Fractured Fandom 2: What About Prequel Fans And TFA?

While prequel fans are more or less a united front now, I am a little concerned that as of December that won’t be the case anymore. Let’s face it: some of you will love TFA, some of you will hate it, and some of you will fall somewhere in between on the spectrum. I don’t want the basher vs. gusher wars that plagued Star Wars fan sites and message boards during the ’00s. I want all prequel fans to continue to be comfortable interacting here and on SWPAS media elsewhere. This is after all a pro-PT site, not an anti-ST, anti-Disney, anti-whatever site. How I’m going to accomplish that in December is up in the air; I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

But in the meantime, fans who are perplexed at anyone having doubts or reservations about TFA ought to remember that this isn’t exactly like when other SW films have been released. What we’re experiencing now is unprecedented: this is Star Wars by (mostly) strangers. By Hollywood strangers, even. Those concerns probably aren’t going to be alleviated until they see the movie for themselves. That’s definitely the case for me. I’m going to be skeptical of their understanding of the saga and their ability to do right by Lucas until then. It’s the trade off for a secretive campaign designed to give very little away in advance.

I also think a lot of prequel fans are dreading this will again draw negative attention back at the movies for various reasons, regardless of whether TFA succeeds or fails. Really, it already has based on what I’ve seen in the media and on the internet. Speaking for myself, I feel pretty burned by throwing in so much support for the prequels only to be treated like a chump for doing so, and as a result I’m keeping more of an emotional distance. Plus, Pegg cooties. It might be a bummer to see other fans not as enthusiastic as you are but it is extremely annoying to be constantly told how you are supposed to feel. On the other side of the coin, fans who have doubts or reservations about TFA should not go out of their way to rain on other people’s parade. You can express your opinion without being a jerk. Let them have their fun and excitement.

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44 Responses to “Fractured Fandom 2: What About Prequel Fans And TFA?”

  1. roxam91 Says:

    Over the past few months, my mind has constantly alternated between being excited for TFA (2nd trailer / comments from story group indicating ideas from Lucas are still being included), and not so excited (PRACTICAL EFFECTS! / Abrams & Kennedy being themselves). It’s like… I don’t even know what to think of TFA anymore. I can’t even think of a movie that has had me so conflicted as TFA did. I just want December to come here so I can finally watch and make up my mind about TFA, and finally get it over with.

  2. blade57hrc Says:

    ”It might be a bummer to see other fans not as enthusiastic as you are but it is extremely annoying to be constantly told how you are supposed to feel.”
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    I’ve experienced this too!
    Here’s 2 rough exmaples of what i’ve noticed anti-PT trolls say all too often:
    a) ”You should feel excited for TFA! It’s Star Wars!”
    b) ”You only like the Prequels because they’re Star Wars, without any regards to quality.”

    Does anyone else see the irony in this?

    • Jim Raynor Says:

      Hardcore prequel bashers say ironic things all the time, since they’re sorely lacking in self-awareness. Look at all the whining over the Prequels’ CGI, even as they go nuts over every other CGI-filled blockbuster.

  3. piccolojr1138 Says:

    I think it looks pretty good, if you can accept that George Lucas’ Star Wars has ended (I understand if you don’t). I take all these new movies as bonus.

    TFA’s success won’t mean that people hate the prequels, most of them don’t care about those geek wars. For my concern, I’ll continue to defend the Lucas’ saga whatever happens.

  4. Nick Skywalker Says:

    What I’m really concerned about are the reviews. I don’t let the opinions of critics cloud my opinion about a movie, but all it takes is one “great improvement from the prequels” review and it’s all over. Prequel bashing will rise once more. All the “better than the prequels” “JJ redeemed SW” drivel I could do without. Heck, even if I do end up enjoying this film more than the prequels, I won’t feel the need to compare them because they’re different movies.

    • Hunk a Junk Says:

      This will be a given. We should all just accept that this stuff will be inevitable. And in some cases it will be ugly.

    • darth66zannah Says:

      Oh this is exactly what is going to happen. it’s star trek all over again, even though i enjoyed jj’s first st film, i hated all the “this is way better than those old boring star trek films from the 80’s.” Get ready. I just went a bought my a revenge of the sith shirt to wear proudly once this fateful day comes…

    • Stefan Kraft Says:

      I agree that we will see a lot of “good SW is back!” “the movie we were waiting for since 1980/1983!” “Finally a SW movie that does not s*ck!” reviews. However, the prequels have received quite a bit of love in the media recently (Mike Klimo’s Ring Theory may have played an important role in this development, but that does not seem to be the only reason), so I would not be surprised if there will be more nuanced reviews that respect the whole Saga.

