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03 June 2011 @ 05:38 pm
Why is Sarah Kerrigan Suddenly African-American?  
Background: I've been playing SC for a long, long time. There's currently a problem: they've race-changed Kerrigan. This bothers me a little because a strong African American female character, while welcome, shouldn't just be cut-paste over what was once a strong, Caucasian character.

Please be warned that this is a VERY VERY image heavy thread and that they are slightly NSFW because there are sort of boobies.

In SC1, we were introduced to Sarah Kerrigan.

The FMV cinematic in SC2 showed her looking like this, pre-infestation

And then she gets infested and is the star of Brood War, which shows her looking like this.

I like this composite, because it really shows how the pre and post-infestation Kerrigans work out.

Prior to being "saved" SC2 - WoL, she looks like this.

There are already some facial shape changes. This one shows the contrast more closely.

Then, Blizzard ruins the plot and de-infests Kerrigan.

But now, she looks like this

Dark skin, Zerglocks, different nasal bridge, different face shape altogether. It's more than just an evolution of character and technology. It's a totally different woman altogether.
Elle: Mayfortunesmileonyouraylessradiance on June 3rd, 2011 10:35 pm (UTC)
I'm confused as to why her darker skin is a problem. Why does her ethnicity even matter?
Andrea Christophvoyevoda on June 3rd, 2011 10:37 pm (UTC)
I agree. But also, she was pretty drastically physically changed when they infested her- who is to say that wouldn't permanently change the way she looked when she changed 'back'?
(no subject) - raylessradiance on June 3rd, 2011 10:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - plaguekitty on June 3rd, 2011 11:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rokusabarou on June 3rd, 2011 11:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - plaguekitty on June 3rd, 2011 11:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - x_creepy_doll_x on June 3rd, 2011 11:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - voyevoda on June 3rd, 2011 11:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - x_creepy_doll_x on June 3rd, 2011 11:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fayoreix2 on June 3rd, 2011 11:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - anyee on June 3rd, 2011 11:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - voyevoda on June 3rd, 2011 11:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - anyee on June 4th, 2011 12:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - voyevoda on June 4th, 2011 12:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - akiko_kalla on June 4th, 2011 06:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
Sumanyappnyappcafe on June 3rd, 2011 10:54 pm (UTC)
Same here. I don't see why it would make a difference though.
Dark skin, light skin...they aren't physical traits that pertain to her personality.
(no subject) - rokusabarou on June 3rd, 2011 11:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - anyee on June 3rd, 2011 11:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - voyevoda on June 3rd, 2011 11:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - anyee on June 3rd, 2011 11:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - nyappnyappcafe on June 4th, 2011 12:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rokusabarou on June 4th, 2011 02:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - raylessradiance on June 4th, 2011 12:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
MOD COMMENT - viennawaits on June 4th, 2011 03:54 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: MOD COMMENT - rokusabarou on June 4th, 2011 05:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
shukivengeanceshukivengeance on June 3rd, 2011 11:02 pm (UTC)
It's ok because she started as white. Now if it were the reverse we'd have a real problem because whitewashing is terrible.
Chukfiserious_mccoy on June 3rd, 2011 11:47 pm (UTC)
Tell me this isn't sarcasm. It's hard to tell on the internet.

Edited at 2011-06-03 11:48 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - raylessradiance on June 4th, 2011 12:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
Chukfiserious_mccoy on June 3rd, 2011 11:50 pm (UTC)
That's odd. Her skin looks dark in the first pic you posted, from SC1, regardless of her red hair. It's looking to me like she went mixed -> white -> mixed.
FIERCENESSpolymexina on June 4th, 2011 12:22 am (UTC)
Dawndevilduckie831 on June 4th, 2011 12:14 am (UTC)
Kinda reminds me of Isabella from Dragon Age. (http://dragonage.wikia.com/wiki/Isabela)
Dawndevilduckie831 on June 4th, 2011 01:10 am (UTC)
BTW, dark skin =/= African American
(no subject) - bucky on June 4th, 2011 03:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
Caitersayashi on June 4th, 2011 12:20 am (UTC)
It doesn't really bother me; I'd like to see some shots of post-Zerg Kerrigan in normal lighting before drawing any conclusions anyway.

