Why was this question about politically hot button issues in Star Wars closed? It seems little different than other questions about sprawling works, yet those questions remain open.

  • If I had to hazard a guess...too broad? Either too broad or, if you're only asking about the original trilogy, not enough supporting data. And definitely no definitive answer possible if you consult the expanded universe.
    – Zibbobz
    Commented Sep 22, 2014 at 15:59

4 Answers 4


I voted to close because I felt that it was not a real question asked in good faith.

Are there any instances of [random controversial issue in real world politics] in [random science fiction or fantasy series] ?

This is not a good question. It's more about the wedge issue than the science fiction. It's never asked because there is reason to believe that there would be in that work, nor is it asked because it seems notably absent from the work. The question may even be asked to poke fun at the work in question. Certainly no one learns anything of significance from it.

In the worst case scenario, I think this might even happen because someone is trying to hijack this SE for their own propaganda purposes.

If it had been asked in a way that suggests that it was a good faith question (new BSG instead of Star Wars), I would have answered it and I'd be voting to reopen. (Abortion being a real issue on the show after all, not to mention other similar subjects.)

  • I VTC'd as "Too Localized" for the first reason - they're hot topics in US politics, so from that perspective it makes sense to group them together. But otherwise (and in any way relating to that universe), it's just random.
    – Izkata
    Commented Mar 21, 2013 at 23:32
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    The question was originally closed quickly and without comment, indicating that everyone thought we were being trolled. But I recently had a discussion with someone about how oddly moral issues were handled in Star Wars. For example, even the Good Guys seem all right with slavery and conscription, two very controversial issues in our own societies. Gambling and cheating at gambling were OK too, if we're to judge by Qui-Gon's actions. Casual use of hypnotism/mind control? The Jedi are for it! So I thought it reasonable to ask whether other controversial topics had been addressed.
    – Kyle Jones
    Commented Mar 23, 2013 at 4:23
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    @KyleJones If you or another regular user had asked it, I might have given you opportunity to expand and defend it. If the guy who did ask it had asked it similar to how you've put it, it might be valid. But as is, it was totally unsalvageable. I always try to edit prior to closing, if I think that's feasible. I couldn't this time, because I could not tell if the person had meant to ask that.
    – John O
    Commented Mar 23, 2013 at 4:38
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    @Izkata I don't think it's localized. These are hot topics in much of the Western world. I voted to close for a different reason: it looked like a controversial question asked in bad faith, and hardly relevant for Star Wars. It's like asking "was pedophilia ever addressed in the Transformers cartoon?".
    – Andres F.
    Commented Mar 23, 2013 at 20:10

This question, whilst it's asking about the same sprawling works as various other question on , this one in particular seems to be asking about several, loosely grouped topics.


  • Is an answer which states only examples of abortion able to be correct?
  • Would an answer of just 'Yes', or 'Yes, in book X' be sufficient for the OP? Would it be satisfactory for the community?
  • Is an answer that states more examples more correct?

A few of these points, and some more mean that the question

...will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion.

For instance, arguments over which book in which answer gives a clearer answer, what constitutes a good answer to this.

This question is, of course still able to be edited, clarified, improved and possibly re-opened.

It might be worth noting that, as it stands the question it shows zero research or effort on the part of the asker, which is likely why it garnered the downvotes, and also why people may have been more tempted to close it.

Perhaps narrowing it down to one subject, giving some reasoning behind it, and showing some more research effort would convince the community to reopen.

  • Hm. Those are valid reasons, but for some reason I suspect most DVs/VTCs were due to possibly controversial nature of the topic, NOT the zero research efforts. I saw many equally unresearched questions upvoted to the sky. Commented Mar 21, 2013 at 18:36
  • I tried to edit it to streamline a bit, but not sure if it makes it good enough for your judgement yet. Check out the edit pls. Commented Mar 21, 2013 at 18:37
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    @DVK I had actually VTC'd as "Too Localized" because of the weird spread of topics being asked about, but thinking about it more, I probably would switch to "Not Constructive" due to the debate/arguments part - not so much the polling/extended discussion part.
    – Izkata
    Commented Mar 21, 2013 at 23:25
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    @Izkata - I'm not sure I see where there'd be debate/arguments. It's kind of hard to disagree if a specific plot point involves abortion or not. I could buy "too broad" argument (well, I don't buy it in terms of agreeing, but I readily acknowledge it as a valid concern). But aside from that, if the question was limited to just 6 movies, it seems to have been a valid question. Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 13:29

umm... It's just the inverse of a list question. It and any other question like should be closed because it still has all the problems of a list question. We shouldn't take a "Did George R.R. Martin ever write about topic X" or "Does topic X crop in this stable of works?" and here's the reasons why.

