'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" 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.