Not content with meddling in the U.S. Presidential Election, it seems that Russia and its cyber agents have also recently turned their attention to… the Star Wars saga?!
Well, that’s what a new report from Morten Bay of The University of Southern California claims, with Bay publishing a paper which alleges that half of the online criticism aimed at Rian Johnson over Star Wars: The Last Jedi was “political trolling, some of it likely from Russia.”
The report claims that much of the Episode VII abuse stemmed from “bots, trolls/sock puppets or political activists supporting extreme right-wing causes and the discrimination of gender, race or sexuality.”
Apparently the purpose of all this was to increase media coverage of the conflict within the fan community, “adding to and further propagating a narrative of widespread discord and dysfunction in American society [and] persuading voters of this narrative remains a strategic goal for the U.S. alt-right movement, as well as the Russian Federation.”
Or, perhaps Putin just really didn’t like what happened to Luke Skywalker?
If you’re interested in reading the full paper, director Rian Johnson has linked to it on Twitter here:
A bit of Morten’s research came out awhile ago and made some headlines – here’s his full paper. Looking forward to reading it, but what the top-line describes is consistent with my experience online. https://t.co/MTRgmPxGgZ
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) October 1, 2018
In Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Skywalker saga continues as the heroes of The Force Awakens join the galactic legends in an epic adventure that unlocks age-old mysteries of the Force and shocking revelations of the past.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi sees returning cast members Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (Leia Organa), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata), Domhnall Gleeson (General Hux), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma), Billie Lourd (Lieutenant Connix), Andy Serkis (Supreme Leader Snoke), Peter Mayhew and Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca), Tim Rose (Admiral Ackbar), Mike Quinn (Nien Nunb) and Warwick Davis joined by new additions Jimmy Vee (Pan) as R2-D2, Kelly Marie Tran (Ladies Like Us) as Rose, Benicio Del Toro (Guardians of the Galaxy) as DJ and Laura Dern (Jurassic Park).