It’s not often that I’m critical about Papa George, but when he said the following during Celebration V’s Main Event that people over 40 don’t like the prequels, younger fans don’t like the first SW films, etc. my fondest wish now is to tell him, “Please for the love of GOD, STOP SAYING THAT!”
It may be true that most of those who strongly prefer the first set of movies are older fans who grew up with them and there may be a few fans of the prequels who don’t care for their predecessors. Still, it isn’t fair at all to generalize since I am one of those “older fans” who loves the prequels and I’ve yet to personally encounter any post-PT era fan who flat out despises Eps IV-VI. I don’t know if this is the conclusion Lucas drew on his own or if this is what he’s hearing from his lieutenants but it clearly affects “policy” and where we are right now.
At the Why We Love The Prequels panel at the same convention, Kyle Newman said that it was a mistake to treat the saga as two separate trilogies instead of as one saga because it divides fandom and pits fans against each other. He hit the nail right on the head. That’s EXACTLY what has been happening; Lucasfilm perceives Star Wars as two separate trilogies with two competing sets of fans with a side dish of 8-year-old Clone Wars fans. The “OT Fans” have to “win” every time because they’re more vocal and since they’re generally older, they have more disposable income. This is why they pander to the things they know are the “OT only” crowd’s beefs and the rest of us are expected to sit there and take it. This is why they know they can get away with a skit that makes fun of Hayden Christensen’s acting abilities. It’s one thing to laugh all of the way to the bank when you sell these guys Han Shot First shirts and put out a DVD set with the pre-Special Edition versions of the films. It’s another thing to sanction and encourage animosity toward the prequels or the people who worked on them just to make the haters happy for 10 seconds. I don’t like the cheering contests clearly set up to favor the first set of movies, just to show “Them” who still rules the roost.
It’s just dumb. Sure, they can giggle at exploiting the division and collecting from us both but now that I’m 41, I’m sick of being played for a fool. If there are fans who prefer the older movies, they can participate in or buy whatever suits them. Lucasfilm should have no need or desire to exploit any hatred toward the prequels just to keep these guys as happy customers and the actors shouldn’t be acceptable human sacrifices to those ends. In any case, I’m not sure why you’d want to keep these guys as fans if they need that kind of stroking.
And if Lucasfilm is playing down the prequels because they’re “controversial” or its fans aren’t as “passionate” so they’re not valued as much, well, shame on Lucasfilm. They not only wasted the time of everybody who worked on those films, they wasted our time too.