Somewhere out there, in a galaxy far, far away there’s a place where women of color can exist within the Star Wars universe (or really exist in general) without toxic fanboys going out of their way to hate on them with the passion and power of the binary suns. The Star Wars franchise has made their anti-racism stance very clear after Emmy-nominated actor Moses Ingram revealed that she had received numerous racist messages and comments on social media in response to her character, Reva, in the newest Disney+ original series Obi-Wan Kenobi.
The decades-long franchise went to Twitter, the go-to spot for comment wildfire, to speak up in defense of the actor (who plays their newest character, Reva, AKA, the Third Sister). “If anyone intends to make her feel in any way unwelcome, we have only one thing to say: we resist,” the Star Wars account tweeted. In continuity with their original thought they added, “There are more than 20 million sentient species in the Star Wars galaxy, don’t choose to be a racist.”
We are proud to welcome Moses Ingram to the Star Wars family and excited for Reva’s story to unfold. If anyone intends to make her feel in any way unwelcome, we have only one thing to say: we resist. pic.twitter.com/lZW0yvseBk
— Star Wars (@starwars) May 31, 2022
A tale as old as time, the real nail in the coffin of the toxic Star Wars fandom was the voice of a white man — Ewan McGregor. Yes, Obi-Wan Kenobi himself also took his sentiments to the Star Wars Twitter account with a video praising Ingram as a “brilliant actor.”
“However, it seems that some of the fanbase — from this influential fanbase — have decided to attack Moses Ingram online and send her the most horrendous, racist DMs and I heard some of them this morning and it just broke my heart. Moses is a brilliant actor, she’s a brilliant woman, and she’s absolutely amazing in the series. She brings so much to the series, she brings so much to the franchise, and it just sickened me to my stomach to hear that this had been happening. I just want to say as the leading actor in the series, as the executive producer on the series, that we stand with Moses, we love Moses, and if you’re sending her bullying messages — you’re no Star Wars fan in my mind. There’s no place for racism in this world and I totally stand with Moses.”
A personal message from Ewan McGregor. pic.twitter.com/rJSDmj663K
— Star Wars (@starwars) June 1, 2022
In her Instagram stories, Ingram posted a video saying, “There’s nothing anybody can do about this. There’s nothing anybody can do to stop this hate. The thing that bothers me is … this feeling of like, I just gotta shut up and take it, I just have to grin and bear it. And I’m not built like that,” she continued. “Thank you to the people who show up for me in the comments and in the places that I’m not going to put myself. And to the rest of y’all, y’all weird.”
This isn’t the first time toxic Star Wars fans have come for a person of color in the franchise. Actors John Boyega and Kelly Marie Tran from the Star Wars sequels have also experienced similar bouts of racism from the fanbase. In the trailer for 2015’s The Force Awakens, some people were outraged by the idea of a Black stormtrooper.
In 2018, Tran wrote an op-ed in The New York Times about her experience with the constant online bullying she received after her performance in 2017’s The Last Jedi, with a follow-up in 2021 titled “I’m Not Afraid Anymore,” where she highlights her then upcoming project Raya and the Last Dragon.
A dark reminder that you can be cast in one of the most culturally pivotal franchises in cinema history AND be an Emmy-nominated actor, but all toxic fans will ever see is your skin color. It doesn’t help that Disney as a whole is taking a series of Ls nowadays.
Photo via Matt Kennedy/Lucasfilm