When a long-running franchise welcomes a new member, veterans will often offer their input on the experience, with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker star Naomi Ackie confirming that Kelly Marie Tran gave her guidance not only about the saga, but also about how to handle the more toxic members of the fan community. With the actress joining the franchise in its final installment, she also noted that she didn't feel much pressure from fans, given how much time has passed between when she was focused on making the movie and when fans would react to it. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker lands in theaters on December 20th.
"I think watching the experience of Kelly Marie Tran and talking to her, I got a lot of inspiration from her about how to grow a thicker skin when it comes to people’s opinions of not just your work, [also] who you are," Ackie shared with Metro. "There’s a difference. That’s a challenge but I’m fired up. I feel good about it ultimately."
Few fandoms are as passionate as Star Wars fans, which comes as a double-edged sword. When those fans like something, they love it, and when they dislike something, they hate it. In the time since production wrapped, Ackie has been able to mentally prepare for the reactions to the adventure.
"Luckily, there’s so much time between knowing that you’re doing [the film], preparing for it, filming it, editing, and reshoots," Ackie shared. "You have so much time to contemplate all of that stuff. But at this point I feel like I’m in a good place, I’m ready for people to see it. And, hey, I think it’s gonna be great. If people don’t like it, they don’t like it. And if they don’t like me, that’s alright."
Prior to the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the most divisive component of the Star Wars franchise was the prequel trilogy, as the fans who grew up with the original films felt detached from the films that were directed towards a younger generation. With The Last Jedi, writer/director Rian Johnson aimed to reinvent everything fans had expected from the series in order to push the series forward, which left some audiences disappointed.
Fans who were disappointed with the film directed their ire mainly at Johnson, though some of the more toxic members of the community directed their anger at Tran, harassing her with sexist and racist remarks. The harassment was so overwhelming that Tran ultimately deleted her social media channels as to avoid the hateful remarks.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker lands in theaters on December 20th.
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