- The US election will be fought over facts…both versions of them
- Cyberattack on German hospital kills patient, experts suggest extortion racket
- Will the pandemic force us to recognise how privileged we are?
- The forced sterilisation of women in detention is nothing new
- Can Trump push through RBG’s Supreme Court successor before the election?
Enabled by their headlines to remake the The Last Jedi, the toxic fandom of Star Wars is becoming more powerful that we could ever imagine.
Every day I make the mistake of logging on to various social media platforms. I do this under the guise of ‘staying informed’.
Many of the feeds and sites I follow are either news and politics, or the world of film and entertainment. Of late, neither
has really done a lot more for me than made me despair at the state of the American republic, either in response to its body politic or its cinematic output.
In one domain, there’s Trump. All of it. Madness. In the other, it’s this odd sub-culture with a predilection towards content-specific bubbles. Music Twitter. Film Twitter. And there is, understandably, Star Wars Twitter.
I’ve been living in my own Star Wars bubble, it seems, for many years – owning the films on disc, having enjoyed them to one degree or another, and having seen them all in cinemas; the notion that there’s new films coming out is always a thrill, the
franchise being one of the cornerstones of my childhood. As a child, I had the merchandise.
But as the first Corinthians spake, when I became a man I put away childish things.
The nature of this bubble of mine seems to have revealed itself in that I paid for my ticket to The Last Jedi, sat down, watched the thing, was impressed, and then went home. Because, at the end of the day, it’s only a movie. That’s the way the transaction works.
I became surprised to see that despite the glowing reviews the film got from critics, a large and vocal cadre of ‘fans’ took umbrage at it, and have directed said umbrage at both The Last Jedi’s writer-director Rian Johnston and Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy.
On Star Wars Twitter, this has recently taken a pair of interesting, and ludicrously stupid turns.
One, a week or so back, had a selection of (what one could very easily presume are) virginal, unkempt, self-obsessed man-babies so wrapped up in their own self-importance and the value of their opinions that they have launched a laughable quest for them to obtain $200 million in financing, as well as the commensurate intellectual property rights, to re-make The Last Jedi the way it was intended.
I’ve had a first look at the Last Jedi remake. Looks great!https://t.co/Q2e247Dxt4
— Stuart Heritage (@stuheritage) 25 June 2018
Quite amusing in the sheer scope of its misinformed presumptive arrogance, it seems to be the brainchild of some basement dwellers who did not like the fact that Luke Skywalker was reduced to a character with depth, who was featured in a film
depicting him to have endured some grief and hardships over the span of three decades and become reclusive as a result of trauma. You know… character development. Kind of a staple in narrative storytelling.
Anyhow, their start-up to remake a perfectly serviceable space wizard movie for children is fairly emblematic of what’s wrong with obsessive fandom, in that it wasn’t just a case of them not liking the work, but the fact that they put women…and people of colour in these movies – which is not how their minds work.
Another chinless turd went and put some ludicrous mission statement online calling for aforementioned Lucasfilm head Ms Kennedy to be removed from her position at Disney so that someone who understands ‘the fans’ can continue make films that these ‘fans’ will like. Never mind that the four films released by Disney since purchasing Lucasfilm have thus far grossed $4.8 billion, and that’s before ancillary sales, merchandising and the rest of it. Dexter in his mother’s basement in Arseclown,
Nevada, doesn’t care for ladies being heroes, bemoans social justice warriors, identity politics and political correctness. He wants what he wants and thinks only he can solve the problem (sound familiar?).
Today, #WetheFans of #StarWars declare #ourRebellion from #Lucasfilm. We are tired of being spat on, told that the franchise we so adore is not for us anymore, and of our favorite characters being mistreated by the directors of the new movies. We call upon @Disney for change. pic.twitter.com/61uPIWOeDz
— Azula (@AzulaAr) 3 June 2018
The account, which at press time had 33 followers, presumes to speak for ‘We, the fans’.
In this boneheaded screed, they complain about the films, which is fine (art is subjective), but then laughably complain how anyone who doesn’t like the choices the Lucasfilm brains trust made are labelled in unflattering terms: stereotypically misogynistic, racist, narrow-minded denizens of Trump’s alt-right. And had Last Jedi actors John Boyega and Kelly Marie Tran not been subject to vicious racial and sexist trolling online, they may have a point.
But they have, so they don’t, and they should just shut up and go outside and get some vitamin D and east a salad and do as George Lucas says, and remind themselves that it’s only a movie.
And it’s all quite amusing, if badly formatted (and, because they’re twits with too much time on their hands, they re-posted their idiotic recitation in the fictional Star Wars language of Arabesh. Because of course they did.)
Alternate Aurebesh version. #WeTheFans call for a vote of no confidence in the leadership of #Lucasfilm helmed by #KathleenKennedy. Give it back to George Lucas, or promote Dave Filoni. #AllianceToRestoreStarWars #TrueStarWars #StarWars #OurRebellion #Boycott #DisneyStarWars pic.twitter.com/rgWnEpg6Dm
— Azula (@AzulaAr) 3 June 2018
Long gone are the days when you could just enjoy something or not and talk about it with friends of yours, then get on with your day. Now we have fans of certain franchises becoming so incensed about the direction these things take, that they form themselves online cabals and weasel their way into what used to be civil discourse. I like Star Wars, always have, and it’s all too bad if you don’t, I’m sure you have your own thing. I feel the same way about Rick & Morty, but again, if you don’t, that’s fine. If you just enjoy it as a smartly written property as I do, good work. If you take it as a cue by which to live your life and license to treat the rest of the world as sub-mental troglodytes, then you’ve clearly got some issues to work out.
Fandom has become cancerous, and runs the risk of infecting the rest of us – who just like certain things – with the toxic effluent of those fans who take these things waaaaaay to seriously.
Calm down, boys. You’re making all of us look bad.