(Spoilers inside) How do we think they did with diversity?
First off, our main characters are a woman (white) and a man of Nigerian descent. I was reading John Boyega interviews because he is my newest celebrity dork crush and he pretty much said he would’ve side-eyed the role if they’d only been auditioning black men, but he was chosen from a varied pool of actors. Another main character, Poe Dameron, our new smartass hotshot pilot, is played by a Latino.
It passes the Bechdel test (Rae and Maz (if non-human females count), Rae and Leia) and the Mako Mori test (Rae leaving home, realizing her family isn’t coming back, discovering her power is definitely her own arc). I’ll admit when Kylo Ren carried her off, I thought “Oh boy here comes another princess rescue” but she rescued herself, thank you very much, and though Finn defended her for a bit, she actually wound up saving him.
Captain Phasma: not as big a part as I would’ve hoped, but a high ranking Stormtrooper was clearly female (without needing boob armor).
Maz: I assume we’ve read the Jez article saying “Really? This is who this gorgeous WOC is playing?” and I agree. It would have been great to have an important character be a human woman of color. On the other hand, if Lupita played Maz with her own face, would she have fallen into the magical Negro trope or does Maz have enough of a story unto herself to avoid that? I thought her voice was great for the part, but she would have been a great addition without the make up.
Other than that, I saw a good mix of men and women of different races in the Light and Dark side headquarters and ship cockpits, including Ken Leung who I happily recognized from Person of Interest. On the other hand, the Asian space pirates coming for Han made me less happy (although that might have been our first clue that there are actually Asian humans/humanoids in Star Wars). (ETA: Apparently that whole scene was for cameos by Indonesian actors and fight choreographers for the movie, thanks for the info TamTams!)
Much ado was made about the racial and gender make-up of the initial cast photos. Do you think the movie lived up to that new hope? Do you think they made it or did they not go far enough?