This Is Madness: Stop The Insanity

March 27, 2015

I wasn’t sure to post this here or on my other page but since this gets more eyeballs and it is relevant to SWPAS, it’s going here.

Every year for the past couple of years or so, starwars.com has been running a March Madness-type popularity contest with several Star Wars characters culled from the films, Clone Wars, and Rebels. It’s only meant to be fun. But even simple fun is no longer possible with a fandom and an internet full of jerks out to ruin it for everybody.

I don’t know in years past, but this year has had outright tampering with the polls or ballot-stuffing. It came to a head yesterday or the day before when 4chan decided to interfere with the race between Padmé and Jar Jar (now that’s a bizarre match-up), giving Jar Jar a huge, huge lead over Padmé. 4chan’s goal was to make sure Jar Jar ends up in the finals or at least the final two along with Bib Fortuna in the name of “butthurt.”

This is uncomfortable for me because Jar Jar does have more fans out there than many people believe, but at the same time, many Padmé fans were mad as hell. (“Misogyny” got tossed around a lot on Tumblr.) Which is why I think this year’s “This Is Madness” really needs to be the last.

This is already a divided, even hostile fandom with fault lines as deep as the Marianna Trench. This popularity poll just throws gasoline onto the flames. Female fans complain that female characters don’t fare well. Cartoon fans hate that their favorites are usually beat out by movie characters. Movie fans get upset if anyone not “cool” enough beats one of their guys. What are they going to do with more NEW characters being introduced with a rapid succession of new films? Are they going to start excluding cartoon characters, upsetting the cartoon fans? Are they going to start dumping prequel characters?

We can’t have nice things, call it a day.

Bonus:  Gabi has some screen caps on her Tumblr.  Hey, thanks for the shoutout 4chan!

http://rhodanum.tumblr.com/post/114750118138/exhibits-a-b-c-d-e-f-g-h-and-i-as-to-why

Thoughtful Stuff To Read

March 26, 2015

A new essay on Cantina Cast discusses the baptism motif in the Star Wars saga.

And, this oldie but goodie from Making Star Wars.net makes the case that Padmé Amidala is the hero(ine) of TPM.

Star Wars Book Author Alienates Prequel Fans

March 25, 2015

Earlier today, the author tapped to write one of the so-called Journey To The Force Awakens line of books, a Chuck Wendig, decided to post an app on his Twitter with this piccie. Wendig didn’t create the app and he described it as something that “yells at you” and calls you a meat bag. I guess it’s supposed to be funny.

You can see here how this did not go over well with some PT fans though it didn’t really start to heat up (Florian was persistent but way more polite than I would’ve been) until a few exchanges. You can also see he was trying to walk back the app post a little bit but couldn’t hold back what he really thought, calling the films “a narrative failure” and “as stories, for me, they don’t hold together.”

Yes he did say he loved some parts of it but who knows if he meant by that the closing credits. I sure didn’t see a lot of love in this later tweet from his general timeline, which he issued after saying posting the app was not an endorsement of hating the prequels:

Sounds like you hate a lot of it all right:

A muddled mess, eh? How come you’re building on the work of the guy who created that “muddled mess?”

Plus you can see what he thinks of some of the complaints. He even retweeted the obnoxious John Scalzi, who linked in his “supportive” tweet a post he wrote in 2006 where he called Star Wars (not just the prequels) “George Lucas masturbating to a picture of Joseph Campbell.” Niiiice.

Star Wars fandom is like “Love Story”…it means never having to say you’re sorry. Especially if you’re trying to sell these people your books. Well, there’s one chick he’s not selling “Aftermath” to and that is me. I honestly don’t care what’s in it either. If it’s not from George Lucas, there is no official “story” on what happened after ROTJ. And as far as I’m concerned, most of these teaser books focus on totally unimportant original characters and will give you virtually none of the skinny on the new movie.

Perhaps ol’ Chuck should’ve read this before deciding to tick off some of his potential readership. If he wonders why fans like me are upset, it’s because of a simple reason…the prequels and its loyal fans have been treated like s*** by well, everybody. So excuse us for being touchy. Actually, I’m more angry at Del Rey and Disneyfilm for recruiting yet another anti-prequel person. It’s just more proof they really don’t respect those films or us.

Besides, what would reactions be like if he’d called the OT a muddled mess or retweeted as a “joke” that Luke was a whiny bitch? The double standards in this fandom are something else.

Star Wars novel sales have dropped over the past year. The latest, “Heir To The Jedi,” cracked #17 on the NYT Bestseller list and that was the best any Star Wars book has done lately. Back in the ’90s and even a decade ago, those books often hit the top 10. Many book fans walked from Star Wars after the expanded universe was junked and nothing’s enticing them to come back. They can’t afford losing even more readers, yet here it is happening.

