Ben Shapiro has some issues with the direction Disney is taking the Star Wars series in. During a recent episode of The Ben Shapiro Show, the conservative political commentator objected to the idea of the franchise introducing more heroines because it is, at its core, intended for men.
“I know that Disney kind of imagined in years and decided that they were only going to have female heroes from now on,” Shapiro said, “which is absurd because Star Wars is essentially a little boy’s property.” Listeners have found his comment objectionable, as it excludes the franchise’s female fanbase. It also goes against the spirit of the films themselves, which posit the tolerant Jedi against the authoritarian, singular Sith.
“The truth about what makes the Star Wars universe interesting is the Dark Side of the Force,” Shapiro told a fan who asked him what he’d like to see in any of the upcoming films. “All the focus on the Jedi is a lot less interesting than the focus on the Dark Side of the Force and its seductiveness.”
Although the Dark Side is far from the only element that makes Star Wars interesting – see: its world building, character design and groundbreaking use of filmmaking technology – Shapiro does touch upon a well-known phenomenon: that audiences often gravitate toward the villain more than they do the good guy.
“I guess the High Republic is supposed to be like the prequels,” he went on to say. “It’s based on other Jedi, which is fine. They haven’t rolled down exactly how SJW this is all going to be.”
Like other conservative commentators, Shapiro dislikes Hollywood striving to become more inclusive on the grounds that popular entertainment should not be a platform through which to promote political and cultural ideas.
While Shapiro accuses Disney of filling Star Wars with an ideology that was not prevalent in the series before, it should be noted that the franchise had been promoting heroines long before Lucasfilm was acquired by the House of Mouse. In this case, EpicStream.com rightly points readers towards characters such as Leia – one of the first to subvert the trope of damsel in distress – and, of course, Ahsoka Tano.