Posts Tagged ‘PT Activism’

Star Wars Prequel Appreciation Day: #ShowYourPrequel Pride on AOTC’s 15th

May 16, 2017

You don’t have to post a picture of yourself; just that if you do post something pro-prequel, or pictures of your collection, or your favorite artwork, etc. just use the hashtag #ShowYourPrequelPride on whatever social media platform you use! Let’s get a lot of them out there today!

Revenge Of The Dank Memes

March 30, 2017

I don’t spend too much time on Reddit but I found out today through the magic of social media about /r/PrequelMemes.  According to Mashable, the subreddit has 134,000 and counting subscribers and has been the fastest growing non-default subreddit twice this past month.

As an aside, I have to disagree with a few things in the Mashable piece:  the prequels don’t need “saving,” not everybody hated them, and not everybody doing these have political motives.  I see it as fans finally finding their own space to freely celebrate their love of the movies without a bunch of douchebags telling them they’re wrong and stupid.  And on various “sithposting” pages on Facebook, there are a lot of prequel memes too.

Not everyone on the subreddit is a prequel fan per se but it seems after taking a look at several pages’ worth of entries, most of it is about having fun with the movies.  People routinely quote the movies in their comments.  This being Reddit, not all of the memes are family-friendly or politically-correct and a few are kind of NSFW.  So venture at your own risk.

But now I have this to use:

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Is It Time To Form People For Padmé?

November 4, 2016

The New York Times posted an article yesterday about how female fans were turning Star Wars fandom into something their own or whatever and there was a side piece that I didn’t read about the powerful women of Star Wars.  It was just as well because apparently the guy who wrote that piece dismissed Padmé outright because he didn’t like the prequels.  The really stupid part was apparently Ahsoka, a character who was basically spun off from the prequels, was included in the listicle.  Really, NYT?  That’s the kind of amateurish clickbait nonsense I’d see on a hack “geek” site.  But amateurism is par for the course with the lamestream media these days.  No wonder quarterly profits dropped 97% (some sources say 96 but still…) and ad revenues dropped 19%.

The media needs to buy a clue; if you are talking about Star Wars, the prequel trilogy is a significant part of it whether they like it or not.  Denying that is basically lying to your readers and your opinion of the films is in most cases completely irrelevant and generally, not interesting.  It’s even worse if you dismiss the prequels simply for no other reason than to pander to your readers or Star Wars fans in general.  A lot of these guys do that to show fans they’re down with us because they think we all hate the prequels.  (Hint:  no we all don’t.)

It doesn’t help that the geekeratti, the fist pounders on The Mary Sue and Daily Dot, other Star Wars fans, and even Lucasfilm overlook Padmé or dismiss her entirely.  They do so for primarily two reasons:  one is for the same reason the NYT article dismissed her and that is she is part of the prequels.  The Mary Sue and Daily Dot hate the prequels as do many “geek” and “nerd” pandering sites.  The other reason is Padmé isn’t politically correct enough for them.  This might sound very strange.  Padmé is probably one of the most multilayered characters in the entire series.  She was ruler of a planet and took charge of reclaiming her world from the Trade Federation.  She was a senator.  She was an action babe in her own right and managed to survive even where a lot of Jedi get killed.  Who can forget Obi-Wan and Anakin bickering on Geonosis while Padme was already picking her lock and positioning herself to fight the monsters?  She’s obviously smart, compassionate, and for my money, one of the kindest characters in the saga.  I think Lucas bent over backwards to create a character who’s worthy to be the mother of Luke and Leia.  What’s there not to love?

Well, I think the problem boils down to three things:  Padmé fell in love with Anakin/Vader, she got pregnant, and she died.  Never mind these things all had to happen.  To the detractors, those things made her “weak.”  A lot of the feminist types in geek world only want “kickass” wish fulfillment women characters and they think that every kung fu kick in the face or every male taken down is a strike against the patriarchy.  If a character is not doing that, then she’s somehow regressive.  Or, for a character to have any value, she must be powerful and in control all of the time.  It’s a dumb and shallow way of looking at the feminine condition.  Not everybody is a fighter all of the time.  Being quiet, contemplative, and gentle doesn’t mean you are weak.  Being feminine in a traditional way doesn’t make you weak.  And I don’t get why it’s acceptable for Buffy Summers to fall in love with Angel or Spike knowing exactly what they are while Padmé is somehow a chump for loving someone who was mostly a good guy.  You can’t do a whole lot of action scenes while packing twins in the trunk and heartbreak is part of the story’s tragedy.   What was supposed to happen to Padmé that would be any more dignified?  Suicide?  Getting shot or blown up?  Eaten by a nexu?  Hit by a truck?  Spontaneous human combustion?  Falling into a sarlaac?  Shish-kebabed with a lightsaber while standing on a bridge over a bottomless pit?

