Posts Tagged ‘darth fanboy’

Thrillist On The SuperShadow Saga

December 11, 2017

Naboo News caught Thrillist’s article on the prequel era’s purveyor of bogus spoilers, Super Shadow.  Remember him?  For the record, I generally avoided spoilers during the prequels but I knew NEVER to believe anything sourced from Super Shadow.  I used to roll my eyes at anyone citing this guy though he did manage to get a couple of (lucky) scoops.  I’m shocked his site was up until 2014!

SuperShadow made his mark in the climate of confusion that preceded the release of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Though much of “Dark Side Prequel Rumors” has disappeared from the web, several pages of the site — black text slapped against a hideous banana yellow background — remain. The earliest news item, dated December 23, 1993, states “Episode I is set 37-and-a-half years prior to Episode 4 (Source: Greg Brady, Roc-em Soc-em Robots, Chad.)” It’s vintage SuperShadow, a demonstrably false fact (The Phantom Menacetakes place 32 years before A New Hope) culled from the insider knowledge of a random source. In this case, the eldest Brady son, pugilistic toy robots, and a good chunk of Central Africa.

 
Mike Zeroh seems to have picked up the baton but even he’s nowhere near as outrageous as SuperShadow was.

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From My Point Of View, It’s A Problem: A Commentary

July 28, 2017

The upcoming anthology of short stories based on ANH–originally dubbed “Operation Blue Milk” then revealed as “A Certain Point Of View”–didn’t interest me much because I’ve basically given up reading Del Rey’s new wave of licensed fiction.  But if there was any glimmer of interest at all it was extinguished with the full list of people brought on to write for this thing.  I don’t dislike everyone on there obviously; some of them have been involved with stuff that I enjoyed.  Others I have issues with but the most galling was bringing on actor Wil Wheaton.  No Timothy Zahn or James Luceno or Mike Stackpole but they had pages to spare for this guy.

Really, Del Rey and Lucasfilm?  Really????

Whenever somebody at Lucasfilm tries to claim that they love the prequels equally and treat them with respect, you’ve got to ask why then are the most notorious prequel bashers rewarded with prime gigs?  Simon Pegg got to guest star on The Clone Wars and scored a cameo in TFA.  Now a prequel basher known for another franchise gets to publish Star Wars fiction while scores of experienced writers, both professional and fan, never get the call.  As someone who has been trying for two years to get in the market with my own stuff, it’s HARD.  But maybe to get a deal with Del Rey I should just start the Prequel Hate Society and bash the films every chance I get.

What’s problematic about this is that we all know that they would never do this for anyone who publicly bashes the original trilogy, TFA, or Rogue One.  Ever.  To the people in charge, the prequels are expendable in a way the others are not and they don’t care because the movies don’t mean as much to them as the OT does and the overlords in Burbank aren’t going to tolerate anyone bashing their films.

Look, people at Lucasfilm:  admit it.  The prequels are second banana to your company, loved by a tiny few, liked by some, tolerated with gritted teeth by most.  J.W. Rinzler’s late blog indicated a lot of people there were not fond of AOTC at the very least and you know what, it shows.  It has shown for years.  Stop gas lighting us and stop making excuses.

I’m half tempted to get a bunch of pro-prequel fan fiction writers to put together an anthology…

Essay On “Love, Hate, & Geek Culture”

June 29, 2016

Thomas Storai on Midichlorian Center posted an essay on the prequels and geek culture:

And so how do these people have to do anything with the Geek culture? It’s exactly those “fans” fueled geek culture with hate towards the Prequels, it’s those people dictated what to like and what not to like. The problem with geek culture is that people in there spend most of their time hating on something rather than focusing on what they love, they don’t listen to other’s opinions and state that their opinions is the rightful one and the only one that exists so discussion is not possible as they take the biggest space on the Internet trolling people who love things they hate.

Geekdom’s Frankenstein’s Monster

May 31, 2016

SWMegaFan linked me to three different recent articles on three different sites that appeal a lot to geek culture, all of which having to do with the idea that maybe fandom is getting out of hand. They talked about the crackpot reactions over the new “Ghostbusters” film, anger over Marvel’s “big surprise” re Captain America, hashtag campaigns, and so forth. They realize now that fandom is demanding content be made its way, that it’s not being seen as art but instead as products that need to please the fans/consumers and their sensibilities or else.

