There have been many posts at SWPAS over the years about the “passion” deficit between what I’m now calling the anti-Lucas faction of fandom and saga/prequel fans. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out the correlation between that deficit and the state of Star Wars now. In fact it is entirely possible whatever window of opportunity existed to diminish that gap has closed and is closed for good. I’d noticed prequel fans becoming a lot more vocal last year, which is a positive development. I’d noticed folks expressing greater appreciation for the prequels after TFA came out, which is nice. But is it too little too late?
Disney has already figured out that encouraging a fandom toxic to the prequels and to people like you does it no harm whatsoever. A recent TFA visual effects video showed just how much green screen was actually used in spite of the constant drum beat of “practical, practical, practical” at the prequels’ expense. Gee, how convenient that slipped out after the pre-release campaign was over and the trophy campaign began. Did you notice that none of the prequel big guns were invited to any of TFA’s premieres? Sure it was cool they got a little involvement from Ewan and all but otherwise they were personas non grata. May I remind you that the OT stars made it to premieres of the various prequel films? George Lucas felt obligated to quickly backtrack and apologize over some of his remarks in his Charlie Rose interview but no one associated with TFA who made anti-prequel remarks was ever pressured to backtrack or apologize. People who think all of this is just to get the anti-Lucas faction back on board with Star Wars and things will be different from now on are being very, very naïve. Fans who expect the prequels to be woven into the ST narrative in a significant way are also being very, very naïve. I’ll make it plain to you: Disney’s campaign worked, it paid off hugely, and so it will do more of the same. That’s how it works in Hollywood. Already Colin Trevorrow, who’s making Ep. IX, said he’s using film because of some blather having to with childhood memories. Hint: not the memories of those who saw AOTC or ROTS during their childhood.
If you want further proof, I’m starting to see total uniformity in the merchandising that’s not the toy market. Everything is just OT and TFA. As someone who pays attention to “geek girl” merchandising, I can tell you there’s nada coming from the PT, not from Disney directly or any of the licensees. With a few exceptions, I’m about ready to give up except for whatever I can get custom on Etsy or something. I’ve done plenty of talking, writing, and hoping that if I support what they put out now, they’ll eventually get around to the prequels. But the truth is the prequels, and the Clone Wars along with them, are being whitewashed away. Yesterday I read that Rogue One stuff is going to start coming out in June. When does that leave any time or opportunity to get around to the prequels? And how long will it be before prequels are squeezed out of everything else too?
You see, if you’re not very vocal and especially if you’re not willing to hit Disney’s bottom line, you have no leverage. As it is, fans are like cats. It’s hard to rally them around anything. Sites often don’t help each other out. I’ve noticed half of them aren’t really all of that supportive of the films, and most of the other half aren’t focused on any goals. Recently I’ve noticed some petitions going around to bring Hayden back to play ghostie Anakin, but it’s going to take more than an online petition to accomplish anything. Especially if the haters are even louder; if anyone at Lucasfilm saw the SWPAS Facebook page on Christmas Eve after I unwittingly posted an old rumor about Hayden being in Ep VIII, there’s no way in hell we’d see hair or hide of him ever again. You will not have leverage if you plan to wait another 10 or 20 years for prequel fans to finally demand their slice of the legacy pie. Why do that when you can do it now? You expect to have more leisure time in middle age? How about waiting for retirement to awaken the sleeping giant of prequel fandom? I’m sure they’re shaking in their booties over that looming threat.
So you have to ask yourselves, what do you want? How much do you really care about any of this? How much does Lucas’s saga truly mean to you? What are you willing to do? How far are you willing to take it? I’m not saying to you need a 100% boycott of all Disney companies, never set foot in a park ever again, etc.. I keep encouraging positive reinforcement like supporting the prequel stuff that does make out to market. I also don’t encourage blind bashing. But if you’re going to just numb yourself with whatever these guys put out and see every film 25 times no matter what they do or say re the prequels, you forfeit the right to complain about any of it. What incentive does Disney have to respect the prequels or include them if it can count on your patronage anyway? It would read to me that the prequels are not all of that important to you.
Maybe it’s time for you guys to go out there and inspire me for a change. Make me feel like I’m accomplishing something here instead of just talking to myself. Get focused. Have a real plan. Build up the courage to say something. This one site is not going to change the game all by itself, if it can at all.