Dear “Star Wars” Fans: Stop Being Jerks

Matthew Loffhagen
Lucasfilm
(Photo: Lucasfilm)

“Star Wars” fans, I have a confession to make. It’s my fault Kelly Marie Tran has quit Instagram.

No, I’ve never harassed her (or, indeed, anyone else) on social media. For what it’s worth, I think she did a pretty fantastic job in “The Last Jedi”, especially considering the material she was given to work with.

Nevertheless, it’s my fault that Tran has had to step away from the internet. I’m to blame (at least in part) for the barrage of hate she’s received.

I’m culpable, and so is literally every other “Star Wars” fan on the planet.

Why? Because we have ignored the true message of the saga. We’ve allowed tyranny to reign, and we haven’t stood up for what’s right.

So, it’s time to have a talk. “Star Wars” fans, gather around.

Ready? Here we go:

STOP BEING JERKS.

It’s not that hard. Just stop being jerks. Stop reacting like whiny younglings every time something doesn’t go you way, or a movie fails to live up to your expectations.

“Star Wars” is like pizza and sex. Even if it’s not the best, it’s still pretty great.

It’s also like pizza and sex in that complaining about it on the internet is never a good idea.

We’re at a point now where there are more “bad” “Star Wars” movies than there are “good” ones.

There’s some debate about which are the “bad” and “good” ones, and that creates a lot of the problem here.

The Last Jedi Luke and Lightsaber
Source: Lucasfilm

I admit that I’m not entirely sold on the Disney “Star Wars” movies, but that doesn’t mean I think people who like them are wrong. Nevertheless, pointless arguments continue to rage about what constitutes a good “Star Wars” film, and sometimes, innocent actors are caught in the crossfire.

It’s significant that Mark Hamill hasn’t received a similar level of vitriol from his enraged audience. Plenty of people didn’t like Luke Skywalker’s characterization in the movie, but Hamill hasn’t been blamed for this.

It’s almost as if this is a deliberate attack on new players in “Star Wars”, rather than an actual result of unimpressive storytelling.

As much as I may not be on board with “The Last Jedi”, I really love how much good, engaging debate has been sparked by this movie.

Unfortunately, it’s also generated far, far too much mudslinging.

Or, poodooslinging if you want to be cute.

Why Hate New “Star Wars”?

I think that, more than being angry about this movie in the first place, people are angry about the movie being new. Of Disney daring to add something different to the canon.

This response is ultimately just not called for. Anyone who harasses anyone is a jerk, and I hate seeing “Star Wars” being used as the Flavor of the Week excuse for disgusting behavior.

So this being the case, why do I think it’s my fault that Kelly Marie Tran has suffered like this?

The Last Jedi Milennium Falcon
Source: Lucasfilm

Because I haven’t spoken out clearly enough. Because all “Star Wars” fans have not rallied together and demanded that the discourse surrounding our beloved franchise be more civil and amiable.

We need to let the haters know that their behavior is unacceptable. We need to stand together and dictate what constitutes inappropriate harassment.

Put simply, we need to call people out when they’re being jerks.

We need to form a Resistance, or a Rebel Alliance. We need to unite to root out hatred wherever it may live within our fandom.

We all share blame for what has been inflicted upon Kelly Marie Tran. Until we all get involved and start changing the way “Star Wars” fans behave, this kind of stupid, petty behavior will continue.

So, I say again, and I hope that you’ll join me in preaching this message:

“STAR WARS” FANS, STOP BEING JERKS!