There be tygers
As I was saying:
(and "race" is not a mind concept, according to this movie. That is, it isn't a fundamental issue of identity. If some people think about that too long, the conversation could get REALLY heated.).
Well, now the question of race and identity (like the question of sexual preference, or even sexuality itself, and identity) is on the table:
On the other hand, this conceit could have been fascinating. The idea of Asian “ghosts” being implanted into white “shells” opens the floor for a whole array of interesting questions and possibilities. What effect does this have on the Asian population of this dystopian future—will their racial identity eventually be wiped out? How might a Japanese person who is not yet a cyborg deal with this phenomenon on an emotional and psychological level?
Race is a cultural marker, which belatedly makes it an emotional and psychological one. The psychological hurdle of the plot is that the "Major" is turned into a cyborg as a medical experiment a la the Nazis, not as a way of saving her life after a fatal accident (the reason she is given, which turns out to be a lie). Against that, the problems of racial identity are deemed to be rather small beer.
Which maybe isn't a good idea; or maybe it is. Oddly, the assumption in that quote is extremely racist: Asian brains are different from "white" brains, is what's being said there. That's an idea that might appeal to a racist like Charles Murray, but I'm not sure it's a hill you want to die on when complaining about race and casting in a Hollywood movie.
If this is terra incognita and where angels fear to tread, there's a good reason for it.*
*As I re-read the quote, I think of the effort in New Orleans to "mix" the races by intermarriage. The dream was that, with children of "mixed" marriages (assuming race is a valid category, not an invalid construct imposed by white Europeans on the world) would dissolve racial differences based on appearance (which is all they are based on). Instead you got the fine legal distinctions of mulatto and quadroon and octaroon, based not on appearance but on who your ancestors were (a small step away from checking birth certificates for sexual identity), and the "paper bag" test (if your skin was darker than the paper bag, you were too dark). Maybe you don't want "white" to be normative; but if you don't (and why would you?), what should be, and why? Aye, theres' the rub.....