Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn suggests that toxic Star Wars fans should go to therapy. The Star Wars fandom is vast and has a variety of fans - some who may prefer the prequel trilogy over the original trilogy, for instance - but that chasm has only grown ever since the release of Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi. But the latest saga episode is only part of the problem.
There has been a level of toxicity surrounding the Star Wars fandom for almost two decades, since the release of George Lucas' Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. Unfortunately, two actors have bore the brunt of backlash of those films over the years: young Anakin actor Jake Lloyd and Jar Jar Binks actor Ahmed Best. It was recently revealed that Best had contemplated suicide after fans took up their displeasure with him personally.
In response to that revelation, Gunn commented on Twitter that no one - including Star Wars fans - should attack someone because they didn't like the actor's performance or the movie as a whole. It's one thing to critique a performance, but it's another thing entirely to attack someone personally. Take a look at one of Gunn's tweets below:
The latest battles for Star Wars began with the release of J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It was the first live-action theatrical release in the franchise in 10 years. But the issue escalated after the most recent entry, The Last Jedi. Fans have criticized the new trilogy's treatment of established and beloved characters. They've also accused their creators of having an agenda that is too political and feminist-oriented.
Actress Kelly Marie Tran, who plays Rose Tico in The Last Jedi, recently left social media after prolonged harassment from fans. And Mission: Impossible - Fallout writer-director Christopher McQuarrie recently revealed that the backlash Johnson has received over the pats few months dissuaded him from ever directing a Star Wars movie. Aside from convincing a filmmaker never to approach a Star Wars movie, the continuous toxicity surrounding the franchise is becoming commonplace... again.
There were active campaigns to sabotage Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story due to what happened to Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi, despite the two projects have little to nothing in common with each other. But it's important to note that this type of backlash isn't new, but is rather something that can be seen as an inherent byproduct of fandom - all fandom - regardless of what the property is. Star Wars is just bigger than most properties.
Source: James Gunn
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019