When The Last Jedi opened in cinemas back in Christmas 2017, Star Wars: Episode VIII divided the fandom. The critics and some fans hailed the movie, while a large group “disowned” the movie as terrible and demanded a remake. While criticism varied from plot points and character development to the film allegedly pandering to feminism, a social science study claims that The Last Jedi haters are more likely to be politically conservative, sexist and un-PC. Social scientist Mark H White II surveyed 5000 Star Wars fans, breaking them down into Prequel Sceptics (love Star Wars, but rate Episodes I-III lower), Saga Lovers (love all the movies) and The Last Jedi Disowners (rate Episode VIII very poorly).
On his findings, White wrote: “The Last Jedi (disowners) tended to score higher on sexism.
“Though, as you can see, not everyone who hates The Last Jedi is sexist.
“This demonstrates some empirical evidence that sexism plays a role in attitudes toward The Last Jedi.’
The social scientist also found that The Last Jedi Disowners tended to be politically more conservative with negative feelings towards political correctness’ impact on society.
THIS STAR ‘WAS REJECTED FROM THE LAST JEDI’
The Last Jedi Disowners were found to be more likely to enjoy the Prequel and Original trilogies, but less likely to enjoy the Sequel trilogy.
White emphasised that 5000 Star Wars fans is a small survey that does not represent the entire fandom.
After all, some Last Jedi critics only have issues with the plot and handling of certain characters, although clearly there is an ugly corner of the fandom that does exist.
The Last Jedi star Kelly Marie Tran, who played Rose Tico, quit social media after online misogyny and racism directed at her.
But when she appeared at Star Wars Celebration 2019, she was met with a standing ovation from the fans.
Tran became visibly emotional at the support and warm welcome from Star Wars fans.
Wiping tears from her eyes, she said: “It’s really overwhelming. Hi, hello, thank you!”
Director JJ Abrams said: “I was grateful to [Last Jedi] director Rian Johnson for so many things he did in Episode 8. The greatest was casting Kelly Marie.”
Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker is released in UK cinemas on December 19, 2019.