      • Stefan Kraft Says:

        As unfair as it may sound, all these negative reviews and similar comments by people I know may be the major problem I have with TFA at the moment… and that’s something the movie is not responsible for. (I have written more often than necessary which developments at Lucasfilm have worried me, but the negativity aimed at the PT that I expect is probably what troubles me most at the moment.)

  5. hansolo1138 Says:

    Whether or not I like the new trilogy depends solely on the story’s quality.
    The trailer’s emanate that beautiful “Star Wars smell.” Lawrence Kasdan is writing. Hamill, Fisher, and Ford are returning. The marketing emphasis is as much on the new leads as much as on the old guard.The story will likely be good, having many links to the OT. The film will be enjoyable, no matter what.
    But if the trilogy’s story is not a good continuation Lucas’ original Saga, and doesn’t link to all six previous films as it should (things like Ring Theory and the cyclic nature should be incorporated), I will be disappointed.
    My dream is to view all nine films some day and see them as one big, ingeniously crafted story, just like the way I see the six current films now. But if Abrams and co. don’t respect the OT enough, that’s not gonna happen. But, here’s hoping.

  6. madmediaman Says:

    Posted this in another entry, but it bears repeating:

    Kids if you think fandom is fractured now… you ain’t seen nothing yet. On December 17th, 2015 the Prequel bashing will only just started, and PT fans will be evn more marginalized than they are now. What Prequels fans have experienced over the past 15 years or so is nothing compared to the hate that will be leveled at Lucas and PT fans following the premiere of TFA.

    The “Greatest Star Wars Movie Since Empire” blog headlines are being primed (and probably written as we speak)… it’s a done deal because most of these people are personally obsessed with their own fevered theories that “Lucas ruined Star Wars!!!!” This goes beyond hate of the Prequels… for a lot of oldtimers it goes back to Ewoks. Lucas has been the bane of the haters existence and the knives are out for him… whether TFA is any good or not.

    The hater crowd reminds me of George, wonderfully played by Chelcie Ross, in Hoosiers. The town bully obsessed with the Hickory Huskers winning “his way” and getting current Hickory basketball coach, Norman Dale, played by Gene Hackman, removed from the team.

    There’s a great scene early in the film when Dale has been summoned to a town meeting to determine his fitness to continue as coach. Dale has been struggling to get his undersized and undermanned team to actually play as a team, and learn basketball fundamentals. But fortunes are starting to turn, but the town basketball “experts,” led by George, are fed up after a string of losses. They bring Dale to the town church and being the vote. At the last minute the town’s basketball prodigy, Jimmy Chitwood, who has sat out the season, still mourning to the death of the Hickory’s previous coach, announces that it’s “time for me to start playing ball again,” to the cheers of the townspeople.

    George’s response here is what I suspect we’ll be hearing from every OOT, or PT hater on the planet the day after TFA hits theaters:

    Kids, you ain’t seen nothing like the vitriol that’s coming down the pike. Frankly, it will probably be so bad that it will embarrass most casual fans, and may turn some people off from fandom altogether.

    • piccolojr1138 Says:

      At the moment, all these guys fantasize about the movie… It will be different when the real movie will be out there.

      On 2005, Revenge of the Sith wars “better than Star Wars” (New York Times)… The movie was generally praised among fmedias. It didn’t last !

      • roxam91 Says:

        Yeah, I remember how ROTS was highly praised back then. Nowadays, with the exception of the occasional fanboy or two who admits they liked ROTS a bit, it’s now apparently considered crap. I really can’t see TFA being any different.

      • darth66zannah Says:

        ROTS is such a great movie. SOME of the complaints towards episode 1 and 2 I can understand but I don’t understand NONE of the ones towards ROTS…the one I hate the most is people complaining about Padme saying “you’re breaking my heart…” I’m like: WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THAT! Natalie poured her heart into that performance and I totally felt like crying on her behalf…these prequel bashers are insane assholes i tell you…

    • Brian47 Says:

      “Hoosiers” is such a great movie, with a great score by Jerry Goldsmith.

    • Hunk a Junk Says:

      Exactly. The hateboys are WAAAAYYY too invested in their George Lucas hate to not wallow in their non-Lucas Star Wars victory. This is exactly what they’ve wanted for decades: a Star Wars without George Lucas. There’s no way they won’t take a huge victory lap, regardless of whether the final film is “Into Darkness 2” or worse. And I love Hoosiers. This and Rudy (made by the same team) are two of the best sports movies ever.