I’ve read that perhaps keeping Padmé’s scenes from ROTS that form the basis of the rebellion might affect how people perceive her but I’m skeptical of that for two reasons.  One is it doesn’t change that she is Prequel Babe and those determined not to respect the prequels aren’t going to change their minds for a few extra minutes of people talking.  The other reason is Padmé delivered one of the trilogy’s–heck maybe the whole saga’s–most amazing lines in one of the political scenes kept in the film and it didn’t seem to matter to detractors anyway.

While a lot of vocal people in fandom are discussing issues with female characters and fans, it’s going to be up to Padmé’s fans to stick up for her until she’s not forgotten or easily dismissed.

Here’s another take on the topic at Tosche Station.

Petition To Include Prequel/Clone Wars Era Content In Battlefront

November 4, 2016

Are you gamers annoyed that Battlefront 2 (due for release in 2017) won’t have any prequel or Clone Wars content?  Well, someone has started a petition where you can give EA and DICE a piece of your mind.

I don’t play these kinds of games but it’s ridiculous to cut out the prequel era in two games in a row.  Wise up, EA.

The Complicated Relationship Between Official Fandom & The PT (Its Fans Too): Commentary

October 11, 2016

Nothing captures better the odd way Lucasfilm handles the PT than this:

Well-known Lucasfilm employee states for the second time or so that according to its internals, the prequels are as loved in the U.S. as Eps IV-VI. Before, it had also been noted that internationally, the prequels were slightly more popular.

Two successive episodes of the YouTube-based “The Star Wars Show” feature well-known personalities speaking positively about the prequels.

And then on the Sept. 7 episode of the same program, a couple of guys from IGN are brought on to discuss the late ‘90s arcade classic Star Wars: Racer. The IGN “personalities” make some comments that fans perceived to be jabs at TPM. Something by the way you would not see directed at Eps IV-VI or TFA.

On Sept. 13, they released a bunch of stickers for the iPhone and they were only from TFA and the OT.

I held off on posting this for the past month, until I see this today.  Padme Amidala isn’t mentioned in the text and the accompanying video only features two short clips.  It’s as though poor Padme got memory wiped from the saga due to the crimes of not being politically correct enough and failing to appear in a Disney production.  Forget Legion of Leia; how about People For Padme?  (While I’m at it, maybe at some point I’ll do a post on why fandom forgets about maternal figures like Shmi Skywalker or Aunt Beru.)

All of this occurred very recently, so I’m not cobbling together things that happened months or years ago. But it is a pattern that has gone on for a long time. One day it seems like they’re pro-PT, one day I wonder if they really are. I’m not putting all of the blame on the Disney purchase either since this sort of thing has been happening even while Lucas still ruled the roost. For instance, the official Star Wars Twitter account several years back retweeted a fan-made cartoon where Deadpool kills a guy for praising the prequels and Hayden Christensen. The retweet was deleted after this site and several other fans protested. (And to be fair, this was way worse than a couple of IGN jokesters on “The Star Wars Show.”)

Lately it’s become kind of a standard defense that nobody at Lucasfilm dislikes the prequels and that claims there is a “ban” on mentioning the prequels aren’t true. I know that no one issued a memo from the desk of Kathleen Kennedy or Bob Iger stating that all references to the prequels be halted immediately and offenders would be thrown off the Golden Gate Bridge. Obviously small mentions here and there are permissible in the films. Obviously mentions are permitted in Rebels, the books, and comics (all of which attract far less attention than the films). Obviously there are toys on the market. But it’s also disingenuous to act as though the prequels are treated and regarded equally, because anyone paying attention can see they are not. It’s always permissible to issue digs or jokes at the those films while everyone has to speak about Eps IV-VI reverently and TFA respectfully. Outspoken super critics of the PT are embraced, while I doubt the same would be extended to anyone who said anything offensive about Eps IV-VI or harshly criticized TFA.

