Did a group of Trump supporters slime “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” without the facts?
The hashtag #DumpStarWars began Thursday morning with a group of conservative “Star Wars” fans declaring their intent to boycott the release of “Rogue One,” the upcoming standalone film that hits theaters Dec. 16.
Twitter user Jack Posobiac, who is listed as the special projects director for a group called Citizens for Trump, claimed that “‘Star Wars’ writers rewrote and reshot ‘Rogue One’ to add in Anti Trump scenes calling him a racist.”
A Disney representative has told TheWrap that allegations that the plot of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” was changed in post-production reshoots are completely untrue.
The #DumpStarWars saga began with this tweet from Posobiec:
And then he followed that up with an 18-minute live stream via Twitter’s Periscope app.
And then he rounded out the thesis behind the hashtag with these two tweets:
For good measure, a few hours after the original tweets he posted this image from a meme generator at breakyourownnews.com.
A lot of folks have taken what Posobiec has tweeted and said in his multiple Periscope streams at face value, propping up the #DumpStarWars hashtag enough that it trended — though plenty of the tweets on that hashtag are also people arguing that Posobiec is lying.
Whether or not Posobiec is lying, he is making claims that are not supported by the facts.
There are two totally separate elements of this story that hold a small degree of truth: Yes, “Rogue One” underwent extensive reshoots earlier this year; and, yes, after Trump won the presidential election on November 8, screenwriters Chris Weitz and Gary Whitta switched their Twitter avatars to images of the logo of the Rebel Alliance with a safety pin hooked through it before tweeting what seemed to be anti-Trump messages. Weitz tweeted at the time that “the Empire is a white supremacist (human) organization.”
Weitz chimed in on #DumpStarWars on Thursday, calling it “completely fake,” echoing what we heard from Disney.
The problem with #DumpStarWars is that Posobiec appears to have combined those completely discrete stories into one, claiming that the purpose of the reshoots were to smear Donald Trump in some way. There is no evidence whatsoever that any of the changes made to “Rogue One” were politically motivated, and it’s difficult to imagine how a “Star Wars” movie — being set in a fantasy universe — could directly address the election of Donald Trump anyway. It’s worth noting that the reshoots were completed during the summer, well before the election and well after Whitta left the project in early 2015.
Many adherents of #DumpStarWars bemoan the seeming combination of entertainment and politics, though of course “Star Wars” is well known for containing obvious real world parallels. Weitz’s claim that the Empire is a supremacist organization is certainly backed up by the lore of the franchise. And it’s no secret that franchise creator George Lucas wanted the uniforms of Imperials to evoke garb worn by Nazis, and for the Empire to be a militaristic fascist organization reminiscent of Nazi Germany.