Gee, you think? Where have you guys all been lately? Oh, that’s right, some of you were right there encouraging the mobs as far back as the ‘90s when the target was George Lucas. Geek culture magazines, pop culture and movie web sites, and the infamous AICN talk back fed nerd rage over the Special Editions and the prequels. Devin “You’re A Fine One To Talk” Faraci compared today’s fans to Annie Wilkes from “Misery.” I’ve been using the Annie Wilkes comparison for 20 years! I used to joke that Lucas had better pray his car doesn’t break down in front of the homes of these “fans,” because some of them were that crazy. There were always fans who have not liked the direction their favorite shows/movies took and have long since grumbled about showrunners and creators. What changed with the SEs/PT is not only a bigger, more immediate platform for venting but also active encouragement from the media. No reaction was too extreme. The narrative was Lucas committed an unpardonable sin by letting his fans down and his fans were righteous in punishing him because they knew Star Wars better and cared about it more than he did. Since geek media depends on getting readers, egging on the hate with an untold amount of clickbait and open comment sections had become a staple ever since.

Studios and creatives on the production end have done their part to encourage fans gone wild too.  I’ve noticed a Comic Con-ization of popular culture, where it’s important to win over that crowd by telling them what they want to hear. It used to be when a show creator, writer, or actor thanked fans at a con for their support, it was genuine, because they were so doggone thrilled somebody cared about their work. Today it often seems like pandering and sadly, a lot of people can’t discern when it’s pandering or they simply don’t care so long as they get what they want.

But these self-appointed poohbahs of geekdom have always been short on self-awareness, as are their readers, judging by the comments to some of these pieces. It’s disingenuous to scratch your head over why a guy would make a video announcement that he is boycotting “Ghostbusters” when over a decade ago you were applauding and promoting “fan-cuts” of TPM or seven-hour long prequel-bashing videos. If you’re treating these rebellious fans as heroes don’t be surprised others are seeking that kind of attention and validation; you also can’t be surprised at how corporations are increasingly treating their films and shows as “product” when not too long ago, you were attacking an artist as a villain for offending the nerd hordes. It even went on just a few months ago with X-Files creator Chris Carter. You can’t be surprised at death threats getting lobbed at the guy who made Captain America a Hydra agent if you thought it was hi-larious when Patton Oswalt “joked” about beating Lucas to death with a shovel.  The Annie Wilkes crazy kind of fandom is their Frankenstein’s monster.

 

Why I’ve Lost The May the 4th Spirit: A Commentary

May 3, 2016

The first time I’d ever heard of “May the Fourth” was 12 years ago. Several co-workers who knew I was a Star Wars fan ambushed my desk and said, “Do you know what day it is?”

“Uh, no?”

“May the 4th be with you!” they chorused. Sure I had fun co-workers but I still wonder how the heck I was the last to know about the significance of May 4. In any case, I gamely continued along with this made-up internet holiday for the next several years. It was an excuse to wear Star Wars t-shirts or jewelry or whatever I had and take advantage of some promotional deals.  It has become a huge marketing tool and it seems like even people who mostly don’t care about Star Wars or know much about it feel some sort of compulsion to participate.

Now my answer to “May the 4th” is, “Bah, humbug!” No I’m not going to smack co-workers with a cane when they wish me a ”May the 4th Be With You” or anything but I’m over it being anything important that I have to celebrate. I don’t care about the commercialization part of it. Companies will find any reason to sell us Star Wars stuff after all.

But one problem I have with May the 4th is it isn’t in any way significant to Star Wars itself. It’s based off of a silly pun.  (It’s also not the only day in May subject to goofy Star Wars puns: no one can agree on whether Revenge of the Fifth or Revenge of the Sixth is more clever.)  If you had to pick a day to celebrate Star Wars as a whole, why not May 25th, when ANH was released? That started it all. Or why not on George Lucas’s birthday, May 14th? For Star Wars Prequel Appreciation Day, May 19 is logical because that’s when TPM and ROTS came out.

But the biggest problem I have with May the 4th is that it has come to exacerbate the fault lines and lack of respect among fans. I fully expect people to go to Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, or whatever to spend more time trashing what they don’t like about Star Wars instead of celebrating what they do like. Why? Because that’s what I’ve been seeing online for years now! Every stupid geek faux personality had been feeling obligated to use their May the 4th posts to trash the prequels. I’ve posted about this happening a few years now.

