One of my core beliefs is that art is better with more voices in the room. Everyone deserves to have their stories told and heard, and the telling of different stories enriches not only the lives of those who relate with them, but also those who don’t understand them at all. Stories make us all a little larger, a little more responsible for one another.
It’s also one of my core beliefs that it’s cooler when lots of people like cool stuff. I’ve been reading comics and watching nerd movies all my life and I can tell you it was no fun having people dismiss the stuff you love. I distinctly remember reading Infinity Gauntlet when it came out in 1991 and receiving nothing but dismissive looks when I tried to explain the pure awesomeness of Thanos annihilating half the universe with a single snap of his fingers. Now, half the universe knows exactly what I mean by “Thanos snap.” And that’s awesome.
So I’m simultaneously enraged and baffled when my fellow straight white male nerds try to exclude others from enjoying cool stuff. When news broke of Kelly Marie Tran being chased off Instagram by racist, sexist Star Wars idiots who didn’t like The Last Jedi, I had to write something about it, and thankfully Think Christian gave me a platform. As I write,
It’s fine if [The Last Jedi] doesn’t move you as much as Obi-Wan’s ghostly command to “use the force” or Darth Vader bellowing “I am your father” at a cowering Luke Skywalker. Nothing in The Last Jedi makes me feel the way I did when I played with the Kenner toys or ate C-3PO’s cereal or watched The Empire Strikes Back on CED (look it up, junior). But I do see in Rose—and in the inclusion of actors like Boyega and Tran—the beauty of a valley filled with lilies and apple trees and the rose of Sharon. Diverse faces, stories, and lives enrich the Star Wars universe, reflecting the bounty of God’s creation and Christ’s command to love all people.
Read here it if you get a chance, and watch The Last Jedi if you get the chance. And if your nerd culture consists only of stories about straight white dudes, maybe make a point of expanding your horizons this weekend. If you need (or have!) recommendations, let me know in the comments or on social media. Let everyone have geeky stuff!