The Time Carl Sagan Had Beef With ... 'Star Wars'?
Social media recently unearthed a clip from a 1978 episode of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson that is sure to delight some and cause others to yell "Let there be white!" while they cry angry tears and cradle their Wookie fleshlights. Never say humans aren't fascinating. The clip features astronomer and Cosmos creator Carl Sagan ripping into the science and the lack of representation in the 1977 Star Wars: A New Hope.
Not only did Sagan have a problem with the fact that the movie started off "in a galaxy far, far away" only to immediately show us a bunch of humans -- a very unlikely scenario given how we evolved under a very specific and random set of events and circumstances -- but he was also confused because oh look, they're all white somehow. When Carson, who, by the way, thought that Sagan was taking the fun out of the movie by pointing this out, said that there were Wookies and other different-looking species, Sagan immediately responded: "But none of them seem to be in charge of the Galaxy. Everyone in charge of the Galaxy seems to look like us."
On top of that, Sagan also found it strange that the film didn't give Chewie a medal for his part in blowing up the Death Star at the end. "I thought there was a large amount of human chauvinism in it. Also, I felt very bad that at the end, the Wookie didn't get a medal also. I thought that was an example of anti-Wookie discrimination."
Joke aside, it's not surprising that Sagan, the scientist who questioned the status and dominance of men with maybe a bit too much testosterone on our planet, would call the first Star Wars a display of human chauvinism. After all, this is the guy who said, "To think that we are the center of -- much less the reason for -- the Universe, is pathetic."
What is surprising, though, is how long it seems to take to fix it.
Top Image: Lucasfilm