    • Eduardo Vargas Says:

      That’s too pessimistic.

      For one it assumes that the movie will be better received than the prequels.

      JJ Abrams now isn’t appreciated by Star Trek fandom, it could happen in some way also with Star Wars.

      To be honest, it’s extremely difficult to predict where fandom will lie once the movies come out. There’s far too many variables at play, and a number of different outcomes that can occur

    • andywylde77 Says:

      Yep this is exactly how I myself feel regarding what the near future holds for fans. The PT bashing will get into full swing and we will hear from fans and media about how TFA and the OT are the only “true SW” and the PT blahblahblah blah blahbibitty blah! I am not looking forward to it. But none of us can stop the hate machine from choo-chooing its way across the fandom. I do hope that when this hype wears down that the entire fandom can start acting more rationale and look at the entire saga and not just half of it. I do hope that when episode 8 begins production that TPTB take a better marketing approach as well.

  7. Bob Clark Says:

    Apparently Abrams just did a video including Lucas on an iPad… weird. Anybody see this? Any room to hope this is a sign of a wee bit of inclusion here?

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Yeah, it’s up on Furious Fanboys. Interesting, no?

    • Brian47 Says:

      Yep, it’s a pretty amusing video of Abrams answering questions on a iPad, posed by celebrities. I thought it was great that Lucas was included and Abrams seemed genuinely surprised and touched.

      • Jim Raynor Says:

        I’ll give it to Abrams that while he’s played into the whole “practical effects” marketing, and seems a bit too much like a fanboy/imitator in his filmmaking, he’s far classier and more respectful than certain celebrity prequel haters.

      • Bob Clark Says:

        I’d like to think this is a signal to something. It can’t be a mere surprise. Shit like this has to be planned out, right?

      • Tony Ferris Says:

        “… he’s far classier and more respectful than certain celebrity prequel haters.”

        That much is certainly true.

        “I’d like to think this is a signal to something. It can’t be a mere surprise.”

        Abrams did seem genuinely surprised, touched, and amused.

        Lucas for his part, seemed quite playful, and the fact that he referred to ‘Darth Vader’s grand-children is interesting’, but whether this signals some more substantive inclusion is anyone’s guess.

        I was quite content (indeed pleased) for Star Wars to conclude with Revenge of the Sith. I like endings. I liked that Star Wars was now a complete piece. I still see it as such. Those six pictures are of a whole, and stand as the artistic expression of George Lucas (ably abetted by a team of talented collaborators). What comes next is something else. They’ll be inspired by whatever aspects of Lucas’s films the new filmmakers best enjoyed, but they won’t be ‘true’ additions to his work. At best they stand adjacent, addendum to what came before. At worst, they’re merely big budget fan fiction.

        As of right now, I plan to enjoy The Force Awakens as a (hopefully) fun diversion. If it turns out to be more than that then cool. If not, then that’s cool too.

        One thing I won’t be doing, is paying any attention to media opinion where the movie’s concerned. Who could be bothered with them, really!?:)

    • Hunk a Junk Says:

      I think it’s a sign that Lucas is a class act. Abrams and Kennedy have tossed his ideas for the ST into the trash and have created a marketing campaign basically admitting that the PT was crap and yet George is still good humored. Would JJ or Kennedy be such good sports if the shoe was on the other foot? I’m still putting money on the fact that we won’t see Lucas at any premieres and we won’t see him standing side b side with Kennedy any time soon.

      • Brian47 Says:

        But, it can also be the case that Lucas himself doesn’t want to attend any of those public premieres or stand side by side at major events simply because he’s retired and TFA is not his movie. And that’s valid, I actually can understand that he’d prefer a private screening of TFA at the ranch, there’s no need for him to make an appearance at the Mann’s Chinese premiere. I don’t think that should be seen as a slight, Lucas isn’t peeking into their office windows trying to be invited in, he seems to happy being retired and simply not involved.

    • darth66zannah Says:

      MAYBE THEY DIDN’T DISCARD LUCAS’ STORY IDEAS AFTER ALL! Lucas: “what happens to Anakin’s grand children?” JJ: ” I don’t know! You created all this…You tell me!”

      • Dave Strohmenger Says:

        There’s a chance it’s George asking ‘what happened to my original storyline?’. There was just something dismissive about the way JJ said ‘oh, George’.

