Behind the scenes of 'Star Wars: The Acolyte'
(Disney+)

Racist ‘Star Wars’ Fans Can’t Handle ‘The Acolyte’ Creator Speaking the Truth

A woman talking about gross Star Wars fans? Oh boy, here come the reply guys. The Acolyte creator Leslye Headland was talking to The New York Times with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy when they began talking about the dark side of Star Wars fandom.

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Kennedy was talking about the male-dominated fan base, to which I will say it isn’t really male-dominated; they’re just the ones who sit online and complain about women and are loud. But Kennedy was talking about the sexist and racist attacks stars have faced in the past. Daisy Ridley was bullied off of social media, Kelly Marie Tran was relentlessly attacked, John Boyega faced racist remarks, and more recently, Star Wars had to come out and defend both Moses Ingram and The High Republic Show host Krystina Arielle against the racist attacks they were receiving online.

It has been a thing in this fan base, fueled by angry men behind their keyboards who rarely show their actual faces online. They are pushed to do so by their own bigotry and hatred, and it doesn’t really make sense that so-called “fans” of Star Wars have that in their hearts. The entire franchise is about fighting against the oppressors, and yet, here we are. Headland used this moment to talk about how she recognizes that being upset with past Star Wars stories is fine, but those racist and hateful fans are not “fans” in her eyes.

“As a fan myself, I know how frustrating some Star Wars storytelling in the past has been. I’ve felt it myself,” she said. “I stand by my empathy for Star Wars fans. But I want to be clear. Anyone who engages in bigotry, racism or hate speech … I don’t consider a fan.”

And the replies from so-called fans are … as expected.

The angry people she called out aren’t happy

You’d think saying, “Hey, if you’re racist or sexist, you aren’t a fan of Star Wars in my eyes,” wouldn’t be a controversial statement, and yet, the replies to this are … horrid. One reply said, “Ironically this is bigoted racist hate speech against fans.” Make that make sense! (You can’t.)

The reality is that people just want to hate and scream when they’re not watching a story with a white straight man at the center of it. They cite their love of Princess Leia as a reason they aren’t sexist, or their love of Lando as an excuse for racism. But then they complain about characters like Rey or Finn existing in the franchise. Why? Because they don’t have a white man to see themselves in, so they feel the need to be gross about it.

You’d think that a simple statement of “hey, if you’re racist, you’re not really a fan!” would be just … not that controversial, and yet, here we are. Some of the replies are claiming that by saying this, Headland and Kennedy are trying to stop criticism of the show from happening. Sorry if your criticism is about women and POC characters existing in Star Wars, but that’s not criticism. That’s just bigotry.

So, in short, Headland is right. If you are racist, sexist, homophobic, or just a person who hates to see characters that aren’t male or straight or white at the center of Star Wars, I don’t think you’re a fan of this franchise.


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.