Friday, December 16, 2016

Star Wars and autistic tendencies


I haven't seen Rogue One: A Star Wars Story yet. Scheduling in my life will probably put that as something I'm not able to manage until after Christmas. One of the small prices I pay for the lifestyle I've chosen, and largely enjoy.

I did read Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno in anticipation. I occasionally, but fairly rarely, read licensed property novels, which does little but put me out of sync with my friends who read them with some gusto and my friends who dismiss them completely. For what it's worth, I enjoyed it. Not as much as I enjoyed Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston, but more than I had Luceno's Tarkin, which I had given up on after a bit of reading, but might eventually give another chance after enjoying the portrayal of Governor Tarkin here.

What's interesting to me right now is that Galen Erso, the character Mads Mikkelsen plays in Rogue One is clearly portrayed as autistic in the novel. First of all, if that is in line with his portrayal in the movie itself or something Luceno brought to it. Of course, I'm also interested in whether that portrayal, whether by Luceno or the creators of the movie, was purposely done. There's no reference to it in a quick Google search.

There are a lot "probably Autistic" characters floating about these days, more conspicuous in an age when Autism is becoming better understood by people generally. There are characters out there, from nerdy kids to quirky geniuses such as Erso, who seem likely inspired by an Autistic person the author knew at some point, but who was never diagnosed, in an era when many areas of the spectrum were simply not an existing diagnosis, or even perhaps the diagnosis was not known to the author. In a few, I can't help wonder if it isn't a reflection of autistic tendencies of the author, but perhaps that's another discussion. In more recent cases, such as Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory, where the creators deny the obvious inspiration of Autistic tendencies, perhaps to avoid having avoid having to following any set list of symptoms.

Of course, having that kind of specific diagnosis a long time ago, in a galaxy far away would make no sense, they're safe from that concern.

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