Disney Lucasfilm Star Wars does not support roleplayers (RPers) on social media.
Those who roleplay for Star Wars are left to fend for themselves. Forget that most social media RPers are cosplayers, and Disney Lucasfilm Star Wars enjoys cosplayers presence at their conventions, such as Star Wars Celebration. Without cosplayers, their conventions would be bogus.
So why not social media roleplayers?
It has been explained to Disney Lucasfilm Star Wars as precisely what RPers are. And what they see is toxic fandom infighting. Disney Lucasfilm Star Wars wants no part of that.
There is a schism between Legends and Current Canons of Star Wars content, and the infighting makes it worse. And now, the toxicity has become personal. Some in the fandom use racism to justify their dislike Star Wars content simply because prominent corporate (liberal) media make it.
The Star Wars Actors Guild 77 has written letters to Disney Lucasfilm Star Wars to legitimize the RP space on social media. In some ways, they gave a tiny bit of leeway until new employees who were clueless about social media RP started to hate roleplayers actively. They misconstrued social media roleplay as a bastardized form of tabletop roleplaying games (TTRPGs). While social media roleplay uses a few similar terms in TTRPGs, the medium in high-format social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) is structurally different from written rules and dice-type roleplay.
SWAG77 has explained this difference.
The thought by many users on social media is that RPers, especially independent ones, are only toxic fans who know nothing about Star Wars and that they create original characters (OCs) that are overpowered and perform god moderation (godmod) to fit story arcs in fan-fiction suggest a massive misnomer in what actual RPers are doing — which is NOT THAT!
Because there is no support from professional groups, new fans get involved in social media roleplay that have no idea that there is a way to RP that is a fun part of Star Wars fandom, expands knowledge of the Star Wars content, and is participatory. But that requires education not to be overpowered, godmod, metagame, and puppeteer. It requires a lot of writing, resources, literature review, and willingness to perform.
SWAG77 does that exactly.
What we see after years of watching roleplay on social media is that most GOOD RPers try to limit breaking the rules of social media RP in several ways: They are open to RP practice or rehearsal by taking their characters on a “test drive” — a response to dynamic real-life Star Wars content that is in the character’s voice that is created. To do this requires reading several books, both Legends and Current Canon books. Many roleplayers write their character development to support other aspects of their fandom, such as cosplay, podcasts, and fanfiction.
SWAG77 practices and rehearses RP. We read and write formal scripts than behind-the-scenes private messaging plotting. After our performances, we compose the fanfiction result.
The problem with fanfiction is that while Disney Lucasfilm Star Wars can look at fan art, they officially refuse to review fanfiction. SWAG77 understands this, and we have created other ways to participate in the test drives. The risk is turning toxic when fans do not know or understand when the account is a roleplayer account. It happens because roleplayers have no support from Disney Lucasfilm Star Wars. Moreover, not many fans realize what social media roleplay exactly, since there are many opinions on the subject.
SWAG77 has tried and failed to put some minimum standards on social media roleplay, which is why we are a GUILD. At a minimum, what is required for a fan to do social media roleplay, such as having a bare minimum character sheet, rules, and how the muse will be played. Most of our suggestions have come from long-established social media RPers who are not part of our Guild. Other proposals have occurred by meta-studies on several small closed social media sites with strict rules. Rules are created to protect all RPers. It is the minimum and not the only way. No one plays football without understanding how to play and the rules. Social media roleplay is the same way. Doing whatever one wants hurts people and looks like toxicity to corporations. Even for portrayal RP accounts (test drive practice).
While most casual fans know who the canon-based characters are and can see them in RPs, SWAG77 roleplayers use robust, accurate, and authentic studies of the characters, similar to the cosplayer. However, our RP platform is social media. We do it as a form of entertainment. And because we impose rules as a Guild, we have lost many fans because they do not understand our process, which requires marketing strategies for product launches.
We do not say one of our accounts will be a lead character, and fans should accept us. We organize a professional market strategy to launch a character properly. We do it because fans enjoy interacting with the character in a particular manner. There MUST be several actions, such as profile pictures, character backstory, and a RPer who understand the class and type of the character that will be RPed. If that is NOT done, corporations only see what we do as toxic.
When a company like Disney Lucasfilm Star Wars puts out a new show with new characters, the RPers are the ones who encourage fans to enjoy the show and the characters. SWAG77 has tested this concept several times, and fans respond as they are encouraged and challenged to read official content.
While podcasts and other forms of video media are great and expands the messaging to the fandom, some podcasts and video media promotes disinformation to fans who do not understand if Star Wars content is true or not. Some fans do not realize that it is other fans sharing opinions and not established Star Wars content. Many Star Wars fans want the latest scoop the share with others and to fill in their gaps with their imaginations. That is fine, but when there is disinformation, it causes toxicity.
The underlying and fundamental basis of social media RP rests on a well-rounded knowledge and extensive review of the literature. If a RPers wants to perform accurately and authentically, then our method educates and is extensive. Most fans do not want to do that because it is too much time. We understand. We empathize with fans schedules and abilities.
