This question has been subject to two rounds of close voting, and is currently closed. The first round was as “primarily opinion-based.” The second was as “unclear what you’re asking.”

However, I can’t see why it was closed. It doesn’t seem to be opinion-based or unclear, just bad and containing some unfounded assumptions. Should it stay closed, or be reopened (again)?

  • 1/2 Listen, I didn't close it, not the first time, or second. But I did vote to leave it closed on one occasion. This is because asking if someone is racist or not is purely conjecture, it is based on what the users consider to be racist. If the question had asked about whether or not there was any official stance on this, then fine, but our opinions are only that, opinions.
    – Möoz
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 23:34
  • 2
    2/2 Let's say there are two answers to the question, both equally as well written, yet one says that Obi is racist, the other not. Which is the correct answer? If the OP has an inclination to one side, then they'll choose whichever they believe satisfies their original intention. But which is truly correct? We won't know, unless someone official tells us.
    – Möoz
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 23:34
  • 6
    @Möoz - No, it isn’t. There are many almost exactly analogous questions, both about sympathetic characters (Hagrid), unsympathetic characters (Snape?), villains (Umbridge, Palpatine) and authors (Tolkien). The highly voted answers on those questions use quotes from the work and informed inferences to reach conclusions. The opposite answers tend to be poorly received. Which is how things should be: people can write bad answers, but they’ll get downvoted.
    – Adamant
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 23:50
  • 2
    I voted to close it because 1.) I felt that it was asking too much for us to analyze a fictional character's mind, which does not fall under our 'we don't know' answer rule IME, and 2.) I couldn't figure out what kind of answer the OP was expecting.
    – Mithical
    Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 7:20
  • 4
    @Mithrandir - It’s in no way more opinion-based than any other question about a character’s personality or motivations (of which we’ve had many).
    – Adamant
    Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 7:22
  • @Mithrandir I'm a little confused about the "we don't know" rule. Certainly OP doesn't know; he's asking the question. Five close-voters may not know, because they don't know either. But ... how do they know that "we the collective rabid fanbase" doesn't know until the question has marinated for a while, and the fans have had a chance to do their research?
    – akaioi
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 5:15
  • @akaioi - I'm confused what you're confused about :P. We do not close questions where we don't know the answer; instead, we can write an answer that says we don't know. This does not apply in other primaries opinion based cases, such as asking to analyze a character's mind.
    – Mithical
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 6:32

1 Answer 1


It should be reopened

To be clear: this is not a good question. But that is not, and hasn’t ever been, reason to close something. Close votes are not super-downvotes.

The motivations expressed for closing aren’t really right:

  • I’ve voted to close as unclear. Dathomir isn’t a race, it’s a species.

    If we can close for this, we could close for someone asking whether Palpatine was “racist against clones” (they’re not a race, they’re all the same person). We could close a question for asking whether Tolkien was "racist against the East" (the East isn’t a race, it’s a region containing a collection of cultures and societies). Both these questions, phrased a little differently, have been well-received on this site.

    It’s very clear what they’re asking. Yes, “speciest” is the right term (if one believes that the different Star Wars humanoids qualify as different species), but many people use “racist” anyway. It’s a well-established usage in this context, and is easily inferred otherwise.

    A simple edit would have corrected this. Now that this edit has been made, this motivation for keeping it closed doesn’t make much sense.

    And let’s be clear, the question isn’t unclear in any other way. Its meaning is stated precisely at the end of the question:

    Does Obi-Wan have specially motivated hate towards Dathomirians and/or other non-human species (potentially due to his traumatic encounter with Darth Maul and the sheer amount of other confrontations)?

  • It’s not opinion-based. Is Was the Emperor himself xenophobic? Or was that merely a political point? opinion-based? What about Was Hagrid guilty of blood prejudice? (which some people might find equally implausible)? If we need really clear evidence before a question can be asked, what about Was Snape romantically attracted to Mulciber?.

    The case for it being opinion-based is also undermined by some of the comments about closing it:

    You might wish to note that the Tuskens (in the canon Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View) refer to themselves as Sand People on multiple occasions.

    This is canon evidence against the idea that Obi-Wan was prejudiced: in other words, a negative answer. This question is answerable. Many of the close voters seem to think that it’s clear that Obi-Wan was not prejudiced—clear evidence that the question is not opinion-based. In any case, “We don’t know, but there’s not any real evidence of it” is a perfectly acceptable answer.

All the other motivations for closing seem to run afoul of one or more well-established policies:

  1. Close votes are not super-downvotes. This is a long, long-established policy:

    Don’t close a question just because you don’t like it, or it sucks. Close for one of the valid reasons. Closing is not done enough, but should not be undertaken lightly. Look over the reasons – if you feel the question qualifies, do it. Others may or may not follow.

  2. Not knowing whether there’s an answer to a question is not a reason to close it. It’s impossible to know whether there’s an answer out there, even if one can’t think of one:

    I agree with PearsonArtPhoto, questions should not be closed on the grounds that they don’t have a canon answer, and I want to specially emphasize one particular point: the only way to know a question is unanswerable given canon is to know all canon in a universe, an unreasonable bar to set for most topics asked about here. Even I have seen questions here that I thought had no canon answer, which eventually did receive one.

    In a universe with a very large amount of canon (LotR, Star Wars, Star Trek, etc.) how is an asker to know whether a particular piece of information is in canon? We don’t require users to have read canon before asking about it, so how could an OP know that it wasn’t answered in canon?

  3. We don’t close questions for using the wrong term. We just make an edit and inform the poster. Or, perhaps, we don’t even make the edit at all.

  4. We don’t close questions with incorrect assumptions. We correct the assumptions in an answer or in a comment.

We get bad questions all the time, and they’re quicky relegated to the bottom of the heap. That’s what downvotes are for. It’s the SE philosophy. Close votes have never been for penalizing questions for containing incorrect information or starting with preconceptions, and I don’t see any reason to start now.

  • You may also mention good subjective/bad subjective here for completeness Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 20:01
  • It’s impossible to know whether there’s an answer out there” is simply not true. Especially if you consider only published materials or a specific set of works as canon. In this day and age one can easily search an entire canon’s worth of text for specific phrases or ideals. Although some fandoms have author canon, most – to me knowledge – don’t. Questions are easily searchable and answerable or possible to say there is no answer. Especially with the existence of google allowing you to search if anyone has asked or found an answer (amongst 1000(000)s of fans) to the same thing.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 6:54
  • @Edlothiad: This Q&A is about Star Wars specifically, which until very recently did have author canon (statements of George Lucas). Regardless, if someone wants answers from Legends, it is entirely infeasible to search all of the stuff that Disney dumped there.
    – Kevin
    Commented Oct 22, 2017 at 16:56
  • @kevin this Q&A might be about a SW question, but the points he brings up are ones he’s claiming apply to all canons.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Oct 22, 2017 at 17:11
  • 1
    @Edlothiad: No, they're not "bringing up" new points, they're just citing established precedent. Go vote on that instead.
    – Kevin
    Commented Oct 22, 2017 at 17:44
  • I never said he brought up "new points" I merely said he brought up these points. I see no issue with bringing them up here, or why you feel the need to call it out here. Am I causing harm?
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Oct 22, 2017 at 18:24
  • @Edlothiad: No, but if you actually want to change the established policy, you're not going to do it by commenting on some random tangentially-related answer. Either ask a new meta question to overturn the policy, or don't. Telling us you disagree with the policy accomplishes nothing.
    – Kevin
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 0:28
  • @Kevin Good thing I was just commenting on the wording use in this specific answer and not that used in the “site policy”. Your comment is, in my opinion, worthless as you really just repeat things I already know. If I wanted to overturn policy I would’ve asked a new question. Thanks for the reminder though, I’d almost forgotten!
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 4:54
  • @Edlothiad: That line is nearly an exact quote from the cited answer. You are criticizing it.
    – Kevin
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 6:10
  • I agree with PearsonArtPhoto, questions should not be closed on the grounds that they don't have a canon answer, and I want to specially emphasize one particular point: the only way to know a question is unanswerable given canon is to know all canon in a universe, an unreasonable bar to set for most topics asked about here. Even I have seen questions here that I thought had no canon answer, which eventually did receive one. - Can you point out where the "nearly exact quote is"? I have also never said I wasn't criticising the "policy" I only said I wasn't going to post a meta.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 6:15
  • I even tried to control-f the word "impossible", couldn't find it.Maybe it's your inexperience with better defined SFF universes that prevent you from understanding my initial comment and turning this into a "you're bad and you should feel bad argument".
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 6:16
  • @Edlothiad Didn't we have a recent discussion about the word 'worthless'? Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 18:09
  • @DCOPTimDowd at least someone caught on, and I didn’t use it in a derogatory way, I merely stated that it the comment has no worth on the site. Flag the comments as you wish, but I’m reasonably in line with what was the top voted answer last I checked, as I have not called anyone worthless, merely their comment. I also stated this is only my opinion of their comment’s contribution to this meta. Thanks for policing my comments for me though!
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 19:57
  • @Edlothiad Kinda comes with a username like mine Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 20:59
  • @DCOP DeCopTimDowd? (I joke, I joke ;) )
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 21:04

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