Exasperation Or Something Else?

Yancy alerted me to this earlier today from the official @starwars Twitter account:

When @starwars got an earful from some fans, it tried to address criticism by saying it had nothing against ol’ Jar Jar, it was sort of preemptively addressing the haters.

Another guy on my Twitter feed looked at the post another way, as exasperation:

My take on it is whoever it was probably didn’t mean anything by it, but that’s also part of the problem. I felt the same kind of irritation I get whenever they decide to pander to people who hate the Ewoks. Instead of pandering to or acknowledging the bashers/haters, @starwars could’ve just posted it without comment. Stuff like this keeps adding to my belief that official fandom doesn’t treat the prequels with the same respect as the OT and that beating up on them is acceptable in a way that it is not with the other half of the saga. Keep looking at the evidence: disappearing representation of the prequels, canceling Clone Wars, hiring a Lucas and PT hater to write one of the spinoff films, the not-terribly covert anti-prequel spin to much of the Ep VII promotion, celebrating famous PT bashers, etc.. What else am I going to think?

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21 Responses to “Exasperation Or Something Else?”

  1. Daniel Xie Says:

    This has bad bearings on the future of the franchise if Disney keeps on appealing to solely OT purists and hateboys. A large problem is that this creates the delusion that the hateboys are the fandom when it’s clear that they are not, while simultaneously misrepresenting all the PT fans, the EU fans, and the Saga fans just because they don’t show up more or express themselves more.

    There can be negative repercussions if a work of fiction is made solely to appeal to a small minority perceived to be a majority instead of a large majority of fans that represent what the fanbase really was. I am not sure if anyone watched HIMYM but the entire finale was made A LONG time ago because of a delusion that 90% of the fanbase shipped Ted and Robin together or shipped them more, so they wanted to have the characters end up together in the epilogue but times changed and said pairing lost A LOT of favor, but the creators were under the delusion that these shippers were in control of the fanbase when they clearly aren’t—go look on tumblr for most popular HIMYM pairing, its Swarkles. Youtube video? Also Swarkles. But the creators ignored that. So guess what happened? Years and years of character development was destroyed in the entire series to make way for an ending that did not match the narrative and the desires of the majority fanbase in order to make way for a false image of who is the majority opinion, which caused more people to actually HATE the finale than to like it just to please a vocal minority. The same fate befalls the sequel trilogy if if goes out of its way to please an vocal minority perceived as the majority.

    There are other examples of creators caving to a vocal minority wrongly perceived to be the majority and it has a negative impact on the franchise or a series as a whole, but the finale of HIMYM is probably the worst of the most infamous.

    I saw the trailer for Star Wars Rebels and I am not quite pleased. The entire thing feels like a Disnyfied OT. But since I enjoyed Weisman and Filoni’s works I will give them a chance, especially given the vibe from the Inquisitor stated to be a darker character and the appearance of a PT-era Jedi. I REALLY did not like the Phineas and Ferb CROSSOVER with Star Wars, had it been a parody like with Family guy.Blue Harvest I would have not have these problems, but it felt so out of place and too kiddy(and the hateboys call Jar Jar kiddy) as a Star Wars story by having a full crossover.

    What’s next, the entire team of RedLetterMedia for executive producer and a Plinkett cameo in Episode IX?

    • lazypadawan Says:

      I didn’t watch “Phineas and Ferb” but it’s not a problem with me if it appeals to children. Star Wars is for kids after all.

  2. madmediaman Says:

    Yup, just sad when the Official site is now not immune from jabbing Prequel fans. Got news for those folks… there was a whole generation of kids that grew up watching the Prequels and loved Jar Jar… then add those kids who grew up on Clone Wars, and his fans begin to outweigh his detractor…. drastically.

    But no, even the Official site has to feed into the PT bashing nonsense. Here’s their weak response to me when I called them out on it:

    Star Wars ‏@starwars 9h
    @LordMortis315 @gallandro1 Just pre-empting the usual comments the people love to make about Jar Jar. 😉

    Yeah, it’s done in jest, but it was really an unnecessary comment… WHY DOES IT EVEN NEED A COMMENT AT ALL??? That’s my whole point. As the person assigned to run social media for the site, you would think they would want to be ATTRACTING more people to the brand, not making snarky jokes about Jar Jar, Episode I, and by extension George himself.

    Newsflash social media dude, if you are trying to attract a new, young generation to Star Wars I can almost guarantee you with 100% certainty that if you put Episode I and Episode IV side by side, young kids, especially 4-8 year olds will prefer Phantom Menace over A New Hope almost every time. Jar Jar, comic moments, Darth Maul, lightsaber fights, and more importantly, a young hero THEY can identify with on screen. Kids get it.