  8. Keith Palmer Says:

    I’m aware of all the things I’ve basically stayed away from since 1999 because they were proclaimed “what the prequels should have been” (or just indulged in putting the movies down), and as that included the Star Wars novels and video games, even a “live-action movie” in the franchise could be something I’ll just sort of let wash by me… and even with the glum expectation there are people out there for who the actual product will be irrelevant just because it’s not “a George Lucas production,” I can at least imagine even that mood will fade with time, too.

    In a way, even as I contemplate “complete prequel silence” may be a best possibility, I am wondering to what extent The Force Awakens will come across as implying “Return of the Jedi accomplished nothing in the long run of the story,” and if that won’t somehow leave even a few other people wondering in the end.

    • Tony Ferris Says:

      “I am wondering to what extent The Force Awakens will come across as implying “Return of the Jedi accomplished nothing in the long run of the story”

      I suppose it all depends on perspective. For me Lucas’s movies stand alone, and their story concludes with ‘Jedi.

      Whatever the new movies do makes no impact on that, from my perspective. Even if I like the course they take, they will always exist at a remove for me. They are the additions of other artists, no more a part of Lucas’s Star Wars than is ‘The House of Silk’ part of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes.

      As a great man once said though, “You’ll find that many of the truths we cling to…” etc…

  9. TMCJ Says:

    The first month is gonna be a rough ride, with all the “JJ Abrams understands Star Wars better than George Lucas” reviews that are to be expected but after the hype dies down into the new year, the movie will undoubtedly get to sit down in the hot seat and the fans will start nitpicking at it like they do with everything.
    I actually wouldnt worry too much about the prequels continously getting ripped on anymore.
    We’re getting a new Star Wars film EVERY YEAR now… and it doesnt matter how many ~Original Trilogy aesthetics~ these new films have or don’t have… this is the Star Wars fandom… these new films WILL be dissected like a patch of frogs in your 7th grade science class!

    • andywylde77 Says:

      Yes I feel the exact same way as this. I made my first post similar to this here and I didn’t even read any of the posts when I did it. But I know many others feel this way and it will be difficult for many when this film comes out. For me I am not really a JJ Abrams fan, and it completely irks me when I have read numerous posts about how “JJ understands SW” I don’t know if he understands it or not, but him being a fanboy of the OT could be more of a minus than a plus.

  10. Sergey Holod Says:

    Even though John Galsworthy has concluded the history of the Forsyte family with the death of Soames Forsyte he still wrote “End of the Chapter”. There were some Forsytes in the final trilogy but it wasn’t the continuation of family history strictly speaking. Yes, it was the same world of characters, but ideas were different, the whole purpose of the book was different.

    But, once again, it was the same author who decided to continue the story even though the story has self-evidently ended in “A Modern Comedy”.

    Yes, we have witnessed the victory celebration in the end of “Return of the Jedi”. What could possibly be next? I would accept all Lucas’ ideas for his own epilogue to “Return of the Jedi”. And the only thing that validates the work of creators of Episode VII is that Lucas himself wanted the continuation of the story.

    But it isn’t Lucas who realizes these ideas. There is no guarantee that inheritance of thought will be preserved.

    That is why I’m cautious about Episode VII. Almost all episodes of “The Clone Wars” series were written without Lucas’ involvement. But all of them were approved by Lucas. When we watch “The Clone Wars” there is Lucas’ guarantee that it is indeed his vision of “Star Wars”.

    But now we can’t expect an honest evaluation of Episode VII from Lucas. He is too polite to criticize the work of his colleagues and friends (or possibly ex-friends). If he won’t like it he won’t say it. He will probably make some innocent jokes and that’s all. He bound to praise the work of ILMers, or John Williams, or some actors. But he won’t say: “Episode VII has nothing to do with my vision of Star Wars” if that will be the case. And we will never know the truth.

    Our own judgment will be the final truth about Episode VII. And that is scary. There is indeed the possibility of full-scale war of opinions amongst fans. It will be extremely dangerous to say one’s own opinion about the movie publicly in nearest future. I can’t see how “Star Wars” will survive without its creator.

    Considering all that was said I will accept if the moderator of this site will ban all discussions about Episode VII after its premiere to save the community from the war of disagreement. It would be the miracle if one can devise more flexible and diplomatic methods to calm down possible discord of opinions on this friendly site.

    …by the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes…

    • Bob Clark Says:

      Actually, wasn’t Lucas pretty hands-on with TCW? He may not have written every script or story as personally as he did others, but I believe he pretty much would give Filoni and the writers a general premise for most episodes that they would then elaborate on (“Okay guys, you’re gonna do a Godzilla episode” “We are?” “Yup” “What do you mean by ‘a Godzilla episode’ exactly?” “I dunno. You decide.”). Of course it’s well known that he got very nitty-gritty on things like the editing and framing of the Geonosis episodes (pulling out the old “model the footage after war movies” gambit from ANH, with Black Hawk Down this time, no less) and the full writing and concepts for things like the Mortis and Yoda arcs. But his involvement is pretty constant throughout.

  11. James Says:

    I’m just sad they’re taking the loose interpretation of the rule of 2 again. You can call them something else but as far as i’m concerned they’re still Sith. This was their chance to have a new fresh antagonist, but no they got to rehash the old stuff.

  12. andywylde77 Says:

    Hi all! I am new here so I just wanted to say how grateful I am that this place actually exists! It has been a hard time for me to be a SW fan as of late 😦 With TFA due to be released soon, I never thought I would feel the way I thought about SW as I do now.

    I have been on other forums and the way this fandom has been divided is very concerning to me. Now the way TPTB have marketed this new SW universe it really fed the ego’s of the wrong people and gave those people more gas to douse the fire. It is sad that this fandom has gotten to this point. I know I will have to hear lots of trash talk about Lucas and the PT when this new film comes out. I have stated before how some people already claimed that the trailer(s) for TFA is “better than the entire PT combined” nonsense. I mean how ignorant can some people be with that kind of logic? I myself don’t have an answer.

    Now I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that when TFA comes out there will be both tons of fans and media making ridiculous claims like, “JJ did SW better than Lucas did” which everyone is entitled to their opinions. Just as I am entitled to not care for those opinions. But for many SW fans this will be a very rough time to get through with the tsunami of ignorance that is on the way. Not that I think anyone who shares a different opinion is wrong, but with so many comments I have read since this thing started production I know what is headed this way. It doesn’t look good.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Just today I see a comment on someone’s FB page that went along the lines of “I just saw things from the OT and the new movie at Disney. Nothing from the prequels. Ha!” Honestly, how does anyone expect us to be excited in that kind of environment? I keep hearing how this new flick is going to bring in a new generation of Star Wars fans but if you ask me, they’ve done a crappy job maintaining the loyalty of the generation of fans who came in with the prequels and Clone Wars. In all of this, what’s in it for them? Why should they introduce their own kids to it? It’s as though TPTB didn’t think about that.

      • andywylde77 Says:

        Yes I know exactly what you mean. When all of this first started and the first trailers were released I saw comments such as “this looks exactly like the OT” And I seen quite a few of those too. So for me it seems that something new from SW comes out and many think saying that it looks just like the OT is actually a compliment? I don’t think it is a bad thing in and of itself, but I would expect a new SW trilogy to look somewhat new?

        But that is how TPTB hooked in the suckers. Show some OT visuals and BAM! You got the disenfranchised fans reeled in. But now even with Rouge One I see it will be nothing more than an OT visual nostalgia fest. I don’t mind the OT visuals, but c’mon lets move forward here!

        I wonder what the younger generation will feel about the new SW universe? I was a kid during the OT run. And SW was a huge part of my childhood days. I wonder with the way things are now will many kids latch onto SW like the lids of the OT and PT did?

    • Sergey Holod Says:

      “JJ understands Star Wars better than Lucas” is not an opinion. It is nonsense. As if someone has came uninvited to my house and began complaining about its contents. Who are these people to say the creator of Star Wars what he should or shouldn’t do with it?To even seriously contemplate about validity of such an “opinion” is unworthy. They simply have no moral ground to complain.

      • andywylde77 Says:

        Yep I completely agree. But with some folks JJ being better than Lucas seems to be something they think is a legitimate claim. I know I sure don’t think it is!

  13. The Burning Blogger Of Bedlam Says:

    I was resistant to new, post-Lucas SW films from the beginning simply because I always felt that taking the narrative beyond ROTJ – which is already the perfect, thematic end-point for the saga – was both unnecessary and unwise.
    That said, I enjoyed a lot of TFA and think it has some great stuff in it – and my memory of TPM hatred is too strong for me to ever dole that kind of attitude onto TFA or any SW.
    I liked a lot of TFA, but the biggest problem with TFA, in my opinion, was the lack of Lucas’s vision – you could see this in the lack of music, the lack of imagination in a lot of scenes, the lack of world-building, etc.

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