Star Wars: The Last Jedi director speaks out against trolling “bullshit”

"A few unhealthy people can cast a big shadow on the wall"

Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson has hit back at trolling “bullshit” after a recent controversy forced one of the film’s lead actors to wipe her Instagram account.

His comments come shortly after Star Wars star Kelly Marie Tran – who plays Rose Tico – deleted all of her Instagram posts after months of  harassment on the social media platform. 

“On social media a few unhealthy people can cast a big shadow on the wall, but over the past 4 years I’ve met lots of real fellow SW fans,” he wrote on Twitter. “We like and dislike stuff but we do it with humor, love and respect. We’re the VAST majority, we’re having fun & doing just fine.”

After a fan responded arguing that “critique and showing dislike against something is ‘trolling’? Good tactic. Whatever makes you sleep at night,” the director spoke out again.

“Done with this disingenuous bullshit,” he continued. “You know the difference between not liking a movie and hatefully harassing a woman so bad she has to get off social media. And you know which of those two we’re talking about here.”

“It’s clear as day” that constructive criticism and “being an abusive asshole to people online” are two totally separate matters, he clarifies. “We’re condemning the latter and not the former”.

Kelly Marie Tran was the first woman of colour to play a leading role in the Star Wars franchise. Back in December reports of sexist and racist comments began to surface, and the Rose Tico page on the Star Wars ‘Wookieepedia’ website was later altered to feature racist and offensive language.

Though her Instagram account remains active – with 205,000 followers – it has now been completely wiped, possibly due to the amount of trolls posting abuse.

At the time of the release of ‘The Last Jedi’ Tran explained how special it was to be welcomed into the Star Wars universe.

“So many people wish for something like this. I still don’t believe I’m doing it,” she said. “Rose is not an amazing pilot or a jedi. She’s strong in a different way.”

“And I think that’s kinda how she holds her own… I’m making a Star Wars movie. I just feel so lucky to see how much work goes into everything and to see the end product. It’s been magical.”