My love for #StarWars began at a very young age before I was even able to really comprehend just how vast and complex the Star Wars Universe really was.

I can't tell you the # of lightsaber battles that my brothers and I had using sticks or whatever else we could find.
#StarWars holds a lot of great childhood memories for me but as a Native, the Star Wars community gave me so much more than I ever imagined and exactly what I needed at an age where i was trying to find my place.....Acceptance.

Before the dudebros and alt-right invaded mainstream fandom, the Star Wars community was always so inclusive, diverse. Your age, race, gender, sexuality, disabilities, social awkwardness or quirks that you had never made a difference into how you were treated.

If you were down with the #StarWars, you were A-OK. Even now, when I need human interaction, I wear a Star Wars shirt when I go out cuz undoubtedly someone will end up commenting on my shirt and BOOM 8/10 times I make new human pal I can tolerate.

But here's what really deepened my love for the #StarWars universe.....all of the Native influences found within this massive universe and fandom.

When it comes to Native representation in Sci-fi, it is always so damn problematic and disappointing. See this great conversation between me, @ShiningComic, @RoanhorseBex
@odaminowin where we touch on this a little.…

But #StarWars is one of the very few sci-fi universes that have been influenced by Native culture and has successfully been able to incorporate those influences in a respectful and non-stereotypical way.

For the first of many examples, let's take a look at the languages used in the Star Wars Universe that have been influenced by the Indigenous languages of Quechua, Sullustese, Xhosa, and Kalmyk

Quechua is the most widely spoken Native language in South America with an estimated 8 to 10 million speakers. It also the base language used to create the most comprehensive and rich language of the Star Wars universe, Huttese, the language spoken by the Hutts

A clear example of Quechua's influence is heard when Sebulba says "Neek me chawa wermo." in Episode 1. It Huttese it means "Next time we race," but the word "Chawa" in Quechua means "uncooked."

And darn my brain for getting this mixed up but Sullustese is actually the name for the language based on Haya that was used in Return of the Jedi and Force Awakens. Haya is a language spoken by an estimated 1.3 million people in Tanzania.

Haya made its screen debut when Lando's co-pilot, Nien Nunb said ''Atirizi inyui mwi hau inyouthe ukai haha" which in Haya translates to ''What are you doing over there? All of you please come here.''

Talking about Nien Nunb, they actually had a difficult time tracking down the Kenyan actor, Kipsang Rotich, to reprise his role & to record him speaking Haya for use not only in the movies but in games & the upcoming Disneyland expansion "Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge"

The next language that helped formed the base for a Star Wars language is Xhosa, one of the 11 official languages of South Africa with an estimated 8.5 - 9 million speakers.

Xhosa is a very beautiful and distinct language that inspired the Geonosian language in the #StarWars universe and was also used in Black Panther.
In Xhosa, consonants are expressed through clicking sounds. Watch this video for an example of Xhosa and how clicking sounds are used within the language.

The last language I'm gonna talk about is Kalmyk, an Indigenous language with less than 100,000 speakers.

Kalymk along with Nepali and Tibetan inspired the language of the "Love em' or Hate em" furry and adorkable critters known as Ewoks.
Ewokese....seriously that's what their language is called 😂😂😂

I've always loved the Indigenous influence on the languages in the #StarWars universe, especially with the release of Star Wars in the Navajo language because language & language revitalization are a must for Indigenous peoples & cultural survival.

Indigenous languages aren't the only influences found within the Star Wars universe, which is why the last language I talked about was Kalmyk, the language of the space teddy bears errr I mean Ewoks, whose name was inspired by the Miwok people of California.
In fact, Endor itself was fashioned after the Redwood Forest, home to the Miwok. Of course, in terms of representation I think Natives are pretty torn on whether this is positive or negative representation.

I know some Miwoks who are absolutely thrilled to have inspired the #StarWars universe in this way and I know others along with other Natives who aren't so thrilled, meanwhile this #brownballoffury finds it funny ewoks are funsized like the miwoks I know lol
But let's talk about this further because in terms of Indigenous representation, we always get a raw deal in the way we are represented see Avatar for a prime example.

