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Opinion

Toxic Fandom? Daisy Don’t Care

Rey Skywalker
Rey Skywalker from https://starwars.fandom.com/

It is time for all the Daisy Ridley naysayers to have a coke and a smile and take a back seat.  Star Wars fans have gained quite the notoriety for dismantling actors, writers, and directors.  Ahmed Best, Hayden Christensen, and Kelly Marie Tran have all faced a barrage of hate from these fans.

I’m not talking about legitimate criticism, minor gripes, or the off-hand complaints. Those are fine and is something every actor deals with. I mean real… true… ugly… toxicity.

Toxic fandom has been on the rise with Star Wars fans since the release of “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace,” and continues with every movie/ show release. 

Kathleen Kennedy announced at Star Wars Celebration that Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy will lead a film that takes place 15 years after the events of “Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker.”  Daisy Ridley reprises her role as the Jedi Master who rebuilds the Jedi Order. With a script from Steven Knight, we will follow Rey as she establishes a new Jedi Order in the aftermath of “The Rise of Skywalker.”

First reaction

Daisy Ridley at the center of that announcement was an incredible moment. Admittedly, this writer had serious trepidation going into the sequel trilogy. But Daisy, you are fantastic… and I will die on this hill.  She carried scene after scene alone or with BB-8, and her chemistry with her costars was undeniable.  Ridley excelled as a strong female lead in a male-dominated genre.  Her choice to continue to be a part of this epic and ever-growing story beyond the toxicity of the fans shows her amazing character and desire to contribute to Star Wars’ future.  For that, I say Brava! Daisy deserves much respect for her reprising this role.

Daisy Ridley at Celebration 2023

Daisy Ridley at Celebration 2023 from rottentomatoes.com

Fans Can Change

For over a decade, Ridley and other Star Wars actors have faced harassment from toxic fans.  Many Star Wars fans unfairly unloaded on Hayden Christensen’s portrayal of Anakin Skywalker/ Darth Vader in the prequel trilogy.  You could navigate The Maw easier than you could navigate to an article that didn’t criticize him.  However, much fanfare surrounded Hayden’s return to the Star Wars universe, reprising his role in the Disney+ series “Obi-Wan Kenobi.”

Hayden Christensen

Hayden Christensen from wikiofnerds.com

Such behavior targeted Hayden Christensen and Daisy Ridley, with the latter even receiving death threats while playing Rey. However, Ridley’s resilience and dedication to the franchise are evident in her eagerness to be involved in the upcoming film.  As fans, we should celebrate her return and appreciate the hard work and care she continues to put into her role.

Let’s Do This

The upcoming Star Wars movie is crucial for the franchise, exploring new themes and storylines that will keep fans engaged and invested.  This could be the film to bridge the new generational gap, bringing in fresh new fans and their creative fandom.  Daisy Ridley’s return as Rey is an exciting moment for fans and a testament to her dedication. While acknowledging toxic fan behavior, we should celebrate Ridley’s involvement and embrace the new themes and storylines of the franchise with an open mind.

Now is the time to put away the toxicity and support Daisy Ridley in the journey she is excited to be on with us.  She stated on stage at Celebration 2023, “My heart is pounding,” the giddy looking Ridley happily told the audience. “I’m very thrilled to be continuing this journey.”  I don’t care how this sounds, but my heart is pounding too, Daisy!

 

 

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Craig

    April 9, 2023 at 7:20 pm

    I’m absolutely sure that Ms. Daisy Ridley is a fine actress. The part of Rey was so poorly written that no one could pull off that character and have the character liked afterwards. Rey was one dimensional and had zero growth through the sequels. I only hope that Ms. Ridley’s next attempts at this character goes far better for her through better writing and character development.

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