Amid the box office records and critical praise heaped on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a few hyper-sensitive souls may have noticed a very small disturbance in the Force, as if dozens of voices cried out in terror, and were suddenly ignored. You see, while director J.J. Abrams has been praised for imagining a galaxy where the Force flows through all living things, not everyone sees it that way.
In advance of the film’s release, the same “men’s rights activists” who took to the internet to complain about Mad Max: Fury Road took to the internet to complain that a series that gave women not named Leia only 63 seconds of dialogue across its first three movies was over-representing women. Horrified by the thought of a girl touching a lightsaber, MRAs attempted to organize a boycott of The Force Awakens, claiming that a film that acknowledges that women and people of color exist and can act in movies amounts to “SJW Propaganda.”
And now, the results of that boycott are in, and the MRAs have declared victory. Return Of Kings, “a blog for heterosexual, masculine men” upset that their movie about space wizards has a girl in it, is estimating that The Force Awakens “lost $4.2 million because of our reporting.” (Forbes disagrees with this assertion, not that it matters to the Return Of Kings faithful.) They arrived at this number by extrapolating the results of a 565-person informal poll by their site’s roughly estimated monthly users, multiplied by average ticket price. It’s unimpeachably sound science, just like the sound TIE fighters make in space.
So, to recap, a film that raked in a billion dollars worldwide in just 12 days and will most likely be the highest-grossing film of all time by the time you read this could have possibly made $1.004 billion if it hadn’t had a female lead. And while it’s unlikely Disney will make any changes to the series as a result, there’s little doubt that the MRAs will soldier on, like Stormtroopers taking shot after shot at Rey without ever hitting the mark.