    As a fan who grew up with the OT (I was 9 when Star Wars hit theaters in May 1977), but had kids who grew up during the PT I get it. My kids enjoy all 6 Star Wars films, but their favorites, far and away are TPM and ROTS. My daughters were 6 and 5 when TPM hit theaters, and while they enjoyed the OT, their hearts were captivated by the PT.

    But hey starwars.com, please keep disenfranchising a good portion of your fanbase… I’m sure that will work out great for you. Yes, it might have been in jest, but there was an alarming bit of snark behind the comments.

    And to make matters worse one fan commented they were not happy because Phantom Menace was their favorite Star Wars films. Star Wars replied back (paraphrasing here) “Well TPM is one of our favorite of the six films too (they since deleted this comment). This struck me as off, why not just say “It’s one of our favorites too”? By adding “of the six films” you are giving yourself an out… it might be number 6 out of 6 which would make PT haters grin from ear to ear. Why keep bowing to this small group of fans. Unless the social media person is one of that group too.

    • Hunk a Junk Says:

      Madmediaman, get out of my head! I was 11 when ANH came out and I remember — like it was YESTERDAY — snarky hateboys beeyatching about TESB. About how Dagobah and Cloud City looked too fake, about Yoda being too muppety, about the humor being lame (“laser brains!”). Then they beeyatched about ROTJ. About how bad it sucked, about burp jokes, about Ewoks. They even had “50 reasons why Jedi Sucks.” Then the Special Editions. About how it “raped their childhoods,” about Han not shooting first by half a freakin’ second, about… crap, the list goes on and on. My kids grew up with the prequels too. You’re 100% correct. You ask kids their favorite Star Wars film and they almost always they say TPM. They almost always say a PT film. My daughters are older now and they still like the PT best because it was THEIR childhood. The powers that be at Disney and Lucasfilm need to get their fanboy employees on board with the idea that Star Wars fans come in more shapes, sizes and preferences than just the loudmouth, nihilistic, “take back the trilogy” hate mongers. The haters were around long before the prequels and, yes, they’re licking their chops to take a bite out of Episode VII too. Because the thing they love the most about Star Wars is making sure everyone knows how much they hating it.

      • xconomics Says:

        So true! I was 11 when ANH came out and was so surprised to hear all the hate directed at ESB 3 years later. Even back then a loud minority if fanboys & critics were saying Lucas had lost it and was only after the bucks. The irony is of course that ESB is now regularly voted best episode of all. Whether that is because haters do eat their words in the end, or whether they just give up and leave … I don’t know. But back then they had no chance ‘taking over’ from Lucas. Now they do have that chance … however I am very confident in Filoni’s sense of balance and Disney’s sense of business. In 5 years from now the PT generation will start becoming parents … they will not look kindly on Disney bashing their childhood favorites. I personally consider myself lucky to having really enjoyed all episodes as well as the Clone Wars series. I am looking forward to Rebels. But we Starwars positivists could be more vocal in pushing back those haters.

  3. Brian47 Says:

    It’s best that when you’re involved in an an official capacity in the social media for a specific series or franchise to make sure you keep from swiping negatively at said series or franchise. If I took swipes at my software company in our own twitter feed, I could get myself fired. Why the heck would Lucasfilm not clamp on this from within their own ranks?

  4. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    [“There can be negative repercussions if a work of fiction is made solely to appeal to a small minority perceived to be a majority instead of a large majority of fans that represent what the fanbase really was. I am not sure if anyone watched HIMYM but the entire finale was made A LONG time ago because of a delusion that 90% of the fanbase shipped Ted and Robin together or shipped them more, so they wanted to have the characters end up together in the epilogue but times changed and said pairing lost A LOT of favor, but the creators were under the delusion that these shippers were in control of the fanbase when they clearly aren’t—go look on tumblr for most popular HIMYM pairing, its Swarkles. Youtube video? Also Swarkles. But the creators ignored that. So guess what happened? Years and years of character development was destroyed in the entire series to make way for an ending that did not match the narrative and the desires of the majority fanbase in order to make way for a false image of who is the majority opinion, which caused more people to actually HATE the finale than to like it just to please a vocal minority. The same fate befalls the sequel trilogy if if goes out of its way to please an vocal minority perceived as the majority.”]

    I cannot stay silent on this matter. The ending of HIMYM was set up a long time ago. The producers even left hints through out the series on how it was going to end. They could not help if some of the fan base (which was NOT 90% by the way) wanted it to end another way. The creators did not ignore anything. A lot of fans simply failed to notice the clues.

    I realize this is not about STARS WARS. But someone else made a big deal about posting a rather long message about HIMYM on this forum. I had to respond.

    • Daniel Xie Says:

      I do realize what happened there but they had eight years to prepare the fans for the twists. The structure of the final season made this ending polarizing. Having the first half of the final season be about the wedding and the second half moving up to 2030 should have worked in preparing people for this ending. We were given clues but it wasn’t properly executed and instead we get–Swarkles gets divorced in 10 minutes and the mother dies in 3 seconds, I believe this could have made a interesting premise season or a set of episodes, not rushing through everything in 45 mins.

      However this isn’t the time or place to talk about it, my apologies too. Let’s move on

      I think what they forget in appealing solely appealing to the hateboys is that they liked movies that were hated in the day too, especially if you look at the early reviews for TESB and ROTJ, everyone complained about the plot in these movies and nitpicked everything from Dagobah to the Ewoks—-but look at how they are viewed now.

  5. madmediaman Says:

    I do find it odd that these same blowhards who called Lucas a sellout in 83 and lambasted the Ewoks are suddenly fans of Jedi. Maybe they’ll come to appreciate the PT after Disney is finished sucking the marrow out of the husk of a franchise formerly known as Star Wars.

    Just check out the rumors that leaked today… Palpatine’s back… How original.

    • Daniel Xie Says:

      Didn’t they make the same rumor like last year? But yeah if it’s true than this shows Disney simply can’t make a good original villain but just recycle concepts from the movies. I admit I always had a bit of problem with JJ Abrams wanting a “big reunion”

      What’s next, Anakin’s spirit gets corrupted and becomes Darth Vader the Zombie??

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Does he appear before or after Luke has his second vision of Vader a la Dagobah in TESB? Did the Emperor have Luke’s hand with him? “Missing something, not so young anymore Skywalker?” 😉

  6. discoewok Says:

    This is just exasperation on the part of starwars.com. Poorly executed? Perhaps. There’s no shortage of things to be bothered by but this isn’t one of them. But why aren’t we celebrating the GOOD news? I keep posting this clip here and the FB page and I’m surprised no one has commented on this. Look at Dave’s comments at the 7 minute mark. This should be front page news on this site!

    • madmediaman Says:

      Right, but if the PT is effectively being suppressed, as far as merchandising and new content, in favor if the OT it kind of makes it hard to bring in new fans with those films.

    • madmediaman Says:

      And one other point; while it is all well and good that newly hired employees at Lucasfilm Animation are big fans of the PT, none of these people are in charge. The only two voices within the creative team at Lucasfilm who openly have expressed their PT fandom are Filoni and Pablo Hidalgo. Look at the rest:

      Simon Kinberg: Has been fairly diplomatic as of late. However, years ago he was a speaker at screenwriting seminar about screenwriting and the modern blockbuster in which he savaged the prequels.. Most of this info comes via anecdotal reports, but I do know one person who attended the seminar and confirmed he had been very unkind toward the Prequels.

      Greg Weisman: Again a diplomat as of late, but he does at time let his divisiveness toward the prequels show. See Lazy’s report from May the 4th. Again, I would not describe him as a fan.

      JJ Abrams: Again fairly ambivalent about the Prequels. I have a real difficult time wrapping my brain around the notion that a 48 year old man has a hard time understanding how his kids view Vader sympathetically. I’m 47… I got that very early on. Heck I understood the sympathetic nature of Vader back in 83 when I read the novelization of ROTJ which portrayed Vader as Palpatine’s lap dog, who while he had his own plans, was powerless to overthrow the Emperor. This was later fully expounded on in the PT trilogy.

      I’m sorry, but if you can’t “wrap your brain” around that as a story teller, then you really don’t understand myth, Campbell, and what George was trying to do in the first place. Given the load of crappy rumors floating around Episode VII it’s not really a surprise that JJ is just falling back on tried and true rather than taking chances and being creative like George was with Episode I.

      Garry Whitta: Need I say more. This guy has no business anywhere near the franchise.

      Lawrence Kasdan: Again, ever the diplomat. But if you really read Kasdan’s interviews and read between the lines he takes an occasional pot shot at George. Saying things like they are returning to the “fun” of the OT… as if there were no “fun” moments throughout the PT. Sorry, but I think Obi-Wan and Qui_Gon’s battle on the Trade Federation cruiser was quite “fun” as was the final battle at Theed, and Obi-Wan’s dogfight with Jango in the asteroid belt. The “fun” factor in those moments rival anything I saw in the OT.

      Rian Johnson: Jury is still out. Sure he called the Prequels “something quite beautiful.” But does that mean just visually, storytelling wise, or does he mean the whole ball of wax. It’s a little vague. His love for the OT is without question, but he’s remained largely silent about the PT.

      The problem is when you taken as a whole, there’s a rather dismissive attitude about the Prequels, from this nonsense on Twitter, to members of the Story Team, to the fact that it’s difficult to track down Prequel related merchandise except online. There is a segregationist attitude that has infiltrated the halls of Lucasfilm, it doesn’t feel like the company views this as a whole Saga.

      That’s a problem.

      • PrinceOfNaboo Says:

        I may be wrong, but I always thought it was a rather positive comment when JJ felt it was “criminal” that Anakin became his kids’ hero. More like it was a real achievement he had never considered possible.

        Nevertheless, by now my interest in the ST is almost at zero. I’m simply not interested in a movie that’s made by a bunch of close-minded men living in the past, devoid of any real respect for a filmmaker that was more impactful und meanigful for cinema than all of them combined and multiplied with 1000.

        The official Lucasfilm guys, Starwars.com , twitter etc. keep hate and segregation alive. That’s the worst part.

  7. discoewok Says:

    To be quite frank, I don’t care what those people think about the prequels. I care about the quality of the sequels and I’ll refrain from judging them until the credits roll. And I don’t think there will be any retconning.

    On the whole, fans of the prequels should speak up more as it is simply the nature of a negative comment to make a bigger splash than a positive one. Just like you insist on pushing your negative attitude towards anything in this post-Lucas era, even though we have no work yet to view to properly judge it.

    I’m glad people spoke up in the twitter feed but clearly the sky isn’t falling. Not today at least. I posted this clip (again) to prove there are more prequel fans out there than we think and in the end things look positive for a unified saga.

    • madmediaman Says:

      My negative attitude is based on how the Prequels have been relegated to little more than an after thought by Disney, Disney’s cancellation if the Clone Wars, the hiring of Garry Whitta, and numerous other gaffs along the way.

      I hold out hope that Rebels will be good. However, some of what I’ve seen in the previews have made me roll my eyes, but I will give it a fair shake, after all Filoni is running the show so I have faith.

      Episode VI is a mixed bag for me. I’m looking forward to seeing the Big 3 on the screen, and I’m becoming a big fan of Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, but I’m more alarmed about the story and rumors that are leaking from the production. A still in place Empire and reimagined Palpatine don’t exactly inspire me.

      Also as a Disney fan I’m not at all happy about rumors of Star Wars taking over Tomorrowland in Anaheim. A ride or two here or there is fine, but taking over a whole area of the park to push the franchise is completely contradictory to Walt’s vision for Tomorrowland. It’s meant to promote a possible future and promote the space program. Even a ride like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, while promoting the movie was meant to spark the imaginations of kids and promote oceanic exploration. Disney’s plans come across more like a crass, cynical cash grab. Walt was never one to the down money, but he was never a cynic.

    • Daniel Xie Says:

      The problem isn’t the quality of the films, is that the risk making big mistakes if they make it solely for OT only fans and make the films literally inaccessiable.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      I’ll jump in here and note 1) thanks for pointing out the video. It’s great there are now PT fans involved at Lucasfilm Animation and 2) it matters to me and other fans what the guys in charge say and think. Not only does it affect the content and the experience we have with fandom, I also think it’s a matter of principle and respect. There are just some lines you don’t cross. You don’t treat half of Lucas’s story like the bastard child of a prostitute with crabs. You definitely don’t treat the audience that supported those films like suckers you can take for granted. (I don’t spend my time with people who hate what I love either.)

      I’ve been waiting almost 10 years for this idea of a unified saga but the reality is mixed and inconsistent at best. Star Wars is still treated like two trilogies that almost have nothing to do with each other.

      • Hunk a Junk Says:

        “Star Wars is still treated like two trilogies that almost have nothing to do with each other.”

        And this is why, LP, you’re the queen! This is it exactly. Two trilogies, now three. Not one story, as Lucas has always insisted. Clearly, Disney and Lucasfilm are pushing a ‘return to the OT’ meme as their strategy for winning back disgruntled fans. I get their motivation, but it’s a strategy that, ultimately, is divisive and won’t do much to heal the rift in fandom. It’s true, their are adults now who have grown up with the prequels and love them (and adult-adults, like me, who have always loved them). Disney and Lucasfilm have it in their power to start this healing process by doing what they should be doing: being the adult in the room as far as fans go. They should be saying things like, “Star Wars is one big story, not a collection of trilogies,” and, “We love them all.” They need to say, “We respect George’s vision” but add no wink-wink “don’t worry, we love the OT more” caveats. Oh, and they should quietly show Gary Witta the door the same way they ushered out Michael Arndt. Lucasfilm owns his “F— George Lucas” comment until they do.

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

    Stay Tuned this Thursday/Friday for an article that will give us something to use against this.

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