Wednesday, July 19, 2006

SF Carnival

The second Carnival of Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy Fans has arrived via Pretty, Fizzy Paradise. I like the way she set it up in sections: books/writing, comic books, television and movies, and video games. I love the post from New Game Plus on voice altering software for online gaming. There are also a couple of posts on the new Battlestar Galactica series. It's amazing that the folks behind the new Battlestar has managed not only to get past the campy first series, but also to create a series which gets the viewer thinking about humanity, morality, and the implications of new technologies. If you haven't seen the new Battlestar, take a look that the themes being tackled in these posts: reproductive politics, gender and equality, and racism. I was especially fascinated by Lance's post on the racist casting since I thought the racial mix on Battlestar was pretty good. I'm not sure I completely agree with him, but it did get me thinking. Although there is quite a mix of people of different races on the show, Apollo and Starbuck, the "leads"/heroes, are both white. He is right that there is no representation for black men in the shows characters. Is it important for there to be representation for all combinations of race and gender in every show? I'm not sure, but it did get me thinking...If you started switching around the gender and race of the characters in that show what would happen? For example, they switched Starbuck's gender, making her a woman, how PC would that character be if they had chosen to cast a black woman in that role? Or what if they had switched Apollo to be a black man and Starbuck was played by a white woman? Could the writers still have explored the shape and form gender equality with characters of different races? Could you have a scene in which a man of one race hits a woman of another race and doesn't apologize? How about the character of Sharon, what would be the implications if she was played by a woman of a different race? What does it say about the writing that she is an Asian woman? Does that casting play on the audience's stereotypes of vulnerability and compliance?


EL said...

Having not seen the original, I was really pretty impressed by the diversity of the cast. Of course, it can always be better. Now that I know there were black characters turned white, I'm ... hmmmm.

I think they probably made Colonel Tigh white because, if he were the one black man on the show, it'd seem a negative commentary on black men - we're still at that stage where one minority=all minorities in people's perceptions.

We do know that one of the Cylon models is a black man though (remember the doctor when Starbuck was in the "hospital" on Caprica?) so maybe we'll see more of him.

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