On a day which should be all about excitement, frantic ticket-buying and trailer-anticipation trouble seemed to be brewing on the horizon of the Star Wars fandom. Earlier today some so-called “fans” started Tweeting the hashtag #BoycottStarWarsVII as a response to the apparent “anti-white” message of The Force Awakens. The original Tweeters took insult at the fact that the cast of the upcoming Sequel had not only one but multiple actors of colour, taking insult at the fact that appar
ently Star Wars isn’t just for white men.
At this point I would share some of the Tweets that started this hashtag but I genuinely find them too repulsive to give them any more attention than they’ve already had. This purely racist outcry against the amazingly diverse casting of the new Star Wars films is a shame because it drew attention to the Star Wars fandom for all the wrong reasons today. However, when going through the tag now most Tweets actually shame the hashtag itself, speaking out in favour of diversity and representation.
However, something beautiful did come out of this mess as well and that was a different hashtag, started by the brilliant Ava DuVernay herself, director of Selma.
#CelebrateStarWarsVII quickly spread across Twitter, spreading acceptance and joy at the same time. What the going viral of both of these hashtags has actually proven is that the Star Wars fandom at large is actually incredibly happy about the diversity in the recent Star Wars casting, whether it’s the cast of The Force Awakens or of Rogue One. Unlike any other franchise recently, Lucasfilm and Disney seem to be taking conscious steps to show that Star Wars is for everyone, male or female; black, Hispanic, Asian or white; etc. And with one Tweet just now JJ, BadRobot and Lucasfilm showed quite clearly on which side of this hashtag “dispute” they fall: