Hello folks! Agent Justin here today! Did you guys celebrate Star Wars Day on May the 4th? Or are your feelings on Star Wars a little…not so positive?
Well, here is a new guest writer by the name of Matt Benson, and he has some thoughts on the state of Star Wars fandom. Take it away sir!
There’s an old adage about Star Wars fans. “Real Star Wars fans hate Star Wars”. It seems that’s truer today than it’s ever been. We’ve spent so much time collectively hating George Lucas and everything he’s done to the franchise that it’s become all we know. When Lucas left Star Wars, the hate should have gone with him, but it didn’t. And that’s a shame.
For the first time since the summer of 1980 we have a potentially good Star Wars movie to look forward to, but a search for “Star Wars Episode VII” on twitter, facebook, or any other social media site returns, at best, a collective meh. A mass of people who are over Star Wars. I feel like I’m losing my mind!
Everyone’s so afraid of the prequels happening again that they’ve forgotten why those movies were so disappointing. There was a time when Star Wars was one of the greatest film trilogies of all time and nothing more. There’s no reason we can’t return to that time. Episode VII has a great cast, a great director, and a great screenwriting team behind it.
Maybe you don’t agree, but consider this: what do you have to lose by getting excited? One of the best things about being a geek having a community to celebrate the things you enjoy. Liking things collectively can be a tremendously fun and rewarding experience. To rob ourselves of that because of the prequels is absurd.
The Phantom Menace came out and it sucked. That was fifteen years ago. It’s time to get over it. The worst thing the prequels did was not Jar Jar Binks. It was not making Liam Neeson a Jedi and then killing him before he even got to do anything interesting. And it was not all the racism (okay, it might still have been all the racism). It was that it made us cynical about Star Wars.
Nothing will ever be as disappointing as Episode I. The franchise isn’t capable of that any more, but we’re still letting it hurt us. The Star Wars fandom has become one big Charlie Brown, afraid to try to kick the football again. Only, Lucy’s not holding the football anymore. Lucy sold the football to Disney and they bought us a very stand that can’t move it out of the way. It’s 2014 and we’re yelling at an inanimate object, accusing it of trying to trick us because we have trust issues.
Lucas’ biggest problem handling the franchise was that he thought it belonged to him, when even before the deal with Disney, that wasn’t true. Star Wars hasn’t belonged to George Lucas since May 25, 1977. It belongs to us. Lucas tried so hard to prove that it didn’t and every time we let our hatred of the movies that came before ruin our enjoyment of the movies’ future, he wins. All we have to do to stop this is decide to stop this. It’s completely up to us.
Disney recently declared the expanded universe non-canon. This made a lot of people very upset. I’m going to say something to those people that has been said to me many, many times, much to my chagrin as a wrestling fan, “you know it’s not real right?” Obviously, most of you know that, intellectually. So ask yourself, when something is declared non-canon, what does that actually mean? That Knights of the Old Republic didn’t really happen? Disney doesn’t have the power to say that anything in the Star Wars universe didn’t happen any more than they have the power to kill Abraham Lincoln. They can say it, but it doesn’t make any truer than it all ready was.
All Star Wars is is a collection of stories, some that we like, some that we don’t. For too long, Star Wars (and Star Trek, but that’s a different article) have been held to an insane standard with canon that doesn’t the movies any better for the audience or the creators. Imagine if Marvel tried to only make movies that honored the continuity of all the comics. It would be terrible and yet, that’s what we expect from Star Wars.
So love what you love, hate what you hate, and know that we have no reason to expect anything but greatness from the next flick. Get excited! Plan out which theater is the best for camping in line, put together awesome cosplay, have fun! Because what’s going to happen if the movie doesn’t live up to those expectations. “Oh no, all that fun I had didn’t mean anything”? For the first time in a long time someone’s in charge of Star Wars who might not totally screw it up. Throw aside the cynicism of 1999 and adopt (wait for it) a new hope. See you in 2015.
Matt Benson is someone who likes to scream about pop culture. For a small fee, he will come to your party/place of business/current location and do so at you. To hear him scream quietly (some people call this talking) into a microphone, you can listen to the variety of podcasts he hosts at benviewnetwork.com. To see him do this in 140 characters, you can find him @drmattbenson on twitter.