My last straw was a year ago when I not-too-wisely got into an argument with a stranger over one of his backhanded May the 4th posts. I thought, “This is why this thing exists? So people can bash the prequels and I end up getting into arguments with them?”  This is supposed to be about celebrating what makes us happy and I was miserable.   I felt like George Costanza’s father telling the story of why he founded Festivus, because the fights over buying Christmas gifts got to him. There has to be a better way! (Like Star Wars Prequel Appreciation Day, coming May 20!)

So you can go on with your May the 4th festivities; I’m sitting them out.  No May the 4th greetings, no Star Wars-wear to work.  Like the Oingo Boingo song says, it’s just another day.

But I will take advantage of sales on anything good…

Guest Post: A Rebuttal To The Nerdist

December 10, 2015

The post below was submitted by Martin Hay in response to a piece on The Nerdist’s “rematch” of the prequels, specifically to AOTC. This is Hay’s opinion. (If you’re interested in The Nerdist piece, you can find it there but I won’t link to it.)

I’ll just add that I can’t stand these fakety-fake “geek” and “nerd” sites who gatekeep and tell people what they are supposed to think. The Nerdist’s motto is “Enjoy your burrito,” but if you’re a prequel fan they’ll poop in it.

What a terrible review. This guy’s “criticisms” are way off the mark. To begin with he whines about the special effects, complaining that they look “dated.” But he must realize the same can be said of almost any effects-heavy movie; even (shock horror!) the films in the original Star Wars trilogy. Does anyone really want to argue that the speeder bike chase or the rancor sequence in Return of the Jedi still look state of the art? Because they obviously do not. Yet it doesn’t matter because the point is that it all looked good at the time. And the same is true of the CGI and other special effects in Attack of the Clones. The three times I watched it on the big screen the effects looked amazing. And, to be honest, for the most part they still look great to me when I watch the movie at home on DVD.

Next he complains that “we’re told in A New Hope by Ben…that Anakin and he were good friends, but in none of the movies do we ever get to see them act as friends.” Either Mr. Anderson wasn’t paying attention to the warmer moments between Anakin and Obi Wan that take place in Revenge of the Sith or he’s downplaying them so that he can find something to moan about. Either way, those moments showing the friendship the two characters had built (e.g. when Obi Wan places his hand on Anakin’s shoulder and says “You are strong and wise, Anakin, and I am very proud of you. I have trained you since you were a small boy. I have taught you everything I know. And you have become a far greater Jedi than I could ever hope to be.”) are indeed there for all to see despite Anderson’s erroneous claims.

And then we get to one of the silliest, most pathetic excuses for a criticism I’ve yet encountered when Mr. Anderson says that it makes “no sense” for Padmé to use her status as a senator as a reason that she cannot get involved with Anakin. According to Anderson, “There’s no reason for her not to want to have a relationship; he’s the one who should be in conflict about his romantic feelings and the temptation of breaking his vows.” What planet is this guy on? Does he not think that an older senator becoming involved with a younger Jedi, who she knows full well is forbidden from such relationships, has the potential to be something of a political scandal? Of course it does! It doesn’t take a genius to see how something like that could be exploited by her political enemies.

Of course, Mr. Anderson (like all prequel bashing band wagoners) just has to take an obligatory swipe at the romantic dialogue. ~yawn~ I wish these guys would come up with some original arguments. But then I guess Mr. Anderson did at least try. Unfortunately for him, as I demonstrated above, his attempts just don’t bear scrutiny. Regardless, those who moan about the dialogue are only pointing out that George Lucas knew exactly what he was doing. You see, the director wasn’t shooting for realism as he himself explained: “…I wanted to tell the love story in a style that was extremely old-fashioned…In many ways, this was much more like a movie from the 1930s than any of the others had been, with a slightly over-the-top poetic style – and they just don’t do that in movies anymore.”

Finally we come to Mr. Anderson’s ill-informed gripe about the stunning and exhilarating lightsaber duel between Yoda and Count Dooku. Anderson maintains that such displays are not in keeping with Yoda’s character (as he perceived it) in The Empire Strikes Back. What he seems blissfully unaware of is that Lucas’s original first draft of Empire did, in fact, feature Yoda showing his lightsaber skills in a fencing match with the ghost of Obi Wan. So his battle with Dooku was actually very much in keeping with how he was originally conceived. And I have to admit that I found it more than a little ridiculous for Mr. Anderson to pretend that he somehow understood “the whole entire point of Yoda” better than Yoda’s creator. But then that arrogant, nonsensical attitude that somehow the “fans” know more about Star Wars than George Lucas is sadly present throughout much of the false criticism levelled at the prequels.

