Author: Nathan Doverspike
May 25th, 1977 is a day that billions of science fictions fans should vote to make an official worldwide holiday. The day that Star Wars: A New Hope released in theaters is a special day in the hearts of so many fans, regardless of gender, age, or political affiliation. Star Wars is something that brought people together, people who all shared a similar interest. They made new friends, possibly met their future partners, and overall had something truly special to bond over. That was then, in what feels like a galaxy far, far away. Times have changed. Unfortunately, darkness now clouds the Force; it seems we are headed down the same dangerous path that Yoda warned us all about.
Now, the fan base is divided, with both sides making valid arguments and also occasionally behaving in a ridiculous manner that wasn’t prevalent even up to a few years ago (aside from that time fans cowardly threatened famous author R.A. Salvatore for killing Chewbacca in one of the New Jedi Order books). One side calls the other racist, while the other accuses the other of promoting ideals that they don’t hold themselves while claiming a moral high ground. Similar to Anakin refusing to listen to Obi Wan’s warning, fans are recklessly attacking each other without taking a moment to consider the the truth that there is always another point of view to every situation.
Episode I wasn’t a perfect movie, with pacing issues at times and some corny dialogue. But here’s the thing, even though it wasn’t the BEST movie ever, and it may have been a slight letdown in hindsight, not once did I ever lash out at anyone for having a different opinion nor did I see George Lucas make idle threats because some fans didn’t enjoy his movie (Rian Johnson please stop tweeting and feeding into this; you’re equally at fault for this PR disaster). Seems like Yoda predicted all this, since the fear of future Star Wars content not living up to their standards lead to fans feeling anger towards Lucas Film and their ilk, their anger has led to burning hate, and hopefully they haven’t allowed themselves to personally suffer over their disdain of the new product being released.
The Last Jedi isn’t the first Star Wars media to be disliked and I can guarantee it also won’t be the last. Anyone remember the Star Wars Christmas Special? There’s a reason you aren’t able to find a physical copy of that anywhere (maybe Mr. Plinkett has one stashed away). It was terrible. Was The Last Jedi terrible? Not as terrible as it could have been, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t have been a better movie overall. Still, the outrage over it seem like a slight overreaction on both sides of the argument.
By this point, you’re probably wondering what side of the argument I find myself on, since I took the time to write this article in the first place. Does that matter though? What should matter is that people are attacking the very core ideals that others hold dear to themselves, even if those ideals have little to nothing to do with Star Wars in general. Personally, I thought The Last Jedi was just short of a train wreck of a movie, but that doesn’t mean I lose respect for others who enjoyed it (see our recent video where we discussed the movie) . I also don’t lash out on social media to berate and belittle them for their opinion. Like the saying goes: opinions are like buttholes, we all have one. It’s their right to have that opinion, so let them have that. I enjoyed The Phantom Menace, despite its flaws, and it’s completely reasonable if you see those flaws as too glaring to ignore. See, that wasn’t too hard, was it?
That’s the beauty of Star Wars. There is always something for everyone to love. I loved Luke’s transformation from naive farm boy to confident and noble Jedi Master in the original trilogy. I also cannot get enough of the Old Republic lore. Knights of the Old Republic 1 and 2 are my jam, and I have numerous comic books from that era in Star Wars gracing my bookshelves (yes, I have that many). There are so many other forms of Star Wars content to enjoy, like the Clone Wars show, Rebels, the Expanded Universe books and comics (look up Legacy because they have some of the best characters in the EU). Disney may say they aren’t canon anymore, but that shouldn’t prevent you from making your own canon if you aren’t happy with theirs. Do your thing, be your own Jedi. (If you need recommendations, comment on this article and I would be happy to give you plenty to start with.)
Listening to other’s talk about Star Wars lately, it’s apparent others love Han for being suave and just plain badass. Other people love and respect Leia as a strong female lead who didn’t let anyone push her around and stuck to her ideals, even if that meant the destruction of her home planet and everyone one it. Maybe everyone should take a lesson from Leia in that regard.
To conclude, fans should show more love to one another, since Leia, throughout all the trials and tribulations she endured, never forgot to show compassion and love. We could all do a better job of showing more compassion, especially when it comes to our fandom of Star Wars. We can be better towards each other; we need to be better. It’s your right to dislike a product, and there’s nothing stopping you from voicing your opinion. Just don’t tear others down to express that opinion, because for all you know that product might be more to someone than just a movie, book, video game, or show. Star Wars Episode IX is coming December 20, 2019, and even though I don’t know if I’ll enjoy it, I do know one thing: I hope others will and I won’t attack them their opinion differs from mine. Hopefully, both sides of this debate will join the light side and do the same to share their love not war.