The Star Wars franchise is one of the most beloved and iconic in the world. However, in recent years, the fandom has become increasingly toxic, with some fans resorting to personal attacks and harassment against those who enjoy the Disney era of Star Wars.
One of the most common targets of this toxicity is Rey, the female protagonist of the sequel trilogy.
Some fans have labeled Rey a "Mary Sue," a term used to describe a fictional character who is too perfect and lacks flaws. However, this criticism is often based on sexist stereotypes about female characters, and it ignores the fact that Rey has a clear character arc and undergoes significant development throughout the films.
In addition to personal attacks, toxic fans have also trolled those who enjoy the Disney era of Star Wars. This has included sending death threats, posting hateful comments on social media, and even doxing people. This behavior is not only unacceptable, but it is also harmful to the Star Wars fandom as a whole.
It is important to remember that not all Star Wars fans are toxic. However, the behavior of a small minority has created a climate of fear and intimidation that is making it difficult for people to enjoy the franchise. This is a problem that needs to be addressed, and it is up to all Star Wars fans to create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone.
Data and Examples
A 2018 study by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media found that 42% of Star Wars fans had experienced harassment or abuse online, and that 23% of those who had been harassed had been targeted because of their gender. The study also found that women were more likely than men to be harassed or abused online, and that they were more likely to be targeted for their opinions on Star Wars.
In 2017, actress Kelly Marie Tran, who played Rose Tico in The Last Jedi, deleted all of her Instagram posts after being subjected to a wave of racist and sexist abuse from Star Wars fans. Tran's experience is just one example of the harassment and abuse that women and people of color face in the Star Wars fandom.
What Can Be Done?
There are a number of things that can be done to address the problem of toxic fans in the Star Wars fandom. First, it is important to call out this behavior when we see it. We should not tolerate harassment or abuse, and we should speak out against it whenever possible. Second, we need to create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for all Star Wars fans. This means being respectful of other people's opinions, even if we disagree with them. It also means being mindful of the language we use, and avoiding sexist and racist stereotypes.
Finally, we need to hold the platforms that host Star Wars discussions accountable for the content that is allowed on their sites. These platforms need to take steps to prevent harassment and abuse, and they need to take action against those who violate their terms of service.
The Star Wars fandom is a large and diverse community, and it is important that we all work together to create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone. By calling out toxic behavior, creating a more respectful space, and holding platforms accountable, we can make the Star Wars fandom a place where everyone feels welcome.