Disney and Lucasfilm have added a couple of exciting new wrinkles to the Star Wars legacy on Disney+ this year, with more on the way thanks to next month's Andor. However, as has been the case for the past few years, Star Wars has also had to deal with a slew of toxic criticism from various sects of the fanbase, especially more recently.
Finn actor John Boyega lamented Lucasfilm's efforts with diversity in the franchise, even comparing its efforts to Marvel Studios with the MCU succeeding so well in that department. And even as recently as Star Wars' last release, Obi-Wan Kenobi, the franchise dealt with unfortunate commentary as Reva star Moses Ingram dealt with a wave of racist comments following her performance in the Disney+ series.
While Star Wars has been in the spotlight more than most franchises for this type of toxicity, another widely popular series has, unfortunately, had to deal with the same thing in recent weeks - Lord of the Rings.
This franchise recently came back into the spotlight with The Rings of Power on Prime Video, and while the series earned record-breaking viewing numbers, its stars have faced a number of prejudiced comments similar to those that Star Wars handled throughout 2022.
Now, as a sign of respect, the galaxy far, far away offered its support for J.R.R. Tolkien's world in Middle-Earth.
Star Wars Stands Behind Lord of The Rings
The official Lord of the Rings Twitter account shared a message of solidarity against the harassment and toxic comments that fans have posted on social media after the premiere of Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power on Prime Video.
These comments include "racism, threats, harassment, and abuse" that some of the cast members have faced, noting how author J.R.R. Tolkien created a "multi-cultural" world in his books. The account also thanked the fans who have supported the cast and crew through this endeavor.
The full message can be seen below:
"We, the cast of Rings of Power, stand together in absolute solidarity and against the relentless racism, threats, harassment, and abuse some of our castmates of color are being subjected to on a daily basis. We refuse to ignore it or tolerate it.
JRR Tolkien created a world which, by definition, is multi-cultural. A world in which free peoples from different races and cultures join together, in fellowship, to defeat the forces of evil. Rings of Power reflects that. Our world has never been all white, fantasy has never been all white, Middle-earth is not all white. BIPOC belong in Middle-earth and they are here to stay.
Finally, all our love and fellowship go out to the fans supporting us, especially fans of colour who are themselves being attacked simply for existing in this fandom. We see you, your bravery, and endless creativity. Your cosplays, fancams, fan art, and insights make this community a richer place and remind us of our purpose. You are valid, you are loved, and you belong. You are an integral part of the LOTR family — thanks for having our backs."
A couple of original cast members from the Lord of the Rings trilogy also shared their support for the cast and crew carrying the franchise forward.
Frodo Baggins star Elijah Wood shared an image of himself alongside co-stars Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd wearing shirts that stand in support of the franchise's diversity. He also included the caption "You Are All Welcome Here," which is written on the shirt in the Elvish language.
Samwise Gamgee actor Sean Astin shared the same message in his own Twitter post, along with a selfie of him wearing a hat with the same logo that was on Wood's t-shirt.
Along with these stars, Star Wars' official Twitter account shared its support for the franchise, using the message as a hashtag in a reply to the original post:
"From Middle-earth to a galaxy far, far away...#YouAreAllWelcomeHere"
Star Wars Stands Against All Toxic Fans
Star Wars has been particularly vigilant over the last few years defending its stars against fan toxicity, sending a similar message to fans who uttered racist comments toward Rose Taco star Kelly Marie Tran earlier this year. And now, Lucasfilm and Disney have expanded their support to another wildly popular franchise that's seen the same kind of comments hurled in its direction.
This message makes it clear that studios like Disney stand firmly against racism and all kinds of toxic harassment, no matter whether the franchise in question falls under the Disney umbrella or not. Star Wars' Twitter page in particular is at the forefront of this movement, which is especially meaningful with how often this kind of commentary has permeated pop culture as a whole.
Even though this won't stop these kinds of toxic comments completely, seeing Star Wars take this kind of stand should make fans more supportive of both franchises through this difficult endeavor.
Episode 3 of Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will debut on Prime Video on Friday, September 9. Star Wars will continue next with Andor, which premieres on Disney+ on Wednesday, September 21.