As many young actors have found, being cast in Star Wars can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s the biggest movie series on the planet, but on the other, you face becoming the target of focused online abuse.
Kelly Marie Tran, who debuted as Rose Tico in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, had just this very thing happen, with the levels of aggression and hatred against her eventually causing her to quit social media. She’s now promoting Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and revealed in an interview with Good Morning America that the whole experience led her to seek therapy.
“I feel great now. I’ve been to therapy, which I highly recommend. Also just the transition of what it was like. I was very much someone who was working a day job, struggling to be an actor, and suddenly, I was in Star Wars. I think that sort of transition takes a lot of emotional work, if that makes sense. But I’m in a really good place now. I’m excited for this movie to come out. I’m excited to be working with [director] J.J. Abrams. I’m doing great.”
Of course, Kelly Marie Tran is far from the first person who’s experienced the dark side of Star Wars fandom. Daisy Ridley also said she’ll never return to social media again, saying that the 24/7 abuse she received seriously affected her and that social media is “highly unhealthy for people’s mental health.”
Another victim was poor old Jar Jar Binks, Ahmed Best, who claimed he’d contemplated suicide after the wall-to-wall rage directed at him after the prequels. Even George Lucas himself couldn’t be bothered to deal with angry Star Wars fans anymore, saying the following in 2012:
“Why would I make any more when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?”
Newsflash, if you’re thinking of going online and berating an actor for things their character did in a space adventure movie, you might want to address some real issues in your own life. Maybe take a cue from Kelly Marie Tran and look into some therapy, as the levels of negativity and anger we commonly see in the fan community are deeply unhealthy.
In any case, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on 20th December, and I’m sure that all the fans are going to unconditionally love it.