It's difficult to compare the "after" shots which are in a very blue/dark environment with the before shot that is in much different light. In the movie at the end of Starcraft Wings of Liberty when we see her as human again I didn't notice her skin looking particularly dark...
kitschaster: Wtf do you mean by that?kitschaster on June 4th, 2011 03:15 am (UTC)
This is Sci-fi, wtf? Just because a character's features change, doesn't mean their race does. And even if it did, it's just a game, and injecting irl social politics into it is pretty obnoxious, ngl.

And as a Black person, the last picture doesn't look "African American" in the least. Her face is just slightly more rounded out than in the very first picture.

Edited at 2011-06-04 03:15 am (UTC)
Babaelbabael on June 4th, 2011 03:40 am (UTC)
Designers lighten the skin/change the facial features of African American characters, sometimes to the point where they look white, it disturbs me. I do agree with the others, she doesn't look African American to me.
hintomint82: Baronesshintomint82 on June 4th, 2011 03:55 am (UTC)
Dark skin? I don't think so. She looks like she's standing in shadow; just look at the lighting off the back of her head. The sun/moon/whatever is shining behind her and she's looking in this direction towards the shadow side of where she's at.

Starcraft 1's box art is so many years old. Of course artists are capable of recreating a picture down to the fine pixels, but they've updated the graphics of the game and it only slightly looks similar to what it did before. This means there'll be a change to how the people look. Raynor looks different. He used to look like a talking black-eyed pea to me. Now, he looks a lot different and I'm okay with that.

I am an African American, and I have seen many variations from the beautiful mixtures I have encountered in my years of life. I would say in only two of those pictures does she look slightly Africanized, but that's based on a stereotypical appearance of braided hair, big lips and a wide nostril. That's while she is infested. Uninfested, she looks different. True, she looks more ethnic, but unless they really wanna say she's one hundred percent back to herself, she's going to have some lingering visual alterations to her appearance.

I can understand the "whitewashing/blackwashing" concern, but I doubt there's any way she could come off looking anything but ethnic with Zergbraids in her hair. That doesn't mean they're trying to change her Human racial background. Her race is already altered by the infestation so there's no going back to looking the way she was before.

akiko_kalla: Kanda-annoyedakiko_kalla on June 4th, 2011 06:08 am (UTC)
I'm sorry, hopefully this doesn't open some pandora's box but I teach in an urban school district...she doesn't look like she changed races to me. The lines are more defined and the coloring more subtle, but I'm not seeing a different race.

And race and gender are not necessarily vital to a character--unless the character is built specifically upon race or gender. A character who fought her way through to battle with the "male" fighters would lose validity if she was suddenly male instead of female. But if she was priestess whose beliefs defined every action, it wouldn't matter at all for her to be a priest with the same beliefs. (Not that I think it's a good marketing idea to change something like gender, but...)