Lucas Says Backlash Drove Him From Star Wars; Hints Disney Wanted Fanservice

November 19, 2015

Yesterday Vanity Fair posted a short interview with George Lucas and Lucas revealed why he is pretty much done with Star Wars:

“You go to make a movie and all you do is get criticized,” is how George explains why he stepped away from the world-famous franchise he created. “And it’s not much fun. You can’t experiment.”

He also says Jar Jar is his favorite character, heh heh.

Today CBS revealed in an upcoming interview with Charlie Rose, Lucas reiterated what he told Vanity Fair and added this disheartening note about his original ideas for the sequel film(s), how they were discarded, and now Lucas has basically walked from the whole thing:

“The issue was, ultimately, they looked at the stories and they said we want to make something for the fans. So I said all I wanted to do was tell a story of what happened, you know it started here and went there. And it’s all about generations, the issues of fathers and sons and grandfathers, it’s a family soap opera. They call it a space opera, but people don’t realize it’s actually a soap opera, and it’s all about family problems and that kind of… it’s not about spaceships.

So they decided they didn’t want to use those stories, they decided they were going to go do their own thing, so I decided fine, basically I’m not going try to… they weren’t that keen on having me involved anyway, but at the same time I am not going to, if I get in there I am just going to cause trouble. Cause they’re not going to do what I want them to do, and I don’t have the control anymore to do that anymore and all I’ll do is just muck everything up. So I said I will go my way, and let them go their way.”

To be blunt, this sucks. Imagine J.K. Rowling being told her input isn’t needed or wanted anymore in the Harry Potter universe. Put two and two together…Lucas found the anti-prequel backlash from “fans” and from the media painful enough not to want to work on more films. When he sold Lucasfilm to Disney, Disney didn’t want Lucas’s cooties because it doesn’t want a similar backlash against their investment and instead wants a “mainstream” and “safe” Star Wars (dare I say dumbed-down?) with more whiz bang. The question is whether Abrams and Kasdan realize that Star Wars isn’t any more about sci-fi action than the Godfather films are just about organized crime, or if there’s anyone with enough power and influence at Lucasfilm to keep these new films as close to Lucas’s vision as possible. We won’t know that for another 27-29 days. But it certainly explains why the GFFA shown so far in TFA’s ads and trailers doesn’t have the same freshness.

Even if TFA is absolutely wonderful, this is no way things should end with Lucas and with the saga he created. It’s wrong. The really sad part is so many people who have benefited one way or another from his work or claim to be fans of it don’t seem to care. If what we get from now on are rehashes and generic sci-fi action crap that’s full of spectacle but no myth (or worse yet, warps it beyond recognition), “Star Wars fans” have no one but themselves to blame. That Lucas got exiled from his creation through a coup of fools is already their eternal shame.

The AV Club On The PT & Some Extra Thoughts

November 16, 2015

A lot of you have been pointing out to me The AV Club’s piece about the prequels. So here are some of my thoughts:

It starts out with the annoying habit of “laying down cover fire” before jumping in to point out stuff in the prequels he thought were good but the author makes an interesting point:

Weirder still, some fans seem more wrapped up in the Red Letter Media reviews than the movies themselves. The first trilogy has its own set of imperfections, small missteps, awkward lines, and creatures that serve no direct story purpose. But for a lot of fans, most of that stuff, give or take a pile of Ewoks, has been assimilated into a general appreciation; to a devoted fan, the first trilogy’s limitations can seem almost indistinguishable from its delights. The prequel trilogy’s similar mixture of the fantastic, the goofy, and the mundane has obviously not generated a similar affection—and in absence of Star Wars doing what they wanted, some fans banded together around a piece of criticism, trading memes, jokes, and references to those videos rather than the text itself.

As a critic, this is certainly tantalizing: Imagine, fans who quote reviews more readily than the movies they’re covering! As someone who loves movies, though, it’s terribly depressing to think of Star Wars fans who derive more joy from repeating “it’s so dense” and smug Screenwriting 101 bromides about Phantom Menace lacking a main character than actually, you know, watching Star Wars movies.

Yes, indeed.

