If there’s one thing anyone who has ever seen a Star Wars movie (or even heard of one, really) knows, it’s that it’s a classic tale about the rise of Nazi-like fascism under a very powerful, very charred dude who derives his strength from anger and hatred, and (spoiler alert) its eventual overthrow by a cohort of rebels who believe in the power of good.
Apparently, though, this extremely basic fact is news to white supremacists on the internet, who appear to think that Darth Vader is the hero in Star Wars. After noticing that the cast of Rogue One, the upcoming installation of the Star Wars franchise, happens to include quite a few brown folks and women in it, they have been feeling really attacked and have—you guessed it—started calling for a boycott of Star Wars.
This stuff has been going since at least August, when the trailer for the movie came out. As Raw Story reported, a neo-Nazi site called InfoStormer immediately denounced the movie as “another Jew masturbation fantasy of anti-white hatred.”
Then, two days after Donald Trump’s election, Rogue One screenwriter Chris Weitz tweeted, “Please note that the Empire is a white supremacist (human) organization,” to which Gary Whitta, another writer who worked on the script, responded, “Opposed by a multi-cultural group led by brave women.” Weitz deleted his tweet, but tweeted another picture of the Rebel Alliance donning a safety pin, the (for-white-people-by-white-people) symbol of solidarity with those who will be directly affected by Donald Trump’s rhetoric.
His point was pretty clear. But also, the idea that the “Dark Side” was a very thinly veiled metaphor for Nazism has been pretty clear for the last nearly four decades. John Mollo based Darth Vader’s headgear on Nazi helmets. It’s on the fucking Star Wars website! Like, come on.
The funny thing is that this safety pin tweet—the most generic, empty form of performative allyship possible—is what got everyone riled up. Cue the feeble attempts at a boycott! (Because it really worked on Kellogg’s and Hamilton.)
And of course, as most of these things go, there was a #DumpStarWars backlash that quickly outdid the actual hashtag…