“Everything is Political.”
This is the phrase that people use when those of us who want adaptations to be true to the source material complain about canon and the universe is being changed in order to convey current political views.
I have rebutted this on Twitter, but even 240 characters can be limiting. So, I am doing it here.
In this day and age, you can’t even post a picture of a cute animal without someone bringing politics into the mix.
When we say, “Keep politics out of our entertainment” we don’t mean that our chosen way to entertain ourselves and blow off steam is devoid of it.
This immediate reaction to our request is implying something we never said.
Let’s start with what I know as a writer, gamer, and lover of movies and other media.
When you play a game, watch a movie or TV show, or read a comic or novel, you realize you have stepped into another world. How immersive the world is depends on the world-building.
World-building includes its own set of rules and political factions. It includes interactions between races, villages, and towns. The level of immersion is related to how convincing all these interactions are. This is what creates the canon of the world and the mythos in general. So, yes, it has politics.
When you delve into the lore of the world, you will usually uncover more political infighting, power struggles, and the like. This is what aids in the suspension of belief for science fiction and fantasy settings.
What do we mean?
When we say:
Keep your politics out of our media.
We mean the injection of real-world narratives and political stances into the already established canon and lore. That is exactly what we mean.
If the canon of the universe does not include intersectional feminism, equity pushes, and diversity for diversity’s sake, don’t inject it into the canon. It will break immersion and ruin the universe for those of us who have grown to love it.
It ruins the continuity of the lore, subverts the world-building, and breaks the existing framework of interactions of the characters in the established universe.
All we have ever requested is this…
If you are going to adapt a story or extend the universe, please, do it within the context of existing lore. That’s it. It’s not that difficult.
Until next time,
Anissa “Maddy” Walker