While it’s nice that big geek sites like AV Club or The Mary Sue are tentatively giving a different point of view on the prequels, the problem is they’ve made so much hay for such a long time out of bashing the films, their readership isn’t going to consider anything they write with a different point of view. These readers might even react with hostile incredulity, as though their favorite political commentator decided overnight to change parties. Like Carole King said, it’s too late baby.

Bigmouth Strikes Again And Fans Want To Strike Back

November 16, 2015

Since the celebrity whose name rhymes with Diamond Leg told the New York Daily News recently that he had no respect for anyone who liked the prequels, arrogantly said that Lucas didn’t understand his own movies, and perhaps most tasteless of all, referred to it as “infanticide” and compared Lucas to a child murderer, a petition has gone up on Change.org to have Pegg banned from “participating in Star Wars permanently.”

A few of you have posted about this petition on the FB page and in comments here. You can sign if you want but take these factors into consideration:

1. Petitions are often not effective. This one only has 156 “signatures” as of writing. Even the ones that garner thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of signatures usually don’t accomplish their goal.

2. Singling out a celebrity in a petition drive could attract what Pegg-y deep down wants and that is more publicity for him. Worse yet it could turn Pegg-y into a martyr for free speech. Does he deserve that? Hell no. That narrative doesn’t help us at all either.

Still I understand everyone’s frustration. I share it. If you’ve read SWPAS long enough I went into a two-day rant-a-thon over Pegg-y’s guest shot on Clone Wars a few years ago. It seems like no matter what he says or how he says it, he not only gets away with it, he gets rewarded for it! Even after this crap from the NY Daily Snooze, there were people who really should know better defending him! If you have any respect for George Lucas whatsoever, you should be appalled that anyone would compare him to a child murderer even if it was cheap hyperbole. It was douchey to act like you know the true meaning of Star Wars while the guy who created it doesn’t and he’s an a-hole for saying he doesn’t “respect” fans like us. But “infanticide” and “killing your own kids?” Indefensible.

Rebel Force Radio’s hosts are no fans of the Peggster either and in the Nov. 13 episode of the podcast, they had a glorious rant that pretty much encapsulates everything on Pegg-y. Start at around 43:52…it ends around 55:04:

http://ec.libsyn.com/p/0/a/a/0aaf338c8a065ba7/RebelForceRadio_111315_TFATVSpot-Sla.mp3?d13a76d516d9dec20c3d276ce028ed5089ab1ce3dae902ea1d06cc8032d3c05ad8c2&c_id=10283322

They’re right. At Pegg-y’s core, he is a big fat phony. I believe he sincerely dislikes the prequels but I’m guessing he considers prequel bashing an important part of his brand. It helps give him cred to geeks in general and to the media, which of course invites this kind of thing every time they talk to him (see “Why The Media Hates The PT”). When he said he doesn’t respect anyone who thinks the prequels are good films, is he admitting he doesn’t respect Dave Filoni, whom he cheerfully worked with on that one episode of Clone Wars? Mark Hamill likes the prequels. Does Pegg-y not respect him anymore? How about if anyone else starring in TFA is a prequel fan? Or in any of his other films? How come nobody ever asks him those questions?

They’re also right that Pegg-y shouldn’t be part of anything official anymore. Wait, didn’t I just express skepticism over this petition? Here’s my point: Lucasfilm and Disney SHOULD have the common sense to keep Pegg-y away. We shouldn’t have to start a petition or do anything else to convince them. Especially since Lucasfilm has made David Prowse persona non grata at official events for the things he’s said to the media. (At least Prowse has not compared Lucas to a child murderer.) You don’t want somebody who antagonizes a large number of your customers AND attacks the guy who created your whole raison d’être like that to be the face of your brand. It would be like D23 inviting somebody who wrote a book accusing Walt Disney of being a Nazi and a cross-dresser.

Petitions aside, fans can take things into their own hands. You don’t have to plunk down $20 to see anything with the doofus in it. Don’t buy any of his films. Don’t watch anything with him in it on t.v.. If he gets invited to appear as a guest at a con, don’t go. And take heart…I don’t think the doofus is friends with Rian Johnson, whom he obviously must not respect.

Stuff To Read On “Akira” and Cutting The PT Hate

October 26, 2015

Bryan Young has an article as part of his “Cinema of Star Wars’ series on the influence of the animated film “Akira” has had on the prequels and Clone Wars.

And a guy on Coffee With Kenobi, while admittedly not a big prequels fan, has had it with prequel bashing.