ALL from space bigots, just a lot of them), but it just seems odd that that's the thing you're pointing to to make your case for his badness.

Also, "fails at Star Wars?" We had a good laugh over that one.
Whos "we" exactly?

That he refers to "latinos" in a star wars setting is allready idiotic in on itselfe. It shows that hes a poor author, simple as that. A good author would have created a character based on the lore and setting of the fictional universe, its a huge galaxy with endless possibilities... and yet all he can think of is "latino in space"? What... do they hang around the bad parts of coruscant and call people gringos?

Its lazy and unimaginative and shows that he really doesnt give a shit.

What next? Space africans? Space chinese? Space indians? Space native americans? All onboard the lazy train! At this point good ol george could have written a better book... and he gave us the most cringe worthy romance since the twilight books for crying out loud.

Also to the person that quoted DBZ abridged...

Allways relevant!
You're missing the point quite spectacularly. He's using the word Latino in a blog post while making reference to the movie's protagonists, not in a "Star Wars setting." What type of diction he uses in his day to day life doesn't reflect on his work. He's not inserting earth cultural signifiers into Star Wars, he's making reference to the fact that these characters will look like and be represented by actors of these ethnicities. You'd know all of this had you read the article carefully.

More than anything I'm just puzzled that this is the thing, this is what you choose to complain about. I haven't read much of the book (only the first chapter available for free) and it's certainly possible it goes to complete shit from chapter 2 onwards, but I found it rather inoffensive. Are you sure that THIS is what you actually have a problem with? And not something else?