Much of the Star Wars franchise revolves around the heroic and noble Jedi Knights, who live by a code that preaches peace and serenity while warning against passion and emotional outbursts. Sometimes it feels like the Star Wars fanbase might have missed the memo on this, as many of them appear perpetually incandescent with white-hot fury. The most notable recent example was the pummeling that director Rian Johnson received in the wake of The Last Jedi, which continues in some form nearly two years after the film’s release.
So, perhaps when David Benioff and D.B. Weiss claim that one reason their Star Wars trilogy was cancelled was that they didn’t want to have to deal with what’s being described as a “toxic fandom,” they have a point. After all, they’re already on the receiving end of abuse resulting from the final season of Game of Thrones, which was received less than enthusiastically by fans of the show.
I’m sure it’s a small subset of very loud people doing this, but many folks who’ve become involved with what sounds like a dream job have found that aggressive and obnoxious fans can sour the experience. Daisy Ridley, for instance, has claimed she’ll never return to social media again, saying that the 24/7 abuse she received affected her mental health.
Kelly Marie Tran, meanwhile, also deleted her Instagram following months of racist harassment that began even prior to the release of the movies. And Ahmed Best, who played Jar Jar Binks, claimed he’d contemplated suicide following wall-to-wall rage directed at him after the prequels.
Even George Lucas couldn’t be bothered to deal with angry Star Wars fans anymore, saying in 2012 that:
“Why would I make any more when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?”
Perhaps people should chill out and maybe don’t make the fun space adventure movies that come out every few years the backbone of your personality. If you consider yourself a real Star Wars fan and you find your blood pressure rising when someone says The Last Jedi was good (it was), then maybe take a cue from Yoda himself: “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” And who wants to suffer? Not me!