It’s also not unreasonable to believe that while there’s no “ban,” there definitely had been a de-emphasis on the films. A big chunk of TFA’s pre-release campaign was based on basically saying, “Hey everyone, this isn’t like the prequels!” I was reading in various interviews about people working on the film being told to not do things the way they were done in the prequels; it’s right there in Allure magazine December 2015 as one example. Thankfully they haven’t gone that route with “Rogue One” so far. While it’s nice they brought in some prequel players and stuff in “Rogue One,” I’m waiting for them to really be brave and introduce crucial elements of the prequels, even the controversial ones.  I’m also wary that the anti-PT tone will be back with Ep. VIII. I don’t have to be the late Miss Cleo to predict they are going to rip on the Anakin/Padme romance to promote how theirs is so much better and they will “do it right this time.”

There’s also a big imbalance in what’s available for merchandising.  While there have been toys and collectibles consistently available, things like apparel, home goods, office decor/knicknacks, etc. have been sorely lacking.

So maybe it isn’t nuts to think that maybe the prequels aren’t all of that respected by the current castle keepers.  If that’s not what Lucasfilm wants us to believe, they have a long way to go to convince me and a lot of other fans otherwise.

Update:  The Force For Change International Day Of The Girl post has been updated to include Padmé Amidala.  High fives, prequel fans!  @prequelpositive deserves credit for  doing a lot to spread the word yesterday.

 

 

“Prequels Strike Back” Trailer

August 8, 2016

Ministry of Cinema has dropped its trailer for the documentary “The Prequels Strike Back: A Fan’s Journey.”

The movie will be released on September 24.

Dear Companies: We Have To Be Able To Trust You

July 27, 2016

The other day, I posted that prequel fans can learn a lot from EU fans in terms of getting what we want. I stated that companies will not produce what we want unless we ask for them and when they do listen to us, we should support them.

But there is the other side of the coin.

If companies want to be open to suggestions and requests from us, they need to reassure fans they will take us seriously and listen without judgment. For years I wouldn’t buy anything from ThinkGeek because of it put disparaging remarks about the prequels on its site. When I e-mailed the company to complain about it, I got no response. If any of you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen me Tweet about something that happened at SDCC on Sunday. I had been in the exhibit hall, doing some last-minute browsing/shopping at the various booths since I was planning to leave before the con closed at five for 2016. I walked by the Harper Collins—a big time publisher—booth and Cass Sunstein’s “The World According To Star Wars” was on display. I decided for laughs and giggles to flip through it and see what the policy wonk had to say in his book. I was wearing my Super Duper Limited Edition TPM Tsum Tsum t-shirt purchased a couple of months ago from the Disney Store online. While I’m browsing, a guy walked past in a Vader suit and carrying a Jar Jar mask. I guess it got to be too hot and stuffy in the exhibit hall to wear it or something. A girl working the Harper Collins booth was asking her colleagues about the Darth Jar Jar costume, a bit confused over what it meant. One of them started to explain the whole silly Darth Jar Jar meme that started last year. Now bear in mind I was literally standing right in front of them wearing my TPM shirt, holding a book about Star Wars in my hand. The guy says, “You remember how he was in that movie and made it really bad…” I immediately slammed the book back down on the rack and left in a huff. I have no idea if they noticed or not.

Listen up, companies. This is the kind of thing that fuels the mistrust of licensees, retailers, and even Lucasfilm itself. It’s hard for us to come to you with our requests and ideas if you don’t respect our fandom or us as fans in the first place. We don’t want to be laughed at behind our backs or be spoken to condescendingly. We’re not all weirdos nor are we just a bunch of stupid kids. Here’s the deal:

1. Don’t tell us you want to hear from us but leave absolutely no way to contact anyone by e-mail, regular mail, phone, or social media. Not everybody can make it to a convention.

2. If we send suggestions, requests, or complaints, ANSWER US! I always advocate sending communications that are pithy and respectful. If someone is being sincere and respectful, I think that at least it deserves a response because someone took time out of his or her day to communicate with you.

3. Take what we’re saying seriously, especially if it’s true or at least if it’s a common perception among fans. You might say one person is wrong but if it’s coming from 100 people, then that’s an issue that needs attention.

4. Take the time to get to know the fandom better instead of making broad assumptions. There may be money you’re leaving on the table.

