As a kid, I loved Stargate SG-1. I rewatch it every now and again. Like right now. Even with it’s passable points, it’s totally racist and colonialist.
Because anything that doesn’t gel with the white man’s sense of rationality, scientific imperialism, and civilization is chalked up to megalomaniacal, parasitic aliens posing as Egyptian gods and other mythological figures.
Yet I still love the idea of the Stargate and how it represents exploration (hopefully peaceful) across the galaxies.
The character of Teal’c, played by the handsome Christopher Judge, is for the most part utterly majestic, even in his stoicism. At the same time, Teal’c is yet another example of a non-white character who is written as utterly subservient (down for the white man’s cause) or irrepressibly hostile (the exotic extraterrestrial savage that doesn’t know how to follow the rules).
I don’t know what kind of person Christopher Judge is or what he thought/thinks about his role as Teal’c. But I wonder if he sees how the character of Teal’c is used as a prop for the white imagination to project racist microaggressions and tropes onto, especially given that his co-stars are white while for all who see him, Teal’c/Judge is a big Black guy.
Stargate Atlantis gets a little closer to the issue of the Stargate franchise’s portrayal of its non-white characters/actors with characters like Teyla Emmagan and Ronon Dex.
Honestly, I could watch Stargate from the beginning and write god knows how many posts ONLY about Teal’c and race. Buuutttt, I don’t have the spirit or the patience for that right now.