Lucasfilm creative executive Pablo Hidalgo is in hot water this week for mocking a prominent Star Wars fan YouTuber over his emotional reaction to Luke Skywalker’s appearance in The Mandalorian.
Hidalgo chimed in on a tweet thread talking about YouTuber Star Wars Theory reacting very emotionally to seeing his childhood hero return to the Star Wars universe in fine form.
Hidalgo allegedly tweeted “emotions are not for sharing” in reply to the YouTuber’s teary-eyed appearance on a livestream, and reportedly deleted the tweet and went private after fan pushback… but not before making that controversial tweet his profile pic.
Pablo chimes in to make fun. Deletes the tweet. Then puts one of them as his header. How is this acceptable from someone so high up at Lucasfilm? You're telling people it's not ok to have emotions about the work your company produces, and you make fun of them for crying? Not ok. pic.twitter.com/aIfU2SigIy
— Star Wars Theory (@SWTheory66) December 28, 2020
This isn’t the first time that YouTuber Star Wars Theory has had a run-in with the higher ups at Lucasfilm. Last year, a Darth Vader fan film that he produced was hit with a copyright claim by The Walt Disney Company that was later reversed.
With 2.7 million subscribers on YouTube, it didn’t take long for other Star Wars fans to rush to the aid of Star Wars Theory.
Sadly, Hidalgo has been trolling fans who actually care about Star Wars since Lucasfilm was sold. Pay that hoser no attention, Theory. He doesn't know what it's like to be passionate about something, much less Star Wars.
— Jedi Lukee 🎃 🎃 (@I__Jedi) December 28, 2020
The Pablo Hidalgo incident is gaining momentum on Twitter, and was trending earlier today. Some media outlets are picking up on the story now, and it’s a bad look for Disney, who’s had some success at winning back jaded fans with The Mandalorian after a divisive sequel trilogy.
Meaww mentions that many angry Star Wars fans are baffled by Hidalgo’s behavior, and are pointing out that Star Wars Theory is a cancer survivor who got through his battle in part because of his hero Luke Skywalker…
One fan commenting on the turn of events said: “Just wanted to point out that @fellawhomstdve made fun of a cancer survivor for getting emotional for seeing his childhood hero Luke Skywalker on screen again, and @pablohidalgo, a high up Lucasfilm official joined in on that and fueled the fire.” Another user, who also is not a fan of Hidalgo pointed out that this is not the first instance of toxic behavior from this LucasFilm executive, saying “Sadly, Hidalgo has been trolling fans who actually care about Star Wars since Lucasfilm was sold. Pay that hoser no attention, Theory. He doesn’t know what it’s like to be passionate about something, much less Star Wars.”
Lucasfilm employees seem to hate Star Wars fans. And that’s an ANTI-Disney business strategy. Something has to give to save Star Wars.
Hidalgo has a pattern of trolling Star Wars fans on Twitter, and he’s not alone. In 2018, Star Wars novel and comic book writer Chuck Wendig was cut loose from Marvel and Lucasfilm over heated comments about politics on Twitter.
It seems to be a cultural thing at Lucasfilm under Disney ownership, and the company needs to address this if they’re going to salvage the damaged Star Wars brand. Much of the volleying on social media seems to stem from the divisive fan reaction to The Last Jedi and the current political climate.
And it’s not just Lucasfilm. Marvel Comics employees and freelancers have constantly been on the offensive on Twitter as well. It seems that IP hungry Disney is purchasing companies with cultures that, frankly, aren’t very “Disney” in their attitudes toward consumers.
There are a lot of entertainment offerings these days, and many oldschool fans (with the most disposable income) are turning away from franchises that seemingly don’t want them anymore.
Disney might want to rethink how their “ambassadors” interact with these fandoms if they want to keep the money rolling in.
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