There has been a great deal of Star Wars-related nitpicking ever since the first trailer for J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens arrived online last year, but arguably the dumbest of the bunch are those complaining that the footage features a black actor (namely John Boyega) in a Stormtrooper uniform. Thankfully, these comments have been shouted down many times across the internet over the last few months, but now comedian Patton Oswalt has come in with his two cents on the issue - and he thinks its patently ridiculous.
Vulture recently caught up with Oswalt as he prepared to host this year's Artios Awards in Beverly Hills, and while the interview wound up touching on many subjects - including the key Oscar snubs for Ava DuVerney's Selma - some of his best stuff came out while talking about the black Stormtrooper "controversy." He told the interviewer,
"Oh, that’s depressing, Jesus Christ. Star Wars, half the movie is aliens and robots, and a black guy is what set people off? I love how they’re reacting as if this is a classic novel that’s being cast — 'I can’t believe they booked James Earl Jones to play Holden Caulfield.' But this is a script that no one has read, so what the fuck are they talking about? If everyone in the original Star Wars had been black, it still would have been a goddamn blockbuster because the movie would have still been awesome. If Star Wars had been Richard Pryor and Cicely Tyson, people still would have gone, 'This movie’s fucking great!'"
That's one incredibly interesting picture that Patton Oswalt has illustrated. Not only am I now picturing James Earl Jones headlining in a big screen adaptation of Catcher In The Rye, but now I get to enjoy my imagined notion of Richard Pryor as Luke Skywalker and Cicely Tyson as Princess Leia. You have to love the way that Oswalt argues the point.
Of course, the comedian is absolutely right, in that one of the biggest mysteries surrounding the film is exactly why John Boyega's character, named Finn, is seen wearing a Stormtrooper uniform. It's entirely possible that he is just an employee of the Empire, serving as one of the thousands of faceless henchmen, but others have tossed out the hypothesis that the costume may be a reference to the original Star Wars with Luke Skywalker and Han Solo stealing Stormtrooper uniforms while inside the Death Star. Regardless, though, there really is no explanation why anyone should be upset about the color of Finn's skin.
Hopefully there will be a bit less offensiveness and useless nitpicking over the rest of the year as more and more is revealed about Star Wars: The Force Awakens is revealed prior to its release in December.