Can we, as Star Wars fans, all agree on the fact that the Star Wars fanbase is toxic?
If you find yourself answering ‘yes’ to that question, chances are that you’re either not really part of the fanbase, don’t care about Star Wars nor what it represents to its fans, or are probably trying to find more things to complain about (such as, case in point, the very fanbase you claim to be a part of).
What’s fascinating is that most toxic “Star Wars fans” are often people who cry over the lack of representation in the franchise — an issue that’s never really been a problem throughout Star Wars —, about “most characters” being straight white males or even about the series being flat out racist. No, seriously.
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Before we dive deep into the latest batch of snowflake complaints, let’s remember the case of Ahmed Best, who is widely known as the actor who brought Jar Jar Binks to life in the fairly divisive Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, in a role that, for better or worse, changed his life.
Best also happens to be the first Star Wars actor to face massive fan backlash for his role, as fans of all stripes were less than enthusiastic about the clumsy Gungan Jar Jar Binks, who was featured prominently in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, played a rather small role in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, and was barely shown in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.
During a relatively recent interview with SoulPancakes, Best revealed that he was heavily criticised for giving Jar Jar Binks a “Jamaican, broken dialect”, which led to snowflakes getting up in arms and calling him all kinds of racist names because he is not Jamaican, but rather of West Indian descent. Where do SJWs even draw the line when it comes to these things?
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This backlash led series creator George Lucas to relegating Jar Jar Binks to a side character in the prequel trilogy, even though he can be heard on behind the scenes footage record during production of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace declaring that “Jar Jar is the key to all of this”, a hint that the character’s role was initially more prominent than the one that made it to film.
While it is true that Jar Jar Binks didn’t resonate with audiences back in 1999 when the first prequel movie hit theatres, most of the backlash directed towards both Best and his character came not from Star Wars fans, but – and this may shock you – the media.
Related: Jar-Jar Binks Actor Ahmed Best Explains What Disney’s Iteration Of Star Wars Is Missing
These days things are a little bit different. Most mainstream media outlets have now chosen to side with the various Star Wars actors who have faced some level of backlash, and more often than not, use their stories to push the narrative that Star Wars fans are antagonist trolls rather than call out Disney and Lucasfilm for their lack of vision.
Such is the case with The Guardian, who has once again opted to, unsurprisingly, antagonise the Star Wars fanbase in order to push their woke narrative down people’s throats, this time calling fans “alt-right’ racist trolls.”
According to The Guardian writer Ben Child, the backlash faced by Kelly Marie Tran — who played Rose Tico in Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi — boils down to “hideous attacks by ‘alt-right’ trolls”. Not only that, but Child also attributed the attacks on Tran to “Lucas’s unwieldy approach to race in the prequel films”.
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Child backs up this claim by stating that the Star Wars prequels were “criticised for imagining extra-terrestrials such as Jar Jar Binks, Nute Gunray and Watto according to, variously, Caribbean, east Asian and Jewish ethnic stereotypes,” adding that even critics saw “such missteps as wrongheaded attempts to imagine a diverse galaxy.”
Those mentioned above are all aliens, by the way. Two of them were even portrayed by ‘diverse’ actors, as Jar Jar was portrayed by Best, a black actor, while Nute Gunray was portrayed by half-Indian actor Silas Carson.
Of course, Best’s skin color didn’t stop the media from attacking him for his role in The Phantom Menance. It seems the narrative was different back in 1999.
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Just for the sake of the argument, let’s imagine a world in which Jar Jar Binks, Nute Gunray, and Watto were all imagined as white European stereotypes. Could that solve this so-called issue? Chances are that we would still be reading about these characters being offensive regardless, likely because they, ironically,weren’t imagined as Caribbean, east Asian, or Jewish stereotypes.
But wait, padawan learners, there’s more! Child also attempts to push the narrative even further by claiming that these days, George Lucas drawing inspiration from the movies of legendary filmmaker Akira Kurosawa could be seen these days as cultural appropriation.
He does excuse Lucas, however, for basing the series’ Imperial Stormtroopers on the Nazi Sturmabteilung; again, justifying it because “he made them the bad guys.”
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Here’s where Child’s nonsensical rant gets even more interesting, as the writer dares to propose that George Lucas’ “hamfisted attempts to broaden the cultural mix for the prequels accidentally ended up warming the cockles for modern-day Nazi Star Wars fans.”
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Scrambling to support of this claim, Child then resorts to suggesting that the problem may well be Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker, writing, “Maybe generations of racists grew up on the idea of the ultimate hero being a white-skinned, blue-eyed kid with shiny blond hair, so that the idea of anyone of different ethnicity stepping to the fore felt like a personal insult.”
