A wise Jedi once warned, “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Ahead of tonight’s debut of the new Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens trailer, it also led to a flurry of racist tweets fueled by the #BoycottStarWarsVII hashtag warning that the new Star Wars movie promotes “white genocide” and was made “to demoralize and destroy Whites.”
Somewhere in a galaxy far, far away, shaking his damn head, Yoda is.
Laughably enough, the racist, misogynistic, and anti-Semitic crusaders of the #BoycottStarWarsVII movement completely miss the point of every lesson ever built into the Star Wars franchise.
But it’s telling that their outrage came to a head only when the Star Wars marketing campaign began making its push into the mainstream. Tonight’s trailer hits during Monday Night Football to push the new flick to the normcore dad masses and to non-diehards who maybe, probably, haven’t even heard there’s a new Star Wars movie coming out, let alone know or care that a black man and a woman lead the cast.
Clearly, these so-called fans aren’t too well-versed in their Jedi history. Their tweets raise many questions, like: Do the #BoycottStarWarsVII realize their hatred violates Yoda’s teachings? Have they forgotten Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu and Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian, or realize that the Imperial Stormtroopers were cloned from the genetic material of Mandalorian bounty hunter Jango Fett, played by part-Maori thesp Temuera Morrison?
Do they know Darth Vader was voiced by James Earl Jones? Or that it was the good guys of the rebellion who were accepting of other races and species as they battled the overwhelmingly pasty-white evil villains of the Empire?
Perhaps not shockingly, a deep dive into the #BoycottStarWarsVII hashtag (which is now, delightfully, dominated by true blue fans ridiculing the racists), yields a curious overlap of racist Star Wars invective and pro-Donald Trump tweets. Here’s a rundown of the core tenets of the #BoycottStarWarsVII movement:
STRAIGHT UP RACISM
British actor John Boyega plays redeemed Stormtrooper Finn, one of the new young leads of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Yes, a black Stormtrooper. Internet racists already got their panties in a bunch when the first teaser trailer revealed Boyega sans helmet in his Stormtrooper uniform, birthing the #BlackStormTrooper hashtag last November.
The underlying belief, according to Twitter user @DarklyEnlighten, who identifies as a neoreactionary and with the Pro-Trump white supremacist “alternative right,” and previously tweeted that he hopes Trump would turn out to be a fascist, is that Star Wars “belongs” exclusively to white people. That’s admittedly underscored by the fact that when George Lucas made Episode IV: A New Hope in 1977, 99 percent of his cast was either Caucasian, or extraterrestrial aliens covered in prosthetics.
“George, is everybody in outer space white?” John Landis says he asked Lucas after watching the first Star Wars. An emphasis on diversity increased as the sequels went on—Billy Dee Williams showed up in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, earning instant legend status.
So now minority actors are stealing “white parts?” Sure. Because there are so many non-white roles leading major Hollywood franchises they should be taking instead. Boyega replied to his haters with a smile back in November: “To whom it may concern: Get used to it. :)”
STAR WARS AS “ANTI-WHITE PROPAGANDA”
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is an ensemble film that introduces a host of new characters while bringing back O.G. stars Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, and Mark Hamill. Among the new Jedis and Siths, Disney’s been primarily promoting its three good guys (played by Boyega, Daisy Ridley, and Oscar Isaac) and three baddies (Adam Driver, Domnhall Gleeson, and Gwendoline Christie). Lupita Nyong’o and Andy Serkis are among the extended cast but as far as we know, they’re not among the main players. Which means out of nine central characters, one is black. And yet somehow this makes The Force Awakens a piece of “anti-white propaganda” that heralds the end of days and therefore warrants an all-out boycott.
DIRECTOR J.J. ABRAMS IS IN ON IT TOO, BECAUSE JEWISH CONSPIRACY
The truth, according to one self-described “pro-white” individual and #Trump2016 supporter who hails from “Mexican-Occupied California,” is that Star Wars is a franchise built on lies designed to “destroy” the white race because P.S., Abrams is Jewish.
JAR JAR BINKS WAS ACTUALLY THE OPPOSITE OF RACIST
If any single piece of evidence proves how unsound the logic of the #BoycottStarWarsVII mob is, it is the astoundingly twisted argument that makes the most clearly racist thing the Star Wars universe ever did into the fault of those most offended. Talk about blaming the victim.
Jar Jar Binks, played by African-American actor Ahmed Best, was inarguably the tone-deaf embarrassment of the entire franchise—a racist caricature that rightfully earned its place as the worst Star Wars character of all time. While #BoycottStarWarsVII haters concur and mark it as a low point in the series (something we can agree on!) they blame Jar Jar on a desire to placate the fans who demanded more diversity in their Star Wars: Diversity led to Jar Jar, and Jar Jar led to the death of all that was good in Star Wars.
One Twitterer who describes himself as a combat veteran and “unashamed white” traced the downfall of Star Wars all the way back to the Ewoks before unironically invoking the #WhiteActorsMatter hashtag.
Finally, a nugget of raw, vulnerable truth in #BoycottStarWarsVII: Tsk tsk, Jedi must not cling to the past.