Simon Pegg: ‘Star Wars’ Fandom Is the ‘Most Toxic at the Moment’ and It’s ‘Really Sad’

Simon Pegg has become a franchise master in recent years, having appeared in the likes of “Star Trek,” “Star Wars,” “Mission: Impossible” and “Doctor Who.” During a recent appearance on SiriusXM’s “Jim and Sam” radio show (via Mediaite), Pegg was asked what franchise has “the hardest fans to please.” It didn’t take long for the actor to deliver his answer: “Star Wars.”

“To be honest — and as someone who kind of was, you know, kicked off about the prequels when they came out, the ‘Star Wars’ fanbase really seems to be the most kind of toxic at the moment,” Pegg said. “I’m probably being very controversial to say that.”

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Pegg noted that he himself was once a toxic “Star Wars” fan as he contributed to the backlash against Jar Jar Binks actor Ahmed Best when “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” opened in theaters. Pegg has previously said he is “ashamed” for contributing to the backlash. Controversy around Jar Jar Binks led Best to consider ending his own life.

“I’ve apologized for the things I said about, you know, Jar Jar Binks,” Pegg told the podcast hosts. “Because, of course, there was a fucking actor involved. He was getting a lot of flack and … it was a human being. And because it got a lot of hate, he suffered, you know, and I feel terrible about being part of that.”

Several “Star Wars” actors have been victims of online harassment because of toxic fans in recent years. Kelly Marie Tran had to leave social media after the release of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” because the harassment was so bad. John Boyega has spoken openly about the racism he experienced for being a Black lead in a “Star Wars” movie. Moses Ingram just dealt with racist “Star Wars” fans due to her role in “Obi-Wan Kenobi.”

“We are proud to welcome Moses Ingram to the Star Wars family and excited for Reva’s story to unfold,” the official “Star Wars” social media accounts posted in May as a response to the racist fans. “If anyone intends to make her feel in any way unwelcome, we have only one thing to say: we resist.”

Obi-Wan Kenobi himself, Ewan McGregor, added his own statement: “It just sickened me to my stomach to hear that this has been happening. We stand with Moses, we love Moses, and if you’re sending her bullying messages, you’re no ‘Star Wars’ fan in my mind.”

For Pegg, “Star Trek” fandom is the exact opposite of “Star Wars” fandom. “I find the ‘Star Trek’ fans have always been very, very inclusive, you know, ‘Star Trek’s’ about diversity. It has been since 1966, it always was,” the actor said.

“There’s no sort of like, ‘Oh, you’re suddenly being woke,’” Pegg added. “No ‘Star Trek’ was woke from the beginning, you know? … This is massively progressive. ‘Star Wars’ suddenly there’s, there’s a little bit more diversity and everyone’s kicking off about it. And it’s, it’s really sad.'”

Pegg had a small, prosthetics-laden role as Unkar Plutt in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

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