Personally I think the first and last images have much more similarity to each other than to the ones in between. And as several have pointed out, although I have not followed the storyline much, she is a different woman after what she experienced; to not be changed at all would be odd. Just my opinion.
OceanMindedhibiscus_blue on June 4th, 2011 08:46 am (UTC)
It is a little bit strange, I'll admit. I agree with some of the comments above but I'm on my way to bed and thought I'd make a quick message. Her body chemistry could have changed due to being infested. Her hair still looks reddish to me, just slightly darker. Like with Cancer for instance, folks' bodies don't stay the same when they are "cured" or as they're going through the disease and treatment. Since it's sci-fi, her DNA could've been altered, and even her physical traits. Who are we to say what Zerg DNA does? And I might be off-base, but perhaps different artist/creative team working on Kerrigan for SC2 than there was for previous versions? May explain character differences? Or I'm more sleepy than I thought.
Elle: Mayfortunesmileonyouraylessradiance on June 4th, 2011 11:53 am (UTC)
Did the person who designed Sarah say she is black specifically because once again I am confused as to why this is being discussed hardcore as if it's a fact, even on the SCII forums. Unless there's a statement from the SC developers that say they have decided to make Sarah a black woman I think people (especially the people on the SCII forums) should stop speculating and being racially insensitive just because they do not find darker skin appealing... on a fictional character... in a video game. The comments on that forum are going to make me side eye anyone who brings up the color of a character's skin in a video game, I see now that this issue is about more than just story continuity and odd stylistic choices for a lot of people. It's deeper and uglier.

Edited at 2011-06-04 04:08 pm (UTC)
kitschaster: bleach thumbs upkitschaster on June 4th, 2011 08:41 pm (UTC)
I LIKE this comment.
Apocalyptic Erminedoomweasel on June 5th, 2011 02:32 am (UTC)
My thoughts exactly.

Also, even IF the character's race had definitively, canonically been changed to black, I would suggest everyone who has a problem with it watch this video.
(no subject) - anyee on June 5th, 2011 03:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - akiko_kalla on June 5th, 2011 06:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
Laurarawrtothefifth on June 5th, 2011 03:47 am (UTC)
I think I see why you're annoying and it's not that she is suddenly black and you are hatin' on her becoming black (as opposed to asian or something) but that her facial structure has changed as well. I mean diseases can do a lot but change the facial structure of a person totally is unlikely.
kitschaster: lolwut?kitschaster on June 7th, 2011 12:20 pm (UTC)
*blinks* Actually yes, there are diseases that can change the facial structure of a person, and make their face seem more bloated and awkward-looking.

I refuse to give up my obsession: Fallout NV - Booneendlessdeep on June 5th, 2011 06:20 am (UTC)
I don't know anything about this game. So let me give you my point of view. Just looking at these pics. They all look like a different person to me. Black, white, mixed, whatever. It's not even anything to do with the facial features as far as race. It's just that they are all different. It's like in one pic her eyebrows are straight and in another they have a high arch. In one pic she has a high forehead and in another it's not so high. The lips in all the pics look slightly different to me. It's like they had several different artists drawing her.
candychic125candychic125 on June 5th, 2011 05:04 pm (UTC)
Looking at these pictures, I don't think there's that much of a difference. It was a subtle change over time. Characters get redesigned as different artists work on a character over a long period of time.

Besides, light skin getting darker is something that happens to people, lol. I always thought it was weird that in Pirates of the Carribean for instance, all of the British people had pale white skin. Anyone who's even been near the Caribe knows that sun is so fucking bright it doesn't matter how much sunblock you wear (they didn't even have it back then), your skin is going to get darker. Why did Johnny Depp catch a tan, and no one else did? lol.

That whole plumper lip thing, eh. I've seen white women with large, pouting lips. Just a minor change. The nose looks different depending on what angle you look at it only, it seems to me.

Race is a very fluid thing. There's plenty of people who look either black or white (or any other ethnicities you feel like comparing) depending on when, how, and where you look at then.

Just as I don't see any solid proof that she suddenly turned black, I don't see any solid proof that she was originally white! XD
beoweaselbeoweasel on June 6th, 2011 05:32 pm (UTC)

I like how people are blowing this out of proportion, all because of a single image or Kerrigan that was taken in a low-light environment. Seriously, look around her, it's DARK.

Again, different angle compared to the other images, and different light source.
Frawesome: Rebelling [Panty]frawesome on June 6th, 2011 07:33 pm (UTC)
She doesn't look African American to me... I don't see why it matters. More updated technology and whatnot was used for the character, plus it's already been said that she's in a dark environment so that could be affecting her skin color. I personally like the changes either way.