In another case of reaching so far your hand is on Pluto, MSNBC host Melissa Harris Perry says that Star Wars contains racist themes, and she has a particular issue with Darth Vader. According to TheWrap, she claims the formidable character is basically black when he is considered evil (and plays into stereotypes by not claiming his son), but is then white after makes amends with Luke Skywalker.
“The part where he was totally a black guy, whose name was basically James Earl Jones,” Perry said. “While he was black, he was terrible and bad, awful and used to cut off white men’s hands, and didn’t actually claim his son. But as soon as he claims his son, goes over to the good, takes off his mask and he is white. Yes, I have many feelings about that.”
What Perry describes is a simple situation of two actors playing different parts of the same character. Throughout the original trilogy, Darth Vader is physically portrayed by former body builder and weightlifter David Prowse. Is it too much of a stretch to believe his large frame may have helped him land the part as a scary villain? And James Earl Jones provides the voice because, believe or not, he has a really cool one.
The original Star Wars films may have their own issues but Darth Vader is not one of them. Perhaps Perry should refocus her attention on how offensively bad the Anakin Skywalker/Padmé Amidala scenes were in the prequels.