Rose Tico Last Jedi

Star Wars Weekly: The toxic fandom problem and Solo's marketing

Contributed by
Jun 8, 2018

Time again for Star Wars Weekly, the SYFY WIRE series that rounds up the most important news of the week from a galaxy far, far away. Think of us as your own personal Star Wars Holocron.

KELLY MARIE TRAN AND TOXIC FANDOM

Kelly Marie Tran was a delight in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. She's a delight in real life. And ever since she entered the world of Star Wars, she's been facing all manner of abuse from fans, some of it rooted in entitlement, some of it rooted in racism, and some of it rooted in sexism. In the week after the release of The Last Jedi, I took screencaps from Wookieepedia to show that racist vandals had been editing her entry. Newsweek even picked up that shocking story.

Over the months since the release of the film, she's been a breath of fresh air on Instagram, providing positivity to a world gone mad. Following her, it's been apparent that she gets a lot of this abuse on the regular. When her Instagram account vanished overnight, many assumed that it was because of the abuse she suffered. Who would blame her?

Fandom stepped up with positivity aimed directly at Kelly Marie Tran. The #FanArtForRose hashtag was born as the best parts of the Star Wars fandom showed up to try and drown out the voices of this ugly minority.

I think Mark Hamill had the best response, though:

Get a life, nerds, indeed.

CHUCK WENDIG WEIGHS IN

That leads into another story about toxic (overwhelmingly male) fandom in Star Wars. Chuck Wendig is a Star Wars author, having written three novels in the post-Return of the Jedi era. And he fell down a rabbit hole in this thread:

He pretty clearly takes you through the arguments of a very specific subset of fandom, but the toxic (again, almost exclusively male) parts of fandom seemed to feel he'd painted all of fandom with that broad brush. Some particularly unhinged and entitled fans even called upon Lucasfilm to muzzle Wendig because they were paying customers, positing that as a former creator of Star Wars, he needed to keep his mouth shut and take whatever abuse was hurled his way. It was heartwarming to see the broader community strike back at such absurdities.

SOLO'S MARKETING

Solo: A Star Wars Story, though pulling in box-office numbers that would be respectable for any other franchise, is still hoping to catch up to projections. Everyone is scratching their head, trying to figure out what went wrong. Was it a backlash against The Last Jedi? Was it Star Wars fatigue? Was it something else entirely?

Well, media analysts at Cowen did an intense analysis and found that it was the marketing. The window for marketing wasn't long enough and didn't do enough to sell people on Alden Ehrenreich's performance. You can read more about it here from SYFY WIRE.

As for me, I think the film is the little engine that could and word of mouth is only going to help. I'll be going to see it for my ninth time today to help even further.

BATTLEFRONT II: THE HAN SOLO SEASON

EA dropped a trailer for the new Solo content in Battlefront II. You'll get to fly Lando's Falcon, play as the Alden Ehrenreich version of Han Solo, and cruise around on Kessel.

The thing I was hoping for most in Solo content is absent, though: Enfys Nest. Doesn't she seem like the perfect sort of character to have in a game like this? I would also like to see the bio-mechanical version of Maul in there, too, just for good measure.

WRECK-IT RALPH 2

Disney released the trailer for the much-anticipated Wreck-It Ralph sequel this week, and Star Wars fans were in for a surprise.

Yup. Those are First Order stormtroopers, the Millennium Falcon, and everyone's favorite franchise well represented in the internet that Ralph is imminently going to break. Let's hope Ralph breaks many of those toxic Star Wars fans while he's in there.

THE JEDI ROBE PLOT HOLE?

Writer Dennis DiClaudia posited a fan theory on Twitter that Obi-Wan's Jedi robes on Tatooine were a plot hole in the Star Wars saga, given their prominence in the prequels.

His thread was interesting, but, ultimately I don't think the theory amounts to much and it fundamentally misunderstands what a plot hole is. It would be a plot hole if, say, Obi-Wan had never disengaged the tractor beams on the Death Star but the Falcon was still able to pull away. But the fact that Obi-Wan is wearing tattered clothes on a planet outside of the Republic and had limited contact with the Jedi, stayed largely to himself, and meditated in his hovel while masking his presence (see the Rebels episode “Twin Suns”) makes this much ado about nothing.

But I think I'll leave the last word with Matt Martin from the Lucasfilm Story Group:

It's still fun to think about, though.