Not So Long Ago On a 4chan Thread Far, Far Away…
These days, it feels like everybody in the galaxy is just looking for an excuse to get upset. Turns out there are plenty of trolls out there to feed the flames.
Over the weekend, in the advent of the newest Star Wars Episode VII trailer, an anonymous Twitter user in the United Kingdom decided to claim that the upcoming movie is racist, overly PC, and anti-white. Several others chimed in for fun, then 4chan picked up the topic, and before they knew it, #BoycottStarWarsVII was one of the top trending hashtags on Twitter. The internet then proceeded to implode, Death Star style.
What started as the annoying handiwork of some trolls quickly led to global outrage, earning both its fair share of actual racists agreeing with the “boycott,” as well as an overwhelming backlash against the false hashtag from people who took it seriously. Classic internet. But the joke has gone on to serve two purposes:
First, it’s a great underlying criticism from one of the most famous and successful franchises of all time to point out that–alien races and cultures aside–there has never been much diversity among the movies’ “human” actors, especially not among the leads. Secondly, the hashtag has brought us some thorough entertainment to start off the week.
As the dumb, racist or bigoted tweets and Facebook posts started to flood in–regardless of whether or not they were jokes–people became more and more enraged at the idea that the beloved franchise could possibly offend anyone by including a black lead (John Boyega), or that white fragility could possibly be so real. So while some people went off on their own anti-racist-anti-troll rockers, other saviors of the internet came out of hiding in the Outer Rim to gloriously shut down the haters.
The first and most obvious comebacks kindly reminded any space-racists that the Star Wars universe has always been full of diversity: a menagerie of aliens, droids, Wookiees, Ewoks– heck, some of the most beloved characters in the franchise wouldn’t even have equal rights in the most developed countries of the world today.
And, less we forget, supporting characters like the charming smuggler-turned-rebel Lando Calrissian and senior Jedi councilmember Mace Windu were played by black actors (Billy Dee Williams and Samuel L. Jackson, respectively).
And, oh yeah, there’s that whole thing about the franchise’s most famous villain being voiced by James Earl Jones, a black actor. Plenty of tweets eagerly reminded any haters of this fact, assuring any doubters that a new black Jedi (Boyega) or Lupita Nyong’o as the space pirate Maz Kanata will in no way change or hurt the films. Then, there was this shocking reveal:
Space is black. Just imagine, an entire setting, an entire eternity that is all black! Incredible. Racists everywhere collapse in awe. Too funny. And let’s not forget about George Lucas’s second wife!
Take that, haters! One of the other best reactions trending pretty high on Twitter was some classic inter-franchise competition:
But the absolute best reaction we could find to the stupid #BoycottStarWarsVII movement, even better than J.J. Abrams basically telling people to shut it, was this threat of what the racist Star Wars fans out there should be forced to watch if they can’t accept the diversity of the newest movie. The horror:
ANYTHING BUT THAT!
Love how these Star Wars fans shut the haters down? Their backlash to the racist trolls even spawned the new hashtag #TheForceIsStrongerThanBigotry. Love it. SHARE this if you can’t wait for the new movie!