Star Wars is easily one of the most popular franchises in the history of pop culture and, as a result, it’s amassed quite a large following after having been in existence for over 40 years. While there’s plenty of positivity to be found within the fanbase, most are also aware that a portion of it can be quite toxic. This side of the fandom seems to be showing itself right now, as online trolls have recently been harassing Star Wars: The High Republic host Krystina Arielle due to past tweets. Now, the franchise has officially responded to the controversy by sending a message of support to Arielle.
Krystina Arielle has been an online personality for a while now, and she was most recently named the host of The High Republic Show, an online program that will coincide with Star Wars: The High Republic, a new section of the franchise that focuses on a new era of Jedi. Recently, a few past tweets of Arielle’s resurfaced and, in them, she discusses white people sharing their thoughts on the effects of systemic racism. The host has since experienced attacks from a number of users across the web.
In the midst of the controversy, the official Star Wars account chimed in on the matter and stated that the brand stands in solidarity with Krystina Arielle. You can check out the tweet down below:
Arielle has since taken to social media to share some of the messages she’s received since the controversy began. The messages are honestly blunt.
This isn’t the first time someone associated with Star Wars has experienced trolling or cyberbullying. Franchise star Kelly Marie Tran was the target of massive harassment following her debut as Rose Tico in 2017’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The harassment became so intense that the actress eventually chose to leave social media. Tran has been candid about how deeply she was affected by the harassment and, when reflecting on her decision to leave social media, she’s stated that she does not regret it. Ultimately, she feels she had to do what was best for her and her mental health.
Kelly Marie Tran’s co-star, John Boyega, is also no stranger to trolls, as the actor received a heavy amount of racial backlash ahead of his debut in The Force Awakens. Boyega has since opened up about how it affected him and his view of the franchise. And even now, the actor still deals with trolls on occasion, but he does have his own way of handling them should they pop into his social media mentions.
I think we can all agree that trolling and racism are never welcome in any fandom or in society as a whole. It’s great that Star Wars spoke up about Krystina Arielle’s situation, and we can only hope that the franchise continues to stand by her as she prepares to begin her new hosting duties.