As Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen return to George Lucas’s far, far away galaxy in Obi-Wan Kenobi, their co-star, Moses Ingram, is bravely shining a spotlight on a dark side of Star Wars fandom. The Queen’s Gambit star posted an Instagram story sharing some of the racist comments she’s received since the Disney+ series premiered on May 27 — comments that called her a “loser” and a “diversity hire” among other hateful rhetoric.
“Long story short, there are hundreds of those,” Ingram remarked matter-of-factly in her video, thanking those fans who have already “put on a cape for me” and fought back against her online trolls. “That really does mean the world to me, because there’s nothing anybody can do about this. There’s nothing anybody can do to stop this hate.”
Speaking with The Independent last week, Ingram revealed that Lucasfilm executives specifically warned her that she’d likely be the target of online harassment. The studio had witnessed similar events play out with John Boyega and Kelly Marie Tran, who were both subjected to ugly hate campaigns for being prominent performers of color in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. (Tran wound up leaving social media altogether in the wake of The Last Jedi‘s release.)
“It was something that Lucasfilm actually got in front of, and said, ‘This is a thing that, unfortunately, likely will happen,'” Ingram noted in that interview. “But we are here to help you; you can let us know when it happens.'”
In fact, Lucasfilm has already released a public statement through Star Wars
A majority of Star Wars fans have chosen to stand alongside Ingram, and are thanking Lucasfilm for making its allegiance clear.
It’s worth noting that Reva — a fearsome Jedi hunter following Obi-Wan’s trail — is the most prominent role for a Black actress in the Star Wars universe yet. Prior to Ingram, Thandiwe Newton and Naomi Ackie played smaller supporting parts in Solo and The Rise of Skywalker respectively. The Westworld star was particularly critical of her Solo role, telling Inverse last year that the filmmakers made a “big, big mistake” by altering the original script to kill her off. “You don’t kill off the first Black woman to ever have a real role in a Star Wars movie,” Newton said. “Like, are you f****** joking?”
In her Instagram story, Ingram admits that she wrestled with whether or not to go public with the hateful messages she’s been receiving. “I think the the thing that bothers me is this feeling that I’ve had inside of myself — which no one has told me — that I’ve just got to shut up and take it,” the actress says, before indicating that’s the opposite of what she plans to do.
“I’m not built like that,” Ingram continues, defiantly. “So I really just wanted to come and say thank you to the people who show up for me in the comments and the places where I’m not going to put myself. And to the rest of y’all — y’all are weird.”
Obi-Wan Kenobi is currently streaming on Disney+