Stargate Tie-In Books and Audience Reactions and Non-Reactions

The bad news: The books seem to be getting worse with the racism and objectification of Wraith and other races. One recent trilogy was especially full of racist language, coming as a sharp disappointment after the Legacy series. If Wraith and Jaffa can be called “it,” do the authors keep little charts and graphs of when Teal’c is an “it” and when he is not an “it”?

The objectification in the majority of these books also overshadows and even nullifies the progress made in the Legacy books, for both 1) anti-racism and 2) marriage equality.

1) All books subsequently objectifying alien races after Legacy just erases any progress made to bridge cultural gaps and sends the message that the Legacy books and their ideals of syncretism are not to be taken seriously, but can be attempted to be written over and crowded out.

2) Any human or Wraith characters who were written in such as way in Legacy as to insinuate being in LGBTQ+ and/or interracial relationships will be unnoticed, as an audience primed for discrimination will simply not see the relationships there to begin with. Only advocates and allies, those in the echo chamber, might maybe pick up on it, but the majority of the audience will not.

The Legacy books, up to this point, and most of the Legacy stories, have been beacons of hope amidst the objectification of most of the others. But, I worry for the future of the books. Without conscientious objection, things always sink to that of the lowest common denominator when it comes to racism, discrimination, and objectification. There have been hints of bad things to come in some of the recent stories have me worried, in terms of racism, neocolonialism, and harming nonhuman animals. All injustices are interrelated and reinforce one another, sending signals it is OK to mistreat those who are labelled as “others.”

The good news: The lackluster objectification in most of the other books has proven to not spark much imagination or care from fans and said books have been quickly relegated to the dusty corner where they belong. No other book or series gets the attention Legacy gets. Legacy has fan art and fanfics, entire threads in scifi boards, and even RPGs, spanning multiple nations and languages. I hope Legacy writers will continue to keep their formula and not start letting regressive notions creep into their books, going to the same ignored fate as the other books. Audiences around the world have proven we demand brighter and better!

Advertisements