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Xenophobia

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"...I have no issues with aliens myself—some of my best friends are nonhumans—but some grav-ball fans object to alien physiognomies, seeing them as giving nonhumans an edge."
―Janus Fhurek's xenophobic rationale for kicking Frid Kelio and Hench Sina off the AppSci SaberCats[src]

Xenophobia was dislike or prejudice towards individuals from other species. Zare Leonis regarded his former athletic director Janus Fhurek as xenophobic for excluding his two alien classmates Frid Kelio and Hench Sina from the Junior Academy of Applied Sciences's grav-ball team AppSci SaberCats.[1] Fhurek had objected to Kelio and Sina's presence on the AppSci SaberCats on the grounds that their alien physiognomies gave them an unfair advantage.[2] Leonis' experiences with Fhurek led him to believe that the Galactic Empire condoned prejudice towards individuals belonging to the "wrong species."[3] By the time of the Battle of Endor, it was widely known that the Empire pursued a xenophobic policy that favored humans and treated aliens as subjects or threats.[4] Xenophobia, however, was not the sole province of humans: the Sand People of Tatooine were renowned for their aggressivity toward outsiders.[5]

HistoryEdit

Galactic EmpireEdit

The Galactic Empire was known to favor humans while looking down on aliens or "nonhumans."[6] As a result, the Empire's government and military was largely dominated by humans and it was rare to find non-humans serving as Imperial officers.[7] This single-species domination was an intentional part of Imperial policy. Imperial propaganda actively supported state-sponsored ethnocentric xenophobia and fear-mongering. To the Empire, "aliens" were by and large unwelcome within its order, with aliens being seen as "different," and "strange." As such, the Empire treated nonhuman segments of its populations as serfs, slaves, or obstacles needing to be tamed, removed, or ignored. The Empire supported the idea that aliens were untrustworthy—unlike humans—and behind their veneer of innocence lurked a viscous monster. The Imperial propaganda machine was so effective in its message that even near-human species exhibited an inherent distrust towards nonhuman populations.[4]

Non-human species like Wookiees[6], Mon Calamari[8], and the Bodach'i[9] were known to be exploited as slave labour by the Empire. The Empire repealed laws banning slavery and reclassified several species particularly the Wookiees as non-sentient.[10]Other species such as the Geonosians[11] and the Lasat[12] experienced genocide at the hands of the Empire.[10]

During the Age of the Empire, some human grav-ball fans on Lothal believed that alien physiognomies gave nonhuman players an unfair advantage. While there was no official league rule against nonhuman players, some individuals like Janus Fhurek did their best to exclude alien players from the grav-ball championship.[2] In addition, the Empire also discouraged the learning of alien languages and cultures such as Ithorese, and sought to impose high 'Imperial standards' for its citizens.[13] The discriminatory policies of the Empire forced some individuals like the Nikto Rinnrivin Di to turn to a life of crime. Rinnrivin became a spice dealer who later rose to become the crime lord of a major cartel during the New Republic era.[14]

Nevertheless, some non-humans were known to occupy lofty roles within the Empire, such as the Chagrian Mas Amedda, who served as the Empire's Grand Vizier,[15] the Pau'an Grand Inquisitor,[6] three other Inquisitors known as the Seventh Sister, the Fifth Brother,[16], the Eighth Brother[17] and Grand Admiral Thrawn.[18] Despite the ingrained xenophobia within the Imperial hierarchy, some Imperials like Moff Delian Mors and Admiral Rae Sloane were willing to work with some aliens like Nashi the Hutt[19] and the Sullustan crime lord Surat Nuat.[13] Imperial law enforcement authorities also hired the services of alien bounty hunters like the Trandoshan Bossk.[20]

The Rebel Alliance's Declaration of Rebellion condemned Emperor Palpatine and his Empire for instituting a policy of blatant speciesism and genocide against the nonhuman peoples of the Galaxy.[10]

First OrderEdit

About thirty years after the Battle of Endor, xenophobia appeared to have resurfaced in the propaganda and labor policies of the First Order, an Imperial remnant that emulated the "Old Empire". Propaganda news feeds from the First Order's High Command carried reports of the New Republic tolerating unchecked alien advances throughout the Outer Rim Territories. In addition, a majority of the miners involved in the First Order's mining colony in Pressy's Tumble were from various alien species including Talz, Gran, Rodians, Abednedo, and Narquois but included a few humans.[21]

Behind the scenesEdit

The idea of a xenophobic Galactic Empire was explored in several Star Wars Legends literature and media. According to Jason Fry, the Lucasfilm Story Group had worked out that the Galactic Empire in the new canon universe was not "openly or uniformly" xenophobic. However, he reasoned many staunch Imperials like the Servants of the Empire antagonist Janus Fhurek were also committed xenophobes. In addition, Fry explained that the Empire in the new canon timeline was not misogynistic; citing the presence of female Imperial characters in John Jackson Miller's A New Dawn novel and the Disney XD TV series Star Wars Rebels.[22]

In his production notes for A New Dawn, Miller clarified that the Sullustan character Zaluna Myder being called a "creature" by an Imperial officer was a reference to the "species-ism" that existed within the Empire.[23] The idea that the Empire was human-dominated and xenophobic towards alien species was also hinted in the canon reference guides Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide and Star Wars Rebels: Visual Guide: Epic Battles. Claudia Gray and Chuck Wendig's 2016 novels Aftermath: Life Debt and Bloodline have since confirmed that the Empire did indeed pursue an actively xenophobic policy towards alien species.

AppearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

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