The Star Wars franchise has faced some challenges in recent years, largely related to the depiction of diverse characters in the sequel trilogy — Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015), Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017), and Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019).
First, Rose Tico actress Kelly Marie Tran noted that she left social media and sought therapy following Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi backlash:
“I think we met [Tran and Jannah actress, Naomi Ackie] and immediately sort of hit it off and sort of talked about all of the struggles of being people who did not grow up in privileged backgrounds, very new to this industry, what that meant, what we would be dealing with. And I think the biggest thing that sort of came from that was making sure that you don’t become isolated or silent about the things that you’re dealing with.”
Then, main character actor John Boyega — who played ex-stormtrooper Finn in the final Skywalker Saga trilogy’s main trio alongside Daisy Ridley (Rey) and Oscar Isaac (Resistance pilot Poe Dameron) — spoke out about feeling sidelined as a Black character in Star Wars.
Most recently, Star Wars newcomer Moses Ingram (Reva/Third Sister) has found herself the victim of racist comments online. Ingram made her debut in a galaxy far, far away in Deborah Chow’s Obi-Wan Kenobi series, which will air its penultimate Season 1 episode this week.
Now, Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader) has spoken out about how Star Wars fans have treated Ingram on social media, and he has admitted that the fandom needs to do better. The prequel trilogy alum told Entertainment Tonight:
“I’ve heard a little bit about that [the racism] and, obviously, it really saddens me. I think the world of Moses. She’s not only a lovely person and human being but an incredibly talented actress.”
“The first time I saw the first couple of episodes, I was blown away by her performance and just thought that the subtleties and nuances that she brought to this character were there and really impressive,” Christensen added. “So, I mean, I hope by the end of the series, people are coming around. I think she’s done a great job and I think [Reva] is an important character and people will come to realize that.”
Despite the unfortunate situation Ingram has found herself dealing with, Obi-Wan Kenobi has been largely well-received by the often fickle Star Wars community. Vivian Lyra Blair, who is portraying 10-year-old Princess Leia Organa, has been a particularly big hit. The young actress is a dead ringer for Carrie Fisher in her youth, making her portrayal of the precocious little royal even more believable.
The show is set approximately ten years after the events of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005).
In addition to McGregor and Christensen, Bonnie Piesse and Joel Edgerton reprise their prequel roles as Luke Skywalker’s Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen Lars, while newcomers like Moses Ingram, Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma (Tala), Rupert Friend (the Grand Inquisitor), O’Shea Jackson Jr., and Sung Kang (Fifth Brother) have joined the Star Wars story for the first time.
What do you think about social media’s treatment of Moses Ingram?