Earlier today a photo began to circulate online of the Yoda fountain just outside the Lucafilm campus in San Francisco. A chalk message in support of the Black Lives Matter movement had been written along the bottom of the statue, albeit transcribed in the backwards-speaking patterns of the Jedi master, reading: "Matter Black Lives do." News of the writing spread quickly, and was confirmed by Disney to be authentic, and members of the Star Wars family that are both active on social media and in the Black Lives Matter movement sounded off. Both Mark Hamill and John Boyega re-shared the image and its message of solidarity, the former channeling Yoda with one of his signature quotes.
Boyega made headlines last week after delivering an impassioned speech at a Black Lives Matter rally in London. In part of his speech, Boyega said: “Black lives have always mattered. We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless. And now is the time. I ain’t waiting." The actor also mentioned that he wasn't sure "if I'll have a career after this," referencing the instances of outspoken Black people being shut out in countless fields, but his Star Wars family spoke in support of him after this including directors Rian Johnson and J.J. Abrams.
The Walt Disney Company and Lucasfilm also tweeted a message of support for Boyega and his speech, writing: "The evil that is racism must stop. We will commit to being part of the change that is long overdue in the world. John Boyega, you are our hero.”
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This statement came after the company previously pledged $5 million to organizations that advance social justice. Disney announced that $2 million of this sum would be going to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Disney hasn't yet announced what organizations will be receiving the rest of the funds from the donation but will also be matching gifts donated by employees to organizations in their communities through the Disney Employee Matching Gifts program.
Luminous beings are we... ALL. pic.twitter.com/LHCGYq5FPS— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) June 8, 2020
"Today’s pledge is part of Disney’s ongoing commitment to support organizations that advance social justice," read the statement from Disney. "For many years, Disney has worked closely with groups that advocate for and empower communities of color, including the NAACP, whose mission is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race. The Company has also previously provided millions of dollars in grants to help students from underrepresented groups make the dream of higher education a reality, including $2.5 million to the United Negro College Fund."
(Cover photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images/Lucasfilm)