Last week (May 27th), Ewan McGregor returned as Obi-Wan Kenobi for the small screen on Disney Plus. While the show has received positive reviews, some fans have taken to social media to attack Moses Ingram (The Queen’s Gambit), who plays one of the villains, Inquisitor Reva. In response, the Stars Wars social media pages made a post in her defense.
“We are proud to welcome Moses Ingram to the Star Wars family and excited for Reva’s story to unfold. If anyone intends to make her feel in any way unwelcome, we have only one thing to say: we resist.”
In a separate post, it read, “There are more than 20 million sentient species in the Star Wars galaxy, don’t choose to be a racist.”
There are more than 20 million sentient species in the Star Wars galaxy, don’t choose to be a racist.
— Star Wars (@starwars) May 31, 2022
Before the Star Wars show debuted on the streaming service, Ingram spoke with The Independent about how executives warned her about the toxic side of the fan base. With that warning came a sign of support as she was told to reach out when harassment would happen.
“It was something that Lucasfilm actually got in front of, and said, ‘This is a thing that, unfortunately, likely will happen. But we are here to help you; you can let us know when it happens.’”
As said in the second Star Wars tweet, there are 20 million sentient species in the universe. Ingram spoke about this idea of how many different types of characters there are from droids to aliens, and how that plays with the response to actors of color coming into the franchise.
“Obi-Wan is going to bring the most diversity I think we’ve ever seen in the galaxy before. To me, it’s long overdue. If you’ve got talking droids and aliens, but no people of color, it doesn’t make any sense. It’s 2022, you know. So we’re just at the beginning of that change. But I think to start that change is better than never having started it.”
Obi-Wan Kenobi is not the first Star Wars project to have this type of response from racist fans. John Boyega and Kelly Marie Tran faced racism and harassment online when the sequel trilogy was being rolled out. Now, according to Ingram, people of color getting hired for a show or movie need to be warned about possible outrage over their appearance.
As Ingram said, the show is delivering diversity unlike any, or at least most, Star Wars projects. All six episodes are directed by Deborah Chow (The Mandalorian). Starring in the series is Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick), Fast and Furious star Sung Kang, and Simone Kessell (Reckoning).