Happy Second Anniversary…and other thoughts

Hard to believe, but it’s already been two years since I foisted this site on the unsuspecting internets.

I have been doing a lot of thinking about where to take the site next. In many ways things unfolded in a way I didn’t expect. And I have to be really grateful to Clone Wars for giving me a lot of material ;).

One thing I am thinking about doing is shuttering the forum. It doesn’t have enough participation to keep it going. I have considered moving the site to Ning but I’m not 100% sure if I’ll do that or not. If there are any ideas you have, or something you’d like to see here, fire away.

Now I’d like to post about some thoughts I had the other day concerning the PT and why things are the way they are online….

A few days ago, someone on my LiveJournal friend list linked to a study that showed people with “extremist” views tend to believe they are in the majority and therefore are a lot more vocal about their views, while people who are more moderate in their views tend to believe they are in the minority and therefore tend to clam up.

Well, “extremist” is a relative term so perhaps a better way of putting it is that those who are the most passionate about their views are far more likely to be vocal about them and because of that, it becomes easy for others who hold those views to believe they hold the majority or common view. Then when people who see something emerging as a “majority” view, they clam up. If you look at it that way, you’ve pretty much nailed what has become of Star Wars fandom over the past 10 years.

The problem we have isn’t that everybody hates the prequels. The problem is those who hate the prequels or at least make hay out of knocking them are far more passionate about it than those who at the least like them. Those of us active on the internet and who live in geek world are too cowed or apathetic for the most part to say anything about it. Lucasfilm seems painfully aware that Star Wars and Lucas lost some good will along the way (there are lots of reasons for that). While Clone Wars is doing a lot to rebuild that goodwill, I can’t help but think in some ways they’re trying to avoid having to defend what Lucas did in Eps I-III and instead trying to smack an olive branch in the face of angry fanboys. I have to admit, it bothers me.

Until the day the love fans have for these movies shines brighter than the rain clouds the haters have been creating over the years, nothing is going to really change. This little blog certainly won’t change anything all by its lonesome. It was easy for people who retroactively deconstructed the significance or relevance of Eps IV-VI back during the so-called “Dark Ages” of fandom, but during the 1990s renaissance, there was a lot more positive press on their significance. Maybe it will take five years, ten years, or 20 years. Maybe never. We just don’t know. Maybe I’m more like Anakin in the patience department than Qui-Gon or Obi-Wan but in my case, it’s brought on more by age than anything else. I’d like to see a broader appreciation for these films within my lifetime and hopefully, within Lucas’s.

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8 Responses to “Happy Second Anniversary…and other thoughts”

  1. Aeryn Says:

    In my office today, a few of us briefly got on the topic of SW (I was easily the biggest geek of the bunch). My boss talked about how excited he was that they were showing all the movies on cable this weekend, how he liked TPM; the other coworker mentioned how much she loved Jar Jar. At both the SW in Concert showings I attended, there was no mass booing – in fact, a fair bit of cheering – at mentions of the PT films. CW outdid Battlestar Galactica in ratings. So yeah, I do think the “Everyone hates the PT!” idea is overblown. The PT may not have had as much time as the OT to become ingrained in the public’s mindset, but that’s hardly flaming hatred.

    I do think there’s some validity to your theory. Though I liken it more to when your toddler throws a tantrum over the same thing over and over again. You may try to talk/reason with them at first, but eventually you realize no reasonable mutual discussion will occur and so you just learn to ignore them until they run out of steam. Your silence and the toddler’s continued screaming doesn’t make the toddler any more “right” than the moderates/pro-PT folk being quiet means the bashers are in the majority. That’s more or less what happened with me; I just grew tired of engaging the bashers and went to have fun elsewhere.

    And btw, congrats on the 2 years! 🙂

    • lazypadawan Says:

      It’s usually a different story when you talk to people in real life. At Star Wars Weekends, there weren’t people booing or throwing eggs at anything having to do with the PT. You don’t get the internet hive mentality.

  2. oxward321 Says:

    HAPPY 2nd ANNIVERSARY!!!!!!!!!!

    You can’t go anywhere I check this site out numerous times a day!

    You made some good points. But, my outlook tends to be more like Aeryn’s. I’ve met a lot of people who like Star Wars, the whole saga, 9 out of 10 times the PT seems to be brought more, in a positive way, “who’s your favorite Jedi, the Pod race is awesome, did you see those duels” etc. I think it’s just a matter of time before it get’s the respect it so rightly deserves. It took the OT almost 20years to become a “classic.” Films that everyone “hates” do not make the amount of money at the box office or have the video/DVD sales the PT has had.

    I do agree with your take on Lucasfilm catering to the fanboys. As well as the media, but that’s a different story. It bothers me too. I’m SO sick of the ESB being brought up into EVERY Clone Wars interview. I’ve seen all the Episodes of TCW and I simply see Star Wars. To me it feels more on the lines of the PT with flashes of the OT in them. I don’t want to hear about ESB, I want to hear about “this is why we wanted to go back to Naboo, this is why Anakin does this, as he did in AOTC” etc. I guess we have to be patient like Qui-Gon, keep are “concentration here and now where it belongs.” And continue to LOVE the PT and Star Wars as whole saga.

