That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore

It’s not my intent to make it Persecution Week at SWPAS but even before the SDCC panel, I’d intended to address the animated LEGO Droid Tales miniseries airing on Disney X D. A while back I’d seen the trailer for the show online and there was a joke where the characters snored through Threepio explaining the beginning of TPM. I saw the writing on the wall and didn’t watch. Sure enough, viewers reported that the prequels got dragged through the mud, including Amanda Ward and Jason Ward of Making Star Wars.net. The show’s writer Michael Price tweeted back to Jason Ward the following:

I have no problem laughing with Star Wars. I liked Robot Chicken. I would’ve liked the Family Guy stuff more had it not been for the creepy molester jokes.

Laughing at Star Wars? Meh, not so much. If you look at the old Mad, Crazy, Cracked, etc. takes on the OT, Mad’s jokes could be brutal. Which is why I preferred the gentler Cracked. (Though Mad did that to everything.) When it comes to laughing at the PT in particular, well, an awful lot of what we’ve had to put up with over the past 16 years doesn’t exactly leave me with a funny bone for that sort of thing.

It’s annoying enough if it’s an entity outside of the official realm mocking the prequels or Star Wars in general. But it’s extremely disappointing when that mockery gets an official rubber stamp. And they wonder why many of us think there’s an anti-PT campaign behind promoting TFA!

Sorry, I won’t be watching. I’ve had enough of this sort of thing.

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30 Responses to “That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore”

  1. Chris N. Says:

    What was Lucasfilm’s excuse for not airing Detours again? Oh, right…

    • Noah Says:

      I actually am not aware of why they are not airing “Detours”, except any legal Disney problem……

      • Dave Strohmenger Says:

        It’s supposedly because they want the characters, especially Vader, to be taken more seriously. It’s the same reason the Hyperspace Hoopla went away.

      • Anonymous Says:

        “It’s supposedly because they want the characters, especially Vader, to be taken more seriously.”

        And yet they have no problem airing a video of him visiting Disney World and enjoying his time. Unless that counts as “serious”…

      • lazypadawan Says:

        You can also find t-shirts at Disneyland of Vader on the rocket ship ride in Tomorrowland. Serious!

      • Chris N. Says:

        “it was counter-intuitive to spend the next three years targeting young kids and teens with a show that was kind of a deconstructionist view of the characters that they just were going to be meant to take very seriously.”

        Now count the number of officially licensed parodies released since the sequel trilogy was announced.

      • madmediaman Says:

        There are no legal issues. The show was being produced, like Clone Wars, in house, and they would look for a distribution deal later,,, The assumption was it would air on Cartoon Network, but that was not a given.

        There’s no reason not to air the show at this juncture as Disney continues to churn out parody after parody of OT characters. I knew the knew the LFL excuse regarding airing Detours was just that, an excuse, as soon as they aire Star Wars Phineas and Ferb.

        Honestly, Disney really has no clue what they are doing in terms of marketing to kids. On the one hand they say they want to treat OT characters with a certain amount of reverence because they are featured in TFA, yet they continue to churn out Lego Star Wars specials which parody the characters… so which is it.

        The kids marketing sucks and is incredibly scattershot. I think one of the reasons George was going to make the leads in the ST slighly youngers (teens), was that he knew he needed an in with younger crowds, and a core set of heroes that were identifiable to younger audiences. JJ has taken the oppisite approach.. heroes are 20-somethings/30-something (in the case of Poe), and marketing is driven at 40-somethings and 50-somethings… not sure how that works..

      • bansheegun Says:

        Wait, they ended Hyperspace Hoopla? I never really liked the hosts but I always thought it was a cool event.

  2. Noah Says:

    This is the third nail in the nose on why I won’t be watching this show anytime soon or later… and not to tray from topic, but it isn’t just the anti-PT messages, but that Lego shows in this day in age are not really good (except Ninjago, that is my Avatar). It is tragic that Lego didn’t commission shows back in the late 90s/early 2000s… (the only one they had a say on was this live-action show called Galidor. And the only closest thing to a Lego episode was the underrated Jack Stone VHS ).

    As for the issue, it is devastating and irritating! At SDCC, a number of attendees thought that I was going as Jar Jar because I “hated him?”. It wasn’t like someone in a booth joke-moaning about Jar Jar/my presents being a jinxed disaster waiting to happen (which is an attribute of Jar Jar, to cause unintentional trouble, since he is like the Charlie Brown of Star Wars only with more respect for from those around him… almost), it’s having this thought that someone may be going as a character “nobody, not even the cosplayer likes, at all!” (or, am I straying from the subject?). And with that, it is difficult to be a good-sport about the matter.

    And if that wasn’t enough, the double-standards of the matter scream out how bias the nature of it all is. Mocking Star Wars I-III is like making fun of boys. Everyone does it just because… but, if the reverse trilogy or gender had one tiny jab jabbed toward it/them… then, as said by the Joker himself, “EVERYONE LOOSES THEIR MINDS!” Either we have fun with both or make fun at both… or if we can’t say anything nice at all, then we should keep quiet. However, this logic doesn’t apply to the game that these one-sided bias people play. Instead of having a friendly disagreement, they will bash the mustafar out of their targeted aim and shame anyone who stands in their way, even the ones most accepting of other people’s opinions.

  3. zch81721 Says:

    So many things wrong with this. If you want to make fun of Star Wars then fine. But there is being clever and then there is being lazy. This is lazy. This is one of the many reasons I stopped watching Nostalgia critic. And of course when they get to the OT who wants to bet they are just going to go for the jokes that have been done to death. Oh you made a “these aren’t the droids your looking for” joke. How original. This is why I enjoyed the Robot Chicken specials. They went for something new and they made fun of both the OT and PT fairly. I never felt bias. Each one got it’s fair share of hilarious jokes and there were some I never thought about. “What do you mean they blew up the deathstar?” is still my favorite bit. In fact I wish Seth Green got to do Detours because I feel he could have done something good with it. In fact I read an article where he said the show was going to change how we saw Jar Jar. To me that shows you have balls because I bet any low rate comedian wouldn’t even touch the character but Green not only wanted the character but change how we(most likely the hateboys) saw him. A shame Detours will never see the light of day.

    • Jim Raynor Says:

      Haven’t seen this and really had no interest to. It’s really lame though that a professional writer would inject his fan-whining into a spinoff show specifically targeted to very young children. We’re not even talking about Millennials who grew up on the Prequels. We’re talking about elementary school kids whose first Star Wars was probably the Clone Wars series.

      From what I’ve heard, one of the topics of bashing was the “taxation of trade routes” thing AGAIN. Really, it’s not that hard. To this day, I still wonder how these middle aged OT-only fans are completely befuddled over the general idea that economic issues might become an excuse for war.

      It’s like they never heard of the American Revolution, and missed out on the past decade of people accusing the US of invading Iraq for oil profits.

      It’s bold, rampant ignorance and anti-intellectualism. Why is it that I could understand TPM just fine at the age of fourteen, but these people still can’t get it at forty plus?

      • Hunk a Junk Says:

        The tax issue is even simpler than that, Jim. Robin Hood. What was Robin’s beef? TAXES! Watch the 1939 Errol Flynn classic sometime and read — really read — the opening text describing the political landscape of the story. It’s WAY more complicated than anything in TPM, yet it’s a classic loved by adults and children. Really, almost all the PT criticisms are smokescreens for hateboys’ real issue: it’s not the OT. It doesn’t have Han or the Falcon or the Empire or TIE fighters or X-wings. That’s what ultimately fuels their hypocrisy.

      • lazypadawan Says:

        That movie’s amazing. Errol Flynn fit the role like a glove and the action/dueling scenes still are pretty spectacular.

      • zch81721 Says:

        My 7 year old self didn’t understand the full extend of the conflict but I understood this. Trade federation bad, Jedi good. That was it. Just like how I didn’t understand the conflict in the OT when I was young but I knew Empire bad, Rebels good.

      • M. Marshall Says:

        I’ve heard them complain continuously about the politics of the PT and that “kids wouldn’t get it.” Yet kids are taught politics at school. I remember when a little girl spoke at a John Kerry rally on tv in 2004. She was really good.

  4. Eduardo Jencarelli Says:

    In fairness, I find Michael Price to be a pretty nice guy, especially compared to the other Simpsons writers (comedy writers tend to have egos and toxic personalities; he doesn’t).

    And in his defense, from what I’ve seen online, he’s pretty fond of the prequels, willing to support anyone who praises them.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Actually, he is a nice guy. And I have to hand it to him for answering Jason Ward without attacking him. But…I just don’t get it.

  5. Jacobesico Says:

    I’m fascinated with the politics in the Prequels. The Senate scenes are a must watch for anybody who is interested in History and current affairs. The most memorable lines for me are the ones in the Senate and to do with politics.

    “Enter the bureaucrats..”

    “The day we stop believing Democracy can work is the day we lose it”. (That one is my favourite by the way.)

    “This is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause”

    The prequels are a different set of films compared to the Original Trillogy.

    It’s about Palpatine gaining more and more power.

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

    The title of this post is under the mistaken impression that the joke was ever funny in the first place.

  7. Nick Skywalker Says:

    Wanna play the joke game Disney? Ok then let’s play. Let’s hear more jokes about Luke’s whiny ” I Was Going to Toshi Station to Pick Up Some Power Converters” line. Let’s hear more jokes about it takes around a good hour in ANH until things really pick up. Let’s hear more jokes about how the hateboys worship a character that gets a grand total of 5 minutes worth of screentime (Boba Fett). Let’s hear more jokes about that ridiculous twirl Obi Wan does in ANH when fighting Vader and Vader still manages to miss. Let’s hear more jokes about Leia’s unflattering outfits. Let’s hear more jokes about how the timeline in TESB makes absolutely no sense. Let’s make jokes about how Han goes from being BA to a lovesick puppy in ROTJ. And the list goes on.

    Am I saying that we should bash the OT over ever little mistake and goof? Absolutely not. But do not act like the OT is a stunning, flawless, piece of art that has nothing that could be made a joke out of when it does. If you want to make jokes about Star Wars, make jokes about ALL films, not just 3 that get too much criticism as it is.

    • Jim Raynor Says:

      “Back in my day,” Star Wars fans were good humored and self-deprecating enough to joke about things such as how Stormtroopers couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. Star Wars was pulpy fun and we knew it.

      Now, we have the internet fanboy community venerating the Original Trilogy beyond all reason, taking it way too seriously, and pretending that it’s absolutely flawless while bashing the prequels for doing the same exact things.

  8. Bob Clark Says:

    I just got out of a movie where some friends of mine struck up a conversation with someone else who saw it. Turned out the guy didn’t like the movie at all, and somehow or other the conversation steered towards the Star Wars Disney purchase, and guess what– he hated the Prequels. What was especially odd, however, is that he seemed to hate pretty much everything else Disney does with Marvel and the people making the new films (Abrams and the lens flares came up instantaneously), to the point that I had to wonder why he was so happy Disney had acquired Lucasfilm to begin with. He said something about his belief it would be the happy medium between corporate studio mandates and fanboy filmmaking– something that strikes me as pretty much evil in terms of cinema as art.

    But ultimately, all I could really hear from this guy was hate, and that’s really what seems to be the resting pulse of fanboy nation now. They devine themselves not by what they like, because they don’t seem to like anything. They only hate things, and hold them in opposition to some abstract ideal that can never really be fulfilled.

  9. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    [“I’m fascinated with the politics in the Prequels.”]

    I feel the same. Being a history nut, I really enjoyed how Lucas had mapped Palpatine’s rise to power and how the latter had to occasionally improvise when his plans threatened to go off track.

    • PrinceOfNaboo Says:

      I love the politics in the Prequels too, especially because they tell their story in a broad and general way. Fear pushing people into disaster, parties goading each other until it’s too late, people looking away, switching victims and villains …..

      Of course, some haters have long turned their argument into whining it’s not “realistic” enough, which is – of course – utter nonsense because Star Wars is a fairy tale for the young people and the young at heart that tells stories in a broad way to cover much ground.

      • Daniel Xie Says:

        And some other haters have claimed that they want it to be even more political and say it wasn’t political “enough”.

  10. Eduardo Jencarelli Says:

    Looks like Disney and Lucasfilm aren’t fond of Star Wars parodies anymore. I wasn’t expecting such a negative backlash over this Amy Schumer episode:

    http://www.ew.com/article/2015/07/16/amy-schumer-star-wars-gq-cover

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Lucasfilm has usually been vigilant about protecting its brand. There’s a reason why you’re not going to watch a Lucasfilm-approved Star Wars porn film or buy a licensed lightsaber bong any time soon. (I’ll admit that they have looked the other way on some things they wouldn’t have once upon a time.) The problem here is that the costumes, props, etc. look pretty close to the real things and there are people who really thought Lucasfilm put its stamp of approval on a raunchy photo shoot. I was pretty surprised at first myself since I didn’t think Disney wanted Amy Schumer giving a lightsaber a BJ to promote TFA as fun for the whole family.

      You cannot use trademarked or copyrighted material in your own commercial work without permission from the IP holders. If you see somebody in a commercial wearing a Star Wars t-shirt or characters playing with Clone Wars action figures in a movie, the ad makers or the filmmakers had to get permission from Lucasfilm. Obviously GQ is cashing in on pre-TFA anticipation but since the photo shoot features a comedienne and the photos are supposed to elicit a laugh, it can cite First Amendment protection for parody or satire and courts tend to give wiiiide berth to First Amendment claims like that. Even if I think in this case, Lucasfilm can certainly cite confusion on the part of the public and dilution of the brand.

      All Lucasfilm can do for now is say, “Hey, it wasn’t us” to reassure fans and parents they had nothing to do with the raunch fest. But I’ll be very shocked if GQ scores any interviews with the cast to promote TFA. Heck, I’m sure Disney is going to tell GQ it can buy its own ticket to review the movie.

  11. Dave Strohmenger Says:

    I didn’t appreciate the jokes either, but did anyone notice that the character who kidnaps R2 appears to be the same character that is reaching out to R2 in the TFA trailer? Black cloak, white jacket, black hands.

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