Stephen Colbert mocks Star Wars’ Rogue One boycott on The Late Show

Stephen Colbert (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for The Orchard)
Stephen Colbert (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for The Orchard) /

“The Late Show” host Stephen Colbert pleads with Trump supporters to leave “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” alone.

Since the election, Donald Trump supporters have called for a boycott of several companies for going against the president-elect and his associates such as Mike Pence and Breitbart News, including Kellogg’s, Starbucks and even the Broadway musical Hamilton. Their latest target is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which as Stephen Colbert explained during Tuesday’s The Late Show, drew their ire after one of the film’s writers tweeted that “the Empire is a white supremacist organization” after bashing Trump, inspiring the hashtag #DumpStarWars.

After delving into the latest political news courtesy of Trump’s meeting with Kanye West and his most recent cabinet selections, Colbert attempted to steer his monologue into non-political territory by mentioning that he was excited about the new Star Wars movie. Unfortunately, that led him to delve into the aforementioned boycott. He began by questioning the screenwriter’s assertion.

“Why would a white supremacist organization put a black guy in charge?” he said, referring to Darth Vader, who’s featured in the new movie.

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Although the Rogue One writer deleted and apologized for the tweet, that didn’t stop pro-Trump fans from spreading the rumor that “the film was re-shot to include anti-Trump scenes.”

“How do you fit anti-Trump scenes into a movie that takes place in another galaxy?” asked Colbert. “Did one of the storm troopers try to grab someone by the wookie?”

The host went on to beg the boycotters to just let the issue go: “Please, from my heart, please, 2016 has been a rough ride. All year, one shining beacon of hope I’ve had to look forward to at the end of this year is the new Star Wars, so I am begging you, in the name of Obi Wan Kenobi’s shimmering ghost, just shut up and let me enjoy Rogue One.”

Watch the entire monologue below, with talk of the boycott beginning around the 7:30 mark:

The dustup prompted Disney CEO Bob Iger to clarify that Rogue One, “is not a political film,” though George Lucas once revealed that the Empire was in fact inspired by Nazi Germany. He was also upfront about the political undertones found in some of the films, admitting that there were parallels between his final prequel film Revenge of the Sith and George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq.

The effectiveness of the boycott seems improbable, with the studio currently projecting that the franchise’s first standalone film will make $120 million to $150 million domestically in its opening weekend after seeing strong presales on Fandango, and receiving mostly positive reviews from critics. The spinoff film opens in theaters on Friday.

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Similar groups attempted to boycott Star Wars: The Force Awakens because it had lead characters who aren’t white males, accusing the blockbuster film of being anti-white, promoting white genocide and pushing a multicultural agenda. The movie went on to gross over $2 billion worldwide.

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. on CBS.