10 Years Of ROTS: Theatrical Poster & 2nd Trailer Released

March 23, 2015

March 2005 gave the world two last things before ROTS’s release on May 19, 2005: the theatrical poster and the second, final trailer.

Drew Struzan’s poster was revealed on star wars.com March 8, 2005.

The trailer debuted on Fox’s “The O.C.” March 11, 2005 and was shown in theaters/posted online immediately thereafter.

My immediate reaction originally posted on my LiveJournal:

Best. Trailer. Ever!

Not only are the visuals amazing, this promises to be a very emotionally-charged film, something beyond the usual summer popcorn fare. Every time Palpatine spoke, I kept wincing, knowing that Anakin will fall for his crap hook, line, and sinker. I think one of my key theories, that Anakin won’t betray the Jedi unless he believes he has been betrayed, seems to have some traction. Anakin believes the Jedi no longer trust him and when Obi-Wan asks him to keep an eye on Palps, Anakin responds that it’s treason. The two most stunning scenes to me, out of series of stunning scenes, are Sidious’s fight in the Senate against Yoda (I just said, “Oh my God!”) and Anakin leading an army of clone troopers. Wow! Padmé is shown weeping and Obi-Wan cries in anguish, “You were the Chosen One!” Emotion like that is rarely shown in a SW movie. The duel looks spectacular. Vader and Palpidious are seen together at the of the trailer with an ominous heartbeat in the background. Great way to end it.

Some things flew by me quickly so I’ll pick up on them with mulitple viewings of the trailer. But this already makes TESB look like a comedy.

Here are some additional thoughts I posted the next day:

Having seen the trailer 6 times, which I’m sure is nothing compared to many of you, it continues to amaze. The more I watch it, the more impressed I am with the great but underrated Ian McDiarmid. This is his movie to cut loose and show the world once and for all just how awesome he is. I guess you could say the same about Hayden. That shot of him marching with the clonetroopers…damn, it still give me chills. He just fits the role so well. It’s Vader with a touch of youthful cockyness. Even the Vader shot at the end when he crosses his arms is so, um, pimp-ish. Like he knows he’s the second scariest mo-fo in the galaxy. Ewan will do a great job as always. Once again, I am impressed with the level of emotion shown. There’s a reason why Lucas has his actors hold back from chomping on scenery; when they do show a great deal of emotion, it means something. It makes you take notice. What’s so heartbreaking about seeing Padmé cry (listen carefully and you can hear her sobbing) is that we’ve NEVER seen her cry. She has always hidden her emotions or put on a brave face for the sake of someone else. And it’s not just a few trickles of tears here either. She is really letting the waterworks loose.

I’ve had some fun picking out scenes that remind me of scenes from other SW films. Like the pilot who’s blown up from behind a la ANH. Or Anakin complaining to Padmé about Obi-Wan and the Jedi not trusting him. It’s similar to Anakin kvetching about Obi-Wan in AOTC while Padmé is packing in her apartment. Or Mace Windu telling Anakin he won’t get the rank of Master; sorta like Macey telling lil’ Ani he’s not going to be trained in TPM. If Anakin forgot all about that incident, Mace just reminded him. Way to go, Jedi.

The action scenes look fantastic. How about Anakin and Obi-Wan swinging around on cables fighting each other? Wow! I still love Yoda vs. Sidious. That’ll be great!

Some people have observed the edits and angles look different here than in other SW films. One shot that looked different to me was the lightning shooting straight for Yoda. Never really saw anything like that before.

Reaction to the trailer seems to be very positive. Paranoid me hopes it doesn’t raise expectations to ridiculous heights as it did with TPM, but on the other hand, I think this film will be the one to meet most of those expectations simply because it has the elements the impatient masses wanted to see. I say that because some fanboys have been saying this one will “redeem” the PT. But ROTS won’t mean anything without TPM, AOTC, OR the OT for that matter. There have been some grumblings that “the trailers were always good but the movies always are bad” or “everyone is as stiff as always,” but I am more sure than ever that at the very least ROTS will change some minds about the PT. The most churlish of the bashers and critics who are determined to dislike ROTS will find reasons to hate it. I’m not expecting great reviews, but I think this one will turn on a lot of light bulbs. Fans like me can sit back and say, “Told ya so!”

E! Online had this article about spoilers:

http://www.eonline.com/News/Items/0,1,16105,00.html?tnews

You’ll see why TFN has cut back significantly on spoiler and spy reports.

