The Fractured Fandom

This is a post I’ve been meaning to write for a long time and have held off on posting because honestly, I’m reluctant to bring up unpleasant topics. But it’s been my intent ever since last May the 4th when I got into an argument on Twitter with somebody. (Coming May 2016: Why I’m Done With May the 4th). Here’s a faux internet holiday meant to celebrate Star Wars and the celebrating I get to do is argue with a stranger, who naturally took advantage of the day to bash the stuff he didn’t like.

Such is one’s experience with Star Wars fandom and thus it has been for a long time. So here we are with a new movie looming closer, the first of a bunch of new cinematic offerings. There’s certainly excitement among fans but the divisions and dysfunction among active fans, especially online, have become deeper and more exacerbated. Some of this can be blamed on the tack being used to promote TFA. They could have chosen a campaign designed to bring everyone together. Instead we got a convention season campaign designed to appeal to prequel haters, critics, and nostalgics. Worse yet as a fan who loves all of the Star Wars movies, I felt like I was being asked to cynically shrug off throwing those movies and the people who worked on them under the bus for the sake of some Greater Good. If this was how TPM was promoted, I could 100% understand the backlash against the film. Maybe it wouldn’t have been fair but it would’ve been completely understandable.  Some of the rumors and trial balloons about Ep. VIII are showing a more conciliatory attitude toward the prequels and their fans but we’ll have to see if they pan out.  In any case, it’s going to stick in my craw for a long time.

A lot of this can be blamed on the media, which is going right along with the marketing tack because a lot of people in the media, especially the geek/comic book/movie/entertainment industrial complex, hate the prequels and/or use anti-PT sentiment as reliable clickbait. To Darth Media, it’s conventional wisdom the prequels were awful and the fans uniformly hated them. If I have to read one more condescending piece on how somebody has to “save” Star Wars or one more hack who makes the same lazy, uninformed assumptions, I’m going to barf. A pox on all of their pixels.

But the fundamental problem is the treatment of Star Wars as two competing trilogies that have nothing to do with each other, with competing, incompatible fan bases. Only one base can “win” and the other must “lose.” So the OT-only part of the base is declared real and legitimate and its favored trilogy is deemed the only real Star Wars. Those other movies are deemed illegitimate and the dopes who love them are frauds and pretenders. This attitude has been purchased wholesale. As a result, just about everyone has been looking the other way on or even celebrating some terrible behavior over the past several years. It’s not just one set of fans have an opinion that’s different from the opinion of another set of fans. This has been a vicious scorched earth campaign with trolling, bullying, flaming, threats, and harassment. Much of the anger was directed at Lucas and any accomplices working on the prequels.  But since there’s only so much you can do to Lucas, who has been wise enough to stay off of social media and the internet as a whole, the brunt of the ragefest was aimed at those attempting even the slightest defense of the movies. Those who embraced the prequels have been put on the defensive and viewed as outliers, outcasts, and worthy of contempt. That is if prequel fans aren’t outright ignored. I could write a book about some of the stuff I experienced: discussion threads trolled and derailed on other sites, nasty grams from strangers, a guy at a collector’s meeting loudly ripping the prequels even after he realized it was annoying me, getting called “stupid” or a “hate monger,” being told I don’t know anything about movies or that I’m not a real Star Wars fan, etc.. There was one guy who thought it was charming to post in the comments to a well-known fan news site a picture of the prequel DVDs on fire. If there’s anything that has taught me that People Suck, it’s been my experiences in this fandom.

Prequel fans have been pretty much kicked out of geek/nerd culture as a whole. Most geek sites only refer to those films in a disdainful way and you’ll get set upon by trolls if you don’t toe the line. Pro-prequel panels are rare at conventions. A panel at this year’s SDCC about different starships from different fandoms flat out refused to discuss anything from the prequels because “they don’t exist.” Those who sat through Celebration Anaheim’s streaming coverage had to put up with blatant and subtle digs at the prequels. And Lord help a writer who tries even the faintest attempt to defend the movies on any geek/comic book site.

In popular culture and the media, the prequels don’t get much of a break either. They get mocked by the faux geek hipsters on “The Big Bang Theory” or on TMZ. For some who worked on the films this behavior has driven them from social media and damaged careers. We were even debating here whether it had any influence on Jake Lloyd’s alleged struggles with mental illness. Somehow people found it acceptable to harass someone on the internet because they didn’t like what their target’s father had done with a movie. They found it okay to be a jerk to Ahmed Best or Hayden Christensen, even in person. Yet hardly anyone in fandom or in geekdom or the media has ever addressed this issue. You’re not supposed to talk about it much less show any sign of it bothering you. Worse yet, somebody like Patton Oswalt can say he wanted to beat George Lucas to death with a shovel and still get treated like a hero. Simon Pegg practically got to be creative consultant on TFA in spite of well, everything.

