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'Star Wars' fans are using this hashtag to ask Disney to do better.

Yes. Even in a galaxy far, far, away, representation matters.

'Star Wars' fans are using this hashtag to ask Disney to do better.

"Star Wars" is more than a film franchise. It is a galaxy full of stories, heroism, and adventure.

For many fans, their love of the film stretches beyond a few hours on the silver screen. It's a true community, a lifestyle, even a family tradition. "Star Wars" is a way of life.

"Star Wars"  fans attend "Star Wars" night at a baseball game.  Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images.


That's why fans around the globe are telling Disney to show up for characters from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds.

Fans of all ages are sharing why diversity, inclusion, and representation matter — even in a galaxy far, far away — with the hashtag, #SWRepMatters.

Because everyone from the young...

...to the young at heart, everyone deserves to see themselves in the media they consume.

"Star Wars" has an entire galaxy to draw from. Is it too much to ask to include more women, particularly women of color? And once they're there, perhaps let them talk to one another? No. No it's not.

(Regarding the above exchange, fans managed to come up with two more, but six brief moments in nine films is still abysmal.)

It must be said that the "Star Wars" literature and comics have made a point to include women of color as heroes and protagonists, but the reach of the films is far beyond that of the books. Give us three-dimensional characters with arcs, backstories, and challenges to overcome.

Because while diversity in the films has improved, it's still lightyears behind where it should be.

And not just on screen, but behind the camera, too, in writers rooms and other high-profile creative positions. There's lots of talk among fans about the mere possibility of Ava DuVernay directing a film. And while she is amazing, she's not the only woman of color making moves.

Because this is about more than lore and entertainment, it's about dollars and good sense.

In addition to being beloved by fans around the globe, "Star Wars" is one of the best-performing film franchises of all time.

The European Premiere of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" at the Royal Albert Hall. Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney.

As of spring 2017, ahead of the latest release, the franchise had grossed over $7.5 Billion dollars worldwide in box office receipts alone. This doesn't include auxiliary merchandise like T-shirts, books, household goods, or collectibles. One research group estimated "Star Wars" toy sales totaled nearly $760 million. So this is more than a film or simply entertainment, this is a true economic powerhouse.

As our population shifts and demographics change, it would be economically prudent to represent and include leading characters from as many backgrounds as possible. And with an entire galaxy of material to mine from and create, the opportunities are endless.

So before you next step back in time to a galaxy far, far, away, consider who you see and who you don't.

Watch who gets to speak and who doesn't. Who gets to have an emotional arc and who lives and dies in the background. And if you're not satisfied with everything you see and hear, be a "force" for good and raise your voice.

Photo by Miguel Schincariol/AFP/Getty Images.

Courtesy of FIELDTRIP
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The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected diverse communities due largely in part to social factors such as inadequate access to housing, income, dietary options, education and employment — all of which have been shown to affect people's physical health.

Recognizing that inequity, Harlem-based chef JJ Johnson sought out to help his community maximize its health during the pandemic — one grain at a time.

Johnson manages FIELDTRIP, a health-focused restaurant that strives to bring people together through the celebration of rice, a grain found in cuisines of countless cultures.

"It was very important for me to show the world that places like Harlem want access to more health-conscious foods," Johnson said. "The people who live in Harlem should have the option to eat fresh, locally farmed and delicious food that other communities have access to."

Lack of education and access to those healthy food options is a primary driver of why 31% of adults in Harlem are struggling with obesity — the highest rate of any neighborhood in New York City and 7% higher than the average adult obesity rate across the five boroughs.

Obesity increases risk for heart disease or diabetes, which in turn leaves Harlem's residents — who are 76% Black or LatinX — at heightened risk for complications with COVID-19.

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via KrustyKhajiit / YouTube

Thomas F. Wilson played one of the most recognizable villains in film history, Biff Tannen, in the "Back to the Future" series. So, understandably, he gets recognized wherever he goes for the iconic role.

The attention must be nice, but it has to get exhausting answering the same questions day in and day out about the films. So Wilson created a card that he carries with him to hand out to people that answers all the questions he gets asked on a daily basis.

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Courtesy of FIELDTRIP
True

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected diverse communities due largely in part to social factors such as inadequate access to housing, income, dietary options, education and employment — all of which have been shown to affect people's physical health.

Recognizing that inequity, Harlem-based chef JJ Johnson sought out to help his community maximize its health during the pandemic — one grain at a time.

Johnson manages FIELDTRIP, a health-focused restaurant that strives to bring people together through the celebration of rice, a grain found in cuisines of countless cultures.

"It was very important for me to show the world that places like Harlem want access to more health-conscious foods," Johnson said. "The people who live in Harlem should have the option to eat fresh, locally farmed and delicious food that other communities have access to."

Lack of education and access to those healthy food options is a primary driver of why 31% of adults in Harlem are struggling with obesity — the highest rate of any neighborhood in New York City and 7% higher than the average adult obesity rate across the five boroughs.

Obesity increases risk for heart disease or diabetes, which in turn leaves Harlem's residents — who are 76% Black or LatinX — at heightened risk for complications with COVID-19.

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Sometimes a politician says or does something so brazenly gross that you have to do a double take to make sure it really happened. Take, for instance, this tweet from Lauren Witzke, a GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate from Delaware. Witzke defeated the party's endorsed candidate to win the primary, has been photographed in a QAnon t-shirt, supports the conspiracy theory that 9/11 was a U.S. government inside operation, and has called herself a flat earther.

So that's neat.

Witzke has also proposed a 10-year total halt on immigration to the U.S., which is absurd on its face, but makes sense when you see what she believes about immigrants. In a tweet this week, Witzke wrote, "Most third-world migrants can not assimilate into civil societies. Prove me wrong."

First, let's talk about how "civil societies" and developing nations are not different things, and to imply that they are is racist, xenophobic, and wrong. Not to mention, it has never been a thing to refer people using terms like "third-world." That's a somewhat outdated term for developing nations, and it was never an adjective to describe people from those nations even when it was in use.

Next, let's see how Twitter thwapped Lauren Witzke straight into the 21st century by proving her wrong in the most delicious way. Not only did people share how they or their relatives and friends have successfully "assimilated," but many showed that they went way, way beyond that.

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via WatchMojo / YouTube

There are two conflicting viewpoints when it comes to addressing culture from that past that contains offensive elements that would never be acceptable today.

Some believe that old films, TV shows, music or books with out-of-date, offensive elements should be hidden from public view. While others think they should be used as valuable tools that help us learn from the past.

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