In response to a swift and all-too-predictable wave of racist backlash from Star Wars “fans” appalled at the idea of black people existing in space, Disney issued a statement of support for Obi-Wan Kenobi actor Moses Ingram. . Although the first two episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi premiered last week, that was as long as it took for Star Wars obsessives to take notice of Ingram’s character, Reva Sevander, one of the Galactic Empire’s inquisitors tasked with exterminating the Jedi of the galaxy. On the Monday following this year’s Star Wars Celebration event, Ingram took to his personal Instagram account to share a selection of the “hundreds” of misogynistic anti-Black messages he received for playing a fictional villain who does evil things. . Ingram said that while she is grateful to fans that they have the means to understand that actors are not the characters they play on television, she also admitted to feeling a degree of despondency “because nobody can do anything about it.” “No one can do anything to stop this hate, so I wonder what my purpose is in standing here in front of you saying this is happening,” Ingram said. “I think what bothers me is a kind of feeling that I’ve had inside of me, that no one has told me, but this feeling of ‘I have to shut up and accept it.’ you know?” Hours after Ingram’s post, the official Star Wars Twitter account shared a message reaffirming that Ingram’s character, Reva Sevander, is a very important part of the franchise, regardless of what racist trolls say.
There are over 20 million sentient species in the Star Wars galaxy, don’t choose to be racist. — Star Wars (@starwars) May 31, 2022
There are always a number of reasons, like racism, why people who supposedly love genre fiction like Star Wars or Percy Jackson novels feel compelled to show their butts in this way. But the response to Ingram feels, at least in part, inspired by Obi-Wan Kenobi’s own text. In the short time that Reva (also known as the Third Sister) has been a part of the Star Wars franchise, Obi-Wan has established that while his job is to kill Jedi and put the fear of the Empire into their subjugators . , his search for Obi-Wan is a personal one. Rather than simply being a Sith aligned with the dark side of the Force, Reva is portrayed as one of the few living Jedi recruited by the Empire to eradicate their kind as part of Order 66, the Empire’s plan to end the Empire. with the Jedi permanently. Reva has proven to be an effective Inquisitor committed to her mission. But her past has been a major point of contention for other Empire villains like the Grand Inquisitor (Rupert Friend) and the Fifth Brother (Sung Kang), who see Reva’s headstrong cruelty as a double-edged sword that could harm the cause of the Empire. . Many of the messages being thrown at Ingram seem to be at odds with Reva’s unhinged appearance in Obi-Wan, a character trait that’s easy to recognize as an intentional part of the story the show is trying to tell. Unlike the Grand Inquisitor and the Fifth Brother, who take more secretive approaches to terrorizing civilians, Reva reaches a level of violence much more quickly that borders on insanity, and Obi-Wan has repeatedly emphasized how Reva’s temper will likely get her to her fall.
The Fifth Brother telling the Third Sister to leave. Image: Disney Plus/Lucasfilm Clearly, telegraphed narrative intent has never been enough to keep racist Star Wars trolls from covering their mouths to spout nonsense. John Boyega was met with years of ongoing racist hostility in the wake of his casting as Finn, as was Kelly Marie Tran after joining the franchise as Rose Tico in Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi. Ultimately, both Boyega and Tran were forced to spend too much time in the Star Wars spotlight dealing with the stalled development of a franchise that didn’t deserve them. While it sounds like Ingram could end up suffering the same fate as Obi-Wan, the actress ended the Instagram video of her to let everyone know that she has no intention of quietly going into the night. “I don’t have that constitution, so I really just wanted to come and thank the people who supported me in the comments and the places that I’m going to be placed now,” Ingram said. “And to the rest of you: all of you weirdos.”