There seems to be very little patience and understanding for fans like us and at the same time, we’re expected to think of these bullies as “fellow fans” and “family.” I keep thinking, “You’ve got to be kidding.” I don’t want to waste any time with awful people who live only to make others miserable. Unfortunately if you venture anywhere near fandom, you’ll encounter them and sometimes they go out of their way to find you. Now that more prequel fans are finally finding a voice, the reaction is, “Shut up!” Over the past summer I’ve seen prequel fans called out for being “too negative.” That’s rich after what’s happened for the past several years! What really gets my goat is the insistence there’s actual parity between prequel fans defending what they love about Star Wars or themselves and the likes of calling for Lucas’s death by shovel, bullying a young actor, or issuing threats against fans and their kids. There isn’t. I’ll bet you money the knuckleheads who decided to troll Daisy Ridley’s Instagram the other day weren’t prequel fans.  And in any case, it’s what I call the Five Year Old’s Argument: “Mommy, he did it too!” Sorry fandom…prequel fans are NOT the problem. They never have been. We have every right to stick up for what we love about the saga as any other Star Wars fan. Somehow no one seems to understand this as though fandom isn’t about celebrating what you enjoy but about being constantly told you’re wrong for enjoying it. Who wants that?

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84 Responses to “The Fractured Fandom”

  1. roxam91 Says:

    This… is the very reason I don’t consider myself a Star Wars fan. If being a Star Wars fan means abandoning stories and characters I love, then I guess I’m not a fan… just a person who loves Star Wars.

    • Frida Nyberg Says:

      Don’t let the haters hijack that term! They are not fan boys, they’re hate boys. Or for a more gender-neutral term, “faters” (one letter away from “farters”).

  2. madmediaman Says:

    Outstanding!

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

    Thank you for this. Even my own family has rolled their eyes and called me “just as closed-minded” when discussing the injustices I face being a fan, and how it makes me weary of the new stuff in spite of my best efforts to give it a proper chance, and they actually agree with me that the haters are stupid.

  4. Lynne Phillips Says:

    Hear, hear! Thank you for putting this so eloquently.

  5. Lisse Says:

    *slow clap*

  6. Helen Says:

    ugh. You are so right……

  7. DApostatis Says:

    I have never ever met a PT-fan who hates something that is a part of SW. It is quite clear who has been making problems since 1999.

  8. firebird2110 Says:

    I was a fan of Star Wars at the start (yes, that old) and a member of the Star Wars Lucasfilm fan club before the internet was invented, back when news came in the form of a paper news letter called Bantha Tracks. Despite my age and OT fandom I enjoyed the PT. I didn’t love absolutely everything about them but heck they weren’t made for me, they were made for a new generation of kids, I was just along for the ride.

    Since Disney I don’t tell anyone I’m a Star Wars fan. If they remember that I once said I was I explain that I’m a fan of George Lucas’s Star Wars but that my interest ends with his sale of LucasFilm, with the end of The Clone Wars.

    I don’t care if some self-entitled haters out there on the internet decide that means I’m not a ‘true fan’ because if they are what ‘true fans’ are like I don’t want to be one anyway! Star Wars fandom has become a nasty, spiteful, poisonous place and I have better things to do with my time and nicer people to hang out with.

    I’m up for a return to celebrating George’s birthday on May 14th.

    • Hunk a Junk Says:

      I’m an older fan too and I remember all too well the complains people made about TESB. Yeah, the holy “fan favorite” film had people beaching about how it ‘wasn’t as good as the first one,’ and ‘wasn’t as fun,’ and ‘didn’t have an ending,’ etc. I remember the Time magazine article on ROTJ made note of the effort the filmmakers went to avoiding the mistakes made on TESB. Then of course ROTJ created a whole new wave of hatred — until the SEs came along. And then another wave when the PT came along. As far back as 1978 I remember talking to other fans about what was ‘wrong’ in the first movie. ‘You could tell the lightsabers were sticks in some shots!’ ‘The spaceships in the final battle looked like toys!’ ‘Han is supposed to be an amazing pilot but doesn’t even know what a parsec is!’ Fan dickishness has been around forEVER! Now, it’s just a religion.

      • firebird2110 Says:

        You were lucky, (or maybe not?) to have other fans to talk to. I had my younger brothers and the newsletters and that was really it. Fan dickishness may not be new but the internet has given it a capacity to spread and bandwagon in a way that simply wasn’t possible before.

  9. piccolojr1138 Says:

    Keep up the good work !

  10. Jacobesico Says:

    The idea of those blockheads being the true fans of Star Wars is laughable. What they lack in intelligence, they make up for it in their comedic value in their assertions that they know Star Wars better then their creator. The TRUE fans of Star Wars are the ones that enjoy all SIX films. Not limit their enjoyment to just two.

    Don’t be intimidated by those knuckleheads. You don’t need to pass some test. Sod “Fandom” I am a fan of ALL of Star Wars and no Fat Angry Nerd can change that.

