In the Star Wars universe, crying racism can't hide bad acting
I would have ignored entirely the racism kerfuffle surrounding one of the actresses in Obi-Wan Kenobi, the latest addition to the Star Wars franchise, if it hadn't been for the fact that, at the behest of a beloved child, I forced myself to sit through the inaugural episode of the new series. Therefore, I am fully qualified to offer my opinion about Moses Ingram's acting, and what I have to say has nothing to do with her race. If you want an insight into her energy, just watch the video of her explaining the racism she experiences.
I loved the original Star Wars movie in 1977. After the first draggy 30 minutes, it was fresh and fun, and John Williams wrote a great score. I've found boring all subsequent iterations of the Star Wars universe.
Still, when my now grown kids ask me to sit and watch something with them, how can I, as a mother charmed that they actually want my company, refuse such a request? Especially when it comes with the assurance that the new Obi-Wan Kenobi series is really good and that the child actress playing Princess Leia as a girl (Vivien Lyra Blair) is not nauseating. So I gave the show a relatively (for me) good-faith chance.
The premise is that the Empire is hunting down the Jedis. Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) is a beaten husk of a man, living in a cave and working at what looks like a packing company for giant salmon, except it's in the desert and they just leave the stuff sitting out when the work day ends. There are a lot of long shots of deserts and a sad Ewan McGregor.
Image: Screen grab of Moses Ingram's Instagram home page, which has left me wondering why she thought a picture of her sticking her tongue out was a good idea.
Then, the evil Inquisitors come to town looking for Obi-Wan, who stays silent as they terrify and torture people. He won't even help a fellow Jedi fugitive.
But about those Inquisitors. One of them is Inquisitor Reva, AKA Third Sister, played by an actress named Moses Ingram. A couple of days ago, Disney announced that it has no time for "racist" Star War fans who have attacked Ingram:
There are more than 20 million sentient species in the Star Wars galaxy, don’t choose to be a racist.— Star Wars (@starwars) May 31, 2022
I agree that racism is bad, and anyone who directed abuse at Ingram based on the color of her skin behaved shamefully. While I have no idea whether "White supremacy," which is now a catch-all for anything leftists don't like, is "rampant" among Star Wars fans, these are unpleasant comments, to say the least:
Moses Ingram posted some of the racist stuff she's been receiving because of her role in Kenobi and this is what it is like to be a black woman in Star Wars. White supremacy is rampant in SW communities and @starwars needs to do more to protect their actors of color. pic.twitter.com/4amNMq6FAC— Shitty Star Wars Posts (@SW_takes) May 31, 2022
Of course, for a bit of perspective, they read like love letters compared to the abuse conservatives get (believe me, I know), something especially true for non-White conservatives who have dared leave leftism.
Here's the real question, though: does Ingram deserve to be excoriated for her acting? Absolutely. Of course, so does everyone else in the show because the acting is execrable across the board. Even McGregor, who usually does better, spends his entire time looking as though he ate a bad burrito. And little girl Leia is, in fact, nauseating.
Still, in a sea of wooden, silly acting that would fit well in the old Buck Rogers space opera from 1939, Ingram is exceptionally bad. As the Obi-Wan-obsessed Inquisitor, she strikes around with a scowl, reading her poorly written lines with a loud, flat affect reminiscent of Joe Biden when he starts yelling during a speech to show that he's serious. It's mechanical, not moving.
And if you doubt me when I say Ingram brings only a scowl and a loud voice to her part, rather than power and fury, just watch this video of her discussing the hate messages she's received. Although she seems like a perfectly nice gal, this Yale graduate's draggy, flat delivery explains everything you need to know about the energy, or lack thereof, of Ingram's acting, disappointing those who expected more from her: