What Prequel Fans Can Learn From Celebration Anaheim

The show is over, Roxy the Rancor’s been packed up, and we’re all back to mundania, or what we in post-con funk refer to as “boring crappy lives.”

Before I write out a long con report, I figure I would share some SWPAS relevant thoughts. My big takeaway from this con is there’s a disconnect between Disneyfilm leadership and fandom, largely because Disneyfilm and too many licensees view the prequel-bashing/Lucas-bashing sect as the real heart and pulse of fandom. It’s easy to do that when that segment of fandom is so dominant because they are so vocal. As a result, Disneyfilm is selling the prequels, and their fans, short.

As exciting as it was to see the trailer last Thursday, I have to say the attitudes of J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy kind of stunk. Abrams came off as having at best a B-student facile understanding of Star Wars and the overselling of practical effects uber alles as well as his comments about using real sets and shooting on location are dog whistles for calling the prequels mistakes. Maybe it’s his personal opinion, maybe it’s a political thing to reassure disgruntled fans who haven’t been happy with Lucas over the past 18 years, maybe it’s both. But it’s disrespectful and it’s not even accurate. TFA DOES have CGI and it has used green screen. It’s appalling they’re downplaying those facts while at the same time pushing memes about the prequels that aren’t true. TPM was shot on location in Tunisia, Italy, and the UK. AOTC was shot on location in Spain, Italy, and Tunisia. Even though no principle photography was done on location for ROTS, second units shot in places like Italy’s Mt. Etna and Thailand’s Phuket Island. Real sets and models were used on all three films. Abrams had somehow decided unpopulated locales are “real” Star Wars and the used look was somehow the only correct look. More dog whistles. As I tweeted, the story’s logic should dictate how the movie looks, not nostalgia. How about if he’d said the post-ROTJ galaxy they’re envisioning is one plunged into a post-Empire dark ages? Or that he wanted to show heroes arising again out of the middle of nowhere, just like Luke and Anakin before them? But no, Abrams wanted to score points with certain fans, which he did as evidenced by fist pumping and cheers to his comments.

Kennedy annoyed me when she said that they are taking the fans into account when creating new work. I can’t think of a worse way to make movies than trying to create art around focus groups. Maybe it’s again just politics and telling an audience what it wants to hear, but it’s not encouraging to me.

Disneyfilm should take heed of the huge crowds that went to see the Untold Clone Wars and the first two prequel films in 3D on Thursday (AOTC looked fantastic in 3D), the huge crowds that turned out for the Clone Wars Bad Batch and ROTS 3D on Friday (I got turned away and sneaked in later), the reaction fans had to Rex’s return to “Rebels,” and the large number of PT cosplayers of all ages throughout the con. Ray Park was a popular guest. I almost got Ian Doerscher to sign my copy of “The Phantom of Menace,” only to see a long line of people with their own copies to sign.

Which gets to my next point. “The Phantom of Menace” and the other prequel movies got the Shakespeare treatment because readers ASKED for them. Prequel fans have to realize that if they want fandom to be better for them, they have to start speaking up. Someone who also attended the con was discouraged how there wasn’t anything with Padmé or Naboo symbols. While Rubie’s, Lego, and Hasbro have consistently made stuff from the prequel films, other licensees are going to need prodding. Especially ones that cater to teens/adults. Why? I think they really believe fans don’t like the prequels based on what they’ve heard or read on the internet. I went up to the Hallmark booth and told a very nice, very polite rep that I’d like to see knickknacks from all of the Star Wars films. I told another licensee, one that makes jewelry, the same thing. Now, if it’s just me doing this, it’s just an outlier, a crank. If LOTS of us do it, then they’ll pay attention.

I saw all of the set recreations from the OT created by a fan group in Belgium. Why aren’t prequel fans this motivated to show off their dedication and creativity? They’re good about the cosplay stuff but they need to expand their horizons. Join a droid builder’s club or something. If they won’t let you build prequel stuff, start your own club that will.

We also have to be more vocal about stuff like letting people knock the films even at official functions, like that moron on the Verizon livestream feed that I thankfully missed. Again, if it’s just me, I’m a crank. If it’s lots of us, they’re going to have to pay attention.

If I had lots of money, plenty of time on my hands, and the charisma of a cult leader, I’d start my own con. (Seriously, I could run a Celebration store better than they could.) But that’s not an option and prequel fans shouldn’t have to believe they need to be somewhere else in order to feel comfortable. We’re Star Wars fans too.

Dave Filoni had said, I think at a Rebels panel, that prequel fans/Clone Wars fans matter too. We need to start acting like it or else we’re permanently afterthoughts and second-class citizens. Squeaky wheels get the grease.

Speaking of which, Clone Wars fans are showing the way. It would’ve quickly disappeared down the memory hole had CW viewers decided to go off quietly into the sunset. There would’ve been no Lost Missions, no Bad Batch, and no Clone Wars favorites turning up on “Rebels.” But they haven’t given up and I don’t think they should give up. There were too many great ideas left to just flush down the toilet and if viewers keep up the drumbeat, CW will come back. I’m convinced of it. It may take 10 years but if it can happen for “Arrested Development,” “Family Guy,” “The X-Files,” or “Twin Peaks” (which was taken off the air 24 years ago!) it can happen for Clone Wars.

Tenacity is the key, people.

Next, I’ll post my thoughts on AOTC and ROTS in 3D as well as the two Clone Wars panels.


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67 Responses to “What Prequel Fans Can Learn From Celebration Anaheim”

  1. madmediaman Says:

    Beautifully said.

    • peacetrainjedi Says:

      Agreed. Speaking up is the only way prequel fans can make waves and have their voices counted. This Celebration has also further convinced me that Dave Filoni is our Ace in the hole inside Lucasfilm. He gets it.

  2. abinarysunset Says:

    Is there somewhere we could all send letters, because I think a lot of us prequel fans would have no problem taking a couple of minutes out of our day to put our thoughts on paper (or email) and tell them just how upset we are at how we’re being ignored by the bigshots in order to please the annoying dudebros in this fandom.

  3. BansheeGun Says:

    I REALLY want to see someone say all that to JJ and Kathleen Kennedy’s faces and watch them squirm because they have NO idea what the Star Wars fandom is really about. No idea.

    Also, what you said about Kennedy saying they’re taking the fans opinions into account for the new movies struck an important note for me. There’s a reason why Film/TV studios don’t publish fan-fiction. Sometimes it’s better to NOT have a diehard fanboy working on something because, while it’s clear they love the property they’re working on, their vision is probably WAY out of step with the creators. Their own nostalgia could get in the way of creating a good, meaningful and, more importantly, ORIGINAL story. This isn’t true for everyone, but I’ve seen it happen before.

  4. BansheeGun Says:

    “If I had lots of money, plenty of time on my hands, and the charisma of a cult leader, I’d start my own con”

    Kickstart Prequel-Con? 🙂

    • M. Marshall Says:

      Instead of a Star Wars con, start your own sf con as a safe space for saga fans, fans of other fandoms who want to avoid flame wars, and female cosplayers who’re tired of being harassed. If you can get enough donations, maybe we can get this off the ground.

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

    And boy, prepared to be called a cult by the bashers at first.

  6. Jacobesico Says:

    Well, I’ve seen a lot more positive comments on Youtube about the prequels. A lot more people are questioning why the prequels hated. There’s a lot more defiant statements to the haters as well. The F— yous if you will. There’s also a little bit of riddicule going around the haters way. It’s a start but yes to speaking out a lot more.

    • Wizardman Says:

      I’ve noticed that over the last year or two. Before, it felt like it was me and maybe another person or two speaking up for the prequels in youtube comments threads. Now I see more and more prequel support. Things are coming into balance.

      It’s likely that the excitement for the new films has brought back more positive fans who ran from the negative attitudes of those fans with something to complain about.

      • Frida Nyberg Says:

        Maybe I just haven’t been active much before, but I have never encountered as much PT-hate as in the last couple of years. Forums, YouTube, even places completely non-Star Wars related, where no one asked for their opinions.

        I don’t remember this attitude at all back in 05-07, when I was more active (but I’ve never been active in “fandom”).

  7. Scokirk Says:

    You make a lot of good points, I don’t like that element of “fan service” that consists of insults by implication. It’s funny how hated the prequels were and yet each one of them was a significant box office success. A lot of people went to see 3 awful movies! I for one like to see the entire saga as one work, and find that by giving the prequels a chance there is so much rich detail that enriches the original trilogy.

  8. mindlessdroid Says:

    Well written as always and thanks for the #SaveTheCloneWars shout out. This droid will never yield. I work for a store that has an exclusive deal with Disney and the Star Wars merchandise is starting to come in and it’s almost all OT. It’s getting trying having to explain to my non-fandom friends that the umpteenth Vader t-shirt has no meaning to me.(SWIDT) It’s sad but there is so much material to use and it’s the same old same old, now where’s my Millennium Falcon shirt.

  9. zch81721 Says:

    Meanwhile Battlefront is going up in flames. I was really excited about that game then EA was like “No Clone Wars, No Campaign, and No Space Battles.” And this is where I check out. I hate to say it but I am really close to checking out. The past week has been an absolute nightmare to be a star wars fan. Nobody wants to be happy. They just want to hate hate hate. I was already sick of it but it has gotten so ridiculous. Then you have Simon Pegg who won’t shut his mouth. It’s already bad now but I figure by November it is going to be full hell on earth. It’s getting to the point where I don’t even want to see the new movie. I don’t even want to be a fan of star wars anymore. The fan base is that bad. This hurts because I’ve been a star wars fan as long as I can remember. I watched the OT when I was a small kid in the 90s. One of my fondest memories was me going to see TPM at the age of 7. Hell my parents took me to go see the special editions in theaters in ’97 which was awesome. We had to go to 5 different theaters to find an open spot to see New Hope. That opening scene in TPM to this day gives me chills. I cried when Qui-Gon died. I don’t know maybe I need a break but I’m just finding this exhausting.

    • blade57hrc Says:

      I feel you on the ”It’s getting to the point where I don’t even want to see the new movie. I don’t even want to be a fan of star wars anymore. The fan base is that bad. This hurts because I’ve been a star wars fan as long as I can remember.”…I really do…

      I’ve also noticed a new trend.
      Anyone who speaks out on all these things we’ve been witnessing is starting to being called a ”hater” too…It’s already begun with me in a certain PT group (which funnily enough, allows PT bashing quite a lot…)
      Apparently pointing out that the new movie/campaign is cashing in on hatred makes you a hater…*sigh*

      • BansheeGun Says:

        I made a comment on IGN a while back about how Star Wars really doesn’t need 7, 8, and 9 to live on and I was bombarded with hate and dislikes (I don’t think I even got 1 thumbs up). These people are the living testment that overdosing on nostalgia destroys brain cells.

      • lazypadawan Says:

        I experienced some of the same when I protested Clone Wars’s cancelation.

      • Jacobesico Says:

        You know when the insults start to fly, then they have lost the argument. 😉

    • lazypadawan Says:

      I don’t blame you. But read my recent entry on why I continue to do this site. Can’t give up.

    • madmediaman Says:

      I would not give up. The truth of the matter is you are part of the majority. Most Star Wars fans love all six films… the general public loves all six films. However, like most majorities, when they are happy they are usually pretty quiet and just keep doing their thing. Just look at any company forum for a product… you rarely see complimentary comments about products or services… it’s people who have a problem or a complaint who are usually most vocal… that’s the case here.

      Unfortunately, the interwebs, and to a degree fandom, is herded by hipsters, and fools who decide what is hip and cool for the general public… and the media dutifully follows along with these blowhards because a lot of them run really popular websites or have insinuated themselves into media to some degree.

      But let me give you my “fresh take” on the state of Star Wars… as the old saying goes, “This too shall pass…” and so will this prequel bashing nonsense. As others have pointed out, the former hipsters… many who are now in their 30’s and 40’s are a little less hip to younger audiences who grew up with these films… there’s now pushback.

      My suspicion is that TFA will do well, but will largely feel empty for many people… that’s fairly common with Abrams films. His movies are like bad fast food… McDonalds if you will; it fills you up, and satisfies your hunger, and at the time you are eating you may even say, “This is pretty good,” But upon reflecting on it a day or two later you’ll say to yourself, “Hm, maybe this wasn’t very good.” Then you’ll go to a burger joint like In-and-Out and realize what you had at McDonalds was crappy fast food.

      TFA will undoubtedly do fairly well at the box office, but like most of Abrams work it will underperform a little. That will set the tone for the rest of the films, and within a couple of years I suspect the Star Wars films will struggle to do crazy business. Between Abrams first effort and the sheer volume of product coming out the general public will eventually turn on Star Wars and will grow ambivalent.

      Probably in 5-6 years the film franchise will be put on ice for a time… but here’s the beauty… Disney ALWAYS revisits good idea, and at some point they will want to revisit the Saga, and guess who will be waiting in the wings to take that over? It wont be Abrams and the like… those cats will be in their 50’s and 60’s. Instead it will be some younger 30 something director… and guess what Star Wars films he/she will have been raised on… yup, the Prequels.

      Fear not, the tide is turning, and the blowhards are becoming less relevant

      • madmediaman Says:

        Oh, and on the Battlefront angle. The past two days DICE has really been getting hammered by fans and video game reviewers. I’ve even seen comments from game fans who weren’t the biggest fans of the Prequels, but they loved the clones, and their favorite levels were the Prequel era levels… they are none too happy with the decision to not include Clone Wars levels.

      • zch81721 Says:

        Yeah I am aware of Abrams’s track record and he is one of the main reasons why I can’t get excited for the new star wars movie. Let’s just say he has burned me too many times. I also think were are going to see another backlash. If Lucas couldn’t live up to the impossible hype what makes Abrams think he can. He couldn’t even live up to the hype of his own sequel (Into Darkness says hi). Also I keep thinking that the hate will die down but considering we are coming up on year 16 of this crap let’s just say I’m don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Also quick question how is Rebels? I’ve been meaning to watch it but I made it to like episode 4 or 5 I think. There were some good ideas sure but I felt it was trying way too hard with the nostalgia. I could see it jumping up and down going “Remember this! Remember this!” The music being a big problem. Every time the music kicked in it pulled me right out of the show because it didn’t feel like it was going with the scene but more the composer was going “Hey this scene is just like from the original movies! Oh you don’t realize it well let me play that exact same track instead of just picking music that goes with the scene.” I saw the trailer to season 2 which is awesome and I saw that Ahsoka comes back (yes!) but I can’t really bring myself to watch the series. It just felt so hollow. I think it is also my personal let’s say hatred of the series because this is what replaced clone wars (I got into an argument with some dumb ass that they should continue the clone wars but according to him they shouldn’t because 5 seasons is enough for a kids show and they won’t care because they’re older……..Yeah Power Rangers says hi) I know it’s not Rebels’s fault but I still feel the sting every time I look at it.

      • madmediaman Says:

        Rebels really stared to get the show right about mid season with Empire Day. I was a bit ambivalent about it until then, but from that point on the show was relatively solid. There were of course missteps like the Lando episode, but the final four episodes of Season 1 were outstanding. I’d definitely give it a whirl.

      • lazypadawan Says:

        The funny thing is all of the young leads in TFA saw the prequels first. Those were their childhoods.

      • Bob Clark Says:

        Do we have any info on what the young leads think of the Prequels, though? Did they see them and love them, or are they all hipster about it?

      • BansheeGun Says:

        I think Boyega genuinely likes the PT since he’s tweeted about it and about how he loves TCW. Not sure about the others.

      • BansheeGun Says:

        Ironically, I have more faith in Boyega than JJ, the guy who is freaking directing the film.

  10. xconomics Says:

    I agree that the continuous side-remarks that sound like prequel bashing are totally pointless and unnecessary and hurtful.

    I look forward to the new films because I think ‘prequel bashing’ is not an opinion but an attitude. Many of the most virulent prequel bashers will almost certainly become ‘sequel bashers’ once they have seen the full movie. These are the people that can’t handle it when a movie is not what they thought it should be. All Kennedy and Abrams are achieving with their ‘sell-out vocabulary’ is that they pander to exactly those who will moan and whine over the final result.

    Yesterday the Evening Standard (London newspaper) had a 2 page special about the trailer of TFA. And of course it was also littered with prequel bashing sentences. But it had a thoroughly interesting finishing line, calling TFA the ‘most-anticipated movie in history since … The Phantom Menace’. I am quite confident though that Kennedy and Abrams have made a good movie despite their pandering to the wrong lot.

    The highlight of SWCA for me: the audience roar during the Rebels trailer when we heard ‘my name is Rex, Captain Rex’. There was nothing even close to that outburst during or following the TFA trailer revelation! The most painful moment of SWCA for me: Ewok actors saying in an interview how they were sick of receiving Ewok-hate!

    • mithrandirolorin Says:

      “Many of the most virulent prequel bashers will almost certainly become ‘sequel bashers’ once they have seen the full movie. These are the people that can’t handle it when a movie is not what they thought it should be. All Kennedy and Abrams are achieving with their ‘sell-out vocabulary’ is that they pander to exactly those who will moan and whine over the final result.”

      To some extent, but I also think allot of Prequel bashers will accept TFA whether it’s good or not, just as many Donner Superman fanboys loved Superman Returns. Some people will accept.

      My fear is the new films however they go over with the various kind of people who already love SW will not be able to bring in new fans the way the Prequels did. The way they’re bragging about using outdated effects, and dependent entirely on Nostalgia in their promotion so far.

      The Prequels brought in new fans among young film goers like me because they were true to the spirit of Star Wars but also did new things. They moved the genre and filming in general forward.

      Now we have a generation of young people for whom Guardians of the Galaxy, a flawed but great film that advanced the space fantasy genre, is the first film in that genre they ever saw theatrically. This December they’re gonna watch their parents gush of a film that looks like it was made 30 years ago, and I”m afraid they’re gonna get a wrong impression of what Star Wars because of that.

      Appealing to Nostalgia is great, the Prequels did it, and Nintendo videos games constantly do it, but they do it ways that go hand in hand with moving forward, not rejecting it.

  11. Jacobesico Says:

    I was more excited by the Star Wars Rebels trailer to be honest. The Battlefront trailer means nothing to me although I did get tingle in the spine when I saw The Force Awakens trailer but for me, it’s Rebels which is the big one.

    I wasn’t sure about Rebels at frist but when I started to watch it, I actually enjoyed it. I think it bridges the two trilogies together which I like very much.

    As for all the haters, well my attitiude is sod them. They don’t even want to understand George Lucas’s vision and in my opinion, they aren’t even proper fans.

    The reason why I have stuck with Star Wars for so long is because I couldn’t really care less what those “fans” think. I think give it another decade or so and the Prequels won’t be as hated. There’s a new generation of fans that are growing up and are watching the prequels first.

    • madmediaman Says:

      It’s kind of funny… while both trailers appeal to a certain sense of nostalgia, Filoni and company just do a better job of it. Abrams is a bit too hamfisted in his approach.

      Filoni’s moves are all natural progressions of the story. For example, Captain Rex. The Fives arc clearly established that the implanted chip in the clone troopers brains is what allowed Order 66 to happen. What if one or more of those troops took a chance and had the chip removed? That’s clearly where the story would head.

      I’m not even sure TFA (what we know of it) is even a natural progression of Lucas’ Saga. The Prequels and TCW clearly establish that Anakin would balance the Force, and the Yoda arc establishes that when Sith die that’s it… there’s nothing left… So if the Sith were destroyed in ROTJ, then who the heck is this new guy? ROTJ had a definitely “happily ever after” feel, and my biggest fear is TFA comes across as an unnecessary coda to the Saga.

      • Slicer87 Says:

        I feel the whole clone chip thing really contradicts AOTC and ROTS and as an attempt to retcon them from the outside. Especially when AOTC states the clones are engineered to obey orders without question, making a chip pointless. Afterall they are clones of a thug who didn’t have a problem stabbing his cohort Zam in the back. TCW has the clones behave nicer than they ever did in the PT films.

        Because of stuff likes this, I view TCW and Rebels as Filoni’s sega separate from the current 6 live action films which are Lucas’s sega. There was a reason why TCW was a lower tier of canon than the films, and it should have stayed that way. Disney trying to shoehorn all these different versions of Star Wars into a sigle line of continuality is a disaster. Like a carburetor remanufactured combining mis-matching parts to build a poorly working carburetor to pass off to customers who don’t know better.Lucas was wise keeping these different visions of Star Wars as separate universes.

      • madmediaman Says:

        Sorry, disagree about the “lower tier” canon. The clones are clearly portrayed in RoTS as being friendly toward the Jedi. Obi-Wan shares a couple of scenes with Cody which shows they have a cordial, friendly relationship as they take humorous jabs at each other.

        Lama Su says of the clones: “We have modified their genetic structure to make them less independent than their original host. As a result they are totally obedient, taking orders without question.”

        So whatever negative influence Jango would have had on the clones has been erased. If you are making a group of soldiers obedient to the Republic, and their Jedi generals, you would need some sort of override switch to make them turn on the Jedi at some point. It’s obvious the Battle Droids are no match for the army, but your ready made army of human soldiers is more than capable of taking out thousands of Jedi.

        And I certainly don’t think it’s retcon at all when Lucas was the one who devised the original idea for the Sifo-Dyas

      • Slicer87 Says:

        I believe that Jango’s ruthlessness would have been maintained in the clones. The Sith picked Jango for a reason and they would want some of his negative influence perserved in the clones for their ultimate purpose, to wipe out the Jedi and subjugate the galaxy.

        In ROTS only Cody was shown to be friendly torwards the Jedi, and he did not act like he was being mind controlled when Palps gave the order. He and the other clones calmly executed order 66 like any other order. The clone pilot who shot down Plo-Koon grined with satisfaction when he received order 66. The clones who stopped Bail were clearly not under any mind control chips when they pointed their guns at him. Post 66 the clones did not display grief or horror over what they did, they simply didn’t care the Jedi were dead and were behaving like thugs. Order 66 simply revealed their true nature, that they are thugs like their host was. The films made it clear the clones are not good guys and it was a grave mistake of the Jedi to ever have trusted them.

        None of the films mentions any mind control chips, and TCW does portray the clones as good guys which is the opposite of how both AOTC and ROTS portrayed them. They were given a sinister vibe in AOTC and were meant to be a sign the Republic was already turning into the Empire.

        TCW needed story elements from the films altered and adapted into a cartoon TV series format. Having the clones as a vague threat as they were in the films just does not work in a weekly TV series as it would get old fast so they changed it. Just like how they alter Anakin and Obi-Wan and tons of other things in TCW from the films. Such as having LAAT gunships fly in space despite being open aircraft. TCW changed lots of things around and added C level EU stuff. It was a mismash of G and C canon elements and why it was S canon. However some of these changes don’t jive with the films and the chips are a band-aid to explain why the good guys went bad.

        Yes the chips are a retcon, no matter who it is from. As it goes against the story of the PT as they currently are. Perhaps Disney will edit AOTC and ROTS to make the movie clones as nice as their TCW counterparts and add TCW mind control chips?

  12. Kenny Kraly Jr Says:

    Good article I agree with most of the points of the article. For me as a fan of the series since the early 1990’s I’ve liked all 6 Films , TCW , Rebels , The Canon , Legends (except for a few stories) equally and will with The Sequel Era too. To me thought I don’t think Disney / LFL is ignoring the Prequel Era most fans have to understand where in a new era of Star Wars now with new films , tv shows , Books and Comics and young reader books with The Canon aka Story Group Canon. There will be subtle nods to The PT mixed in here and their as time goes on their already doing it in the new Marvel Comic Series Star Wars and Darth Vader with The Battle Droids showing up and Kanan The Last Padawan takes place during Order 66. While I agree we need to speak up for The PT Era I do not think Disney / LFL is ignoring them even Pablo said a few times with The Story Group the way it is set up The Prequels are not being ignored.

  13. madmediaman Says:

    Sorry Kenny, but they are largely ignoring them because Disney is basically in soft reboot mode. No they won’t disregard the Prequels, and there will be nods here and there, but they are certainly avoiding the era like the plague.

    The soft reboot is this… pretty much everything we will see from this point on will be tied into the Sequels and the 30 year gap between the OT and ST so the Prequels can largely be ignored. Rogue One ties into the OT, but how much you want to be there are some direct ties to the ST either through a character, or some plot element? It’s the Marvelization of Star Wars. I’ll bet anything the next spin off is a post Jedi movie with more ties to the ST, and may even set the stage for episodes X-XII.

    Sure Disney can throw PT fans a bone with an occasional reference in a book, or comics, and be content that they “honored George.” And I’m sure Disney, to a degree, views PT fans like an abusive husband views his wife… “they’ll be back, where else do they have to go?” Frankly outside of Filoni and his group, I’ve heard zip from Kennedy or Abrams that would make PT fans believe they are valued by the company. When your hipster, jackhole interviewer from starwars.com joins in the laughs bashing Phantom Menace you know there’s a problem within the company. I would have put that talentless schlub, Paul Scheer on the spot.. not laughed and simply said, “I loved Phantom Menace,” and let that hang uncomfortably in the air. My next question would have probably been, “You’re on this really unfunny show on ABC, Fresh Off the Boat, So how does it feel being on a show that portrays almost all non Asians, and more specifically white Americans in a very negative, almost racist, caricature-like light? Aren’t we as a society supposed to be moving on from that?” That would have been a fun interview.

    But I digress…

    PT fans can’t be passive any more. They need to raise a ruckus. Keep petitioning Disney to release more Clone Wars arcs, Start a letter writing campaign asking for a Kenobi spin off. Demand more Prequel era product from Kenner and other licensees.

    • Kenny Kraly Jr Says:

      Fair enough @madmediaman and agreed but I don’t think it is a complete re boot just a reset.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      *Nods.* The vibe I got from the Untold Clone Wars panel was that the suits simply didn’t want to deal with that era anymore.

      • madmediaman Says:

        That’s what a number of other friends relayed to me. Heck Old Republic is off the table for some time as well. It’s a 70s/80s nostalgia fest…

    • blade57hrc Says:

      When your hipster, jackhole interviewer from starwars.com joins in the laughs bashing Phantom Menace you know there’s a problem within the company. I would have put that talentless schlub, Paul Scheer on the spot.. not laughed and simply said, “I loved Phantom Menace,” and let that hang uncomfortably in the air. My next question would have probably been, “You’re on this really unfunny show on ABC, Fresh Off the Boat, So how does it feel being on a show that portrays almost all non Asians, and more specifically white Americans in a very negative, almost racist, caricature-like light? Aren’t we as a society supposed to be moving on from that?” That would have been a fun interview.

      ROFL…I’d buy a ticket to watch that for much more than a dollar! 😀 😀 😀

    • blade57hrc Says:


      May i copy this below his interview video?

  14. Kenny Kraly Jr Says:

    Fair enough @madmediaman

  15. piccolojr1138 Says:

    Guess who’s talking (in 2009) :

    “I’m just a fan of “Star Wars.” As a kid, “Star Wars” was much more my thing than “Star Trek” was. If you look at the last three “Star Wars” films and what technology allowed them to do, they covered so much terrain in terms of design, locations, characters, aliens, ships — so much of the spectacle has been done and it seems like every aspect has been covered, whether it’s geography or design of culture or weather system or character or ship type. Everything has been tapped in those movies. The challenge of doing “Star Trek” — despite the fact that it existed before “Star Wars” — is that we are clearly in the shadow of what George Lucas has done.”

    “The key to me is to not ever try to outdo them because it’s a no-win situation. Those movies are so extraordinarily rendered that it felt to me that the key to “Star Trek” was to go from the inside-out: Be as true to the characters as possible, be as real and as emotional and as exciting as possible and not be distracted by the specter of all that the “Star Wars” film accomplished. For instance, we needed to establish that there are aliens in this universe and yet I didn’t want it to feel like every scene had four new multi-colored characters in it. That is something “Star Wars” did so well with its amazing creature design. The question is how do you subtly introduce the idea that there are different species here. And to also do it differently than the [“Trek”] TV shows, which basically had someone wearing a mask sitting in a chair [in the background]. It was the balance of doing what the story needed us to do but also not feeling like we were trying to rip off or out-do what Lucas did.”

    “That cantina scene is obviously one of the classic scenes in “Star Wars” and it was such a wonderful introduction to how amazing, how diverse and how full of possibility this “Star Wars” universe was going to be. In the subsequent films, especially the last three, so many scenes have that feeling, that they are just expanding and expanding the worlds. That was definitely something where I felt the burden of “My God, they’ve done it all.” And the challenge is how do you do it where it feels real and meaningful and not like you’re borrowing from someone else. That’s just one of our challenges.”

    Yes, that’s J.J. Abrams describing the prequels as “extraorinarily rendered” and purely representative of Star Wars. It seems he changed his mind since then.


    • madmediaman Says:

      JJ is all aboard the fanboy train. He mistakingly believes he has to bring back OT fans to the fold. Most OT fans I know are like me… they are fans of all six films. The O-OT fans are a small minority, but Disney/Lucasfilm for some odd reason seems obsessed with catering to them,

      Every one of those buzz words JJ and Kennedy used… “real,” “authentic,” “Western,” and the complete lack of mentioning George are meant to appeal to a specific demographic of Star Wars fan. Now maybe at some point they will switch gears in their presentation, but I kind of doubt it. Disney/Lucasfilm is banking on these fans to carry them to the box office stratosphere… but the reality is the fans NEVER carried Star Wars to mass success, it was Star Wars’ broad appeal with the GENERAL PUBLIC that made it a success.

      George was able to tap into something primal in the regular moviegoing audience which has allowed Star Wars to be popular some 35 years later. The general public could give a crap whether JJ is using practical sets or greenscreen… In fact he’s actually doing the reverse of what O-OT fans accused George of. Instead of focusing on “CGI” instead of story as the haters believe, JJ seems obsessed with “practical effects” Haven’t heard him talk about story or theme at all… just stuff.

      As George said, “An effect without a story is a pretty boring thing.” And if JJ’s Star Wars opus does not ring true with general audiences, and does not have the kind of thematic weight or resonance George’s Saga did, TFA will meet the same fate as most JJ blockbusters… they will perform well at first, but ultimately they will underperform a little.

      • lovelucas Says:

        Sadly true – I do want to share this: both Doug Chiang and John Knoll’s sessions really honored George – they both mentioned being inspired by him and that it was he, George the maker, who pushed everyone to develop techniques to tell his story. Doug, in particular, never let anyone forget in that room about the importance of George. And we need this spoken by those who worked directly for and with him to counter the wackos who as recently as last week still wished him to take “drop dead George” pills.

      • lazypadawan Says:

        Because of scheduling, I didn’t go to Knoll’s panel and I’d planned on going to Chiang’s panel but I changed my mind because by Sunday I was sick of lines and I wanted to get home at a decent hour.

      • lovelucas Says:

        I have great (imo of course) from Doug’s session.

    • Anonymous Says:

      I’m sure JJ doesn’t hate the prequels. The problem is that he thinks it’s ok to overdo all this practical effects PR to win back fans (as if the prequel haters weren’t gonna rush to theaters to watch TFA in the first place). But part of me feels that Kathleen Kennedy may be just as (or perhaps even more) guilty of it.

      • blade57hrc Says:

        Oh yes…I agree on that. I think K.Kennedy is much more to blame on this than JJ. She is the boss of the company.
        Even if it was JJ’s proposal (which i doubt, it seems much more a decision after researching the media’s perception) it’s KK (the one Lucas trusted) who at the very least approved such PR route…

      • buick runner Says:

        I was watching the TCM channel tonight, and during the host segments they were making a big deal about practical effects. It seems this practical effects throwback is a fad beyond just Star Wars.

  16. Sara Says:

    I feel a lot of this applies to the Expanded Universe as well. As both a Prequel fan and an EU fan, I feel like I’m being shoved aside on two different fronts. As hard as it is to find Prequel merchandise, it’s next to impossible to find EU merchandise, especially now that it’s no longer canon. It was okay for TCW fans to speak up and demand that the show be continued, but when EU fans do the same and demand that the Legends storyline be continued, even if it won’t be canon, they’re told to shut up and get over it. I understand Lucasfilm focusing on the new content, but it’s not fair to just forget about Prequel and EU fans.

    • buick runner Says:

      Lucas was wise to maintain different Star Wars universes to limit material becoming noncanon. However,with Disney trying to collapse everything into one single universe is a mistake.

  17. Kim Says:

    I agree, Sara. I love all 6 movies, TCW, and the EU. I grew up on the OT, but love the PT just as much. I haven’t been opposed to stories from others, but I haven’t had the slightest desire to watch either of the teaser trailers for VII, partly because of the things I love from the existing EU, and now the attitudes of JJ and KK have made me even less interested. I also have no interest in the books in the new “canon”, but I’d love a continuation of the Legends storyline, which is very unlikely to happen, but will remain my personal canon whatever Disney does.

  18. Joshua Hewlett Says:

    So…I decided to send Lucasfilm a letter the other day. We’ll see if I receive anything back, and if I do if it’ll even address the concerns I lay out there. I doubt it, but here’s a copy of the letter I mailed out. I encourage everyone to write to Lucasfilm and let them know that we’re not happy with how the movies we love and that George worked so hard on are crapped on by the people who are supposed to carry on his legacy.

    “To whom it may concern:

    Hi there, friends at Lucasfilm! My name is Josh Hewlett, and I have been a fan of Star Wars (and a number of other Lucasfilm projects) for much of my life. I’m 30 years old, have a wife and a 1 year old son (a son that will certainly be indoctrinated in all things Star Wars when he’s a little older).

    I’ll tell you, I’m very excited about the new Star Wars film coming out this December. I remember watching the Original Trilogy on home video for the first time and being wowed. I saw the Special Edition releases in the theaters and fell in love with them all over again. The prequels came out and I was again taken to that galaxy far, far away and I was so happy to get to experience it all. I remember coming out of Revenge of the Sith, feeling overjoyed at Star Wars going out with a bang, but at the same time a little saddened knowing there was nothing more to look forward to in my favorite movie universe.

    Then The Force Awakens was announced shortly after Mr. Lucas sold his company to Disney. I’ll admit to being a little worried initially, since my motto was “No Lucas, no dice.” But I was quickly won over when J.J. Abrams was announced to direct and George Lucas gave the director and his new president, Kathleen Kennedy, his blessings.

    But there is a bit of an issue I have, and it’s with how Ms. Kennedy and Mr. Abrams seem to make backhanded remarks regarding the quality of the prequels and seem to feed the notion at various fan conventions (like the recent Celebration event in California) that The Force Awakens is a “return” of practical effects and physical sets.

    I’m saddened because this seems to be done merely to win over a vocal minority of the fan base and to, for some reason, make them feel justified that their view of the prequels being loaded with nothing but CGI is true. I, as a fan of Star Wars and the prequels themselves, feel that these inaccurate remarks should stop. Rather than feed this fan base something that they want to hear, why don’t we tell them the truth?

    Why don’t we tell this portion of the fan base that the prequels weren’t shot entirely on green screens? Why don’t we acknowledge the location shooting in Tunisia, Italy and Spain? Why not explain that just because you see a green screen in a behind the scenes photo that this doesn’t necessarily mean that CGI is going to be present in the scene? Why not educate that in a number of those green screen shots, the brilliant people at ILM were busy creating detailed miniatures and that a lot of the things that the audience believes is CGI was actually a physical construction?

    I’m afraid that Mr. Abrams and Ms. Kennedy, in the process of trying to win back a segment of the fan base are going to alienate another large portion of the fan base. I understand Disney as a whole isn’t trying to sweep these movies under the rug. I’ve appreciated the nods to the prequels in recent Star Wars literature and in the new Disney cartoon, Star Wars: Rebels. I’m also wise enough to know that when a company spends $4 billion on a franchise, that they’re going to want to make money on the entire franchise, and not just the half that’s considered “classic.”

    So, all I ask really is this: Please don’t alienate those of us who care for Star Wars as a whole. Please, pass the word on to Mr. Abrams and Ms. Kennedy that when they make a claim that they’re “going back to practical effects and models”, that they’re undermining the work that Lucasfilm founder George Lucas put almost a decade of his life into, and also the hard work of the talented individuals at ILM, whether they mean to or not.

    Thank you for taking the time to read of my concerns. All things said, I’m still looking forward to The Force Awakens, and it looks like Mr. Abrams has knocked it out of the park.


    Joshua Hewlett”

  19. lovelucas Says:

    I agree – Dave Filoni was part of the pro prequel panel in Orlando and has never wavered. I attended the 501st party (somewhat of a let down) and was able to talk to him very briefly but my first sentences were: I love the prequels and the Clone Wars – and there are thousands who think like I do.

  20. Dmitri Says:

    Hi, great post! I agree that the prequel films deserve much more attention, and indeed the fanbase is actually substantially larger than the nostalgia critics of the Americas. It’s a fact in eastern countries (Russia, Serbia, China) that the prequels are most popular among the star wars fans (The Clone Wars serials especially popular in Russia). Disney is foolish to base the films strictly on the opinions of the older star wars fans, even though the films are suppossed to be for kids of each new generation. As for fan builds, I recall a Polish LEGO enthusiast (migalart) who built a huge Mustafar setup, and some in the lego star wars forums said it was unusual that he did a prequel setting

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