    I don’t even think that those blowhards have the intelligence to even comprehend the prequels.

    They are just an ugly stain on Star Wars.

  11. Hunk a Junk Says:

    There’s just so much to unpack in examining the rift in fandom. The bottom line, however, is that the rift between Star Wars fans was created and is sustained by a group of fans determined to get CONTROL. It’s always been about who gets to decide what Star Wars IS and what stories are to be told. The anger and frustration from hateboys was fueled by the fact that Geoge Lucas refused to cave to their demands and insisted on making Star Wars HIS way. And it drove them CRAZY. This is especially true in the geek media where there has long been a group of guys, like Mark A. Altman, who love to insert themselves (ew) into the storytelling process. We see it with Star Trek where these guys go to conventions billing themselves as “treksperts” but really they’re just guys with a megaphone doing what every troll on the Internet is trying to do: control the debate so as to shape content. These guys don’t have the courage to go out and make their OWN original content (or, as in the case of Altman, try and fail spectacularly at it), so they co-opt other artists’ stuff under the guise of being “fans” so they have a voice in what content is created. That’s what was going on from day one with Star Wars hateboys. It was always about wrestling control of Star Wars away from George Lucas and “taking back the saga” (their words) from the guy who created it. This isn’t just theory. They’ve SAID it. The author of “The Secret History of Star Wars” has posts on OriginalTrilogy.net coordinating efforts to steal prints of the pre-SE movies and illegally distribute them online so that, in his own words, “Star Wars would be OURS” and they wouldn’t need George Lucas. Sadly, they won. They were more determined, more relentless and simply more passionate. I guess the Dark Side IS stronger. I have no doubt that George eventually just got sick of them and cashed out because life is too short to deal with people who can’t make lives of their own. But the truly sad part of this entire situation is how Lucas’ handpicked successors are openly stabbing him in the back while greedily collecting paychecks based on his hard work (I won’t throw Dave Filoni into that pile). The way TFA is being marketed is so transparently an admission that they too thought the PT sucked, and so clearly a giant fellate to the very fans who have been actively making life miserable for other fans (the PattonPeggistas), that any good will I have toward the saga going forward is practically gone. It’s obvious fans like us — who have been the most loyal and supportive of the saga all along — just don’t matter. I WISH I didn’t feel this way.

    • Žiga P. Škraba Says:

      Nicely put.

      • susanbowes Says:

        It seems they got their way and did end up in control Ziga. I’m pretty sure they’re the reason Lucas finally sold Lucasfilms to Disney. He just got tired of fighting them and I can’t blame him. It’s an unwinnable fight.

      • lazypadawan Says:

        I think it’s difficult to change the minds of people who have invested this much in hating the prequels and Lucas. Very difficult. But I’ve seen a few former haters here and there who have changed their minds after say, reading the Ring Theory. In any case it isn’t as important to change the most devoted bashers’ minds as it is to get Star Wars out from under their influence because it does affect the rest of us whether we want to avoid them or not (and I avoid them).

      • susanbowes Says:

        I try to avoid the haters too, but sometimes they say something so stupid that I have to make a comment. Still does no good. All I do is end up getting frustrated. I should know better than to say a word.

    • Samas Says:

      I should mention that I found the (ahem) “original” edit of The Secret History of Star Wars to be required reading for all. I feel it really put into perspective the challenge and absolute suffocation George Lucas must have felt after making the original movie in 1977. (“SO, George, you just made the most successful property of ALL time! In the entire world! …you’re going to do it AGAIN now, right??”)

      I have not read and cannot vouch for the author’s actually for-sale “edit” (ahem, again) as I’m afraid he turned to the dark side as so many “fans” have over the years and retconned the actual history he seemed so determined to preserve initially. I still keep a copy of the unedited pdf if anyone is so inclined, happy to share.

  12. susanbowes Says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I hate having to defend the prequels to the haters all the time. I’ve been harassed on the internet for praising them myself and I generally end up quitting the page that was established for all SW fans to state their opinions. I couldn’t see the sense in fighting those who’ll never change their views on the prequels. However, I will continue to defend the “whole saga” and the way Lucas presented them to us until my very last breath has been taken, no matter how many people disagree with me.

    • Žiga P. Škraba Says:

      Those that harass you for your views on SW are severely insecure about themselves, remember that. They want to put you down in hopes of elevating themselves. Don’t let them put you down. State your views and politely back down when you see you’re talking to a brick wall.

      • susanbowes Says:

        Your reply makes the most sense Ziga. Trying to change a hater’s opinion is just like talking to a brick wall. It makes no sense to keep defending the prequels when a wall doesn’t have ears.

  13. Keith Palmer Says:

    As you said, it’s not new to be fighting the terrible feeling there’s something wrong with your taste… except for the new and nasty suspicion those other lunatics have seized control of the asylum. However, I do keep mulling over the feeling that the more I see the trilogies being artificially divided the way you mention, the harder it seems to be to tell just what those who hold up the old movies see in them as being so worth acclaiming… when all they seem to talk about is “old-fashioned special effects,” all I think about is all the other special-effects movies made then.

