Back in 2016, after the U.S. presidential election, the writer of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Chris Weitz, decided to tweet out some anti-Trump messages.
Most of the messages have since been deleted, including one that read:
Please note that the Empire is a white supremacist (human) organization.
His co-writer, Gary Whitta, added that the Empire was opposed by a multicultural group led by brave women.
That was all it took for alt-right Trump supporters to launch the hashtag #DumpStarWars. (Yes, that really happened.) Now, nearly two years later, Weitz sat down to talk to Huffington Post about the crazy time.
He says the tweet and the backlash were eye-openers to how angry and anti-Semitic some Trump supporters are.
It’s a great lesson not to try to be funny on Twitter unless you know that the joke is a total hit. I think that was meant to be a throwaway fun comment, but [it] got pretty ugly pretty fast. I think I learned something about social media.
I literally received cartoons out of Nazi… papers of anti-Semitic caricatures. That was pretty extraordinary.
There was a point where if it was clear that there was some sort of boycott that was affecting ‘Rogue One’ in a significant way, I would’ve felt pretty badly. I think I’m certainly more careful in how I express myself, but I’m every bit as [firm] about my political beliefs.
Though the other tweets were deleted, this one still stands:
Star Wars against hate. Spread it. pic.twitter.com/Dtf5uqpxba
— Chris Weitz (@chrisweitz) November 11, 2016
A "Star Wars" writer tweeted that the Empire was a white supremacist organization, and then things got out of control. https://t.co/Uu5VyRQhFd
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) September 12, 2018
Even now, people have lots of feelings and opinions about the matter.
The stormtroopers were based off the German SS. Not too far off!
— Ken Scribe (@KenScribe) September 12, 2018
But he's not wrong. The Empire is exceptionally xenophobic. While not "white supremacist," they unquestionably share values with hate groups, namely believing the high human species is superior to all others. This extends to their military, with Thrawn being a rare exception. pic.twitter.com/TsygMenj6u
— JM Deutsch (@jm_deutsch) September 12, 2018
The Emperor was a Only Human kind of guy . He didn't like any other race .
Its obvious .
The Stormtroopers are Hitlers Shock Troops .
White Nationalists they would be .
Is everyone stupid .
It's a lesson against racism .
Stupid you are hmmmm . pic.twitter.com/vJgeoR7bCG
— Robert Amey (@RomeoAlpha68) September 12, 2018
This is ridiculous ?It ain’t that deep, no wonder The Last Jedi was not that great.
— Michelle Menchaca? (@belle_de_jour86) September 12, 2018
I'm a Trump supporter but I'm not enraged. I gave up on Star Wars when political considerations for the movie became more important than the entertainment value of the film
— Arqahn (@Arqahn) September 12, 2018
Most people made the connection, but some needed a bit more explaining.
CBS exploiting a small hate group in the south does not make Trump supporters white supremacists. This is why the word fake news gets tossed around so much.
— Stu Cluff (@scluff960) September 12, 2018
Trump supports white supremacists. Ergo, those who support Trump are white supremacists. One simply can’t pick and choose the pieces they like. That is how you get a Hitler. Fake News was literally a Nazi concept.
— Andrew Ameigh (@Andropocles) September 12, 2018
And then, of course, there were those who were simply mad. At what, who knows?
A star wars writer tweeted overtly political racist comments and people understandably responded. Some of those responses apparently we're from douchebags
— Hayters WannaHayte (@LoversWannaLove) September 12, 2018
— Stewbaca (@reggae_rustico) September 12, 2018
mother fucker there were aliens in the empire how litteraly HOW!?
— Biostar (@Biostarhazzerd) September 12, 2018
Clearly, the two things that bring out the most feels are Trump and Star Wars. We’ll remember not to bring up either topic around the holidays.