Who keeps watch on the gatekeepers?

A short time ago in a depressing world far too close to home....

 

Star Wars

The Disney Empire decided to continue making films that utterly ruin Star Wars for the true fans. The evil sith lord Rian Johnson wrote and directed THE LAST JEDI which split opinion among fans and critics. War has erupted online in the wake of this monumental event.

Brave rebel fanboys of a series of children's films decided to harass actor Kelly Marie Tran because they disliked the film, despite her not having anything to do with the story or direction and did a pretty good job all considered. 

As Disney continues to want to make money by producing more films, SOLO has also been released. Seeing slightly lacklustre box office returns, the time has come for the rebels to strike. Can they successfully petition Disney to hand over the reins of a multi-billion dollar franchise to a group of untalented losers and allow them to remake THE LAST JEDI in a way that will displease absolutely no one?

 

 

....Also there's probably another Death Star somewhere....

And it'll be even BIGGERER.

 

Assuming you haven't lived under a rock these past few months, you'll have heard about the awful harassment that Kelly Marie Tran received from pissed off fanboys who hated her character and the film in general. She took down her instagram posts, following in the footsteps of costar Daisy Ridley. It shouldn't need to be stated, but that isn't okay. And have you noticed how the ones who are getting harassed are women, as well as the first major woman of colour in a Star War? Plenty of people sure noticed that. 

Added to this is the insane Twitter account and website that has been set up, called Remake The Last Jedi. Their goal is to have a sit down with Disney and convince Bob Iger and Kathleen Kennedy to let them remake the film that came out eight months ago, funded by a mysterious shadowy producer (sounds healthy) and fellow loyal fans. Pop off to their website now to pledge $10,000 imaginary dollars as they don't ask for any payment information upfront. Their budget has gone past the $400 million mark, as long as all those pledges come through, and I'm sure they will. It's like a sponsorship form, a sacred bond.

This is fandom out of control.

(Of course, it remains to be seen if Remake The Last Jedi is just a massive troll account, always a possibility.)

For the record, I did not like The Last Jedi at all. I enjoyed The Force Awakens despite its being creatively bankrupt – it was fun with good characters and promised future (hopefully more original) adventures – and I despised the good looking but utterly emotionally vacant fan film Rogue One. I haven't seen Solo, and I have no desire to; like Rogue One, it isn't a story that needs to be told. I am utterly apathetic to the Star Wars universe and not particularly interested in watching Episode IX or any other spin offs about pointless characters who were little more than just a costume *cough* Boba Fett *cough*.

But do you know what I do when I don't like a film? I write a review with constructive criticisms – check out my Rogue One review here or my much more positive God's Own Country review here. Another thing I do is have discussions with friends about what worked for me and what didn't, hearing others' opinions in the process and perhaps finding a different perspective that hadn't occurred to me before, even if it doesn't change my mind. Perhaps I Tweet story suggestions that I would have liked to have seen, that I think would have worked better or highlight ones that didn't work for me personally. And then I move on with my life.

What I don't do is decide that I own the film universe and demand changes be made to meet my needs as a loyal fan. How dare you put your own interest ahead of literally everyone else's just because it's an intellectual property you're fond of? Just because you've enjoyed Star Wars since before the 1997 special editions, since whatever arbitrary point you've decided filters out the "real" fans from the "posers" doesn't mean you get to be the gatekeepers. If you didn't like the film, perhaps you could appreciate that plenty of people did, that perhaps a new generation of people are enjoying the new films and keeping the brand alive. Maybe the people being introduced to Star Wars will go back to the old films and love them just as much as you do. Maybe they'll dislike them and prefer the new ones.

And you know what? That's okay. The old films are left untouched by new fans and new films and new actors and new interpretations of characters. No, I didn't particularly care for what they did with Luke's character, but at least it was something different. No I didn't like the whole pointless casino segment but I enjoyed Kelly's performance as Rose and she really got to shine there. I didn't like much of the film and don't care for the franchise much going forward, and that's okay, I've got two and half decent films' worth of Star Wars waiting for me any time I want to watch them. This isn't George Lucas not allowing anyone to watch the originals; a new film doesn't undo the old. A bad sequel or reboot doesn't necessarily tarnish the original. I still rewatch The Lord of the Rings on the reg despite finding The Hobbit films to be nauseatingly awful. The J. J. Abrams Star Trek films don't ruin the majesty of Wrath of Khan or The Voyage Home.

So if you feel you've been let down by Disney, by Rian Johnson, by Star Wars, take a deep breath, maybe a valium, and just discuss with your friends what you would have done differently, write a review stating your points in an approachable and humorous manner, write some fan fiction, perhaps even write a screenplay for your own original science fiction film. That's how we got Star Wars in the first place after all! Ol' Georgey Peorgey just wanted to make Flash Gordon but couldn't get the rights so he wrote Star Wars instead. Do any of those things, but don't be a actor-harassing gatekeeper troll trying to own an entire fandom – that way lies madness. There is no version of Star Wars that can please everybody, so get rid of that notion. If your problem is with the creative direction of Star Wars, challenge it intellectually, rather than going after the actors who, while being creative in the context of the film's creation to a certain extent, ARE NOT IN CHARGE OF THE FUCKING STORY and are not responsible for the "betrayal of Luke's character etc.". This is just like when people sent hate mail to Malcolm McDowell after Star Trek Generations for how Kirk bit the bullet in such a terrible way. Malcolm had nothing to do with that but had to put up with a hell of lot of shit from rabid fans. Did you guys not see A Clockwork Orange and his crazy eyes? I'd never give him shit.