In possibly one of the least expected beefs of 2017, Mark Hamill and Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) took a few jabs at each other via Twitter after Hamill posted a scathing tweet slamming FCC Chairman Ajit Pai for the net neutrality ruling.
In his original tweet calling out Pai, Hamill included a screencap of Pai from a bizarre video he released earlier in the week attempting to reassure the public of the harmlessness of the net neutrality repeal and in which he wields a lightsaber.
“Cute video Ajit ‘Aren’t I Precious?’ Pai,” Hamill wrote Saturday, along with a vomiting emoji. “But you are profoundly unworthy to wield a lightsaber-A Jedi acts selflessly for the common man-NOT lie 2 enrich giant corporations.”
“Btw-did you pay John Williams his royalty? #AJediYouareNOT,” he finished — the video included the “Star Wars” main theme during the lightsaber segment.
Cruz retweeted Hamill’s tweet on Sunday and responded, addressing Hamill as his “Star Wars” character Luke Skywalker and tagging the wrong Twitter account by spelling ‘Hamill’ incorrectly.
“Luke, I know Hollywood can be confusing, but it was Vader who supported govt power over everything said & done on the Internet,” Cruz wrote. “That’s why giant corps (Google, Facebook, Netflix) supported the FCC power grab of net neutrality. Reject the dark side: free the net!”
About an hour later, Hamill fired back, referencing an incident earlier this year in which Cruz’s Twitter account liked a video posted by a porn account.
“Thanks for smarm-spaining it to me [Ted Cruz] I know politics can be confusing, but you’d have more credibility if you spelled my name correctly. I mean it’s right there in front of you! Maybe you’re just distracted from watching porn at the office again.”
Pai’s video, which was originally posted to the Daily Caller, has incited controversy by using several copyrighted songs, particularly “Harlem Shake,” which caused the DJ behind the song, Baauer, to release a statement to The Verge saying his team is “currently exploring every single avenue available to get it taken down.” The video was also temporarily taken down from YouTube due to the copyright infringement claims, but quickly reappeared after the removal sparked outrage from the publisher of the Daily Caller, who cited politically-motivated censorship and parody fair use laws.
The net neutrality ruling removed rules Democrats say are aimed at protecting consumers from exploitation by ISPs, though the FCC’s Republican majority views them as burdensome and hindering competition and growth within the sector. Moody’s said in a report that changes in consumers’ Internet experience are unlikely in the short term, as the bad publicity and pushback from such a move would outweigh the revenue benefits to ISPs.
Watch the video that kicked it all off below (The lightsaber appears at the 1:10 mark):