It’s been a difficult week in the world of Star Wars fandom. Following months of harassment from a vitriolic group of “fans,” actress Kelly Marie Tran, who played Rose Tico in The Last Jedi, opted to delete all of her posts on Instagram. A number of sites fired out pieces about how hateful the Star Wars fandom has become. Even the normally congenial director of The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson, weighed in on the controversy:
Done with this disingenuous bullshit. You know the difference between not liking a movie and hatefully harassing a woman so bad she has to get off social media. And you know which of those two we’re talking about here.
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) June 5, 2018
That Johnson had such a passionate reaction to the episode seemed to indicate a change in weather for Star Wars fandom. But the truly beautiful thing about Star Wars fans that was underestimated this week is that despite moments of fleeting frustration, course-correction is always possible. The healthier side of Twitter banded together to wage a solution to the hatred spewed at Tran: They created the hashtag #FanArtForRose, which celebrates Rose Tico’s vital place in the galaxy far, far away.Twitter artists far and wide shared their portraits of Rose, using the hashtag to bolster the positivity – and creativity – the fandom needs right now.
— Jen Bartel (@heyjenbartel) June 5, 2018
Finally finished this sketch in-between meetings, and making good on my promise. Kelly Marie Tran is a motherfrickin treasure. #fanartforrose #Rosetico #kellymarietran #Starwars #thelastjedi pic.twitter.com/aZPhMyzBYA
— mingjue helen chen (@MingjueChen) June 6, 2018
— Alexandria Neonakis (@Beavs) June 5, 2018
— emi (@plantblogger) June 6, 2018
Even Johnson was swayed by all of the Rose love; when a Twitter fan alerted him to the hashtag, he responded enthusiastically, even changing his Twitter cover art to one of the renderings of the beloved character he created.
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) June 7, 2018
This hashtag, and the vocal support for Tran in the wake of so many months of hatred, is evidence of our own access to something quite like the Force. No matter what the Dark Side says, the truth is: “This is how we win. Not fighting what we hate. Saving what we love.”
We love you, Kelly. May the Force be with you.
Image: Lucasfilm / Disney