Mark Hamill, the actor who portrayed one of the most iconic figures in sci-fi is nothing if not passionate and kind. I met him myself circa 1980 while he was filming “The Nights Went Out in Georgia” near my hometown of Chattanooga. He was staying at a place called the King’s Lodge on the ridge overlooking the city. I think when my mom and I visited, he was trying to figure out how to prepare a turkey in the microwave or something like that. I was so in awe of meeting Luke Skywalker, that I barely spoke to him. I was just too bashful to engage in any meaningful discourse, but I remember him as kind, funny, and passionate.
Since I’ve grown up, Mark Hamill and I don’t see each other eye to eye on politics (I lean right, he leans left), but I’ve agreed with almost everything he’s said about Star Wars and what it meant to him. I’ve also never forgotten his kindness, his sense of humor, and the passion he exudes for what he does, from voice-acting to portraying the son of Vader. He had passion when I met him, and he has it still today. That’s why I think it’s such a shame when people think he’s to be nothing but an inhuman shill for those he works for and cannot have a heart and mind of his own.
On Friday, Mark shared an opinion by retweeting a cool picture of the original Star Wars characters reunited with the hashtag #MissedOpportunities. It’s a photo of him riding along with his fellow cast members and friends, implying that he would have loved to have those characters back in the Falcon one last time. It’s also touching because we lost Carrie Fisher and perhaps Hamill wishes they could have one more day with her and the cast that helped make his career.
This also isn’t the first time Mark has commented on these characters reuniting either. In a tweet from March 9, he shared a beautiful photo of him and Harrison Ford embracing at the memorial for Carrie Fisher with the words: “What a Han/Luke reunion might have been like…”
This time however, when the actor retweeted the photoshopped image by @StevenWayneArt, all hell broke loose. You see, following the divisive response to the most recent series entry Star Wars: The Last Jedi, several toxic fans who have vehemently and zealously defended the new trilogy of films quickly began criticizing Hamill’s retweet as “fanning the flames” and they began shaming and cursing Hamill for sharing the image. These are those toxic fans that regularly politicize Star Wars for their own personal agenda and attack anyone who dares to criticize the J.J. Abrams or Rian Johnson entries in the Star Wars saga.
And does it really come from the “alt-right” portion of the fan base? Here is the bio of @StevenWayneArt, the meme’s creator. Is this “Alt-Right” or is it just a Star Wars fan who happens to be a Christian that likes to make memes and is openly critical of The Last Jedi?
Within less than an hour, things escalated over Mark’s retweet, so much so that even Star Wars novelist and foul-mouthed social justice warrior Chuck Wendig shamelessly joined the pig-pile on “Luke Skywalker”, encouraging even more toxicity.
“Oh no! Someone who voted for President Trump liked the tweet too, Mark! You can’t be seen associating with those people!! That’s the ComicsGate and GamerGate crowd!! We don’t want their support. We don’t want their money! We are on the RIGHT side of history! Stop retweeting their memes, Mark!! Mark!?!”
Isn’t it shameful how grown adults think that the actor who portrayed Luke Skywalker should suppress his feelings publicly so that fragile fans can remain happy while Hamill remains dishonest about his own personal feelings? Most rational adults would think that Mark Hamill should be able to express himself freely, and that the Star Wars fans are free to choose how they want to respond as well. Mark Hamill isn’t responsible for their triggered feelings. They are.
Here is the senior writer and co-lead editor at StarWarsNews.net giving Hamill his unsolicited opinion on what Mark should and shouldn’t be tweeting, even calling it shortsighted, selfish, and unfortunate.
The “flames” Hamill stoked seems to be that other fans who have been critical of the new trilogy were somehow emboldened to agree with Hamill and even point out their own perceived flaws in the newer films. And Star Wars writer (and fired Marvel Comics writer) Star Wars bloggers and novelist Chuck Wendig weren’t the only notable critics of Hamill. Even a member of the Lucasfilm Story Group and an artist for the Star Wars properties glibly got in on the act.
How unfortunate that the lead actor from Star Wars original trilogy is not allowed to have an unapproved opinion or even share a bittersweet tweet without being lambasted by not only the fans, but even fellow Lucasfilm associates!
However, the most toxic responses were those of the social justice star-warrior variety, who seem to think even the slightest criticism of the new films should be verboten. In order to accomplish that, they willfully demonize anyone who dares to share an opposing opinion. Most of these people share one thing in common, either an affinity for ‘shipping the characters from the films, or they feel it necessary to list their preferred pronouns in their bios. I suspect it would make for an interesting Venn diagram.
These are the Star Wars fans who insist that Rey is not a shallow Mary Sue character. These are the fans who think Rian Johnson’s story was the best film in all of Star Wars. These are the fans who mourned when Kellye Marie Tran switched her Instagram off over toxicity in the fandom. These are the “Reylo shippers” that even appear to give Daisy Ridley nausea. Strange that it’s perfectly fine for these ‘shippers to post artwork of imagined hook-ups in the Star Wars universe (Poe & Finn, Rey & Kylo), but for Luke Skywalker himself to retweet his own “wish-fulfillment” is considered heresy that deserves to be destroyed by that very same group of toxic fans. Is it really “wrong-think” to suggest that Lucasfilm’s producers potentially missed an opportunity to have a momentary reunion of the original “band getting back together”?
Of course not.
Behold the true “Wrong Think”…
Had enough of these fragile, hateful, bigoted “Star Wars Fans” yet? It gets even worse. For those looking for toxic fans, look no further. While several media outlets were concerned when actress Kelly Marie Tran wrote a her op-ed piece about her experiences with the toxic fan subculture of Star Wars, none of those media outlets seems to care that the toxic fans are still harassing the actors from Star Wars as recently as yesterday.
Ten hours after the original retweet (which got over 100K+ lives and retweets itself), Mark Hamill responded to the backlash with his usual aplomb and drollness.
Good to see Mark Hamill still has his wit and wisdom about him in the face of ridiculous toxicity. Even more fun to see fellow cast mate of the OT, Billy Dee Williams retweetin Mark’s response to the backlash with added humor. I wish they had just told those clowns to”get a life!”
The artist of the original image replied “Glad you like the picture Mark, but either way, you shouldn’t have to explain yourself or apologize to disrespectful *fans* who slander you and us for having different opinions. New fans should take their own advice: let people enjoy what they want and stop acting like manbabies.”
Regardless of opinion on this issue, fans can see Mark Hamill reprise his legendary role of Luke Skywalker in the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.