Actor Riz Ahmed has come out to address the #DumpStarWars boycott controversy in a released statement concerning the "Rouge One: A Star Wars Story" film.

An actor's conversation with Metro

Ahmed, who plays the character of Bodhi Rook, who serves as a former-Imperial/rebel pilot, discussed the film in a conversation with the British Metro newspaper. Initially, while admitting that there are bound to people who will not like the film, he claimed that there were mostly “positive reviews,” especially highlighting ones that did not come from critics familiar with the Star Wars franchise.

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That said, he claimed that the film would have an air of familiarity for classic fans, but would still be “a cool intergalactic heist movie” for those unfamiliar with the Star Wars films.

As for playing a character that is part of an iconic franchise, Ahmed also said he was proud to be counted within an “amazing heritage and that legacy.”

While it seems to be a common comment to make about any film franchise, it has been speculated that Ahmed’s comments on people not liking the film was an allusion to the #DumpStarWars controversy.

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What is the #DumpStarWars boycott?

Having originated on Twitter, the controversial hashtag seems to have been instigated by an incident in which screenwriter Chris Weitz compared the Empire, referring to the antagonistic dictatorship of the original film series, to a white supremacist group, with another writer, Gary Whitta, furthering the parallel by pointing out that the Empire’s opposition within the film is a multi-cultural group, that also features prominent female characters.

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Both posts were eventually deleted, but Weitz would later release a post featuring the Rebel insignia with a safety pin through it, referring to a symbol of protest adopted during controversy over the Brexit decisions and later the recent American election. Both Weitz and Whitta would reportedly later adopt the symbol with the pin as their Twitter avatars, and actor Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the original film, gave his support for the post by resharing it.

However, some groups have opposed the post for its political nature with the #DumpStarWars hashtag being adopted as a retraction on social media sites, such as Twitter and Reddit, most advocating those in opposition not to watch the film. The trend made headlines when street artist Sabo tagged promotional artwork for the film on a bench with a picture of Donald Trump, in reference to the boycott.

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