Yesterday, Jar Jar Binks actor Ahmed Best revealed he nearly committed suicide after the media backlash that torpedoed his career. Since Best's post went live, the actor has received an outpouring of support from fans and other members of the film industry. Guardians of the Galaxy writer/director James Gunn joined the chorus, suggesting that toxic Star Wars fans who have harassed those involved with the films should consider going to therapy.
In a post to his Twitter account, Gunn retweeted a news story covering Ahmed Best's post, with the caption "People need to chill out." Although some users stepped in to defend Best and other actors in the Star Wars franchise against poor writing, Gunn elaborated that shifting the hateful comments towards writers is lame. "People responding to this post saying, 'Yeah, it wasn’t the actor’s fault! It was the writer’s!' are missing the point," Gunn wrote. "Critique it. Don’t like it. But spewing hate and bile at individuals just doing their best to tell a story, even if the story sucks, is lame. Don’t watch it!"
In a final tweet to the thread, Gunn recommended therapy for those who's self-esteem is dependent on the quality of the current crop of Star Wars films. "Star Wars (or any movie) may be important to you, but it doesn’t belong to you," he wrote. "If your self-esteem depends on how good you think the current Star Wars is, or your childhood is ruined because you don’t like something in a movie, GO TO THERAPY."
Ahmed Best is not the only actor to have his career affected by backlash from the Star Wars prequels, as Anakin Skywalker actors Jake Lloyd and Hayden Christensen were also subject to massive career setbacks due to backlash over their roles in the films, with the former ending his career before it ever really started due to the amount of bullying he received.
The vitriol spewed by vindictive Star Wars fans has also resulted in the departure of Kelly Marie Tran from Instagram following months of harassment over her role as Rose Tico in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Director Chris McQuarrie said he was “cured” of the desire to make a Star Wars film after spending five minutes in Rian Johnson’s shoes on Twitter.