However, as a GUILD under business license, we cannot successfully launch a product that has not been prepared with our minimum standards. And we cannot educate fans who are not willing or committed to our endeavors. As a business, we cannot do it. Our selling point is how we organized targeted information for performance. That is why SWAG77 discourages fans we discover as unprepared for what we professionally do. Moreover, we have to limit our age groups. It is not about skill. It is about our business safety. Interactions with underage children requires parental consent. We are not developed enough legally to manage that.
We use social media marketing tactics to tell our fan stories on social media. Tactics include several social media accounts with images, backstories, interactives, questions and answers, frequently asked questions, etc. Then, we get into our Star Wars lore with references and selling books from several commercial sources. And our team is tiny and volunteers. At any moment, our selected social media platforms can suspend us over the most insignificant posts from several years ago. Our commercial sources can remove us from our ability to promote books. We deal with a lot of individuals who report us.
We have many social media accounts for several years to relay our perspective on the Star Wars content in order to present the best on social media. WE ARE PERFORMING CHARACTERS. That requires a different kind of preparation for the latest show, And a discussion account is not the same as a active performing character RP account. WE ARE AS IF WE ARE THE CHARACTER RESPONDING TO OUR ACTIONS WITHIN THE SHOW ALL BASED ON STUDIES FROM THE LITERATURE!
We do not get exclusives from Disney Lucasfilm Star Wars. Therefore, since the owner is a trained scientist who has written scientific research grants to submit to the United States Health Services National Institutes of Health, we hypothesize what story and plot will be pursued and to do that requires a lot of reading and review of the literature.
The Star Wars Actors Guild 77 is Star Wars Graduate School for fans. Some of our supporters are Literature Professors. We have people with doctorates who advised us on how to create our methods. What we do not have are lawyers.
SWAG77 also uses other corporate business people to assist us with our marketing endeavors. But they are not Disney Lucasfilm Star Wars employees. Much less are they associated with the entertainment industry.
That is SWAG77’s goal. It is NOT perfect. But it is our goal.
Moreover, when fans become toxic who lack our system of organization, fandom becomes destructive and it focuses on marginalized communities, such as race, ethnicity, sexual preference and gender identities, the mentally and ability challenged, and sexism.
Disney Lucasfilm Star Wars is neutered to do anything and RPers as well as several fans and fan groups are suffering.
Here’s where we, the RPers of SWAG77 can make a difference:
Because we highly develop our character accounts, we can stop toxic fans and minimize the destructive behavior seen in fandom solely by being in character.
But Disney Lucasfilm Star Wars will have to support us. Otherwise it is a wasted effort.
So why is a Paramount CBS Program RPer for Star Trek is stepping in to protect the latest character from the Obi-Wan Kenobi show, Inquisitor Reva Sevander played by Ms. Moses Ingram against racist attacks?
SWAG77 RPers could have easily step in and shut down fandom hate. We would have used collective redirects toward reading the literature because we extensively studied it.
That’s right, Disney Lucasfilm Star Wars sees RPers are useless, and fans are convinced to ridicule us in this fandom. We get no support. Yet when our accounts step in, the toxicity stops.
Most fanfic writers create original characters that do not fit a Writer’s Guild Of America west writer and creative groups character design or story arc. Many fans do not incorporate aspects to pursue a logical story with plot design if a canon character is used. But a PERFORMED ROLEPLAY IN PUBLIC can be “observed” without comment by official Disney Lucasfilm Star Wars employees and actors. And there are caveats that SWAG77 is unable to discuss here.
Which character is a good fight back? Darth Vader, of course, when he is in full character. But by SWAG77’s experience after 13 years, we have found it more compelling that an unexpected character class is more effective than a most famous character. Emperor Palpatine would work. But other characters from Legends work well, such as the Yuuzhan Vong.
RPers KNOW their Star Wars material and good RPers will not overpower, godmod, metagame, or puppeteer. The minute we saw the attack on Reva Sevander, we could have been out there mitigating its effects, expanding the knowledge to fans so that gatekeeping is limited in fandom. We do not justify by discussion of the debate, we use direct quotes from Star Wars literature that involves the story, themes, conflict, plots and support characters.
Why does this work? Because SWAG77 introduces a paradox in the minds of the attackers. We show how the story of Star Wars is written and performed. We do this by rehearsal and practice. It takes a few comedic gimmicks and running gags with that are a part of our marketing plan. We disarm toxic fans. It is not harmful because most fans respond with “I never thought of that perspective before” comments.
The only reason why it will not work is when there are businesses that have been told to attack content.
SWAG77 does not think that the toxic fans who use racism are lone wolves that successfully perpetuate this heinous behavior toward Reva Sevander. We believe it is an organized attack to demolish the Star Wars franchise. The attack was planned because we have seen these actions before with Star Wars and other franchises.
But without support, SWAG77 stands isolated as a well-organized project.