5. Never ever disparage our fandom or us as fans. We’re potential customers: show us some respect.

6. If you’re responding to us, do so respectfully. Don’t double-down, don’t use snark and sarcasm, and especially don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining. An “I’m sorry” goes a long way. Apologies followed by corrective action go even further.

7. We care about quality. If you’re going to address what’s been neglected, do a good job.

8. Put your own prejudices aside; you might not love something but somebody out there does and that person is a potential customer.

What Prequel Fans Can Learn From “Legends” Fans

July 25, 2016

Fans of the old expanded universe got a couple of bits of good news this month. First, at Celebration Europe it was announced long-time favorite Grand Admiral Thrawn was making his debut on “Rebels,” starring in a new novel penned by Timothy Zahn, and getting a new action figure from Hasbro. Then, it was announced shortly before this past week’s SDCC that Jaina Solo won the Hasbro Fan Poll and therefore, will also get an action figure.

Not every expanded universe/Legends fan is going to be entirely placated by these events but when Lucasfilm ended that continuity a few years ago, it was hard to believe even these developments were possible. It shows that at the very least somebody at Lucasfilm is beginning to try to build a bridge with those fans, even if I am skeptical Lucasfilm is going to give them everything that they want. It certainly opens the door to more of the Legends characters and situations being refitted for this new era.

So, what accounts for this small victory? It’s simple: the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Legends fans might not be the biggest faction in Star Wars fandom and their displeasure over their timeline being junked for a new one didn’t stop TFA from being a hit. But they are 1) vocal and 2) organized. Not every Legends fan has the same goal but at least as a group they have goals and have coalesced behind various campaigns. Star Wars fans who want better for the prequels and want more of their fandom interests represented need to pay attention and take notes because otherwise, we will continue to be taken for granted and ignored because we’re not vocal and we’re disorganized. I didn’t know about the Hasbro Fan Poll until after I got back from vacation and by then it was too late to vote. Legends fans voted early and often to get what they wanted. It might be a little churlish to complain because Hasbro has consistently made prequel and Clone Wars toys for years, but I’m citing that as an example of what can happen when people are motivated and unified.

There have been Legends fans who took their enthusiasm too far. We’ve heard the horror stories about people aggressively distributing flyers at cons, spamming the Star Wars Books Facebook page, bothering actors who have no control over any of this stuff, and making loony threats. I am not saying we have to emulate the worst behavior of some of those fans. I’m not even saying we need to take out a billboard across from Lucasfilm’s San Francisco campus, yet.

What we need to realize is we can’t assume somebody somewhere is going to make it better for us without our bothering to put any effort into it. We have to shake off the assumption that either Lucasfilm and its affiliates simply hate our guts and won’t do anything for us anyway (but I am getting to the other side of that coin in another piece), or that Lucasfilm and its affiliates will get around to making us happy when they’re not so busy (hint: with movies coming out rapid fire that time will be “never”).

At SDCC, I sat through the Business of Geek Fashion panel, which featured Ashley Eckstein along with top execs from Hot Topic, Think Geek Solutions, and We Love Fine, plus an entrepreneur who within the last year started a men’s geek fashion company, Hero Within. It was asked what consumers can do if we’re not seeing the products we want. They all pretty much said the same thing: you have to ask for it.

Let me emphasize that point again:

YOU.

HAVE.

TO.

ASK.

FOR.

IT!!!!

A lot of these companies do not know the fandoms they are working with the way you and I know them, so they will go with what’s safe because that’s what sells. Ashley added that when these companies do make these items, it’s important to vote with your dollar because there’s so much risk involved in making and selling these things. In other words, if they do make prequel stuff:

YOU.

HAVE.

TO.

SUPPORT.

THEM!!!!

It’s not only a risk for Hot Topic, it’s also a risk for the hipsterette or college student making items for her Etsy shop. Prequel items can be easier to find on Etsy, Redbubble, and other places where small-time, independent designers and crafts people can fill gaps in the market but if you’re not buying from them either, they won’t make more. The word will go out that prequel stuff doesn’t sell and prequel fans are too few, too cheap, or too poor to bother with. There’s a reason why I keep pointing out who’s selling cool shirts or whatever. Not just from the stuff I’m doing on Teespring but other people too.

