UPDATE: see the end of this article for breaking news
Six days into 2021 on January 6 radicalized Trump supporters including White supremacists, White nationalists and QAnon adherents attacked the United States Capitol complex in an attempt to stop the certification of the presidential election results.
The crowd was told by President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump at a rally staged in front of the White House to march on the Capitol to send Congress a message among other incitements. Leaving directly from that rally, many of the participants followed Trump’s orders and stormed the Capitol grounds causing destruction and five deaths, including a Capitol police officer.
Despite the seriousness of the violent insurrection—in true internet fashion—people couldn’t stop themselves from noticing the “unique” outfit choice of one of the rioters.
Jake Angeli—one of the extremists—attacked the building shirtless, furry, horned and face painted. Angeli is a well known QAnon fanatic based in Arizona who showed up to several Black Lives Matter events as counterprotester with a “Q sent me” sign.
Right-wing pundits and Trump supporters mistook Angeli’s self-professed neo-Viking garb as Indigenous regalia and falsely claimed he was an Indigenous Antifa member to support false claims the Capitol rioters were really Antifa members in disguise.
Angeli—the so-called QShaman—told several news outlets his neo-Viking garb is designed to gain attention at events so people will approach him and he can spread the message of the Q online conspiracy theories.
But the neo-Viking ensemble was also dubbed the “Chewbacca bikini.”
We spend $750 billion annually on "defense" and the center of American government fell in two hours to the duck dynasty and the guy in the chewbacca bikini pic.twitter.com/ZMR76cbN2c
— Yousef Munayyer (@YousefMunayyer) January 7, 2021
Chewie fans were not happy having the beloved character associated with a domestic terrorist.
One is a hairy patriot and a hero to the Rebellion. The other is an unkempt, not very creative cosplayer, and a violent anarchist and criminal thug. No comparison. #Chewbacca pic.twitter.com/jKnMxZNUvL
— Atticus Fish 🇺🇸⚖️🦈 (@Rogue1Lawyer) January 7, 2021
Star Wars fans cracked jokes on Twitter about Angeli’s attire.
However, amongst the humor was acknowledgement joking and comparing Chewbacca to an insurgent who was part of the Capitol riot that killed five people is not entirely appropriate.
Since the attack, right-wing media sources have also been trying to blame Antifa and undercover liberals for the seditious attack.
The actual participants, Angeli included, have vocally pushed back against the attempt to blame another group for their violence. Instead the radicals are proud of their violent interruption of the democratic process.
Angeli told Newsweek:
“I am not antifa or blm. I’m a Qanon & digital soldier.”
“My name is Jake & I marched with the police & fought against BLM & ANTIFA in [Phoenix] (PHX). Look up OAN’s coverage of July 4th’s rally in PHX capital.”
“I was standing against the BLM mob out numbered but unphased.”
Twitter users aired their feelings toward the participants, Angeli in particular.
If Chewie doesn’t rip that douchebag Brownshirt LARPer’s arms off, I think I may know a few other folks who would be more than happy to do so.
— Patrick Russell (@PatrickBRussell) January 7, 2021
seriously though. The disrespect I’m seeing about Chewie being compared to those hooligans is outrageous
— Calculations Of (@CalculationsOf) January 7, 2021
Can people please stop calling this dude Chewbacca. Put some respect on Chewy’s name pic.twitter.com/5o9xs7t9Bh
— Jay Palfreeman (@JayPalfreeman) January 7, 2021
As a Jedi, I can say with 100% certainty that this guy does not deserve to be called Chewbacca. Don't give him that honor pic.twitter.com/D6uTvKFLCF
— Jedidiah Weller 👑 (@jedihacks) January 7, 2021
AW COME ON GUYS DON'T TREND CHEWBACCA FOR THIS
CHEWBACCA DID NOTHING WRONG
— Thomas (ThomTV) (@ThomTV_) January 7, 2021
Do fascist Star Wars fans not get the irony?
— Andres Cabrera (@SquadLeaderAce) January 7, 2021
The FBI is compiling the names of those who participated. Certainly they’ll know Jake Angeli and not Chewbacca needs to be front and center on that list.
Our hearts go out to all those affected by this violent attack.
According to the Department of Justice, Jacob Anthony Chansley, 33, of Arizona—longtime QAnon supporter known as Jake Angeli—was arrested Saturday. He faces charges of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.