Prior to the release of The Force Awakens, men's rights activists called for a boycott of the film, because apparently the concept of a female lead (who ended up being a lightsaber-wielding badass) was too much to bare. We can safely define that "boycott" as a failure, considering The Force Awakens became the highest grossing film in America — ever.
That mentality has appeared to inspire another group to attack the Star Wars franchise: Neo-Nazis. It seems the latest film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which comes out Dec. 16, is "anti-white" even though the lead in the film is white. Though perhaps it's also unsettling for some that the lead — like The Force Awakens — also happens to be a woman. This movement against Rogue One appears to stem from one of its writers, Chris Weitz, unleashing a barrage of negative tweets about President-elect Donald Trump.
It's led to the hashtag #DumpStarWars trending on Twitter. Here's a sampling of some of the harsh responses from users who want to boycott Rogue One.
Hmm, let's unpack that final tweet. While yes, not every film is inherently political, it intimates that Star Wars used to be fun entertainment without an underlying message. Have any of these people seen Star Wars?
George Lucas hasn't exactly been subtle about his inspiration for the Empire; the names of the minions who can't aim to save their life, Stormtroopers, is borrowed from a paramilitary wing of the Nazi party. Similarly, the militaristic uniforms of the Empire — like the imperial officers who operate their battle stations — are inspired by Nazis.
"The Nazis are basically the same costume as we used in the first film and they are designed to be very authoritarian, very empire-like," Lucas said, per StarWars.com.
If we want to dig into the Nazi symbolism even further, The Force Awakens and its new villainous entity, the First Order, echo imagery of the Third Reich. In one scene — prior to the destruction of the New Republic by the Starkiller Base — there are distinct parallels between General Hux's speech to the First Order and a Nazi rally in Nuremberg.
Politicizing its movies, and having a female lead (gasp!), hasn't hurt Star Wars in the past. The decades-long franchise is a multi-billion dollar cash cow for Disney, and every film in the main series features the Empire (aka Nazis) as the primary antagonist. If anything, the boycott specifically against Rogue One points to the idiocy of some of the supporters of the boycott.
On one hand, you have people who consider Rogue One the Star Wars film that finally brought politics into the conversation (it wasn't). On the other, the cast of Rogue One is certainly the most diverse the franchise has ever had, and if that's a negative, that says a lot more about the people who despise it than the film itself.
As for the effectiveness of the boycott? Rogue One is projected to gross around $130 million over its opening weekend, which would be the second-biggest debut ever for a December film release.
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