Now, more than ever, fans make themselves heard online – for better or for worse. Loud portions of the Star Wars fandom make sure they’re heard, even if it negatively impacts others. It’s easy to forget there are real people behind Twitter handles. Daisy Ridley knows this all too well, having been on the receiving end of The Rise of Skywalker backlash this past winter.
Ridley appeared on the podcast DragCast, where she spoke about the impact of social media on Star Wars culture, as well as her own choice to leave social media.
Her reason for leaving social media wasn’t all that dramatic. She just realized on day she didn’t want to be on it anymore. “I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t actually have to be on it. This is nice.’ And I always had a limit to what I shared anyway and, honestly, my life isn’t that exciting. So there were a lot of separate things.”
As for Rise of Skywalker reactions, Ridley said it was vastly different from the time of The Force Awakens. “January was not that nice. It was weird, I felt like all of this love that we’d sort of been shown the first time around, I was like ‘Where’s the love gone?”
“I think it’s that tricky thing of when you’re part of something that is so filled with love,” she said. Anyone who’s put love and time into an artistic project can relate to that – you work so hard, but not all people will enjoy what you put into the world.
Of course, not liking something doesn’t mean you have to go out of your way to bash it. Ridley avoids being negative for the sake of being negative. “If I went to a film and didn’t like it, I just wouldn’t tweet about it,” she stated. She admits being upset by some of the negative headlines that popped up.
But at the end of the day, Ridley is “thrilled to be a part of” The Rise of Skywalker.
Yes, artistic projects are subjective, and not everyone will like your work. But as a fandom, we can certainly remember that our words hold power, and those people we talk about online? They’re exactly that – people, human beings. Words are powerful, folks. Let’s use that power for good.