Sunday, April 23, 2017

Senator Tynnra Pamlo



























Ok, so as I am coming off my high of being at Star Wars Celebration, I am talking and thinking all things Star Wars over the past few days.  As a part of that, I am watching the movies in Machete order of course.  As a part of that, I got a chance to rewatch Rogue One.  As I said at the time, this is one of my favorite Star Wars movies. I enjoyed it the night I saw it and could not wait to get the Blue Ray for all the behind the scene Star Wars goodies.

So as I am watching it again, the scene has been set:  The Rebels have learned of the Death Star and all its destructive capabilities. Jyn has let the Rebel Council know of her dad's secret flaw within the Death Star.  There is a debate amongst the Rebel Alliance Council in their hideaway on Yavin 4. The room is split on what to do:  Do we attack or do we retreat or even knuckle under the Empire.  Its a powerful scene- lots of great British actors giving their best.  In that crowd of Rebels tho, is a sole Black Female.  Now Black Females in Star Wars are- well they have not really been seen before. In 40 years of Star Wars films, a Black Female speaking in a significant role had not been seen.  Please, white fan boy, do not tell me about Lupita being Maz Kanata because we never see Lupita.  Its not the same!

The lady in the scene is Senator Tynnra Pamlo or Taris, played by British actress, Sharon Duncan-Brewster.  Before the movie even came out, her appearance in the trailer generated significant buzz because we had never seen a Black Woman talk in Star Wars before. So before getting to see the full scene, I wondered who she was, why she was there, what is her role.. I had so many questions.

And when she does get to speak.... she is on the side of... surrendering.  Huh? What? Werd? Really?  The first chance Star Wars gets to put a Black Female on, they put her not on the side of fighting for the cause, but on the side of giving up!  You think I am trippin'? Lets check her dialogue word for word ( like Jesus in the Bible, her words are in red)

Senator Pamlo( speaking to group); "We must scatter the fleet.  We have no recourse but to surrender."

Senator Pamlo( speaking to group): "If it war you want, you will fight alone."

Senator Pamlo( speaking to group)  "If the Empire has this kind of power, what chance do we have?"

Senator Pamlo( speaking to Jyn): " You're asking us to invade an Imperial installation based on nothing but hope."

Jyn: "Rebellions are built on Hope"

That's it. Less than 50 words of dialgoue and the Senator is gone, never to be seen again.  Not before allowing Jyn to deliver the words that launch a 1000 X-Wings tho.  When given the opportunity to have a Black Woman be strong and courageous, Star Wars went the other way.  It did not make her look weak, but it did not make her look strong either.  The Star Wars people had a chance to allow Senator Pamlo be a leader of the resistance here. A strong Senator who recognizes the danger of the Empire, but is ready to stand and fight with her people. I guess seeing a Black Woman being that strong was a little too much for the Alliance.

I am probably overreacting.  I am sure of it, right?  Please tell me that I am just being "that dude" who sees ghosts where there are no ghosts.  Yet in Empire Strikes Back, they were sure to make Lando a hustling, gambling, pimp, tho.  And Finn, before he helps lead the attack on StarKiller Base, he was working in sanitation.  I believe Black Nerd Power nicknamed him Space Bookman.

But its probably just a coincidence, right?

The Producer