One of the knock-on effects of casting young talent in your aging movie franchise is that it typically comes with a fresh infusion of sudden social media savvy. Nowhere has that been clearer than in the recent Instagram and Twitter activities of Star Wars star John Boyega, who—freed from years of smiling politely while Disney PR Enforcement Drones hovered menacingly over his shoulders, waiting for the slightest twitch of human emotion to leak through—has really embraced the post-Rise Of Skywalker dark side of trolling the crap out of the franchise’s fans.
Turnabout is, after all, fair play—although we’re not sure how much overlap there is between the virulently awful people who have spent the last five years hounding Boyega and his co-stars across, and sometimes even off, of social media, and the hordes of ’shippers he’s been gently poking for the last few weeks. It all began when the actor jokingly suggested on Twitter that, perhaps, the relationship between Rey and Kylo Ren—founded as it is on a mutual foundation of non-consensual mind links, torture, and the occasional tummy stabbing—might not be as romantic as some of its advocates believe. Boyega’s glee at the consternation this perceived betrayal—which was probably sharpened by general perceptions that he and Oscar Isaac are both “on the side” of fans with vested interests in the franchise’s potential romantic options—has provoked has only powered more posts, culminating in this Instagram masterpiece yesterday that may or may not be the end of this whole bloody and brutal saga.
It’s worth noting—in a fandom where the internet attacks can get vicious, personal, and overwhelming very quickly—that Boyega is clearly just amused at the reactions, rather than actively vindictive. (Although it might have been good practice to blur out the names and handles of the people in question before sending the video out to his 1.8 million followers.) Still, it’s out of his system now: We’re sure this is the last time we’ll ever hear about Star Wars online drama for the rest of our collective lives.