A recent fan comic has described the history of Star Wars trolls attacking the actors and creators behind the franchise they claim to love. The comic goes on to suggest that the real reason these trolls hated Star Wars: The Last Jedi so much is because they saw themselves in the villain of Kylo Ren and did not like what the film seemed to be saying about them.
While vocal fans complaining about things they don't like is part and parcel of any fandom, the trolls of Star Wars have become particularly ambitious over the past year. Previously, their complaints were limited to how certain characters - such as Jar Jar Binks and the young Anakin Skywalker - were annoying. Things have taken a dark turn in the modern era, however, with a racist segment of the trolls complaining about the more diverse casting in recent Star Wars films and a sexist component decrying the larger number of proactive female characters and a distinct lack of fan-service. This resulted in continual attacks on the social media of various Star Wars actors, with Kelly Marie Tran and Daisy Ridley being forced to close their Instagram accounts, due to the continual deluge of harassment.
The comic by Andrew Dobson was posted to Twitter and can be viewed below. The comic recalls both the recent harassment of the cast of the current Star Wars trilogy as well as the attacks that drove Jar Jar Binks actor Ahmed Best to contemplate suicide.
I think this is why a lot of “fans” don’t like SW:TLJ. They don’t like being told that what they’re doing is bad and irremediable. No matter what you think about a piece of media… NOTHING justifies this sort of harassment. Disney knows this, and they’re calling you out for it. pic.twitter.com/wpS0ocxG8K— Andrew Dobson (@ADobsonComicArt) July 6, 2018
The comparison between the Star Wars trolls and Kylo Ren does seem to be apt. Despite playing at being a fearsome figure of terror, the character of Kylo Ren is, at his core, a broken young man with a strong sense of entitlement, who sees himself as a hero fighting the system that he feels betrayed him. He is also obsessed with an idealized vision of the past, idolizing the worst aspects of his infamous grandfather, while ignoring that the truth was far more complicated. One could also draw comparisons between how Kylo Ren's efforts to empower himself only serve to destroy everything around him and how the trolls' efforts to defend their vision of Star Wars are hurting the cast and creatives as well as the fandom.
Thankfully, while these trolls are good at establishing themselves as a petty annoyance and the bane of social media managers everywhere, they have fallen short of accomplishing any actual goals of note. An effort to crowd-fund a remake of The Last Jedi has failed to inspire much beyond sarcastic laughter and disbelief from actual filmmakers, despite claims of an anonymous producer willing to match any donations to "the rebellion." Disney also doesn't seem to be taking any of the trolls' criticisms seriously and the recent casting of Keri Russell for Star Wars: Episode IX indicates J.J. Abrams isn't about to stop writing female protagonists into the Star Wars movies anytime soon.
Source: Andrew Dobson
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019