Then there’s this from Entertainment Weakly online:

http://www.ew.com/ew/report/0,6115,1037361_1_0_,00.html

In typical EWwww fashion, the “good news” is that there was no Jar Jar in the trailer but it proclaims the “bad news” that the trailer gave away the plot. No, it didn’t. I’m not too spoiled but even I know there’s much more to what’s going on with Anakin than the trailer reveals. Of course, Anakin “whines” in their opinion and they wonder about there being no Dooku (he is there, just briefly), saying “Let’s hope he doesn’t get edited out the way Lee’s Saruman did from the final Lord of the Rings installment.” Yeah, like that’s going to happen. And was it a problem for EWwww when ROTK came out? I think not. At the end it talks about the rumored t.v. show and concludes with, “there’s no escaping the power of the Force.” Nyah, nyah!

In related news, starwars.com posted all of the goodies available at this year’s Disney SW Weekends. That Darth Mickey Mouse is awesome! That puppy will sell even faster than the Jedi Mickey from last year. It mentioned that some of the items will be sold at Disneyland as well; guess it’ll be worth a trip to Anaheim to see!

Dark Disciple Synopsis

March 21, 2015

Random House posted a full blurb/synopsis of its upcoming Clone Wars-related novel, “Dark Disciple.”

Golly, I hope nothing happens to Count Dooku ;).

New High Adventure Song

March 20, 2015

That was fast!

Filksters High Adventure has a new song commemorating Ahsoka Tano’s return to television, called of course, “Ahsoka Lives”.

Ahsoka recently scored a victory in the first round of star wars.com’s annual popularity poll, even over Luke Skywalker and even with all of the funny business going on with the voting.

The Clone Army Attacketh Cover Revealed

March 16, 2015

CNet posted the cover art from The Clone Army Attacketh, the Shakespearean take on AOTC, due out in early July.

PT Sculpts From Madame Tussaud’s

March 16, 2015

In case you didn’t see the pix on SWPAS Facebook, check out these wax sculpts from Madame Tussaud’s as part of its upcoming Star Wars exhibit.

Shame On Younger Bashers

March 16, 2015

Listen up, Gen Y/Millennials. Get your noses up from your devices a minute and prepare for a little dress down from Sgt. LP.

Many people talk about older Star Wars fans as being very attached to Eps IV-VI and are primarily the most vocal of the anti-PT brigade. It might have been true in 1999 and for many years afterward. There are a lot of people like that around today, middle-aged neckbeards and nerd fraus raging about raped childhoods and what have you.

But do they really make up all of the anti-prequel trolls who seem to have endless time on their hands to search out any location on the internet where they can negatively comment on the movies?

Someone made a sad comment on the SWPAS Facebook page a couple of days ago. He said that the majority of bashers he knew were born in the ‘90s. Every now and then I’ll see a comment like, “I saw TPM when I was 8 years old and I really loved it. But now I realize how stupid it was and I hate it now, blah blah blah.”

I know most of you who grew up with the PT still stand by Star Wars and that’s great. But I think we have to acknowledge that too many of you are also guilty of driving the hate wagon. You can’t say somebody raped your childhood, but you certainly betrayed your own. You took your eight or ten year old self’s joy away, and looked back at yourself with disdain for failing to be the awesome know-it-all geek dude you perceive yourself to be today. That’s pathetic.

It’s true many Star Wars fans in my age group sort of left the saga behind during their teen and early adult years, burying it away because they didn’t want to be thought of as uncool or immature. This was during the so-called Dark Ages of the mid-80s to early ‘90s. But you know something? It meant so much to us and we missed it so much, it didn’t take long before we brought it back and by gum, we made it cool. We ran out to buy “Heir to the Empire” and “Dark Empire” and the Star Wars renaissance of the’90s began. You kids benefited from that renaissance. You got to enjoy SW in an era where it was bigger and better for the saga than even when we were kids.

You may not know this, but not everyone back in the day loved Star Wars. But at least people like Pauline Kael and John Simon were reasonably intelligent and well-respected film critics who took the art of cinema seriously, writing for the most respected publications of the time. We still weren’t convinced by people like them. We knew what we loved and we stuck by it. You junior bashers on the other hand surrendered your convictions to illiterate rants and tweets from total strangers, online bullies, stupid jokes, moronic videos, bloggers talking out of their rear ends, and know-nothings who got gigs writing for Kotaku, Gamespot, i09, Cracked.com, etc.. In other words, you sold out what meant something to you based on the opinions of fools. I’ll grant that Star Wars fandom has not been very supportive of you, but come on.

I stuck it out with Star Wars through ups and downs, through thick and thin, uphill both ways in the snow. That’s what it means to be a fan. You love it because you love it, not because other people tell you it’s okay or cool to love it. You don’t abandon it when it’s not popular and you certain don’t turn on it because it’s the thing to do.

So drop the ‘tude and come back to the light. Your inner 9-year-old is waiting.

Hard Truths About Jar Jar

March 14, 2015

People have been referring me to this video for a while but it wasn’t until now that I took the time to watch it. I love Chewie too, so nothing against him, but I got a good laugh out of it and it does point out the “hard truth” about how Jar Jar is cooler than given credit:


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 362 other followers