Discussing Star Wars by any digital means is a tricky minefield even at the best of times, but ever since The Last Jedi graced theaters, it seems certain corners of the Internet have been walking on eggshells – despite the fact that Rian Johnson’s sci-fi sequel was recently crowned 2018’s best-selling Blu-ray by quite some distance.
But still, there are those who consider Episode VIII unworthy of the Star Wars brand, with some ‘fans’ even going so far as to launch a petition calling on Lucasfilm to remove The Last Jedi from canon. We shit you not.
In order to gain some insight into this online toxicity, Bethany Lacina of The Washington Post (h/t ComicBook.com) has crunched the numbers, studied the algorithms, and ventured into the darkest corners of Twitter to present a social media analysis of the Star Wars franchise and its so-called fandom. Frankly, it’s a must-read.
Perhaps the most telling revelation is that female Star Wars fans are more likely to be harassed and even bullied than their male counterparts, while any tweet containing the words “Rose Tico” purportedly garners 60 percent more hate speech than those that do not.
Overall, though, the toxic subculture festering within the Star Wars fandom is little more than a vocal minority (no surprise there), as evidenced by the Blu-ray sales of The Last Jedi.
Via The Washington Post:
I wanted to know how people tweet about Star Wars in general — and how that differs from how they tweet about women and minorities in Star Wars. I compared general Star Wars-related tweets to tweets about Kelly Marie Tran, the actress harassed on Instagram, or about Rose Tico, her Last Jedi character. The proportion of tweets with offensive language doubled from 6 to 12 percent — and hate speech jumped 60 percent, rising from 1.1 percent to 1.8 percent of all tweets.
Tell us, do you agree with these findings? Or do you believe this Star Wars essay doesn’t go deep enough? You can, as always, chime in with your own thoughts via the comments section.