Star Wars has been immensely popular at the box office over the last week. Plenty of people online have had both positive and sometimes negative things to say about Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and where J.J. Abrams chose to take this final story in the trilogy. Now, Chewbacca actor Joonas Suotamo is firing back at “toxic fandom” in the wake of some Rise of Skywalker haters.
As part of a recent Twitter thread, Joonas Suotamo responded to a Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker theatergoer who did not have kind things to say about the female portrayals in the new movie. He did not hold back in his comments related to the criticism.
Joonas Suotamo, who is 6’11” and mostly known in the industry as the guy bringing Chewbacca’s signature wookie sounds to life, certainly has opinion about the Star Wars universe and how it is perceived by the public in general and in particular “toxic” fans. The actor made it clear that he’s not here for the negative comments with his own take.
To be fair, the Star Wars fandom isn’t always angry or toxic. In fact, at the time of this writing, the prevailing hashtag that is trending is #thankyoujjabrams, and most fans of the franchise are honestly and legitimately thanking the director of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker for introducing characters like Rey or for bringing closure for each of the characters in the new movie.
This isn’t the first time a Star Wars actor or even someone involved in the movies has spoken out about the haters, however. Most people reading this story likely know about Kelly Marie Tran quitting social media after backlash over her Star Wars: The Last Jedi character. (In a new update, a lot of people are now mad her character isn’t really in The Rise of Skywalker all that much, thereby proving how much of a lose/lose proposition Star Wars can often be.)
As for Joonas Suotamo, the actor has spent time over the past few days trying to bring about positivity toward Star Wars and the new movie. He’s noted the Millennium Falcon is “still a magical experience” even though it’s old hat by now and that he feels this final movie is “epic.”
As this final Star Wars movie in the current trilogy heads into its second weekend, it’s likely there will be plenty of additional opinions thrown out into the universe. But as fellow new and flack-taking property The Witcher showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich mentioned the other day, criticism is fine, but it needs to be “constructive.”
Remember, even if you are a fan who is now coming from a negative place, there’s a reason you loved Star Wars enough to feel that strongly about it. There are few franchises that can inspire this much talk, care and consideration; it's, in fact, still something special to be a Star Wars fan, no matter where you stand on the new movie. Plus, there's always Disney+'s The Mandalorian to fall back on....
Amazing Race & Top Chef superfan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.
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