    Oh yeah, I’m going to see Star Wars in concert on Nov.12th. I CAN”T WAIT!

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Well said.

      Yeah, the “we’re trying to be like TESB” bit is a tad grating. I love TESB just fine but it’s not the end-all be-all of SW either.

  3. maychild Says:

    Happy Anniversary!!! Hard to believe this little haven is two years old already.

    I’m sorry to hear that you’re thinking of shuttering the forum, but I can understand your reasons.

    As for the basher issue…I think you have something there about them getting more attention than their numbers deserve, because they are very noisy, whereas people who like the prequels are usually not that vocal about it, for various reasons. I gave up trying to debate the cretins a while ago. It earned me nothing but raised blood pressure and bannings from message boards.

    I have tried to extend olive branches to some bashers, including those who claim that complaining about SW is how they “fan” it — kind of a kissing cousin to the pious basher belief that they bash the “inferior” SW movies because they “love” SW, more than George Lucas in fact, because they know it could be better, that all the movies could have been as great as ESB, but Lucas “surrounds himself with fawning butt-kissing yes-men” and “sits all day in front of a computer” and “just pushed out subpar crap to make money,” blahblahblahpoodoocakes.

    I thought I could understand that version of “fandom,” but ultimately, I can’t. Every movie or movie series needs its critics, but what does it mean to be a fan if ALL you do is bitch about it?

    I love ESB too, and I happen to agree with the opinion that it’s the best of the SW movies. But I got sick of the glorification of it at the expense of the other SW movies long ago. It is possible to love something, and still think it’s overrated, which is how I feel about ESB. I can’t stand how bashers use it to bludgeon the other movies, not just the prequels but ROTJ and even ANH…and it gets very wearisome seeing people involved in the EU or CW ‘toons or whatnot say they’re trying to be like ESB, by which they usually mean “dark” and “deep” — two words that are often synonymous to fanboyz, but that’s another matter.

    Not everyone thinks ESB is the best of the SW movies. Plenty of fans prefer ROTJ, which, to hear the bashers tell it, is an hour and forty-five minutes of Ewok footage, with Vader and Luke’s duel crammed in at the last second. Plenty of fans prefer ANH, which is the only SW movie I could really say was “lighthearted” and “cheery.” TPM looks that way on the surface, but underneath, things are very rotten in Denmark. Or should I say Coruscant. And there are kids today, and probably some adults too, whose first exposure to SW was the PT, and like it better than the OT. There are also people who grew up with the OT, but prefer the PT, like our dear Aeryn.

    Next week’s issue of “TV Guide” has a blurb on the DVD set of Clone Wars: Season One. And nary a “witty” jab anywhere. As if that’s not cool enough, it actually makes a reference to people who prefer the PT, which not only acknowledges that PT fans exist, but the writer doesn’t include some parenthetical about how he/she can’t understand WHY anyone would like/prefer the PT. Mark your calendars.

    • Aeryn Says:

      The adult in me *does* prefers the more complex story/morals of the PT, and it is the one that gives me the most inspiration for fic, etc. But the OT – that was my childhood, and it’s probably always going to have the edge over the PT for me in “sentimentality” points. On the whole I’d be very, very hard pressed to choose one trilogy over the other… in fact, I’d almost argue that they shouldn’t be labeled as separate “trilogies” at all.

      I’ll join the chorus here on loving ESB but wishing that there wasn’t such a rush to “ESB-ify” all the latest additions to continuity, CW included. The occasional episode/element homaging ESB is fine, but CW should try to be CW, not ESB. In fact, I’m almost tempted to to an LJ post on why I *don’t* consider ESB to be this flawless paragon of filmmaking, but I’m not certain that wouldn’t be descending towards and/or inviting the level of “discussion” I see leveled at the PT in certain circles.

      • maychild Says:

        Ah, OK. I had thought, based on a number of your LJ posts, that you preferred the PT. Please forgive me for putting words in your mouth.

        Myself, I don’t prefer one trilogy over another — I rank the films on an individual basis:

        1. ESB
        2. TPM
        3. AOTC/ROTS/ANH — I like them all pretty much equally, but sometimes one comes to the fore, so to speak, depending on my mood.
        4. ROTJ

  4. ladyaeryn Says:

    No prob! I *do* ramble about the PT more – it’s what’s kept my SW love alive; I was able to watch it unfold and analyze/geek out over it in a way I never got to with the OT, being too young. (The OT has always simply Been There in my mind.) But I find it nearly impossible to rank the movies, by trilogy or individually. If I were forced to:

    1. Four-way tie between TPM/ROTS/ANH/ESB.
    2. AOTC/ROTJ – only slightly below the others, because of Ben Burtt’s editing of AOTC and that most of the Endor stuff in ROTJ is kind of slow.

    I prefer just saying the whole saga rocks, period. 🙂

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