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5 Examples of Disability Accurately Represented in Science Fiction

Very rarely is disability accurately portrayed by the media. In most mainstream movies and TV shows, the characters with disabilities are weak, but in the sci-fi world, it is the opposite. Whether they are stronger than you'd realize, coming up with unique talents to make up for what they've lost or they’re smarter than everyone else on the show, the positive portrayals of people with disabilities in sci-fi are truly uplifting. Here are five of our favorites below!

#5. Tyrion Lannister

In the sci-fi TV world, you can't get any bigger than Game of Thrones. This show is one of the biggest on TV, and one of its most popular characters is Tyrion Lannister. He has dwarfism, which puts him in a very tough position, despite being part of a royal family. His parents and entire family reject him, but he fought through and is a beacon of strength, especially in the latter part of this show.

The show explores all areas of the struggles that a dwarf of any era likely experiences, from rejection in the dating world to rejection from society. He may drink a little too much wine, but that only makes him that more likable. The world will be mighty sad when this show comes to an end next year and there will be no more Tyrion episodes to savor. Fortunately, the actor who plays Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) has won many accolades.

#4. Batgirl aka Oracle/Barbara Gordon

In the DC comic book series Batman, his niece Batgirl became paralyzed in the late 1980s when she was shot by the Joker in an attempted assassination. She became a paraplegic in the comic book series, but what is phenomenal is that they did not write her out of the series. Instead, they had her create a new character for herself called Oracle, a computer hacker and fighter, and she moved to a tower where she could fight crime by recruiting a group of strong woman to do the physical work, Birds of Prey, while she stayed on her computer to make sure that her group on the ground was safe.

Up until recently, she has been a wheelchair user in the series, but she was recently healed (much too many people's frustration). No matter how you feel about this recent transition, Oracle has been a fantastic representation of a character with a disability in the comic book world.

#3. Geordi La Forge

If you're a fan of Star Trek, you likely remember Star Trek: The Next Generation from the 1980s, when George La Forge was a character on the show. He was an engineer on the spaceship, and he was completely blind. In most shows, this may have been a topic for doubt, suspicion & annoyance by the characters, but instead, the episodes written for him were just like he was any other crew member, with his blindness only being referred to on a rare basis. This is exactly how people with disabilities would love to be treated in real life, which is why Star Trek was so far ahead of the game. The show was also quite progressive when it came to race and gender in its characters as well.

#2. Daredevil

Both a popular comic book series that began in the 1970s as well as a Netflix show and a movie starring Ben Affleck, Daredevil is a story about a man named Matt Murdock who became blind as a teenager. He was attempting to help a blind man who was in danger but was injured by a truck carrying radioactive waste in a massive twist of irony. Of course, like most stories featuring a blind character, his other senses become enhanced. His four senses are heightened to superhuman levels – sound, touch, taste, and smell. He can take down many bad guys despite being blind, which is amazing for the mainstream public to see.

#1. Professor X

One of the most popular characters in sci-fi with a disability is by far Professor X from the X-Men series. Professor X, aka Charles Xavier, is the leader of the X-Men and has been a popular character in the series since it first began in 1963. His character was not always disabled in the series, however. He becomes paralyzed when his legs are crushed by an alien scout named Lucifer. Although, this doesn't quite make sense when it comes to spinal cord injuries (he must've gotten his spinal cord nicked in the process).

What is wonderful about Professor X’s character is that he is highly respected and one of the most intelligent characters on the show with a disability not hindering him whatsoever. In fact, his disability makes some more respected and perhaps more stable, as he is able to be more observant.

The sci-fi world is truly a welcoming home for characters with disabilities, and therefore fans with disabilities as well. There's nothing better than seeing yourself represented in a positive light, and that's exactly what these characters above do for our community.

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