Maybe it’s because prequel fans are becoming more vocal (“The Prequels Strike Back” is due out soon), maybe it’s because there’s always another Star Wars movie around the corner now, but it seems to me there has been a bit more hostility toward the prequels in the media and in corresponding comments over the past few weeks. I don’t go looking for it, if you can believe it, but I’m finding it.
I admit, it’s frustrating as all get out. It is upsetting and discouraging to see the same tropes repeated over and over. I’m sure a lot of you feel the same way. I liken it to driving down the street, minding your own business, when some jerk in his Midlife Crisis or Douche-mobile cuts you off or needlessly tailgates you even though you’re going over the speed limit yourself or almost causes an accident. Honk your horn and he flips you off, then speeds away laughing, because he knows you can’t or won’t do anything about it. Only in this case, said jerk is a big time celebrity with his entourage following in big Escalades and they almost run you off the road trying to keep up with their boss. To add insult to injury, the cops pull YOU over for going 37 in a 35 mph zone while they let the celebrity get away (probably because this is L.A. County and they know full well any star will get immediately released due to “overcrowding,” but I digress). The celebrity is the popular geek site editor-in-chief, Hollywood trade or entertainment journalist, or someone else big in geek circles. The entourage are the bashers who attack you in the comments or on Twitter for daring to stick up for the prequels. The cops are other fans or even the powers that be.
That feeling of frustration when you’ve been on the receiving end of rude or reckless behavior on the road is the same frustration you might feel when you encounter media prequel bashing. That feeling is powerlessness. It’s never easy as fans to see people not only trash what you love but by extension trash you because you don’t agree with them. It’s not easy to see how this has had effects far beyond some random guy spewing on a blog. One can never expect everybody to love everything but as far as I’m concerned, the frustration especially comes from a lack of opportunity to give another perspective. There have been those willing to break from the narrative but right now, there’s not only still a great deal of hostility aimed at them, I have to wonder what chances a prequel fan would have ever getting hired as some media outlet’s “geek editor” or at Entertainment Weakly, Hollyweird Report, Variety, i09, Huffington Post, Daily Dot, The Mary Sue, etc.. Not so much because that’s the first thing they’ll ask in an interview but if it were to ever come out, I think either you won’t get hired or you will never be asked to write about Star Wars.
On other sites, those with “heretical” views are punished with a bunch of flaming, trolling, and other obnoxiousness from commenters. It doesn’t exactly encourage those to take a stand.
At this point I don’t care what they think; what I do care about is that one, we’re not allowed to enjoy the prequels without a bunch of strangers telling us we’re wrong and dumb, and two, the bashing continues to influence people. The prequels are great films and they deserve to be judged fairly, not having their reputation determined by a bunch of shallow “geeks” with a big soapbox and a bizarre axe to grind.