Star Wars: The Last Jedi is currently in theaters, as you are undoubtedly aware. Unless you've been living under a rock for several months, then crawled out from under that rock, went online, and immediately clicked on this article without looking at any social media or any other website. While audiences appear to be divided on they like it or dislike it, TLJ is yet another massive Star Wars hit. Sometimes it seems like TLJ is the only thing anyone is talking about. However, that's not all that's going on in the news right now.
Another big story right now is the FCC's repeal of Net Neutrality, spearheaded by FCC Chairmn Ajit Pai. Net neutrality is the set of rules that prevent internet service providers from slowing down the speeds of certain sites or having people pay to make them go faster. If the repeal goes into full effect, those regulations will be gone.
And yet, somehow, news about a political issue like net neutrality and the blockbuster movie franchise Star Wars wound up crossing paths in a big way. In fact, key figures from both stories wound up getting into a pretty nasty battle. However, instead of using lightsabers, the battle consisted entirely of tweets.
However, it first started when Ajit Pai apparently wanted to address some concerns people had about the repeal of net neutrality. So he decided to try to reassure the public by making - what else - making a YouTube video. Pai's attempt at YouTube comedy is called "7 Things You Can Still Do On The Internet After Net Neutrality."
As the title suggests, Pai's video shows him in some semi-comedic videos, where he attempts to show nothing will change about the internet, even after the repeal of net neutrality. One segment even shows Pai acting out a Star Wars scene and playing with a lightsaber. You know, just typical behavior from the current chairperson of the FCC.
You could say that Pai's video went viral, racking up over a million views in under five days. The video is also widely unpopular, with 8,000 likes and 216,000 dislikes. And there's one person in particular who was incredibly vocal about his displeasure with Pai's clip.
After referencing Star Wars in his video, Ajit Pai got a response from Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill. In particular, Hamill thinks that changing rules that could now allow corporations to jack up prices on consumers is not particularly Jedi-like. Hamill even took time away from The Last Jedi's premiere weekend to voice his opinion about net neutrality.
After seeing Hamill's tweet, Senator Ted Cruz couldn't help but jump into the conversation. Cruz attempted to take down Hamill by trying to claim that Darth Vader would have been in favor of net neutrality. And now, a Twitter feud was officially on.
However, many people on Twitter were quick to point out the flaws in Cruz's Star Wars logic. After all, when you think of The Resistance, Ted Cruz isn't exactly someone who comes mind. But how would Mark Hamill respond to Cruz's words?
In response, Mark Hamill got on Ted Cruz first for adding an extra "M" to his name in his tweet. Then came the knockout punch, when he said Cruz may have been distracted because he was watching porn in his office again. (In case you forgot, in September Ted Cruz - or someone on his staff - "liked" a porn video that was posted on Twitter.)
Ted Cruz did attempt a response, accusing Hamill of responding with anger instead of facts. He tried to then use a Yoda quote against Hamill, but it doesn't quite fit. It appears that Cruz missed the point, because Hamill responded with neither anger nor facts, but with 100% shade.
Ted Cruz could try to fight back and accuse Mark Hamill of using fear that would lead to the dark side, but most people on Twitter could see right through that. Don't try to out-Jedi Mark Hamill. It's just not going to work.
The idea of Mark Hamill and Ted Cruz fighting about net neutrality all seems pretty random. Then, from out of nowhere, also chiming in on the discussion was Billy Baldwin. The surreal just somehow got even surreal-er.
Mark Hamill did not directly respond to Ted Cruz's previously tweet, since there's no need to keep fighting after you've already won. However, he did call out himself for making a spelling error of his own. The official spelling of the term is "Smarm-splaining," not "Smarm-spaining."
And now, at least one teacher plans to bring the term "SmarmSplaining" to their students. No word yet on if the term should be hyphenated or if the "S" in "Splaining" should be capitalized or lower-case. But either way, this Twitter feud brought us a new word, and for that we should all be grateful.