Do you want to know why Sideshow has continuously made prequel items, even very expensive ones? Because somebody is buying them. Hasbro keeps making Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Darth Maul action figures because people are still buying them. SH Figuarts makes those awesomely-detailed figures because we the people are buying them (more are planned, including Maul, Jango, and Padmé). As for companies that are not making prequel stuff, it could take a lot of time and effort to convince them the market is there. Some companies might not be doing them because not enough fans have expressed an interest in those products so they don’t think there’s a market. As I’ve noted before, I have gone up to these reps at Celebration and at SDCC to ask for prequel products. If I’m the only person who does this, I’m just one crank. If they get dozens of people asking at every con and they get letters, e-mails, Tweets, etc., they might start thinking about serving our market.

Legends fans feel that what happened to their end of fandom is an existential threat. Urgency fuels their action. Prequel fans need to realize it’s existential for all of us too. If there’s no prequel market then Lucasfilm won’t think there’s a market for books, comics, spinoff movies, or even having much inclusion in the saga going forward.

Star Wars Prequel Appreciation Day Links

May 20, 2016

George Shot First

Skywalker Family Fanpage

Galixy Far Far Away

Fan Of Star Wars

Lady Jedi Scientist

SWForce4EU

Anthony Echevarria

Keith Palmer

The Kessel Runway  plus links to some great prequel-themed fashion!

QuiObi-Lover

Nilbog’s Storybook Land

Tatooine Talk

Plus, Yancy sent in his top 10 here:

Honorable mentions:  the politics (“Politics have been a part of the Saga since A New Hope, and George painted a much clearer picture of how the Star Wars Universe operates… The Prequels are a beautiful warning about just how fragile a republic can be, and how people are willing to give up their freedoms, all in the name of security… a very good warning for today.”) and Rick McCallum (“The man was a tremendous ambassador for George, for Star Wars, and for the fans. I miss his infectious energy, and his unwavering desire to see George’s vision put on the screen.”).

10) Cinematography – George’s wonderful cinematography realized by David Tattersall frequently plays back in my head. Star Wars was now huge in its scope, matching other cinema masters like David Lean and Akira Kurosawa in its visual language… and the ending of ROTS was like a visual trip into Dante’s Inferno.

9) The villains – Darth Sideous, Darth Maul, Count Dooku… all memorable, and deliciously evilllll… MUWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

8) Anakin & Padme – Lucas and McCallum both said their relationship was more akin to courtly love, and that’s exactly what we got on screen (which seemed to be completely missed by a lot of fanboys). Their relationship is Greek Tragedy & Shakespeare rolled into one.

7) Qui-Gon-Jinn: Yeah I needed more of this character in the Prequels, but what we did get was amazing. Qui-Gon is one of the most memorable characters in the entire series.

6) The incomparable John Williams… nuff said.

5) Trisha Biggar – Need I say more. Just amazing work in the Prequels, full of new ideas, and concepts that grew the galaxy by leaps and bounds.

4) The Fall of Anakin: Through three films we watched Anakin go from “The kindest boy in the universe,” to a selfish and angry young man obsessed with power, and making things the way HE wants them to be. Kudos to George for not taking the easy road, and sticking to his vision

3) Obi-Wan: While I’ve always liked Obi-Wan, the Prequel Trilogy and Clone Wars TV series turned the venerable Jedi Knight into my favorite character in the Saga… NOW GIVE ME MY SPIN OFF MOVIE!

2) The Clone Wars – Yeah not the Prequel films, but the introduction of the Clone Wars TV series added so many layers of depth to the era. Just an amazing run… I still miss the show desperately.

1) Obi-Wan/Padme Balcony Scene – RoTS: By far the most emotionally powerful, yet beautifully understated scene in the entire Saga, Two characters dancing around the truth, and two characters about to make fateful decisions that will change the galaxy. Some of Lucas’ best work in the Saga, and some of Williams most haunting music.

Note:  I’ll keep updating as I get more links and posts.  Thanks!

Reminder: Prequel Appreciation Day Is On 5/20 (Friday)

May 16, 2016

Today marks AOTC’s 14th anniversary (already?!) and it’s as good time as any to remind you that this Friday is the annual SW Prequel Appreciation Day.

The details are here but it’s simple:  post on whatever it is you have (a blog, social media account, etc.) 10 things you love about the prequels, send me the link, and I’ll post the link.