Who in the world does not despise online trolls? Most likely nobody. And that’s especially so when hater-types take to social media and the web to harass rising stars just trying their best to stay afloat in an already way too judgemental Hollywood era.
Take the case of actress Kelly Marie Tran, who stunned audiences everywhere as mechanic-turned-Resistance fighter Rose Tico in last year’s hit Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Not only was her performance extremely poignant and applaud-worthy all by itself, but her addition to the epic space opera media franchise was also uber-important as well – even before the film hit theatres. This is because she is the first prominent female Asian character to be featured in the entire series.
What should have remained a proud moment for the 29-year-old starlet of Vietnamese descent to savor and enjoy turned quickly, however, into a devastating nightmare.
As soon as the film hit theatres in December 2017, the bullying began for Tran. Basically, the ugliest slash darkest side of the Star Wars fandom reared its head in the most unimaginable of ways. Due to a large wave of harassment from social media trolls of the legendary franchise who were unhappy with her casting, Tran was run off Instagram by messages from “fans” who didn’t like her character in the movie.
As of right now, her account is still live, but there are no posts, as Deadline reports. There is only a bio line that says: “Afraid, but doing it anyway.”
There has been no confirmation from Tran as to exactly why she vanished so suddenly from the web, but many of her supporters are blaming cyberbullying as they continue to defend the San Diego native online.
"The Last Jedi" director Rian Johnson, as well as co-stars from Mark Hamill to John Boyega, have been inspired to take a stand for Tran against the trolls. Fellow Asian Americans even took to Twitter to express the utter importance of seeing themselves represented on screen in a major film franchise.
But what’s been most beautiful despite the abuse has no doubt been the artwork many furious but fun-loving fans from around the world have struck back with in order to help. In order to counter the negativity spread by the trolls who harassed Tran once and for all, Star Wars fans have quickly grabbed their “brushes, pencils, and tablets [to get] to work creating artwork that expresse[s] Rose Tico’s beauty and perseverance,” as GOOD reports.
The multitude of artwork posted on Twitter has been hashtagged under #FanArtforRose and the pile has been growing for days now. And though it truly has been so sad that Tran has been the target of this online hatred, it is superb to know that there are still millions of good people out there that send light to darkness in order to honor a performer that definitely deserves some praise.