Unbridled rage at Star Wars IX

Malcolm Durfee O'Brien, editor-in-chief

It seemed like Disney had gotten its act together. Where once the whitest human beings imaginable filled their films’ screens, brown and black faces have begun to claim their rightful place. Where once Disney undermined stories that promoted female empowerment, they subverted the old tropes and empowered the previously twodimensional characters. “Black Panther” and “Lion King” seemed like Disney was finally breaking out of the white boys’ club of Hollywood and promoting diversity. How foolish a thing to think. 

Then, “The Rise of Skywalker” came out and eviscerated any hopes that Disney would be pushing for the representation Hollywood so desperately needs. The new trilogy started out wholly focused on addressing the lack of diversity and the frequent misogynistic overtones in Star Wars. Characters portrayed by actors of color, such as John Boyega, took center stage where the aggressively white characters of the past stood, and female actors, like Daisy Ridley, took the role of the Luke Skywalker figure. This looked like Star Wars would finally reflect the people who watch it. 

“The Rise of Skywalker” is a film written for white supremacist misogynists. After the release of the trilogy’s previous film, “The Last Jedi,” a section of Star Wars fans launched racist attacks on several of the stars with Kelly Marie Tran, who played the character Rose Tico, being forced off social media due to the hateful attacks being spewed at her online. These fans also attacked the film for portraying the female lead, Rey, as “too powerful” and that her powers “don’t make sense.” Because logic is so important in a movie about space wizards. Of course, their real problem is that a girl was using the space wizard powers, and not anything genuinely logical. 

Did Disney stand up for their abused actors? Did they shut these fans down? You already know the answer: it’s no. Instead, they bent to the whims of the racists and made a movie for them: a repulsive pornographic orgy of lasers and people doing stupid flips. Daisy Ridley’s character, Rey, the independent, powerful and likable female lead set up as the most powerful character in the franchise since Darth Vader, is turned from a great Jedi knight into a damsel in distress. This is all because of the racists who attacked the franchise, calling her “overpowered” in a movie about people who can shoot lightning out of their hand 

Kelly Marie Tran is entirely cut out of the movie because of racist attacks on her. Racist attacks that forced her off social media out of fear of physical violence against her, racist attacks that made her feel threatened. John Boyega’s Finn is turned into an incompetent fool who spends the whole time screaming nonsense. 

The only character from the new trilogy to not be turned into a weak shadow of their former self? The only white male character (who is also the villain), Kylo Ren. This character, who spent the previous two movies trying to stab Rey with a laser sword, is turned into her white knight who saves her from all harm. 

This is just to say white supremacy still dominates Hollywood and the fact Disney, a company that was the beacon of hope for equality in the movie industry, is bowing to racists is extremely disappointing. Do not see the new Star Wars movie (judging by its poor box office performance, few of you have, so that is a positive), do not enable Disney’s support for racism. The only way to make Disney and Hollywood recognize the need to expand representation is to make the movies that fail to address representation bomb, and the films that do address it succeed.