    As well, I was around in the late 1990s, when the generic interpretation had settled on something that always seemed to end up frustrated because “Return of the Jedi wasn’t as cool as its predecessors”… and with what little we’ve been granted to know about The Force Awakens so far, I am getting to wonder if that exalted “original trilogy” itself is even supposed to have accomplished anything for the good of the galaxy.

    Anyway, there was a recent article in an anime magazine I read complaining the big sources of “geek media” don’t devote coverage to anime and manga. One of my reactions was “I haven’t noticed”; by and large, I don’t seem to pay much attention to the movies and shows “geeks” seem to like, much less their “reporting” (I don’t even like the word; I’d rather just use “fan”)… and the standard line on Star Wars seems to have a lot to do with that.

  14. darth66zannah Says:

    This is why I HATE Star Wars fans. I hate them! They Are the scum the earth. They are the most whinny self entitled losers ever. I mean, what kind of fan base hates their own material?! i have been banned of the Jedi Council forums for calling peope out as Lucas
    PT bashers. Now they have made that the equivalent of calling someone a derogatory name and against the rules! Can you believe that?! This is why I will never go to a midnight opening showing of any star wars film ever! This is why I will see the movie on a tuesday morning weeks after it opens…so I can be alone! This is why I hide my Star Wars books, films, and comics from being visible in my house. I don’t want to talk about SW with no one! This site is the only site for Saga fans…oh, and now we also have Star Wars Legends bashers too and all this obsession over canonicity! Inhate those a-holes too!

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Present company excepted, I hope ;).

      Are all Star Wars fans bad? No. Is fandom as a whole disappointing? I think so. We look to fandom to find other kindred spirits, people who don’t think we’re crazy because we wonder what would’ve happened had Anakin not turned to the Dark Side or something. But I’ve noticed that fandom has basically become what I didn’t like about socializing with people in Washington, D.C. (“what do you do?” is always the first question) or with the alt scene of the late ’80s-early ’90s: you have to prove your indie/cool cred first.

      The JC isn’t nearly as busy as it was a decade or so ago for good reason: the mods on the JC are quick to ban people they disagree with.

      • Frida Nyberg Says:

        I use to say this: “Star Wars. The one fandom where the more you like, the less of a fan you are!”

      • susanbowes Says:

        Haters should be clumped into that group – “the one fandom where the more you like, the less of a fan you are!” – I still say us prequel lovers are the true fans of Star Wars because we embrace all the movies, not just the prequels.

  15. maychild Says:

    I stood up to a hater on one of the absolute worst faux hipster websites out there. I corrected the idiot’s astonishing claim that the prequels were “just cash grabs” for Lucas, by pointing out that he funded them himself. The git tried the “distract” tactic by saying, “You’re actually BRAGGING that he spent millions of dollars on those pieces of s***?” I refused to play along and said, “Bragging? No. Just decimating the claim that he made them as cash grabs.” The git tried again with: “He spent all that money on useless CGI to clutter the screen.” I said, “Which is it? Did he make them as cash grabs or did he spend all that money on CGI? And by the way, there were lots of practical effects used in the prequels, as anyone capable of even cursory internet research knows.”

    The git threw out the Red Letter Moron videos, by way of “ending” the conversation. I decimated that crap too, and deflected the git’s distraction tactics again. The git said something like, “I am a young SW fan and I’ve had a great time destroying those movies with my friends. But Plinkett does it better than I ever could, so what’s the point of doing it again?” I asked, “What was the point of doing it all the previous times? I don’t spend as much time on the prequels as you apparently do, and I like them.” I also pointed out that Plinkett actually BRAGGED about spending upwards of $15 dollars to see TPM (a movie he already knew he hated) in 3-D, thus putting more money into the pocket of a man he despises, and then walked out on the damn thing. This, of course, got completely ignored by the git.

    Finally the git resorted to vulgar references to me performing sex acts on Lucas. I remarked on how clever and original that was, and responded in kind with a reference to the git performing sex acts on Plinkett. The git then tried to be humorous and nonchalant, and continued to make totally irrelevant statements while ignoring all of the points I made. I finally said, “Are you THAT determined to get the last word? Fine, you can have it.” I didn’t respond to the git’s I’m-so-hip-it-hurts reply.

    At this point, I just don’t care. I’ve been banned from TF.N for daring to stand up to the haters, but of course, also for daring to insult Mara Jade, who isn’t even a SW character. The double standards are truly remarkable.

