Fans are generally a good thing. They connect with one another for a great reason: for the mutual love of something. Star Wars fans are no different, though many fans have, at times, gone a bit too far with their love. George Lucas was someone who was met with a lot of ridicule for his work on the Prequel Trilogy, not to mention his re-working of the Original Trilogy in the Special Editions.
But, in recent memory, one person who has received an undue amount of hate is Kelly Marie Tran, who plays Rose Tico in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Among those who dislike the film, Rose stands out as a particularly annoying character, and rather than restrict their criticisms to the character or writing, things quickly devolved into racist, sexist comments that eventually chased her off of Instagram.
Tran returned recently with a heartfelt written piece, where she opened up about her insecurities, but it’s clear that there was some real damage done by fans. Now, one of her co-stars, Domhnall Gleeson, who plays General Hux in the film, is speaking out about his thoughts on the matter:
“People having an opinion about the film is absolutely fine. You pay your money, and you’re allowed to have an opinion. The stuff with Kelly was bullshit. That’s a different thing altogether, so those people are just morons. Those people are just assholes. It’s a different level of stuff. You don’t buy that when you buy your tickets. I thought the piece she wrote was amazing and I’ve got huge respect for her. I thought she dealt with it as classily as an unclassy situation can call for.”
I think it’s important to be clear about what Tran supporters mean when we see these fans over-stepped their boundaries. Of course, you are free to share your opinion, but once those turn to personal insults that have nothing to do with the way an actor is portraying a character, then we have a problem.
While I’d like to think that this incident will lead to fans being a bit more respectful when it comes to criticism, the reality is that the internet gives the dumbest people a loud voice, and even when 99% of fans are being respectful, it’s that 1% we’ll still be hearing most. That being said, I’d love to be proven wrong!