Of all the things to obsess over regarding our favorite blue ex-imperial, picking apart Thrawn’s Ahsoka look is such a weird choice.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time a character’s (and actor’s) appearance has been the main topic of discussion among Star Wars fans. And while it may seem like this is surface-level, it goes much deeper than a character not looking the way an audience thinks they should for “continuity” reasons.
People will use the continuity argument to justify just about anything, and body-shaming is a common hit point across fandoms. I know we throw terms like this around a lot, their meanings get muddled, and their real-world impact gets diluted. But no one deserves to have their appearance be the subject of “fair criticism” — in our case, it’s Star Wars, it’s all fake and in space, shouldn’t we be more concerned about what Thrawn has been doing all these years than whether or not he perfectly mirrors the look of a cartoon?
The reality is — whether you want to hear it or not — if you’re obsessing over how a character/actor looks, you’re most likely doing the same thing with real people in your life. And that’s not cool. How another person looks isn’t and has never been your business unless they make it your business, and I don’t see Thrawn sitting down at your table to complain about how his uniform fits.
Fandom needs to do a better job of treating fictional characters with the same respect real people deserve — because for a lot of people (especially younger fans), fandom is a reflection of real life, and how they see other people behaving in online and other spaces is how they may perceive real people should be treated.
Of course, it works the other way too, which is why this issue exists. If you spend your time concerned with how other people look, that’s going to bleed into what you carry into your fandom space.
Star Wars is a blend of so many important and relatable themes, characters, and ideas. Fans can and will get so much more out of these stories if they focus on deeper, more relevant elements than how an actor looks painted blue.
New episodes of Star Wars: Ahsoka premiere on Tuesdays exclusively on Disney+.
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