The Last Jedi has been a source of debate among Star Wars fans since its debut almost six months ago. Half a year has passed yet longtime Star Wars followers still have very polarized opinions about the eighth film. They have been very vocal; so vocal that they have driven one of the breakthrough actresses off of social media.
Kelly Marie Tran, the actress playing resistance fighter Rose Tico, has deleted all of her posts from Instagram earlier this week. No official statement has been released as to the actress’ decision. However, Tran has received sustained harassment from Star Wars fans since the premiere of The Last Jedi. While there were Star Wars fans that criticized her character, some have gone so far as casting personal attacks against the actress.
Tran’s The Last Jedi crew mates have since spoken out about her decision to leave social media. In a tweet sent out yesterday, The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson expressed his disappointment over how some Star Wars fans have voiced out their opinions regarding the eighth movie.
According to the director, there are fans who didn’t like his movie but their comments still had respect and humor:
“On social media a few unhealthy people can cast a big shadow on the wall, but over the past 4 years I’ve met lots of real fellow SW fans. We like & dislike stuff but we do it with humor, love & respect. We’re the VAST majority, we’re having fun & doing just fine”
On social media a few unhealthy people can cast a big shadow on the wall, but over the past 4 years I’ve met lots of real fellow SW fans. We like & dislike stuff but we do it with humor, love & respect. We’re the VAST majority, we’re having fun & doing just fine. https://t.co/yhcShg5vdJ
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) June 5, 2018
Johnson’s tweet was met with more combative comments about The Last Jedi. On the same thread, twitter user @Nairohpue, pushed back saying that trolling isn’t the same as critiquing and having an opinion:
“Critique and showing dislike against something is “trolling”? Good tactic. Whatever makes you sleep at night.”
Firing back, Johnson slams @Nairohpue arguing that there is a difference between commenting and harassing a person off of social media:
“Done with this disingenuous bullshit. You know the difference between not liking a movie and hatefully harassing a woman so bad she has to get off social media. And you know which of those two we’re talking about here.”
Johnson isn’t the only The Last Jedi crew member who has fired back against these so called trolls. Joonas Suotamo, the actor who took over playing Chewbacca from Peter Mayhew, urged fans to be better. The actor and former basketball player explained that it is a choice to participate in hate:
“I hope we all realize that we can choose not to be a part of the divisive and hateful discourse that permeates our culture today. The change starts from YOU.”
I hope we all realize that we can choose not to be a part of the divisive and hateful discourse that permeates our culture today. The change starts from YOU. pic.twitter.com/6v7epmWlET
— Joonas Suotamo (@JoonasSuotamo) June 5, 2018
Despite the controversy, the ninth installment of Star Wars is scheduled to be released next year. J.J. Abrams has been tapped to direct the upcoming movie. Adam Driver, John Boyega, and Daisy Ridley have confirmed to return to the franchise. The production is scheduled to commence in July.