What the Mods Mean for Disability Representation in Star Wars

A cloaked humanoid dressed in Star Wars Tatooine with mechanical arms that reach the ground.

This video essay from Questing Refuge on disability representation and radical visibility in Star Wars is excellent and appreciated.

In this video, I hope to highlight why aesthetic choices like we see with The Mods can make a lot of sense by exploring groups in real life that choose to stand out. how The Mods make disability representation in Star Wars better, and the importance and power of choosing to be visible, especially for marginalized groups like disabled people.

Improving Disability Representation in Star Wars | One Scene for Joy – YouTube
Improving Disability Representation in Star Wars | One Scene for Joy

A lot of people said The Mods from The Book of Boba Fett don’t fit in Star Wars or at least not on Tatooine.

And they don’t.

Which makes them pretty damn relatable as a disabled person since the general view of society is we should not exist.

Many assume we are a mistake, something that eventually will be prevented or eliminated as technology improves, despite the fact that many of us enjoy our lives. Some of us even take pride in our differences.

Which is why I was filled with joy to see this scene where a Mod named Skad is reporting in to Boba Fett.

Improving Disability Representation in Star Wars | One Scene for Joy – YouTube

The video even touches on disability dongles, cyborgs, and tryborgs. This line aptly distills the tension between cyborgs and tryborgs.

This is something I may explore more in a future video but the point I want to make here is the focus is always on what the Tryborgs want instead of what Cyborgs want.

And, yes! Please do a video on disability dongles.

The video concludes with an appreciation of visibility very much aligned with our philosophy at Stimpunks.

Because being overly visible, we get to flip the script, express loudly that we take pride in our differences, to question the limits society tries to put on humanity, as well as send a message to others out there that they are not alone, that they can be proud of who they are as well. And sometimes, most importantly, if they’re struggling, there are other ways of being out there, more options exist. And in that beauty of pushing to expand rather than conform it ultimately helps everyone.

Improving Disability Representation in Star Wars | One Scene for Joy – YouTube

Stimpunk combines “stimming” + “punk” to evoke open and proud stimming, resistance to neurotypicalization, and the DIY culture of punk, disabled, and neurodivergent communities. Instead of hiding our stims, we bring them to the front.

Everything that was normally supposed to be hidden was brought to the front.

Punk subculture – Wikipedia

Visit Questing Refuge for more great video essays on disability representation.

Further reading,

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Published by Ryan Boren

#ActuallyAutistic retired technologist turned wannabe-sociologist. Equity literate education, respectfully connected parenting, passion-based learning, indie ed-tech, neurodiversity, social model of disability, design for real life, inclusion, open web, open source. he/they

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