    Anyone who says he wants to beat Lucas to death with a shovel (for MAKING SOME FRICKIN’ MOVIES) is sick in the head, even if he was “just kidding.” These disgusting people feed on their own hatred, and continue to push the envelope of what’s acceptable, always resorting to, “Don’t take it so seriously, it’s just the Internet!” Of course, they also insist that their rants and their proclamations (that the prequels are universally despised, and everyone still hates them years later whereas people have softened toward bombs like “Battlefield Earth”) be taken VERY seriously, since they represent SW fandom.

    Oh, I could point out their hypocrisies and double/triple/quadruple standards all day. But it’s not worth it. As lp said, it’s a scorched-earth approach that the haters have taken. They seek stuff out to insert their increasingly violent, vile ugliness. An article doesn’t even have to positive toward the prequels — it just has to be neutral, and they magically show up and spew their toxicity. And no one, except we prequel fans, point out how bizarre it is — how they’re still so filled with hatred toward the prequels when the last one came out a decade ago, and yet STILL refuse to simply leave the things alone, instead posting obsessively about the prequels, like it’s their full-time job.

  16. Sergey Holod Says:

    I think the key question is: what is the purpose of fandom?

    As non-American, I never could quite grasp the idiom of fandom. Why there is the need to organize an official group of followers? I can understand the need to share one’s own feelings about a book, or a movie – yet why it can’t be spontaneous like it always were with other fiction?

    I am huge enthusiast of “Star Trek”. I am saying that because “Star Trek” (even though created by Gene Roddenberry) has no single author. And that is why I like some episodes more and some episodes less. Some episodes I don’t like at all.

    When people are forcing to choose between “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” and argue which is the best, it’s like choosing between John Galsworthy and Alexandre Dumas and arguing that one of them is the better writer.

    The fandom conflict between “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” is the artificial one. It was created to channel people’s frustration and in the end to collect from them more money.

    I think the conflict between the “Original Trilogy” and “Prequel Trilogy” is also the artificial one. I think in the core of that conflict is George Lucas’ independence. He maybe not the only one independent filmmaker in USA, but he is definitely the most successful. Furthermore, he, alone, is more successful that some Hollywood studio! Nowadays he is paying for his independence. That is the reason for all his recent problems with his museum. Hatred towards Prequels is the campaign against George Lucas subtly orchestrated by annoyed Hollywood studio producers. All those “true Star Wars fans” are simply pawns in their game. And this game was won. George Lucas lost as the independent filmmaker.

    Yet he will be the winner on the long run. His movies are for ever. As long as cinema exists his movies will exist.

    When asked whether I am “Star Wars” fan or not, I always replay that I am George Lucas’ fan. I admire all his films: there is “THX 1138”, there is “American Graffiti” duology, there is “Star Wars”, there is “Indiana Jones”, there is “Willow”, and there is “Radioland Murders”. And now there is quite recent addition: “Strange Magic”. Except for the last one I watched all George Lucas’ movies countless times (including such a heavy stuff like “THX 1138”).

    When asked why I never visited any European “Star Wars” celebrations, I always replay: I have my DVDs, I have a place where to watch them, I have friends to watch them with. What else should I have? Why I must travel hundreds of miles to witness a huge gathering of people who maybe not even love “Star Wars” the way I do?

    It was mentioned many times on this site: things are different around the world. There are countries where nobody heard about the conflict “Original Trilogy” and “Prequel Trilogy”. As I said in my previous post, I never could successfully explain the nature of this conflict to my friends. I suppose this must give you some hope for the future.

    Furthermore, people here, in Russia, my friends and colleagues, always ask: “How can be another “Star Wars” without Lucas?”

    What I can say in replay? I just shrug my shoulders.

    Bottom line: Dear lazypadawan! Just think how many people you have gathered here! Just think how many of them have told you that was the blessing to find your site! Isn’t that enough? To create a good place in such a cynical world of fandoms and Internets, a place where people can share their positive feelings about the thing they love, it is not a small achievement!

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Thanks, Sergey! I have to say this site has created more than I’d hoped for.

      I think the reason why fandoms exist is that at least in the U.S. (not sure about anywhere else), having a greater than average interest in things like science fiction and fantasy was considered weird. At least until fairly recently, when Comic Con became Cannes For The Masses. Conventions used to be the main way fans of Star Trek, sf or fantasy literature, and other esoterica could meet and socialize. You realized you weren’t the only loony who cared about this stuff. Now conventions are basically trade shows with cosplay but I admit in the early years being around people creating fan art, writing fan fic, dressing in costume, selling homemade crafts, etc. was a real creative rush. At the beginning for me it was a far more welcoming subculture than others I’d experienced. Even at Celebration II 13 years ago, I’d heard from several people how exhilarating it was to see so many Star Wars fans in one place. It’s a psychological thing.

      But when groups form, cliques form and all of the problems of the world follow people in the door. I think you and Hunk A Junk are right. This is about what defines Star Wars and who it ultimately belongs to. 99.99% of saga fans would say it belongs to Lucas while 99.99% of the bashers would say it belongs to them. It doesn’t help when the media chose the latter’s side and I agree Hollywood envy had played into it. I can’t prove it but I’m sure some of the seeds of the PT backlash likely originated with rival studios. It costs nothing to create online identities or call the media with “insider” gossip.

