Rogue One: A Star Wars Story doesn’t hit theaters until Dec. 16, but this week alt-right protesters were calling for a boycott of Disney’s Star Wars standalone film.
In early November, Rogue One writer Chris Weitz tweeted comments against President-elect Donald Trump, at one point alluding to possible political parallels to the Star Wars universe, writing, “Please note that the Empire is a white supremacist (human) organization.”
Weitz has since deleted the tweet and has apologized. But last week a hashtag was created, #DumpStarWars, that suggested a boycott of the movie, with some calling the feature “anti-Donald Trump” and “feminist propaganda.”
“I think the whole story has been overblown and, quite frankly, it’s silly,” Disney CEO Bob Iger told THR on the red carpet of the world premiere of Rogue One on Saturday.
Continued Iger: “I have no reaction to [this] story at all. Frankly, this is a film that the world should enjoy. It is not a film that is, in any way, a political film. There are no political statements in it, at all.”
Rogue One, directed by Gareth Edwards, stars Felicity Jones as a rebel fighter who leads a group in a plot to steal the plans to the Death Star from the evil Empire. Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed and Forest Whitaker also star in the movie, which acts as a prequel to George Lucas’ original 1977 film.
“[Rogue One] has one of the greatest and most diverse casts of any film we have ever made and we are very proud of that, and that is not a political statement, at all,” said Iger.
Interest in Rogue One is high. Fandango reported that the day tickets became available was its highest presale day of the year, and its second-highest presale day ever, behind last year’s The Force Awakens.
Moreover, the film is tracking for a massive $130 million-plus box office debut, which would mark the second-biggest December opening of all time, following (once again) The Force Awakens.
“I have seen the film a number of times, and only a few other people have gotten to see it. So, now we get to share it with the world,” said Iger. “We know it’s great, and we can’t wait for other people to discover that.”