Rana Profile picture
Jul 6, 2018 29 tweets 5 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Alright Twitter, today #SWRepMatters is focusing on Native representation. You know I love my people and Star Wars, so I have a few thoughts on this. Feel free to add your own by using the hashtag! :)
Let’s start with the obvious: Natives love Star Wars*.

*: If you’re non-Native please don’t think this is somehow an accurate blanket statement. I’m half kidding. Everyone loves Star Wars, including Natives.
There’s a lot of Indigenous imagery and inspirstoon in Star Wars. I’m not sure if Non-Natives are aware of that.
From Princess Leia’s famous buns in ANH (based on the Hopi squash Blossom style) to the word “Ewok” (derived from the name of the Miwok tribe), Native influence is woven all throughout Star Wars.
Natives love Star Wars so much that many have dubbed the films in traditional languages.
Here’s a great video. This isn’t dubbed, but it’s a project by students learning Kanien’keha (Mohawk): It makes me so happy.
Native artists have likely been indigenizing Star Wars since 1977, but there has been some especially great art recently.
Comox artist Andy Everson created these fantastic designs in 2017: cbc.ca/news/indigenou…
Steven Paul Judd created this awesome image on shirts for @ntvsclothing:
@JeffreyVeregge has some absolutely stunning Star Wars art:
But, as much as Natives love Star Wars, there isn’t much (ANY) representation of us as people within the films.
In a universe as expansive as Star Wars, how can Natives somehow not exist? As a kid, I’d insert us in the background. Maybe there were planets not mentioned here with Ndns living their lives.
When I was really small, I used to tell myself that maybe Princess Leia was a mixed Native. We never saw her mom (this was before the prequels) and she kicked ass just like every Native woman in my life, so I thought maybe, just maybe she was mixed and looked really White.
Obviously, I was very wrong. But I was a desperate little kid obsessed with Star Wars and longing to see my people flying around and living in this fantasy.
As an adult, I think back to how powerful it would have been to see any Natives in any of these films. If we can have Sarlaccs and Wampas, why not Natives?

Side note: my phone autocorrects “Wampanoag” to “Wampanoag.” Even it wants Indigenous people in SW! 😂
When the prequels came out, I was delighted that Jango Fett And Boba Fett were Maori. They might not be Native, but seeing Indigenous faces felt satisfying.
I especially liked the fact that this Indigenous man was a strong father. The fact that I first saw these in theatres with my own (also Indigenous) dad made that special. Their relationship was our favorite part of the prequel trilogy.
As time has gone by, we’ve seen a slight increase in diversity in Star Wars. The films are still very, very White, but I’m happy there are a few folks of color now in again.
We’ve also seen the George Lucas Family Foundation donate towards supporting Black and Latinx students studying entertainment-related fields.
This is great! It’s important that the man who created one of the world’s most successful fictional universes says “I believe in you and the stories you’ll tell.”
But, that support needs to go further than education. I’ve looked for years to see if there are Natives involved in the creation of Star Wars. Statistically, with the thousands of people writing stories, creating games, and building entire films, there should be.
Yet, I’ve never seen anything. Star Wars continues to include Native imagery, but where are the opportunities for our people in the creation of those stories?
Representation behind the camera (and on the screen) would mean the world to us. We have so many talented Natives out here with amazing, brilliant ideas. It’s time to include them in the Star Wars franchise.
We saw how the ever-amazing Taika Waititi got Indigenous representation in every level of the creation of Thor: Ragnorok. I’d love to see similar programs (or even the slightest effort) in Star Wars.
Natives can relate to the premise of Star Wars better than anyone - a cruel empire killing entire societies for the sake of a little more control? A resistance movement that never gives up, even when all seems lost? Finding out someone’s you’re relative after years of friendship?
*Wampa. See, it did it again. 🤦🏻‍♀️

Should have typed this out ahead of time. 🤦🏻‍♀️

the typos never end


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