I love Star Wars. It’s one of my favorite things in the world.
Unfortunately, part of being a Black Star Wars fan means preparing yourself for the inevitable racist backlash anytime a non-white person gets a featured role in the films or TV series. The latest actor to find themselves under attack is Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Moses Ingram. In a scene-stealing performance, she plays Reva, one of Darth Vader’s Inquisitors.
Apparently, a Black woman with a lightsaber is just too much for some so-called “fans,” because Ingram has been inundated with racist messages since Reva’s debut. Thankfully, she’s also received plenty of support from real fans who just like the Star Wars universe and don’t feel a need to be asshole gatekeepers.
Ingram responded to the attacks in a video on Instagram where she shared screenshots of the posts and stated there were “hundreds of those.”
“I also see those of you out there who put on a cape for me, and that really does mean the world to me, because there’s nothing anybody can do about this,” she said. “There’s nothing anybody can do to stop this hate, so I question what my purpose is to be in front of you saying this is happening. I don’t really know. I think the thing that bothers me…is this feeling I’ve had inside of myself, which no one has told me, but this feeling that I’ve got to just shut up and take it. I just kind of gotta grin and bear it, and I’m not built like that. I really just wanted to come on and say thank you to the people who show up for me in the comments and places I’m not going to put myself, and to the rest of y’all, y’all weird.”
In a video posted to the official Star Wars and Obi-Wan Kenobi Twitter accounts, series star/executive producer Ewan McGregor also showed his support for Ingram.
“It seems that some of the fan base has decided to attack Moses Ingram online and send her the most horrendous, racist DMs. I heard some of them this morning, and it just broke my heart,” he said. “Moses is a brilliant actor. She’s a brilliant woman. And she is absolutely amazing in this series. She brings so much to the series, she brings so much to the franchise. And it just sickened me to my stomach that this had been happening. I just want to say as the lead actor in the series, as the executive producer on the series, that we stand with Moses. We love Moses. And if you’re sending her bullying messages, you’re no Star Wars fan in my mind. There’s no place for racism in this world. And I totally stand with Moses.”
The Star Wars Twitter account also welcomed Moses to the franchise and encouraged fans to “resist” those who try to “make her feel unwelcome.”
Sadly, none of this is new.
When John Boyega first appeared in the trailer for The Force Awakens, people went crazy over a Black Stormtrooper showing up in the movie. Kelly Marie Tran was bullied into leaving social media by those who couldn’t handle an Asian-American woman joining the rebellion in The Last Jedi.
I will keep saying this as many times as the racists need to hear it: you don’t own Star Wars. If you call yourself a Star Wars fan, but feel a need to send someone racist DMs because their presence in the franchise threatens your fragile fantasy world, you clearly didn’t understand the story of the movies and have been rooting for the wrong side this whole time. I’m saying you’re in the Empire and should rethink all your life choices.
As important as Star Wars is to all of us, some of you need to take a step back and realize they’re just fictional movies and TV shows. The fate of the galaxy isn’t actually at stake, but your racist behavior does have real-world consequences. Stop it.