      • roxam91 Says:

        I can relate to Sergey’s experience to living in a country where this whole PT vs. OT doesn’t exist, mainly because there wasn’t really a Star Wars fandom there in the first place. To the locals, it was just another American movie. Though by the time TPM was released, kids my age seed to be in it (I remember a bunch of kids in my school during the ’99-’00 school year wearing Episode I backpacks). But still, the older population generally didn’t care, and that carried on through ROTS, where the only locals who seemed to care were teenagers my age. So while 30-something year olds in the west were constantly moaning about the prequels as they were released, in a different part of the world, people the same age simply thought, “Oh, Star Wars? I don’t care.”

      • roxam91 Says:

        *seemed

      • Hunk a Junk Says:

        “I agree Hollywood envy had played into it. I can’t prove it but I’m sure some of the seeds of the PT backlash likely originated with rival studios.” I know for a fact, LP, that Sony execs were pissed at Lucas when the Star Wars website briefly posted a dig at Godzilla in 1998 that said “Plot Does Matter.” It was hinted to me that retaliation was happening behind the scenes, but I never learned exactly what. Shortly thereafter, however, “leaks” started circulating about TPM footage being shot out of focus and other problems on the set. Sabotage with whispers of a “troubled production” are not uncommon.

  17. piccolojr1138 Says:

    “Fandom” and “geek culture” aren’t sacred. People shouldn’t have any hang-ups at all for breaking their taboos ! The more they get insulting, the more I feel to be on the right path.

  18. piccolojr1138 Says:

    And let’s prepare for the Second Great Rift in the fandom ! On December 18th. The same guys who insult us will tear each other apart.

    http://whatculture.com/film/star-wars-the-force-awakens-7-reasons-killing-han-solo-would-be-a-terrible-mistake.php

    • roxam91 Says:

      A third trilogy was always bound to cause another split in the fandom. These bozos can NEVER be satisfied with anything. I almost feel sorry for all the hate Abrams and Kennedy are gonna get in two months. ALMOST…

      • maychild Says:

        I don’t in the least. I’m so sick of their dishonest “It’s all practical! The prequels were all CGI!” crap that I’ll take a mean-spirited pleasure in any blowback they receive.

    • Bob Clark Says:

      Actually I think that article misses the biggest reason not to kill Han– too many OOT fans want it too much. It would be the most perverse, morbid type of fanservice. Han finally dies like he “should’ve” in ROTJ, and Gen X fanboys get the uber-dark Star Wars they’ve wanted ever since teddy bears ruined their picnic.

      • piccolojr1138 Says:

        You’re right but there are many people who wish to see the old Big Three reunited. According to MakingStarWars.net, it won’t happen.

    • Jacobesico Says:

      I wonder how JJ and Kenedy would spin their way out of this?

      I can just imagine it:

      “He’s not dead. That was just a clone. Anyway did you see that Desert? That REAL Desert. And those Windows! Those REAL Windows!”

      • andywylde77 Says:

        Ah “the REAL desert” comment! Got to love that one. I was completely shocked to see how that comment was able to fly under the radar of the SW fandom for so long? Because if Lucas was to make that comment? FOUGETABOUTIT!

  19. roxam91 Says:

    Speaking of fandom, here’s an interesting tweet:

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Indeed.

    • Hunk a Junk Says:

      “What Star Wars is” is the key. The most hateful fans have always a very narrow and dogmatic definition of what Star Wars “should” be. The moment it deviates from what they know or what they expect — even in the slightest — they immediately lose their sh**. But a key to Lucas’ success was always adding “a few new surprises.” Going back to More American Graffiti, Lucas always played with the format and content of how his stories are told. Temple of Doom wasn’t “Raiders 2”, it was something completely different. TESB was very different in tone and style from ANH. That’s my biggest fear about Disney Star Wars — it won’t take risks. Who is going to put their career on the chopping block to widen what Star Wars is when it’s far safer just to give fan service? Filoni may have learned the lesson, but will he be allowed to actually practice it?

  20. Helen Says:

    Agree. It’s not us who are spreading hate. That is obvious.

  21. Heidi Says:

    Bravo, It needed to be said. And nobody should be put down for pointing it out either, it’s the despicable, juvenile tactic of bullies when you start calling them out on their behavior when they try to tell you to “shut up” or “sit back down”.

    It frustrates me that nobody is taking this issue seriously. Why, just because were dealing with adults? It’s worrisome. It’s like a giant playground completely unsupervised.

    • susanbowes Says:

      I agree with Heidi. It’s an ongoing issue that’s been going on for years and it’s time to be dropped, but bullying is still bullying and nobody should get away with that, whether adult or child. Lets face it, it is extremely childish when prequels haters think they’re opinions are the only ones that matter, and just as childish for prequel lovers to keep trying to change their minds.
      On the other hand,maybe it’s time to step back like Lucas did. What’s the sense in trying to change the hater’s minds. It’s a lost cause. Let the haters keep hating and just don’t respond to them anymore. That would probably aggravate them even more than our defending the films.

    • firebird2110 Says:

      They’re only adults in the sense that they’re over 18. Some people never grow up, and what’s worse is that has become a badge of honour. Liking toys or ‘kid’ movies is fine, but behaving like a spoilt child for your whole life is *not* something to be proud of.

  22. Tarrlok Says:

    It’s unfortunate how toxic the fandom has become. I was recently asked by a friendly acquaintance, after we revealed our mutual liking of sci-fi, if I was looking forward to the new SW movie… and I knew that broaching the topic would potentially lead us into a rhetorical minefield. Why would I do that with a dude I was getting to know and wanted to get along with? Why would I discuss a damn sci-fantasy movie with someone who happens to like the same genre? Who would do such a thing, eh?

    All I said in response was that there wasn’t much information about the actual plot to go on. We left it at that. No idea if he could detect my discomfort at discussing SW; he actually seemed to share it.

    Damn. PT fans now feel like Adama facing down Admiral Cain in BSG.

    • susanbowes Says:

      Good reply Tarrlok. Best thing to do under the circumstances. Thank goodness we have this page to discuss our love of the prequels without feeling like we’re gonna get attacked.

      • Tarrlok Says:

        To be clear, I didn’t think I was going to get attacked by this guy. Even if he was close to being on the same page as me regarding SW, I’ve experienced a lot of toxicity in the SW fandom regardless of differences in opinion. SW simply isn’t something I discuss openly with people other than close relatives.

        Divisive issues of politics, religion, sports and science, however, were easy to discuss with this guy and the other people I was meeting. There’s a certain practised protocol to discussions of those, including agreements to disagree; less so with SW. I’ve rarely seen earnest agreements to disagree and get along despite profound differences of opinion on SW fora. That might be related to the core dysfunctionality Jim refers to below.

  23. Jim Raynor Says:

    Fandom is a magnet for socially maladjusted people with personality disorders. I know from being in the forums, and from working two conventions where I was literally tasked with keeping the weirdos from creeping on the Z-list celebrity guests.

    I believe Star Wars fandom is worse than others because it has a small core fiction of three movies that can be held up as “great.” That promotes a lot of nostalgia, arrogance, and quasi-religious obsession in its fans. In contrast, other fandoms at least have some semblance of perspective and humbleness, because of the prolific amounts of mediocre fiction on their hands.

    Geek media really needs to shine a harder light on the hardcore fanboys instead of pandering to them. These are people who are determined to be bitter and angry. People who see themselves as victims while continually victimizing others. In real life they’re usually nobodies, powerless people with no direction and no social standing. On the internet, they get to pose as experts and taste makers by talking up their fanboy obsession as if it’s some kind of skill or asset. They’re “losers.”

    If they devoted some more of their energy toward their families and jobs, if they started reading and watching fiction that they actually ENJOYED, and if they started working out regularly (or just going for a WALK to appreciate the sunlight), how badly George Lucas supposedly “raped their childhoods” would no longer be this big dark cloud hanging over their lives.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      That’s very true.

      Ugh, isn’t it funny, sad, and bizarre how people will act in the creepiest ways toward these con guests? It must be nice to go through life with no sense of boundaries or shame!

    • Tarrlok Says:

      Related to your point about the general failure of some SW fans to move on from their disappointment to more productive passions and activities, I think there’s a lot of insecurity on their part.

      Rather than seek out other media to enjoy and cut their links with the franchise that has repeatedly disappointed them, they remain attached to SW, largely out of nostalgia for the OOT. They want SW to measure up to other media according to the metrics they themselves define. It doesn’t, so they decide to attack SW for not doing so. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen insecure SW “fans” attempt to rewrite the PT to be more like another movie, or who have decried TCW for not being exactly like some other TV show.

  24. jarjarbacktattooguy Says:

    Pauly Shore should write and star in the sequels. He has far more talent than Oswalt and Pegg. They aren’t big time stars like Pauly! What the hell do they know about Star Wars? Pauly “The Weasel” Shore is one of us, he is down with the George Lucas.

    Bio-Dome is a much better movie than TFA will ever be. The Weasel and Stephen Baldwin trapped in a vivarium with Kylie Minogue! Imagine the possibilities!

    Fight the power and save the environment! Boycott TFA and go buy Bio-Dome on Blu Ray instead! The Weasel will be with us again, buuuuuuddies.

