In an opinion article published Thursday by Scientific American, a team of academics argued that the “Star Wars” Jedi are a galactic force of oppression.
Under the headline “Why the Term ‘JEDI’ Is Problematic for Describing Programs That Promote Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion,” the multidisciplinary co-authors characterized the fictional order of space knights as “emblems for a host of dangerously reactionary values and assumptions.”
- “Although they’re ostensibly heroes within the Star Wars universe, the Jedi are inappropriate symbols for justice work. They are a religious order of intergalactic police-monks, prone to (white) saviorism and toxically masculine approaches to conflict resolution (violent duels with phallic lightsabers, gaslighting by means of ‘Jedi mind tricks,’ etc.),” the coauthors wrote.
- “The Jedi are also an exclusionary cult, membership to which is partly predicated on the possession of heightened psychic and physical abilities (or ‘Force-sensitivity’).”
The works of J.R.R. Tolkien have been subjected to similar scrutiny by critics who interpret the hobbits and other heroic fantasy creatures as white people and the evil orcs as “people of color.”