Sunday, September 14, 2008

All Asians are Cylons

I have to applaud Battlestar Galactica for its colorblind casting. Not only did they give Boomer's call sign to a woman, but they cast actress Grace Park in the role, despite the fact that the character's name is Sharon Valeri. Now a cynic would say this is simply pandering--sci-fi shows since the nineties have had a history of including Asian females in their cast --two of the four daughters on the Joy Luck Club have been on either Star Trek (Rosalind Chao) or Babylon Five (Tamilyn Tomita), three if you count Lauren Tom as Amy on Futurama. Meanwhile, poor Harry Kim held down the fort on Star Trek: Voyager as the lone Asian Male in the universe.

However, Park is more than eye candy--she played the pivotal role of the first cylon to be outed on BSG and has been blessed with meaty scripts throughout the series four season run. However, it must be a lonely place for her character--not only is she one of the few cylons living among humanity, she's the only Asian woman in the fleet. Why are there no human Asians? I think I have seen one other Asian on the show and it was some token nameless pilot with hardly a line. You would think that if one in every twelve cylons is Asian (two, actually, if you count Tory Foster, played by Indian-Canadian actress Rekha Sharma --her character was outed this season as well) that the same ratio would hold for the human population they were designed to blend in with. But no, Helo gets to be the only "rice king" in the entire BSG universe.

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