Star Wars, Episode One: Is the Phantom Menace Racist? – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Star Wars, Episode One: Is the Phantom Menace Racist?

May 28, 1999 Geneva, NY — The national controversy which was sparked by the racial stereotypes in Star Wars, Episode One: The Phantom Menace has prompted the Hobart and William Smith political science department faculty to put together a panel to debate the movie's characterizations. A discussion titled, “Star Wars, Episode One: Is Phantom Menace Racist?,” will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 3, in Sanford Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library on the HWS campus. The event is free and open to the public.

The panelists will include faculty members Marilyn Jimenez, associate professor of modern languages; Paul Passavant, assistant professor of political science; Aida Hozic, assistant professor of political science; Jodi Dean, assistant professor of political science; Iva Deutchman, associate professor of political science; Linda Robertson, associate professor of rhetoric; as well as HWS students Ben Cathcart, Takao Yamada, Turk Johnson, Matt Zahn, and Andrew Heitman.

Much of the premise of the debate was summarized in an Associated Press article yesterday titled, “‘Star Wars' Fans No Fans of Jar-Jar.” The article summarizes the views of a number of movie critics who were offended by the bumbling sidekick Jar Jar Binks. The character portrays a false stereotype of a Jamaican – as dumb and lazy, reviewers said. It also complained of Asian and Italian stereotypes while white characters such as the ‘Jedi' were the dominate characters in the film.

For more information contact Mary LeClair at 315: 781-3540.

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