Hate group and Star Wars fandom terrorist organization “Give Us Legends” has taken credit for the harassment and trolling of Kelly Marie Tran, forcing her to give up on her Instagram account earlier in the week. The group uses the language of terror to conduct “spoiler Jihads” and attempts to unite disenfranchised dregs to their cause of attacking progressive stories from Lucasfilm and to ensure a happy Star Wars fanbase cannot exist online. The group is radically against diversity, feminism (aka the belief in the equality of the sexes), and most of all, in a prolonged tantrum, they want Star Wars books published a long time ago to be canonized. It should be noted that this group is not the only “Give Us Legends” group and not all of them are behaving like “Legends” group in the picture below titled Down With Disney’s Treatment of Franchises and its Fanboys.
This group believes it succeeded in its targeted harassment of Daisy Ridley and Kelly Marie Tran, the stars of the current Star Wars sequel trilogy. In order to do this it relied on racial slurs, sexist comments, dehumanizing language, and just about every form of targeted harassment you can imagine.
The “Give Us Legends” statement:
This hate group’s actions have caused many in the mainstream media to ask “What the hell is wrong with Star Wars fans?” These are not Star Wars fans. This isn’t us. These are politically motivated bad actors using the platform that is fandom to wage a culture war they lost a long time ago. You don’t want black people in Star Wars? That happened, has happened, and will continue to happen. You don’t want female leads in Star Wars? Too late, it already happened. They’re about to finish a trilogy about a young woman Jedi and there’s already been a spin-off film to pick up that same angle with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I believe these hate groups know this and the movement is actually about the real world rather than the imagined ones.
The most peculiar thing about this group is that they are fighting “wars” they already lost. They can’t win because there is absolutely no way to win. There is no way their aims and goals can be achieved. The day Lucasfilm announced the old Expanded Universe was dead and became “Legends” it was over. Is Disney just going to stop everything and announce they’re starting over, all the way over to 1991? That’s an insane notion from a weak and confused mind.
However, let’s be real here: this isn’t about Star Wars. It really isn’t even about “fandom.” This is about a cultural friction the entire country is feeling right now and it is simply playing out in the microcosm of Star Wars and this fandom. The politics and the aftermath of the 2016 election has emboldened these types of monsters to become active. They aren’t rallying together with white sheets over their heads like the cowards of old; they’re hiding behind the anonymity of the internet and the keyboard. Very rarely will you see one of these hate-spewing accounts use their real names or their likeness on social media platforms.
While a little different but ultimately united in their goals, this is not unlike the seriously misguided “Soylo” movement in which a white nationalist believed that progressive or liberal men are consuming too much soy in their diet making them into “sissies.” Soy contains estrogen so for whatever reason they think this means it feminizes men. They are so offended by the notion because to them femininity is bad never mind that the hormone is not the same thing in this instance.
Hilariously the “Soylo” types started this protest against Solo: A Star Wars Story because they were unhappy with the final outcome of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. That’s right, they decided to boycott the first white male lead driven Star Wars film in the modern era to protest the female lead films of the previous years. One would think if Disney cared they would decode the entire movement to mean “less white dude leads and more ladies in charge because those ones made more money for us.” But hey, that’s the world we live in now. These hateful “boycotters” believe Disney bows before the mighty dollar sign. But the recent cancellation of Roseanne shows us that isn’t true.
What are we going to do? The days of “don’t feed the trolls” is gone. The trolls are here and they always will be. We’ve let them hurt the things we love by letting them run free, out of sight, out of mind. But the truth is we’ve let Kelly Marie Tran and Daisy Ridley down. A message has been sent that these harassment tactics work and if you believe the credit that post above is taking for it is true, it has become serialized harrassment. To them it says if you don’t like something from the creators and the participants of a Star Wars film, harass them until they quit the internet. It won’t change a damn thing behind the scenes but it will rob real Star Wars fans of their access to the talent involved and make everything a little less special. They take pleasure in knowing they’ve caused metal distress to those that are making the films we all love.
I don’t know exactly what you can do specifically. I might not know you. But it is clear that we cannot let these people take over YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms. We can’t let them push out the good players and replace them with their bad players. YouTube is lost right now. The amount of videos being created on that platform that really cherish Star Wars is vastly outnumbered by politically motivated groups wanting to see “men’s rights” play out in the galaxy far, far away. I suggest making content yourself from a perspective of love and enthusiasm. There are more of us who embrace diversity and progressive thought than them and their videos rarely showcase any talent anyone with a little moxie and Google can’t compete with. Make content and do not look the other way when you encounter hate speech, the denial of sexism and racism in the community, and let it be known this is not what Star Wars stands for or believes in.
Can you imagine Luke Skywalker in the original trilogy, the Legends books, the new books, the old comics, the new comics, or in any incarnation condoning the bullying of an actor? Can you imagine Luke Skywalker being intimidated by women in power? The films have only shown us the opposite. Can you imagine a creator sending condolences to a family that lost a child and then a guy pops in to say he hates that last film and somewhere Han Solo nods in humble approval? You can’t. Heroes don’t do these sorts of things. Villains do. The villains of reality aren’t ever as cool as the fake ones with laser swords and capes. They’re people who make the world worse. They’re people who want to kill something that brings joy to so many people in such a dark time. Ultimately, they want to exclude rather than include. If they have their way, the movies and the fandom will be just a bunch of white men. I like white men (I’m one myself). But I’m not so devoid of talent that I fear diversity, equality, competition, a level playing field, or the most interesting people the world has to offer.
I watch the new Star Wars films with my little girl and my little boy. The new films truly have something for everyone in the family. My daughter identifies with and loves Rey and my son thinks Poe, Finn, and Kylo Ren are the neatest heroes. The perspective these hate groups are taking is because they’re not seeing Star Wars for the series it is. They’re bringing their real world baggage and hate into it and they’re channeling that hate into our fan communities and it has to stop.
Lucasfilm doesn’t police us. There’s no community manager. Every now and then we’ll get a statement from an author or a director about how they personally feel about something and that’s great. But there’s not a community manager to help mitigate the hate and harassment. For a few moments I considered it might be a good idea. But then I thought about it and the truth is, we would all reject that person. Very quickly they would be too active or not active enough. They would be too conservative or too liberal or not perfect enough. It is up to us to say enough and stand up to hate speech and the sexism. You have to do what our heroes would do but through nonviolent means. They cannot control the discourse.
I encourage you all to fill the Star Wars community with inclusiveness, kindness and openness. Make Star Wars content in the spirit of the ideals George Lucas laid down for us to enjoy a long time ago… Do not justify or condone exclusionary behavior. If a person is doing or saying something he/she wouldn’t do or say in real life, it is wrong. If Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Obi-Wan Kenobi would frown upon it, they’re not doing something you should passively allow. If you’re focusing on the negative too much, stop, chill out, do something else and focus on what you love. This is supposed to be fun.
We cannot blow up their Death Star. We can’t Holdo the hell out of their Mega Star Destroyer. But we can drown them out. We can show the bullied that we don’t condone their treatment by these bad actors. We can express the values passed on to us from the Star Wars films and make sure it is known that we reject values in direct opposition to those of our Jedi heroes. Diversity and inclusiveness define everything about Star Wars and as fans of it, it should define us too.
Update: The Facebook group taking credit for the harassment has been deleted by Facebook. It required the community to report the page. Many diligent community members received responses back from Facebook saying the page was not in violation of their terms of service, even though it was. Eventually a responsible Facebook employee evaluated the harassing group and deemed it worthy of being closed. The group has vowed to pop right back up. When they do, the community must once again have it closed if and when they continue their targeted harassment.