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John Boyega, Black Lives Matter, and the Toxicity of the Star Wars Fandom

Above is the passionate speech given by Star Wars sequel trilogy, Pacific Rim 2, Attack the Block, and Detroit star John Boyega at Hyde Park in the wake of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.  

Prior to this, John took to his personal Twitter feed, and he lambasted racists, and rightfully so. Of course, he was met by criticism on his feed by fragile-hearted Star Wars fanboys that make up among the most toxic fandoms in science fiction.

These are the same so-called fans whose sexism forced series lead, Daisy Ridley, off social media. These are the same toxic racists that ran the amazing Kelly Marie Tran off social media and–I still insist–led to her character’s limited presence in The Rise of Skywalker.

The Last Jedi should have been the coming-out party for an amazing career in Hollywood for Kelly Marie Tran. Rose was the hero of The Last Jedi, and these ignorant garbage cans could not handle an Asian woman being a hero. 

Hell, some of these same “people” were mad that Boyega was playing a former Stormtrooper saying that “Stormtroopers can’t be black.”

However, the toxic Star Wars fandom wasn’t just on Twitter. A Star Wars group I was in on Facebook suffered from the same toxicity, misogyny, and racism. I would love to put them on blast, but unfortunately, I cannot remember the group name because I quit it so fast it made my head spin.

This group housed a post in which an individual decided that he was going to bash Mark Hamill for standing up for John Boyega, calling him a “left-wing nut.” Another individual said, “Oh I used to like Mark but now he’s a SJW and I hate that!” The remarks got worse and worse from there.  

As a black man, I hate watching Star Wars movies anymore. Not just because the quality has decreased from the Original Trilogy to the Prequel Trilogy to the Sequel Trilogy, but I hate watching these movies and being a “fan” because I’m associated with these toxic, racist, sexist degenerates that fester in the fandom. These human beings, and I use the term loosely, trying to put people on blast for standing up for the rights of people of color and women just go to show that they completely and utterly miss the point of the series as a whole. So, let me say it for them right now, and I apologize to the intelligent readers of this that don’t need this explanation. 

The Rebel Alliance? Luke Skywalker. Han Solo. Princess/General Leia Organa. Lando Calrissian. Chewbacca. Obi-Wan Kenobi. They are Antifa. They are liberal. They are social justice warriors. They are fighting against fascism. They are fighting against xenophobia, racism, and social injustice.  

The Empire? Darth Vader. The Emperor. Grand Moff Tarkin. They are the fascists. They are the villains. They are the bad guys. They are the racists. They are the xenophobic, so-called “elite”.  

When you cheered for Luke Skywalker blowing up the Death Star with the one-in-a-million shot in that exhaust port? You were cheering for a liberal. Hell, you cheered for a liberal each time the Death Star was destroyed.  

I’m burned out on Star Wars. I truly am. The fans have killed it for me. I do not want to be lumped into such a fandom that has gone from being silly and unpleasable to outright bigoted. It is hard to ignore the hatred spewed by the fandom each time a cast member stands up for an issue that’s near and dear to them. These people remind me of a conservative news host–whose name I will not mention because it makes me feel disgusting–who told Le’Bron James and Kevin Durant to “shut up and dribble” when they spoke out against injustice but turned around and defended Drew Brees when he caught flack for his comments about standing for the anthem.  

How can you support a film franchise and miss the point of it so utterly? How can you cheer for one thing on screen, and then go into your real life and be against that ideal? I swear, this makes me want to completely renounce Star Wars and go to Star Trek. Problem is I probably would and be disappointed there as well.   

So, what’s the overall answer? Just shut up and enjoy the films that were a huge staple of my childhood and ignore the gunk of ugly and evil? Or should I just separate myself from it so completely that I scrub Star Wars out of my mind completely? A Star Wars exorcism if you will? 

Well to quote the great Michael Bolton. No. Not that one. “No way. Why should I change? He’s the one who sucks!” 

Screw those toxic pieces of trash. I call to all of the TRUE Star Wars fans that are not racist. That are not misogynists, homophobic, transphobic, or xenophobic to continue to call out the disgusting dredges that have stolen our fandom for their own disgusting means. When you see these people on social media ruining The Saga, call them out. And band together. When you see ten Dark Side wielders going about their toxicity, band together and fight. Positivity can overcome negativity.

We need to work together to do this. We need to work together to protect those that entertain us from those that attempt to ruin this for all of us. So maybe, just maybe I should not have left the group. But I will put my money where my mouth is. If I see the toxic negativity on Star Wars boards, I will fight back. Hell, I will start MY OWN Star Wars group. And we will fight the negative. I stand WITH John Boyega. I stand WITH Daisy Ridley. I stand WITH Kelly Marie Tran. I stand WITH each and every one that has ever been in Star Wars that have used their celebrity to fight for positive social change.  

Are you with me? Are you with me?! ARE YOU WITH ME?! 

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1 comment on “John Boyega, Black Lives Matter, and the Toxicity of the Star Wars Fandom

  1. afstewart

    I don’t get these idiots. I like the actors and the characters in the new movies. John Boyega stood up for what was right and that’s admirable. I’m betting none of those toxic fans would have that much courage.

    Like

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