“I hate Rose! You should die!” ~ Star Wars “fan” to Kelly Marie Tran via social media.
What. The actual. Fudge. (Only I didn’t say “fudge”.) Is this really what the Star Wars fandom has become? We don’t like a character so we threaten the life of the actor because… why?
This isn’t who we are, Star Wars fans. And if it is, please turn in your proverbial fan club card at the spaceport and don’t let the force field hit you on the way out.
Extremism in any form is detrimental at best and dangerous at worst. Whether in religion, politics, or yes, even Star Wars fandom, such extremism is toxic, unwarranted, and unwelcome. When it comes to Star Wars, it didn’t seem to always be this way. Ewoks were a ridiculous, marketing money-grab addition to the franchise’s lore, but I don’t recall anyone calling for George Lucas to face an untimely death over it back in 1983.
There’s no question that the advent of the Internet and relative anonymity of social media is likely to blame for the toxicity that’s permeated Star Wars fandom as of late. With little fear of repercussion, so-called fans can fire when ready, and fire at will, with unnecessary vitriol and blatant, despicable hate.
Don’t like Rose Tico? Perhaps try expressing your opinions of Rose thusly, instead of issuing death threats:
The Rose character felt contrived, and unnecessary. If the purpose of her character was to further Finn’s arc from self-preservationist to altruistic hero, then that purpose was undermined with the single line “That’s how we are going to win. Not fighting what we hate, but saving what we love”, which she utters just after preventing Finn from doing just that.
Actors aren’t their characters, people. We need to be better. Be better.