According to this academic paper, Star Wars was intended to convey left-leaning themes per comments from George Lucas. In effect, Star Wars was a propaganda messaging platform. The Last Jedi is said to have caused an eruption of right wing propaganda directed against those themes but researchers find that much of it may have been driven by Russian troll farm operations and “bots”, followed by users who shared those messages, which where then amplified by the mass media.
Online harassment of a lead actress in the film appears to have been driven by politically oriented Twitter accounts, often operating as trolls, bots or from Russian troll farms.
Russian trolls weaponize Star Wars criticism as an instrument of information warfare with the purpose of pushing for political change, while it is weaponized by right-wing fans to forward a conservative agenda and for some it is a pushback against what they perceive as a feminist/social justice onslaught
“Russian influence operators …. exploit precisely this type of cognitive dissonance to persuade individual social media users that their values are under attack, cultivating and advancing polarization and disparity. This breakdown of American’s sense of community was and continues to be the purpose of the Russian social media influence campaign targeting the West…. Getting the media to pay attention to such conflicts only amplifies them, further advancing the Russian objective.”
You can download and read the full text of the paper, at the link.
The author’s larger conclusion is that “pop culture debates on social media are being politicized, sometimes for strategic purposes that have nothing to do with the subject under debate.”
Social media is a dangerous propaganda platform now exploited as information warfare to tear apart society. Social media is synonymous with social destruction.