All right, I know that the reviews have been so-so at best. But for the reasons Lane Wallace has laid out very well on our site, the debut of the movie is in itself an event worth noting and supporting. I have met a number of Tuskegee Airmen over the years at air shows, and their story really is inspiring and deserving of notice by a new generation. Also, George Lucas has said that if this movie succeeds, he might complete a trilogy on this theme, so I figure I will vote with my movie-going dollars.
The flying world is still mainly white, in addition to overwhelmingly male, which is part of why the Airmen's achievement was so significant. Lane Wallace also makes this nice point:
There's also a kind of poetic parallel between the movie and the fighting group it portrays. The most extraordinary aspect of both is how long it took, and how hard their champions had to fight, just for them to exist. And if the movie and its "heroes" feel almost too "ordinary" at times, well, that is, in a way, the very victory the Tuskegee Airmen were fighting to achieve. They wanted to be seen as ordinary fighter pilots, no different from anyone else. And Lucas wanted to prove that he could take a story about black pilots, with all the major roles played by black actors, and make it into an "ordinary" big-screen, action-adventure movie that would appeal to anyone.