As Native people, we are ALWAYS OTHERED as villains, as aliens that either need to be saved or destroyed by white coded beings, or we're cannon fodder, sacrificing ourselves, homelands etc for the sake of a lone white-coded beings survival. There's no in-between.
Ewoks are no exception. We are othered as animal-like aliens which doesn't seem like that big of a deal since we are talking about #StarWars but when your humanity isn't recognized or respected in the real world, being othered in films is like salt in an open wound
So, I get the critiques of Ewoks. I see it as both, I see the othering as a Negative but at the same time I see it as positive because it is so subtle. I mean if no one said anything you'd just think space teddy bears, not Native people.
Of course...there's loads more Native representation in #StarWars but my fingers hurt from typing and my brain hurts from trying to condense all this info to meet character limits lol so I'm going to stop here but always up to answer questions.


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More from @johnniejae

Oct 1, 2018
One year ago today, One year ago today, I was in Washington D.C. I was given the honor of opening the speaker portion of the March for Racial Justice. @CSPAN…

#m4rj #marchforracialjustice
For a moment today, I thought to myself...I don't know how I managed because I was pretty broken. My entire life had fallen apart just a week before, I had no money, I had no home and my heart was shattered and I honestly didn't think I was going to make it to D.C.
But I did because of Dorcas Davis and the entire #M4RJ team, because of the people who follow my work online. It was a passing thought "I don't know how managed" because as soon as I thought it, I knew how I managed.
Read 5 tweets
Oct 1, 2018
RAPE HAPPENS. FALSE RAPE ACCUSATIONS HAPPEN. One does not negate the other & should not be use to invalidate the experiences of those who have been raped & those falsely accused of rape, just as FEAR of rape & FEAR of accusations of rape should not be used to vilify each other.
Seriously. FEAR is valid, no matter how irrational it is. But FEAR is not justification for discrimination, hate, rape, or any other form of violence. This is America & we already know how FEAR has been weaponized to divide us politically, socially, economically, racially, etc
How long are we gonna keep that cycle going before we get tired of running in circles and having the same discussions over and over again?
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Sep 30, 2018
#femaleblackout...Why do I get the feeling this ridiculous thing was concocted by a White Feminist, especially since Blackout Day is a day in March to celebrate Black Voices and Excellence.
*SMH* #FemaleBlackoutDay.....LITERALLY Silencing women....GTFOH. Guess I'm gonna be a little louder today, a little more present cuz I will not be silenced and definitely not gonna silence myself.
While I'm on the topic of this folx realize just how ignorant it is to ESPECIALLY ask WOC....INDIGENOUS WOMEN to blackout their profile pic and to remain Silent...."so the men wonder where the women are"?
Read 4 tweets
Sep 29, 2018
Oooh just got a schedule for #IndigenousComicCon and it's going to be AMAZING! Get your tickets at and come see me at the following panels:
Sometimes Dead is better: Colonialism through the lens of horror films.
Indian burial grounds, cursed amulets, cannibal tribes. In this discussion we look at the ways indigenous people are used in horror films and the ongoing fear of the angry savage spirit.
Indigenous Futurisms:The future is a wonderful exploration for Indigenous peoples & some of the best minds are using the concept (established by Dr. Grace Dillon) in creative works to bring amazing worlds and issues to light.
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Sep 28, 2018
Uber Driver: "As a man, I'm terrified that at any time a woman can accuse me of rape."
Before I could even open my mouth to say anything, the other passenger, also a guy, said "Why? You the kind of guy that could be accused of rape?
Uber Driver: What the fuck kind of guy is that? Good men get accused of rape all the time.
Passenger dude: Good men do not accused of rape all the time. I've been with a lot of women in my 47 years and not once have I been accused of rape nor have I worried about it.
Seems to me, the only men who fear being accused of rape are rapists and men so stupid that if they're scared of being accused of rape, shouldn't be fucking anyone if they don't know the difference between sex and rape.
Uber Driver: Staring at the dude like he killed his cat.
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Sep 24, 2018
It's only 10 am and I feel so defeated today. I don't have overdraft protection on my account because I didn't want to be able to go over and I should have asked questions earlier because my account has been overdrawn a few times but usually no more than a few cents to a dollar
I was worried about a charge not going through because I knew I didn't have enough to cover went through and I got a notice that my account was overdrawn by 7.35 problem. I deposited money to my account and all was good til this morning.
I deposited $35, which left 27.65 in my account, I spent $21 this weekend. Then I get a notice my account had reached 0 dollars. I check my account & they hit me with a $35 overdraft fee for the -7.35 balance because my deposit didn't register in their system til Sat
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