Star Wars‘ online community was up in arms this week after a tense encounter between the fandom’s most popular YouTube personality and a young, aspiring video maker.
Star Wars Theory is the most prominent YouTuber focused on the sci-fi series. He produces videos dedicated to explaining Star Wars lore, along with providing analysis of the franchise’s various movies, shows, books, and more. He also hosts the Nerd Theory Podcast, a show featuring other content creators within the community.
Star Wars Theory and Levi Bond controversy explained
In the most recent Nerd Theory episode, Star Wars Theory invited 19-year-old Levi Bond onto the stream. Levi is part of All New Nerds, a small YouTube channel with 500 subscribers. That’s when things immediately got awkward.
Almost as soon as arriving on the show, All New Nerds pointed out his issues with Star Wars Theory’s content. “I’m really trying to show with my efforts that we as fans can all talk to each other, and we all have a shared passion for Star Wars,” Levi said. “If we think the fandom is broken, it’s up to us as fans to fix it, and personally I’ve had some problems with the way [Star Wars Theory’s] channel is now.”
Levi then went on to compare Theory’s responsibility to the Star Wars community to the President of the United States’ responsibilities while in office, referencing the constitutional standard for impeachment before saying that Theory has a “different set of responsibilities” as the most well-known Star Wars YouTube content creator. He concluded by saying that Star Wars YouTubers such as Theory should aim to be “more like Qui-Gon, less like Anakin.”
From there, things went about as well as you’d expect in an argument between a 19-year-old Star Wars fan and a Star Wars YouTuber with 3 million subscribers. Theory pointed out that this wasn’t the correct platform to call him out on, given how Levi was invited in order to amplify his fledgling YouTube channel, before the pair begin a war of words around The Last Jedi.
“If you come to my channel, you’re going to get real and that’s what you’re always going to get … I don’t like [The Last Jedi]. I am free to say what I like to say, and I don’t feel I have to uphold some sort of belief or political system. I’m not American, I don’t give a shit about American politics, I’m Canadian. I don’t have to believe in this office rule I’ve never heard of because I’m not a politician, I’m a Star Wars fan.”
Inevitably, the live chat erupted as the argument escalated. A chorus of “cringe” comments accompanied the ongoing debate, with Levi becoming apologetic and conceding that he misread the tone of the conversation. “I gave people permission for you to come in here and talk… then all of a sudden you start taking a shit,” Theory told the YouTuber.
Levi noted that he came in “really hot” and apologized for calling Theory out, though was removed from the podcast. The full podcast episode can be viewed here, and the bizarre argument can be viewed below:
After the podcast concluded, viewers immediately sought out Levi’s channel and began inundating its videos with dislikes and negative comments. As a result of this, Star Wars Theory invited him back on his channel in a livestreamed 30-minute discussion in order to prevent the online bullying he was experiencing.
In this discussion, Levi explained that he was trying to discuss how Star Wars Theory’s comments in his videos have wider implications on the fandom as a whole. “When you talk about the [Star Wars] sequels … and you say that Rian Johnson doesn’t understand Star Wars, in your opinion, I think that it implies to other people that people who like [The Last Jedi] also don’t understand Star Wars,” Levi said.
The video concludes amicably, with both YouTubers agreeing that Levi overreacted and that Star Wars Theory is free to discuss his opinions on Star Wars without “censoring” himself:
It’s perhaps indicative of the Star Wars fandom at large that a 2017 film is still creating these rifts within its community. While the poor reception to the sequel trilogy caused Disney to put the brakes on releasing more films, perhaps it’s for the best that new Star Wars movies start rolling out so YouTubers can collectively move on from Rian Johnson’s sequel.