All the problems of list questions still apply, if not quite as bad. Every single example can be a valid answer. At least they aren't effectively infinite like most list questions, but they are still likely to generate a ton of junk answers.

They generate subjective answers Sometimes you think a topic is being addressed when it really ain't. George R.R. definitely addresses incest in the world of Westeros. George Lucas didn't address it in Star Wars, but you could wedge it in there if you didn't actually know the back story to how some changes got made.

Stack Exchange (and this community in particular) doesn't deal well with answers that are NO This medium is just not good at taking a no. Anytime the answer should be just a flat no, you basically have to prove the negative. It's always three paragraphs of "Here's everywhere I looked, it's a no" and even that well qualified answer can turn out wrong.

There's a difference between asking about a topic as it relates to a work and asking if a topic shows up in a work. See, when you have to describe the topic in the context of the work, you have to lay out the framework with which good answers are built. That's why the site encourages people to ask about problems they have actually had. When you actually have a problem, then somebody can probably come up with a solution. Basically, one makes you describe how you see topic X in that work, while the other is idle curiosity at best.

The final straw These questions are effectively infinite. They are plug an play. They are literally only constrained by the number of topics and the number of Sci-Fi universes. That is not okay. There is a reason good questions should show research effort and it's so the site doesn't get overrun with easy to ask crap.

  • 1
    Well said, especially the "plug and play" aspect of the question.
    – Andres F.
    Commented Mar 23, 2013 at 20:12

While it's not the greatest question on the site, and it's not elaborate, setting quality aside I think it's a valid question. Yes, I know no one else agrees with me. That's all right, I'll take the hit. :P

I read the FAQ and it says that the correct type of question to ask on the site includes questions that address the historical or societal context of a work. This question does not meet the criteria for questions that should not be asked. I'm not sure why abortion, same-sex relationships, or ... whatever the third one was ... should be considered off limits in one universe but not another, or more controversial than genocide, slavery, the use of weapons of mass destruction, religion, homicide, the death penalty, subjugation, or politics. All of these topics are present in Star Wars.

That a user is personally offended by a topic is, or should be, incidental to the validity of a question. Either a topic is present in a work or it's not. If it's present, it will be within a specific context. It's simple to just answer the question with canon facts.

The OP did not demand that any user disclose what his/her personal opinion on these hot topics are; the OP asked whether the topics are present in the Star Wars universe. That it elicited a reactionary response in some users does not speak to the question, but rather reflects social distaste.

I myself asked whether Shmi Skywalker was a virgin when she conceived Anakin and that question received pretty solid support.

I'm wondering if perhaps there was a bit of a reactionary, kneejerk response to this, both due to the topics and the perceived tone of the question.

  • 3
    That question showed considerably more research than the one being discussed. You already know that the suggestion was made, and you where just looking for specifics. The other question was more a blind stab in the dark. Commented Mar 23, 2013 at 8:26
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    Whether Shmi was a virgin is actually a quite relevant -- if nerdy -- question about prominent events and characters, which are shown on-screen. The OP asked about random controversial real-world issues which are not particularly relevant for Star Wars. Even worse is the "plug and play" aspect of the question, as mentioned by @sarge_smith: you can ask X about science fiction universe Y, and the combination of irrelevant X and Y pairs is infinite in practice. Shall we talk about healthcare reform in Harry Potter? :)
    – Andres F.
    Commented Mar 23, 2013 at 20:15
  • @AndresF. - we did. Google "Why does Harry wear glasses" :) Commented Mar 24, 2013 at 0:22
  • @sarge_smith I get what you're saying. Where I would differ is I think more caution should be taken when discerning motive from one sentence. Commented Mar 24, 2013 at 1:59
  • @AndresF. Like I said to sarge_smith, it's really difficult to figure out motive for asking a question from a one-liner. Heh, I will discuss pretty much any topic in relation to Harry Potter ;) Commented Mar 24, 2013 at 2:04
  • @aSlytherin I don't care what the motive is if you only put a sentence of effort into your question :P Commented Mar 24, 2013 at 7:32

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