The bullying controversy surrounding Star Wars: The Last Jedi star Kelly Marie Tran has now attracted Star Wars actor Hayden Christensen’s attention. He has responded to the situation by saying that the actress should ignore her vocal haters. Tran played the role of Rose Tico in 2017’s Episode VIII, becoming the first minority woman to play a major role in the franchise.
However, this didn’t work out well for Tran who got targeted by a number of anti-Disney group of trolls. It’s a group dedicated to a serious, coordinated online harassment campaign to fight against what they believe is Disney’s mission to cater to progressive politics. This group points out at Disney’s choices of casting minorities like Tran and John Boyega in leading roles. Their use of extreme hatred and threats eventually forced Tran to remove all her posts from Instagram in June.
However, Tran even published an essay in the New York Times where she clarified that the reason why she left social media was because fans took it to offensive extremes. She stated that what she went through after reading those comments made her feel utterly disappointed and having realised the importance of her position.
“It wasn’t their words, it’s that I started to believe them,” Tran wrote. “Their words seemed to confirm what growing up as a woman and a person of color already taught me: that I belonged in margins and spaces, valid only as a minor character in their lives and stories.
“That feeling, I realize now, was, and is, shame, a shame for the things that made me different, a shame for the culture from which I came from. And to me, the most disappointing thing was that I felt it at all.”
She even vowed to never give up again.
“You might know me as Kelly,” Tran concluded. “I am the first woman of color to have a leading role in a Star Wars movie. I am the first Asian woman to appear on the cover of Vanity Fair. My real name is Loan. And I am just getting started.”
Actor Christensen has also been subjected to intense fan hatred for his roles in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and Revenge of The Sith. The actor did bounce back among the fandom with Star Wars Celebrations last year with George Lucas.
“I don’t know if I have any advice for that, but just, you know, don’t take it too seriously, because unfortunately [bullies] are the ones that make the most noise,” Christensen said to Entertainment Tonight. “But the majority of the people don’t feel that way, so, keep that in mind.”
Even Mark Hamill praised her essay and offer her support through a post on Twitter.
“I said it before & I’ll say it again: WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE?” Hamill wrote. “I love you, Loan… we don’t deserve you & you ARE just getting started.”
Trans will again appear as Rose Tico in Star Wars: Episode IX, that is scheduled to premiere in December 2019.