    • Stefan Kraft Says:

      Well, I will probably not boycott TFA (unless someone here states that the movie indeed throws the PT under the bus). The marketing of TFA however really wasn’t nice to the PT. Still, I will give the new trilogy a chance. And who knows, maybe these Hayden rumors for him in EP VIII are true…

      • susanbowes Says:

        I won’t boycott the new episode at all, even thought not made by George Lucas – the only man who truly knows SW. I’ve been waiting too long for the saga to continue and will enjoy the movie no matter how the story plays out.
        I’m also very curious to know if the rumors are true about Hayden returning in Episode 8 and beyond. SW won’t be the same without him in the movies in some form or other. (ghost Ani?)

      • Stefan Kraft Says:

        Now we’re probably in off-topic territory, but I think Hayden not returning as force ghost Anakin just because some “fans” did not like him would be a missed opportunity. As some have already written here on SWPAS, this may be one of the reasons why they replaced Anakin in RotJ by his younger self in the final scene.

      • susanbowes Says:

        I’m certain that’s why Lucas changed the ending of ROTJ. Maybe not so much to have Hayedn in added films to the saga, but to relay the message that when Vader saved Luke, he entered the Netherworld as Anakin before he’d turned to the Dark Side – young and unscarred.

      • Samas Says:

        It’s even simpler than that. When they made Jedi in 1983, an unencumbered Anakin emerged from the Force instead of the scarred machine-man under the mask played by Sebastian Shaw. When they made Sith in 2005, an entirely different action portrayed that same man and thus needed to be replaced for continuity’s sake. I’m aghast that there are people in this world (namely on the Internet) that can’t come to this simple conclusion. Instead it’s become more fodder for the hatemongers to complain against.

  25. lovelucas Says:

    Just excellent posts all the way around to everyone. Standing out – prequel fans don’t hate Star Wars – in any definition, unlike the faters. I still ache for George – I don’t blame him for walking away but I hate the environment that caused him to do so. The primary reason I have energy to continue to defend, respond. debate and back-talk up the wazoo is because I want George to know we believe in him, his story, his ideals and that there is so much we don’t know that is hiding in plain sight in the films.He is waiting for us to discover, we who have always believed in the deep waters of Star Wars. Sooooo glad this site is here and cheers to everyone is is always here, whether you post or not. I can’t tell you how important it is to know and feel our numbers…of participants, of shared opinions of …well, of even having confirmation that we are not imagining the discrimination, the blocking of opinions, the bias encountered on SW sites. It’s there and we’ve all experienced it but here at SWPAS we are the Rebels!

  26. coloclawfishcomms Says:

    I have made a commentary on RedLetterMedia’s “Star Wars The Phantom Menace Review”:

    • Stefan Kraft Says:

      Wow! The only problem I have is the length of the video, but that’s not your fault: RLM’s review (review?) is so long. But regardless of when I will watch your commentary: I am impressed, congrats!

      • susanbowes Says:

        The only thing “RLM’s review” is good for is to save the video – WITHOUT the audio – just to have the footage from the movies. No reflection on your comments intended which I agree with. God save us from these “all knowing” haters of the prequels.

  27. andywylde77 Says:

    That was some article. There is so much truth in it. As for the haters, well I always use the term:

    WHINING LIKE IT’S 1999!

    Because that is what they have been doing consistently since then. I was a kid when the OT was first out and when the PT came out it was just a continuation of something I loved and the PT gave more of it to love. I only started using the internet in 2004. That is when I first started seeing forums and what not. I couldn’t believe the stuff I was reading! Because all my experience dealing and talking about SW was out in the world. And I never dealt with any of the kind of filth that was running rampant on the net as opposed to real life. I couldn’t believe the things I read and heard.

    I remember growing up with the OT and that meant the world to me. But in the years after ROTJ came out, like late 80’s-early 90’s I was hard pressed to find anyone that had an interest in SW to talk with anymore. Then the SE’s came out and the PT followed shortly after. Then interest in SW was renewed. Some say the EU brought back interest in SW. Maybe it did, for my experience that wasn’t the case. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t. Just from my view it didn’t seem to be the case. But even when the OT was the only SW available, it wasn’t free of criticism or hate either. This was in the 80’s when being a “nerd” wasn’t all that great. For proof watch “Revenge of the Nerds” 1984 and see what being geeky or nerdy was like. Nothing like todays day in age I can assure you.

    One more thing that always struck me as odd? When did TESB all of the sudden become the “fan favorite?” During its initial run and following years it was never held up as the “best of the bunch” This must be a recent thing? I don’t know? I would bet it is because some folks think it is a default best due to it being the one with “Lucas being the less involved” with? Coupled with fan boys being obsessed with the dark and brooding factor? Who knows?

  28. thuaners Says:

    I totally agree with you 🙂 i love star wars. It makes me feel bad when i hear so many bad things about the prequels. Also when they say bad things about george lucas.. The man who created star wars and brought it to life when no one believed you could make a movie like that.
    Im really glad you wrote that.
    I like the prequels, i like actors who acted in it. I like jarjar binks too. Because its star wars and i like it all 🙂

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