Author Chuck Wendig announced today on Twitter that Marvel Comics has fired him from Star Wars: Shadow of Vader #4 and #5, as well as a yet-announced Star Wars project. The cause of the firing appears to be consistent and sustained harassment from the Comicsgate subcommunity, which prides itself on campaigns of harassment aimed at creators who incorporate progressive characters and themes into their works.
So, here’s a thing that has happened – I just got fired from Marvel. Taken off issues 4 and 5 of SHADOW OF VADER, and taken off an as-yet-unannounced SW book.
This might be a long thread, so apologies in advance.
— Chuck Wendig (@ChuckWendig) October 12, 2018
According to Wendig’s tweets (the author penned several in succession to tell his story), the harassment began after the release of his 2015 novel Star Wars: Aftermath, which introduced a character named Sinjir Rath Velus, an Imperial turncoat and one of the few openly gay characters in Star Wars canon. That book’s online rankings were marred by a review bombing campaign, despite impressive sales. Since the book’s release, the harassment levied at Wendig has only intensified.
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While Wendig was initially assured by Lucasfilm that the harassment did not reflect poorly on him, things have seemingly changed. Wendig explained that, in a phone call he received today, an editor from Marvel, Mark Paniccia, explained that he was fired due to “the negativity and vulgarity” that his tweets brought.
“It was too much politics, too much vulgarity, too much negativity on my part,” wrote Wendig, then in another tweet: “Basically, because I was not civil.”
Wendig also pointed out that he is far from the first creator to lose a job at Marvel due to campaigns of sustained harassment, perhaps the most notable example being Disney firing James Gunn from the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise Guardians of the Galaxy earlier this year. As for Star Wars, Kelly Marie Tran of The Last Jedi fame has been upfront about the harassment she received since debuting in the film as Rose Tico.
The five-part Shadow of Vader miniseries was announced a New York Comic Con. It will follow the Star Wars villain Darth Vader through various eras of his life. A replacement writer has not been announced for the series’ final and penultimate issues.