Dear Prequel Fans: Don’t Be Cheap (Commentary)

When someone sent me a PM on Facebook the other day, I saw the one she sent previously which was a couple of years ago. For some reason I don’t remember it but seeing it again inspired me to write this piece. The old PM was about a correspondence she had with an artist who has done some Star Wars and Firefly art for A T-Shirt/Fannish Apparel Company. She asked the artist about the possibility of any Padmé-related art for this T-Shirt/Fannish Apparel Company and the artist replied she would love to do it, but that the Company had told her that “Padmé doesn’t sell.” Granted right about this time, Her Universe’s Padmé nouveau t-shirt actually was a big seller but that was/is the opinion of said T-Shirt/Fannish Apparel Company, therefore the item doesn’t get made.

One of two things is happening here: one, the Company is right and people do not buy items related to the prequels therefore the Company doesn’t make them or two, the people who run the Company are making up excuses to cover up a deep-seated hatred for the prequels and fans like us. It’s very easy to believe the latter, especially when I’ve noted in the past companies like Think Geek or dogging the movies on their sites (they don’t anymore, though TG strictly sticks with OT stuff). But I’ve also suspected that not enough of you out there in fandomland are supporting prequel items when they are made available, at least not aside from toys and pricey collectible/display items. If you’re crying in your jawa juice or blue milk that in 2014 you can’t get a Qui-Gon hoodie or some General Grievous Vans, maybe it’s because you and other like-minded fans have not made it clear that there’s a demand and that if made available, you’ll buy them. OT stuff is easy and safe because all kinds of fans will buy it. Companies and Lucas Licensing though have accepted the hype that there’s tremendous animosity toward Eps I-III, so there’s more risk to putting out items inspired by those films. Fans upset at Disney for not making Leia part of their new lineup got what they wanted. What are you guys doing besides privately grumbling about how Disney has blown off the prequels completely? Or Clone Wars too for that matter? I point out where many things are available, including on sites like Etsy. But not even the biggest saga fan on Etsy is going to keep knitting her heart out if fans don’t support her. It would also help if I’m not the only person who asks these companies to step up their prequel offerings. They’re not going to change anything just for little old me.

Perhaps another problem is that prequel fans are fine with getting action figures and the like but are otherwise afraid to show their colors in public or at gatherings like cons. Well, let me tell you there was a time when I was the only person in the room wearing any kind of Star Wars t-shirt or hat or whatever. How about being the only chick in the room who was also the only one wearing a Star Wars anything? Or the only one getting old comics or bookmarks or whatever? Yup, that was me, uphill both ways in the snow barefoot. Are you really going to let bashers push your love for the saga underground?

There are a bunch of talented people on DeviantArt and on Tumblr who have done really wonderful work I’d love to put on a t-shirt, tote bag, button or something, but I’m paranoid about running into the artist at a con or something and the artist would flip out (I would only make it for myself; I’d never sell an item based on a fan’s work without giving that artist a cut). It would be nice if it was easier to facilitate the exchange of fan works. None of it is licensed anyway.

We have to realize if we don’t really want it and if we don’t ask for it, we will never get it. And you haven’t any reason to complain.

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5 Responses to “Dear Prequel Fans: Don’t Be Cheap (Commentary)”

  1. Terri Paxton Says:

    Just tell me who to yell at….if I have any voice after screaming at them for de canonizing the entire EU AND refusing to even continue as Legends. I’d love more stuff that is cheaper than collectible but more than a toy: like my old droideka room alarm and the Jar Jar talking doll. It’s fun but functional stuff.

  2. lovelucas Says:

    Links? I’ll be happy to add my pro–prequel voice and I have a TON of Star Wars shirts but only two of them are OT. I wear my shirts all the time – to Zumba, night out with the girls, shopping, movies – even the ones with a huge Jar Jar on them…and I say that as an oddity because he’s making gestures. I bought prequel shirts whenever they were offered on the official site. ALL of my Star Wars art is of the prequels – and I had most of the professionally framed. At Celebrations, I wear all prequel stuff or entire saga stuff – Carrie talked to me for a bit because of the shirt I had on – May the Force Be With You written in 5 languages. And I will buy more prequel shirts to keep the interest alive with those who choose what to manufacture based on $$$ which, of course, they have to.

  3. M. Marshall Says:

    You have my permission to print this picture of mine Lp:

    If you want to.

  4. Adam D. Bram (The Nilbog) Says:

    For me it’s more of a money issue – I rarely have enough to spare on whatever.

    That being said, when I do get a little extra, I don’t buy Star Wars stuff anymore unless it’s at least Saga related if not wholly I-III. At times I’ve even asked.

    My father went down to Disney World a few weeks back and asked what kinds of souvenirs we wanted, I said “Anything Jar Jar”. He said the guy said they don’t have JJ stuff except at convention times, so I said “Anything Prequel”. I ended up with the only thing they had – a knit hat of Donald Duck as Darth Maul.

  5. madmediaman Says:

    I don’t buy for one minute that there’s no money in Prequel era merchandising, that sounds more like revisionism.

    Prequel era books sold well, and even more importantly, some of Dark Horse’s best selling comic titles were Prequel specific comics. Star Wars Republic was one of DHs most successful Star Wars titles ever. Third party companies still put out deluxe mini busts or figurines of Prequel charcaters like Dokuu, Ventress, Jango Fett, Anakin, and Obi-Wan. Doubt too many of these companies would bother with these releases if there was “no money in the Prequels.”

    The toys sold well, and had Kenner not screwed up so royally these past few years the Clone Wars line would have had a much better run than what it did.

    And of course there’s just anecdotal data like kids at conventions or at Disney parks sporting their Clone Wars tee shirts, or coming dressed as Prequel era characters.

    Please… spare me there’s no money to be made. Try putting the same amount of effort into promoting the ENTIRE Saga rather than just 3 chapters of it and see what kind of returns you get.

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