It goes without saying that the internet has been beneficial to humanity. It possesses a democratizing effect in that no matter or how little money or resources at your command, you potentially have the same access to information that a person with significantly greater resources has.
But like any benison, there’s a dark side. The Internet also, by its very nature, facilitates the rapid spread of information, be it helpful or just rumor and innuendo, with the capability to damage lives and careers.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be the latest entries to one of the most successful movie franchises in history–despite Lucas’ for the most part mediocre and machine-tooled prequels–and there’s a lot of good will that accompanies it.
The Internet being the Internet, not all the news that accompanied the upcoming movie has been positive. Some people have felt the need to dwell in details that are either minor, or decidedly insignificant, such as the skin color of a Stormtrooper.
Sure, Stormtroopers aren’t real (though the idea was apparently inspired by Hitler’s elite shocktroops) but people take such things seriously enough–and the Internet isn’t exactly a medium that encourages thoughtful, considered discussion–that a brouhaha resulted.
The thing is, in a roundabout way I think that George Lucas himself unknowingly contributed to the problem by deciding that the Stormtroopers were clones, despite the fact that in the movies leading up to his prequels the Stormtroopers were obviously different sizes and heights (which wouldn’t be the case if they were all physically identical).
When all is said and done, the complaint is a silly one–the Internet not only makes some pretty stupid ideas almost instantly available to potentially millions of people but amplifies them seemingly a hundred-fold–and will do little to deter the movie from grossing millions of dollars, but it can’t be anything but disappointing that we can never seem to get beyond ideas that only bring out the worse in us.
That being said, the same thing happened when the Internet learned that Heimdall from the Thor movies would be played by Idris Elba (it’s worth mentioning that he’s a significantly less important character that the Stormtroopers), so it’s hardly a new thing.
Though that doesn’t make it any less interesting, though.