Prequel fans got a very shocking and unwelcome surprise today when Dave Filoni announced that Simon Pegg was going to have a cameo in this week’s episode of Clone Wars, playing action figure favorite Dengar. Of course they waited until Wednesday to spring this because they likely knew it would be controversial. Yeah, you think? Pegg is perhaps the world’s most famous basher, a guy who frequently and publicly slags George Lucas and especially the prequel films, yet he is always given the royal treatment by Lucasfilm and held out as some kind of “true fan.” In spite of posting on Twitter just a couple of months ago, “Enjoyed Hugo, despite almost being ruined by Phantom Menace 3D trailer. Come and revisit the most disappointing 2 hours of your life, in 3D!” and in spite of saying the Blu-Rays were just a money grab by Lucas, he cheerfully grabbed the money FROM Lucas to appear on a show based on the prequel films. When Filoni got some complaints, he dug in on both Twitter and Facebook, saying he was happy to have Pegg on the show.
It’s obvious Pegg himself has no integrity, wanting to be in the middle of whatever’s going on in Star Wars or Star Trek, depending on the fashion of the moment. He pays lip service to whatever fanboy nation wants to hear, like his blather about how Trek “won the war” against Star Wars because it had more integrity right before the first JJ Abrams Trek film came out and said that he might have eliminated any chance of ever doing anything with Star Wars again. Hah! It seems like the more he trashes Star Wars, the more Lucasfilm tries to kiss his butt. If he ran Lucas over with a car, they might make him president of the company. Even if Pegg asked them instead of the other way around, they still said, “Yes.”
But as a prequel fan and as someone who, like many of you guys, has known what it felt like to get cyber-jumped or to cringe as the movies we love are yet again savaged somewhere, it really does feel like a betrayal by Filoni and whoever else at Lucasfilm who thought this was a good idea. Either they’re tone deaf as to what’s going on in fandom or they don’t care. It’s not as though Pegg has backtracked or apologized for anything he’s said. It’s people like Pegg who have kept the hate party going these last 15 years and made things harder for fans as well as for some of the people who have worked on these films. Bear in mind, Pegg isn’t some random hateboy on a message board or just some dude on OriginalTrilogy.net hawking his own cut of ANH. This guy is a celebrity and whatever he says gets circulated in the press. He’s a one-man anti-prequel PR machine and he gets rewarded for it! Meanwhile, you and I get treated like Sean Young at an Oscar party.
What’s next, Clone Wars crew? Bringing in fellow prequel hater Patton Oswalt for another episode? How about inviting the Red Letter Media guy to guest direct?
Hell, just invite them all to Celebration and make them grand marshals of the parade.
What makes it especially galling is how Pegg is always held out as some kind of real passionate Star Wars fan and that is often used to justify his bashing. It goes back to what I’ve said over and over again. The attitude at Lucasfilm and in Star Wars fandom is that a REAL fan only has to like Eps IV-VI; in fact the TRUE fans don’t like the prequels. If you’re passionate about the prequels and don’t want to see them trashed, then you’re not treated or regarded very well. A guy on Facebook (not on the SWPAS FB) had posted that if you had a problem with Pegg on Clone Wars, then you should let a car run over your head and die. The posts on EW.com announcing today’s news had more fun posts from people with screen names like “Lucas Is Worse Than Hitler” who called for Lucas’s execution. See, not even putting Simon Pegg in Clone Wars is enough to appease these jerks.
But appease them is what they do while the rest of us are just chumps they take for granted. I feel like Adele after getting dumped. Now I have no desire at all to see Friday’s episode (it looks like bounty hunter fanservice anyway) and they’re lucky if I tune in the rest of the season or next for that matter. Not going to any panels this summer either. They’ve lost their goodwill with me and it will be a long-time coming to get it back. I don’t care if Pegg’s vocal skills amount to 30 seconds’ time playing an overrated background character. It’s the principle.
Some commenters on TFN have said this just shows that Filoni and Lucas are above the fray and have class. Oh yeah? Here’s what Pegg had to say to an unhappy fan today on Twitter: