Happy Star Wars Day, everyone! Another year goes by when we’re blessed with more Star Wars movies. This year is something special because we are going less than half a year between them. We get Solo: A Star Wars Story later this month and Star Wars: The Last Jedi just last December.
It’s been an interesting 2018 to be a Star Wars fan. Some of us newer to the party than others, but social media continues to be a fascinating way to connect with other fans to discuss the series we all love so much. You can make friends on Twitter and meet up at a convention at another date like I did back at Star Wars Celebration last year.
However, while we are getting more Star Wars content than ever right now, the discourse has gotten louder and more dramatic too. The Last Jedi was a contentious movie among fans and has remained contentious in the coming months. It seems a day can’t go by without someone on your social media feed getting angry about the movie for whatever reason. Now, this is not an article talking about why the angry people are wrong. There is no wrong way to have an opinion one way or another, because it is all subjective. This is an article about how to agree to disagree without crossing the line.
One of the benefits (or downsides in this case) of social media is that it brings us closer to our favorite actors and directors than ever. Mark Hamill is very active on Twitter, and, going into The Last Jedi, director Rian Johnson is also very active. He remains active even though Twitter has turned into some sort of hellscape for him from which there is no escape.
There is nothing wrong with disliking the The Last Jedi. There is nothing wrong with having an extreme reaction to The Last Jedi. What there is a problem with is the disconnect some fans seem to have with social media. There is a person just like you behind that Twitter profile and, as seen in the documentary The Director and the Jedi, Johnson runs his own Twitter account. The constant barrage tweeted directly at the director is not needed. There are plenty of ways to get your opinion out there without tagging Johnson directly.
Then there are the death threats. We live in a world where it has, somehow, become far too commonplace for people to receive death threats over everything from having an opinion to being in a movie or television show. This needs to stop. There is never a reason to threaten a creator with death or violence even if you think you can get away with it because “it’s just Twitter”. It’s not just Twitter; these are real people, and this idea that it’s okay to send death threats, threats to violence, or telling someone to go kill themselves is okay because it’s the internet needs to stop.
We have all put a lot of our identities into the things that we like, and it can feel world-ending when something disrupts that. It’s not, though, and sometimes we need to take a step back and relax a little. It’s fine to dislike a thing — it’s fine to dislike the Disney era of movies — but the harassment toward actors or people in charge needs to stop. Have a grievance to air? Make a blog, post it to Twitter, but stop directly tagging the people involved.
Star Wars fans are incredibly passionate and can achieve so much good when they are focused. It’s time to focus less on grievances and more on doing good in the name of our fandom and welcoming new fans with open arms.
Summary: During an adventure into a dark criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his future copilot Chewbacca and encounters Lando Calrissian years before joining the Rebellion.
Solo: A Star Wars Story, directed by Ron Howard, stars Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Woody Harrelson, and Thandie Newton. It will be released May 25th.