#30DaysAntiABA: Is the Force with Us? An Open Letter to Mark Hamill

The first Star Wars movie A New Hope came out the year I was born. I obviously didn’t see that one when it first came out in the cinema, or The Empire Strikes Back when I was three. But I did go to see The Return of the Jedi when I was six. And of course I’ve seen every Star Wars Movie since. Even the “dodgy trio”. And I brought my kids to see the last three movies, including The Last Jedi on New Years Day 2019. Out last outing as a family before Covid struck. So you can see I’m quite a fan. Not a “nerdy” fan, but enough that I would pay to see the movies and enjoy them.

And so, when I discovered you on Twitter a few years back, I was delighted. I loved reading your tweets and thought you were a great guy. And if I’m honest, while my peers all loved Harrison Ford as Han Solo, I actually had a soft spot for Luke. (Though his sister was the better sibling, naturally).

And so it’s with a heavy heart that I have to say “Luke, don’t go to The Dark Side”. Please Mark. I’m begging you. And by that I mean, please don’t take part in the #ColorTheSpectrum , the fundraiser for the Charity Next For Autism. Please do your research and see for yourself why it’s not a charity that actually helps autistic people.

I don’t have the heart or energy to write in detail about the problems with the event that you are supporting. The news about it has worn me down too much. I am too upset. But this blog post by The Crippled Scholar has the details.

Here is another blog post saying much the same things, just in case you thought it was only one person who noticed these things. And here is another. As well as those there are a growing number of YouTube videos about it, such as this , this , this and this . I’m sure there will be many more in the next few days.

Many autistic people identify with the Jedi. We see the rebellion against the Empire and the Sith as an analogy for our struggle against ableism and our oppressors. Please don’t be on the side of the Dark Force. Please join us in the Light.

And may be Force be With Us.

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