Star Trek star Simon Pegg called the Star Wars fanbase the most toxic while praising the Star Trek franchise and the loyal community at its core.
Simon Pegg called the Star Wars fanbase the most “toxic” while praising loyal Star Trek fans. The actor has been a part of both controversial reboots of the two franchises within the past decade. He starred in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens as the junkyard dealer Unkar Plutt and as Montgomery “Scotty” Scott, the chief engineer aboard the USS Enterprise in Star Trek (2009). Through these experiences, Pegg has witnessed firsthand the level of vitriol a loyal fanbase can inflict on the cast and crew of a franchise.
Since the release of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, the science-fiction fantasy franchise has repeatedly been the victim of abuse from its fans. Although fans lodged much of the prequel trilogy complaints about the films’ story, lore, and film-making, the sequel trilogy has faced new attacks targeted at perceived agendas and the franchise’s more diverse cast. With a new trilogy of sequel films released under Disney, the cast were still not safe from the abuse of the Star Wars fanbase. John Boyega, who portrayed the former stormtrooper, Finn, received racist hate-fueled messages as his casting was announced. Marie Tran, who played Rose Tico, was also on the receiving end of internet trolls who forced her off social media to protect herself. As the massive space franchise has transitioned to television with Disney+ series, such as Obi-Wan Kenobi, cast members have still faced the bullies that lurk within the Star Wars fanbase.
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In an interview with Faction Talk on SiriusXM, Pegg called the Star Wars fanbase incredibly toxic while praising the Star Trek franchise and its community. The actor explained that Star Wars had been plagued by hate since the prequels as he was a part of that group who heavily criticized the films. However, Pegg finds that the newer attacks which blame diversity as the failure of the more recent Star Wars projects are particularly “sad” while also applauding Star Trek as it has promoted diversity since its inception. Read what Pegg had to say below.
“To be honest — and as someone who…kicked off about the prequels when they came out — the Star Wars fanbase really seems to be the most, kind of, toxic at the moment.”
“I mean, I’m out of it now…I’ve apologized for the things I’ve said about Jar Jar Binks because of course there was a fucking actor involved, you know. He was getting a lot of flak. It wasn’t a camp rabbit, it was a human being. And because it got a lot of hate, he suffered. And I feel terrible about being part of that. In Spaced…my character was always ragging on those films but really that was just me talking about how much I didn’t like them.”
“But I find the Star Trek fans have always been very very inclusive. You know, Star Trek’s about diversity. It has been since 1966. It always was. There’s no, sort of like, ‘Oh, you’re suddenly being woke now.’ Star Trek was woke from the beginning. You had a Japanese navigator just after the second World War. There was a black woman on the deck in the position of authority. This is massively progressive.”
“Star Wars, suddenly there’s a little bit more diversity and everyone’s kicking off about it and really sad, you know.”
Pegg understands where the hate for these franchises can come from, as he was a part of the initial backlash when the prequel trilogy was released. In the years following, the actor has since apologized for his criticisms as he knows how the fervor affected members of the cast, particularly Jake Lloyd as a young Anakin Skywalker and Ahmed Best as the goofy Jar Jar Binks. As a result of the non-stop hatred from fans, Lloyd completely retired from acting, and Best contemplated suicide. Pegg also acknowledges that much of the recent criticism regarding Star Wars’ latest releases has been targeting its diversity. Moses Ingram, the actor who portrayed the Third Sister inquisitor Reva in the latest Star Wars entry, Obi-Wan Kenobi, was also receiving hate-filled attacks. However, Pegg praised Star Trek for its history of open-mindedness regarding social issues and change.
As Pegg pointed out, since the science-fiction show’s inception, Star Trek took on social issues by simply casting Nichelle Nichols, a black actor, as one of the USS Enterprise’s most important crew members. This simple action inspired many young children, including Mae Jemison, the first black woman to travel into space. As social issues are still a hot-button issue in today’s society, themes such as diversity will continue to infiltrate all aspects of pop culture, including two of its biggest science-fiction franchises. Only time will tell if Star Wars fans will ease their criticisms and change along with the world, as Pegg has proven.
Next: What Happened To Jake Lloyd After Star Wars Prequels
Source: Faction Talk
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Grew up absorbing every book, movie, TV show I could get my eyes on. Every time my parents took me to the doctor, I would forgo the obligatory post-shot ice cream cone for a two hour vacation in the theater. I have a passion for storytelling and a stomach for pizza. Who am I: Vertigo, Panic Room, Jurassic Park, Lawrence of Arabia.
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