Much has been written about the fan response to Rian Johnson’s Star Wars The Last Jedi. In some corners it was touted as a bold, new direction for the Star Wars universe, others were not so welcoming. In certain quarters the film reignited the filthy kindles of the swarming racism and sexism that came with The Force Awakens.
It’s perhaps a sign of the times, given that nostalgia is so heavily played upon in film marketing and studio greenlights, that fan expectation and validation has become part and parcel of the pre- and post-release chatter. Combine this with the ubiquity of social media and you get situations such as the one Star Wars newcomer Kelly Marie Tran faced this year.
She has written far more eloquently about this than I ever could, so if you haven’t already seen this do check out her New York Times article: I Won’t Be Marginalized by Online Harassment. Now with J. J. Abrams returning to the fold to complete the sequel trilogy with Episode IX, the toxicity of these supposed fans has re-entered the conversation.
In a recent interview with Domhnall Gleeson (the barking, bellowing face of the First Order – General Hux) we asked him about the online situation and, as you’ll see from this excerpt, he can barely contain his anger that a fellow actor had to endure this kind of treatment. It’s powerful stuff. Take a look.
Star Wars The Last Jedi – Domnhall Gleeson on toxic ‘fans’