Let me begin by clarifying one simple fact – the toxicity and outrageous hatred that’s followed in The Last Jedi‘s wake is by no means exclusive to Star Wars. But in light of Ahmed Best’s shocking revelation, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has delivered a stern message to those bigots populating the interwebs: “go to therapy.”
Just yesterday, it was revealed that Best, the actor behind Jar Jar Binks, contemplated suicide amid the backlash to his clumsy Gungan outcast. The actor had previously detailed the vitriol and death threats sent his way soon after The Phantom Menace released in ’99, but this is the first time that Ahmed Best had talked openly about wanting to take his own life almost 20 years ago.
This heartrending story has prompted a massive outpouring of support from the Star Wars community, which, it should be said, is typically known for its welcoming, inclusive nature. James Gunn, however, took a moment to call out those who have missed the point.
And this isn’t just some underground hate speech from deep within the bowels of Twitter; it’s beginning to attract the attention of big-name directors like Christopher McQuarrie, who recently admitted that he’d think twice about helming a Star Wars movie – or Man of Steel 2, for that matter – due to the sheer amount of pressure (and potential fallout) involved.
Gunn, meanwhile, isn’t known for shying away from a debate:
Star Wars (or any movie) may be important to you, but it doesn’t belong to you. If your self-esteem depends on how good you think the current Star Wars is, or your childhood is ruined because you don’t like something in a movie, GO TO THERAPY.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 4, 2018
This bigotry often stems from a very minor, yet extremely vocal corner of the Internet, one whose arrogance and entitlement know no bounds. Can you imagine if, say, in 1603, readers demanded that William Shakespeare overhaul Hamlet because it didn’t suit their fancy? It’s preposterous, which is exactly the word one would use to describe the campaign to remake Star Wars: The Last Jedi…