Russia vs. Star Wars

Who knew Russia hated Star Wars?

By now you’ve probably read about that study courtesy of researcher Morten Bay which revealed that around half of the negative Twitter content related to Star Wars: The Last Jedi that was specifically directed at director Rian Johnson over a six-month period was politically-motivated trolling and that much of it likely came from Russian “bots.” The study is worth a read, and while it is only a specific sample it does seem to add up in regard to the online handwringing versus the real-world reaction. As a general rule, movies that are loathed by the general public don’t end up earning $621 million domestic and $1.332 billion worldwide.

Despite rave reviews and a massive box office, the fans are still split over The Last Jedi to this day. In fact a large part of the reason Solo underperformed is believed to be due to the fact that Last Jedi left such a horrible taste in fans mouths.

Johnson tweeted a link to the study himself, writing that what Bay outlined “is consistent with my experience online.”

According to the study, Twitter identified 2,752 accounts with ties to Russia’s Internet Research Agency—the same group responsible for placing thousands of ads on Facebook in order to meddle with the presidential election. Bay whittled the numbers down, even more, possibly tracing 16 users that tweeted at Johnson back to Russian trolls. So, why go from tampering with an election to trolling a space movie (fine, the Big Space Movie) on social media? To stoke American in-fighting by any means possible, of course.

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