Kathleen Kennedy hits back at fans for trolling The Acolyte

Kathleen Kennedy knows about the section of fans who have attacked Leslye Headland's The Acolyte, and she isn't pleased.
40 Years of Star Wars Panel at the 2017 Star Wars Celebration
40 Years of Star Wars Panel at the 2017 Star Wars Celebration / Gerardo Mora/GettyImages

Don't expect Kathleen Kennedy to bow down to trolls in the Star Wars fandom, who've taken to attacking The Acolyte before its premiere.

We've seen the negative reactions to The Acolyte trailer on YouTube, where it has a shockingly high number of dislikes compared to likes. Now, according to Variety, Kathleen Kennedy has weighed in on the reactions that she believes are rooted in male fans in the fandom being uncomfortable with the growing number of female-led Star Wars stories.

In a new interview with The New York Times, Kennedy described the state of the fandom, which can only be described as toxic:

"“I think Leslye [Headland] has struggled a little bit with it. I think a lot of the women who step into ‘Star Wars’ struggle with this a bit more. Because of the fan base being so male dominated, they sometimes get attacked in ways that can be quite personal.”"

Kathleen Kennedy

Leslye Headland, the creator of The Acolyte, has begun to distance herself from social media as we get closer to the series premiere. The Acolyte is set during The High Republic Era of Star Wars, hundreds of years before Episode I - The Phantom Menace. It's an Era we haven't seen in live-action, and there are already talks of a second season, so there's much left to be seen.

However, the reactions to the female characters in the show have been predictably toxic, something that's become the norm with every new Star Wars story over the past few years. Bullying of actors and creators isn't a new thing in big fandoms, but Star Wars fans are becoming notorious for it. This is pushing talented female creatives away from the franchise. Accepting the offer to work on a Star Wars project isn't an easy decision for any female directors and actors, knowing that it could mean exposure to relentless trolling.

It's time for male Star Wars fans to draw the line at harassing people like Leslye Headland and any female actors in the franchise. If you dislike a show or how a character is written, that's fine, but taking your anger out on creatives and actors is unacceptable. If a show is bad, it will likely be reflected in the ratings, so there's no need to spam an actor's inbox with hateful messages. If you think a Star Wars project doesn't suit your taste, don't watch it and move on. Other franchises that may cater to your tastes and the option to re-watch previous Star Wars shows and movies are always open.

Prequel fans are aware that Ahmed Best and Jake Lloyd faced similar trolling by fans and critics when The Phantom Menace came out 25 years ago. IMDb's message boards were filled with trolls who thought Hayden Christensen was the worst actor in the franchise. The difference between now and then is the accessibility we have to actors thanks to social media. It was wrong then, and it's wrong now.

Star Wars fans, do better.

It’s okay if you don’t like Disney’s Star Wars. It’s okay if you don’t like Disney’s Star Wars. dark. Next