With the massive launch of the new Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney+, Star Wars fans have had a lot to celebrate. But, in typical fashion, a vocal few have chosen to complain still.
More than just complaining, some have taken to racist comments directed toward star Moses Ingram, who posted on her Instagram story just a few of the many she’s received. That prompted the Star Wars social media team to give a strong rebuke of such behavior:
Sadly, Star Wars and Ingram were both prepared for this. Ingram said recently that Lucasfilm warned her about the likelihood of racist feedback, telling her they were there to support her when it happened. It’s sad that Lucasfilm felt the need to warn her about it, and it’s sad that when she said those comments so many of us knew that they would be needed. And it’s sad that in the immediate aftermath of the show’s release, Ingram has already gotten comments like that and death threats.
This is nothing new for the Star Wars fandom, and that’s horrific. The fact that this keeps happening is a problem, but like Ingram said in her Instagram story, she’s not sure it’s a problem we’re actually going to be able to fix. Whether that’s true or not, certainly one way to combat it is by actually combatting it, and that’s why I’m glad to see this tweet from Star Wars. They haven’t always done a good job at standing up against this kind of hate when actors have experienced it in the past, and I’m hopeful that this signifies a change in that the company is deciding to fight this publicly.
Ironically, it seems that a lot of the racist hate comes from the idiots who think things like “not my Star Wars,” and they’re right – this isn’t their Star Wars. And that’s a very good thing, because this is a better Star Wars because of it.
On a larger scale, this once again highlights the fact that the Star Wars fandom has a big problem. I want to be clear that it’s only a vocal minority, but they’re vocal enough to be a problem. Because this keeps happening. Ahmed Best. Jake Lloyd. Hayden Christensen. Daisy Ridley. John Boyega. Kelly Marie Tran. Moses Ingram. And on and on. It’s interesting that we’re talking about this around Obi-Wan Kenobi, with droves of fans celebrating the return of Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen to the franchise, because in recent weeks they have been brutally honest about the negative feedback they got after the prequel trilogy and how hard it was. And now fans are cheering their return. But the problem is that the people who most need to actually reconcile that are too ignorant to pay attention to. They post dumb hot takes online, garner a following because they appeal to the lowest common denominator (if you want a following on social media just be critical of something, and don’t worry about whether it makes any coherent sense). And all the while they show no regard for the actors who bring the franchise to life. And don’t tell me it’s just “disagreement with the story,” because that’s a load of crap to hide behind. Disliking the story doesn’t result in abusing the actors. And when you seem to think that most of the women and/or minorities in the franchise are just not well-written or not good additions to the story, it’s hard to mask your true intentions.
I’m glad that Star Wars addressed this, but really disappointed that they had to at all. This fandom needs to be better. And one way we can do so is by drowning out the hate by applause and praise and love for these actors instead, because to quote Rose Tico, “that’s how we’re going to win. Not fighting what we hate; saving what we love.”