Daisy Ridley’s white-skinned, hazel-eyed Rey may get a pass now because she’s a woman, but SJWs are not easily satisfied, and it is only a matter of time until they chastise her for not being the ethnicity or gender of their choice.
Related: Daisy Ridley Faces Backlash From Activists After Denying She Was More Privileged Than Star Wars Co-Star John Boyega
Are we fighting racism with racism here? Why does the idea of a white-skinned, blue-eyed protagonist sound so terrifying to those who constantly strive to hold a moral high ground? Is this not the type of ‘non-inclusive type of mindset’ they claim to stand against?
However, despite Child’s attempt to draw a comparison between the media’s treatment of Ahmed and the harassment received by Tran from “toxic Star Wars fans”, it turns out that most fans of all stripes not only have the utmost respect for Tran, but also condemn the attacks she received on social media.
Does that even matter to the mainstream media outlets? Well, no, since acknowledging that reality would prevent them from pushing their woke narrative. It’s much easier to just pretend that most Star Wars fans are “alt-right” trolls and call it a day.
Let’s not forget Disney is to blame for the near-absence of Tran’s Rose Tico in Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker, which we only found out about after her co-star, John Boyega, spilled the beans last September
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Speaking of Boyega, Childs also notes that “certain so-called fans balk at the prospect of seeing black men or Asian women flying the new movies’ X-wings but have no issue at all with syntactically challenged, green-skinned, giant-eared Jedi homunculi or oversized dog-faced teddy bear sidekicks,” implying that the actor faced some backlash of his own when he was cast as Finn in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.
(On that note of ‘oversized dog-faced teddy bear sidekicks, one can only hope that Chewbacca is not the next to face cancellation. Could the woke mob cancel him for being played by a white male actors and not actual Wookies? It might as well happen, since we know that even white voice actors who play black roles in animated series like The Simpsons will no longer do so — which is a fine line to tread, as it actually promotes segregation. Not very inclusive, right?)
But hold your Tauntauns! That never really happened! Most fans were actually excited to see his character become a Jedi, with most finding themselves drastically disappointed when it was revealed that Rey was actually the Jedi who had awakened, despite what all the trailers had led us to believe.
What did happen, however, was that Disney and Lucasfilm themselves pushed Boyega’s character to the side. This decision, if the companies’ supposed dedication to the woke agenda is to be believed had nothing to do with fans complaining about a minority character, but everything to do with their own incompetence and disregard for storytelling.
Related: John Boyega Blasts Disney After Minority Cast Was Pushed To The Side In Disney Star Wars Sequels
The above is interesting because although fans had constantly expressed how the mistreatment of Finn’s character, among a host of other issues, had led them to feel disappointed with the trilogy, the media regularly criticized them as nothing more than racists. It wasn’t until Boyega himself complained of these same issues that the media finally took note of what fans had recognized for years.
Boyega went on to say that Disney “gave all the nuance to Adam Driver(Kylo Ren), all the nuance to Daisy Ridley(Rey)” and that no one else had to deal with death threats on social media, adding that “Nobody else had that experience. But yet people are surprised that I’m this way. That’s my frustration.”
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So, which is it? Are Star Wars fans “alt-right” racist trolls or are Disney and Lucasfilm to blame for the current state of Star Wars? Fans don’t care about a diverse and inclusive cast as long as they get a top quality product, something the sequel trilogy failed to deliver with flying colours.
Not only did Disney and Lucasfilm not deliver with the sequel trilogy, but they also completely disregarded the series’ established fans by choosing to cater to social justice warrior snowflakes and use the film to push their agendas.
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Remember when the media tried to push the narrative that “manchildren” Ghostbusters fans were trying to boycott Paul Fieg’s Ghostbusters: Answer the Call because it featured an all-female cast?
In actuality, not even general audiences liked Ghostbusters: Answer The Call, with a majority of viewers taking issue not with the film’s all-female cast, but with just how terrible the entire production was. However, the media had a narrative to push, and thus the movie was praised by critics and anyone who even dared imply that the movie was bad was labelled a racist, misogynist manchild.
The people over at RedLetterMedia did a phenomenal job destroying said narrative with facts. If you haven’t yet, I strongly encourage you to give it a watch.
Could it be that Disney and Lucasfilm are trying to push a similar agenda? They are likely aware that Star Wars episodes VII, VIII, and IX are terrible movies, but it is easier to blame it on the fans’ “toxicity” rather than the mistakes they keep on making.
If that’s Disney’s strategy, it seems to be working, as there are already people out there that have convinced themselves that Star Wars fans — who have legitimate complaints about the current state of the franchise — are nothing but “alt-right” racist trolls. Remember, only a Sith deals in absolutes.