I just watched a few episodes of Legend of the Seeker with my father some weeks ago, and while I enjoyed it, I can’t help but notice something. There is a serious, serious amount of already existing Epic Fantasy Movies/Tv Show with a White Male Hero.
No, no, you must be thinking. This is the twenty-first century. Surely there’s more than that, isn’t there?
Hm. Let me make a list:
The Lord of the Rings.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
Dresden Files (okay, not epic fantasy but close enough).
Star Wars (space fantasy).
Aside from The Golden Compass, can anyone think of any current stories where the hero who saves the day is actually a woman? And double points if they’re actually of another race besides Caucasian. I’m totally serious. I want to collect these stories, tv, and movies and read/watch them, pass them along to others. It’d be nice to know they exist. The fact that I am having a hard time thinking of a few isn’t a good sign.
I consider this to be a major flaw in both writing and entertainment. We can do better, everyone. Much better. Which means we need more women–and more people of different races–writing scripts, stories, and what-have-you and getting their works out there. Speaking of which, RIP LA Banks. A wonderful woman of color who had a really fantastic paranormal/fantasy series out there about a vampire huntress. Very far from being a Buffy rip-off, it’s a very good series and a nice addition to the fantasy/scifi/paranormal domain of Main Characters Who Are Female and Not White, and yet stand out on their own as powerful, well developed characters. She will be missed.
We need more diversity in television, movies, and books. That’s why I liked Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. Color me crazy, but the idea of a woman being the central hero, donning armor and battling a monster with a sword made my day. I just don’t see enough of that, and Eowyn’s bit part in The Lord of the Rings just seemed like Not Enough to me. She wasn’t the hero of the story, just a nice bone tossed to the audience. I liked it, but just not meaty enough.
Bizarre analogy for a vegan to use but hey, it works.