“It’s okay to dislike Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Your opinion is your own and no one can take that away from you. However, there’s something rotten in the Star Wars fanbase. People on the internet have decided to devote countless hours to tearing down a movie that plenty of others love. And while no movie is perfect — Star Wars: The Last Jedi least of all — what’s the point in taking the fun out of movies? Is it retribution for a ruined childhood or vindication that your opinion is right? Or is all this backlash to The Last Jedi simply another product of the internet’s penchant for knee-jerk reactions and instantaneous gratification? […]
In both cases, and in the case of The Last Jedi, it comes down to fans feeling ownership of a franchise — ownership that they don’t have. It’s when passion turns to possessiveness that fandom turns toxic. It’s like a weaponized version of the death of the author theory: that the subject shouldn’t be interpreted based on the author’s biases or influences. But while it’s valid to have your own interpretations of your favorite movie, text, or characters, that doesn’t make it the only universal truth.
We’ve seen this fandom ownership spring up long before the internet came about — Sherlock Holmes fans wrote to Arthur Conan Doyle demanding that he bring back the detective after he was killed off in “The Final Problem” — but campaigns have grown in size and malice since fandom went global. Social media and internet forums have helped to cultivate dangerously possessive ideas of fandom. And The Last Jedi backlash is just the latest example of that.
Just don’t tell others what they can’t like. That’s the easy solution to all this hoopla. While we perhaps can’t persuade others that their opinions are wrong — it’s their opinion after all — perhaps we can all be a little bit kinder and remember: it’s entertainment. George Lucas conceived of Star Wars as a children’s film, and to an extent it still is. No, I’m not calling out ignorant man-babies who are harassing directors or petitioning for a new movie — though you better watch yourselves — I’m calling attention to the fact that these films are made to be enjoyed. Maybe don’t make it your mission to spoil everyone else’s fun.”
This article fails to mention that /Film tolerated or approved Prequel hate for years. Here are some exemples.
- “Some guy named Mike from Milwaukee, WI put together a 70-minute video review discussing the many reasons why [The Phantom Menace] was horrible. And this isn’t your usual fanboy rant, this is an epic, well-edited well-constructed piece of geek film criticism.” (December 17th, 2009)
- “Mike from Red Letter Media (AKA the guy who put together the epic, 70-minute review of The Phantom Menace) is back again with his even epic-er review of Attack of the Clones. This time, seven Youtube videos were insufficient to contain the hatred, so Mike spread out a 90-minute review over nine Youtube videos. See them all after the break, and let the hate flow through you.” (April 4th, 2010)
- “Close out 2010 with a 110-minute takedown of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. The first part of Red Letter Media’s feature-length review series hit almost exactly a year ago, the second in April, and now the cycle is complete. And while this review still has the flat ‘creepy guy in his basement’ aspects of the first two reviews, it also has the same in-depth breakdown of the movie.” (December 31st, 2010)
- “The ‘Star Wars’ Movie Idea Lucasfilm Should Consider: Remake the Prequels” (February 26th, 2013)
- “But what if Rey’s vision was less of a vision and more of a nightmare? Sure, the vision itself has some disorienting and terrifying moments for Rey herself, but what if it was a nightmare for the audience as well? That’s exactly what one has done by having some of the more cringeworthy parts of the prequels invade the vision. It’s pretty scary. Watch’s Rey’s Force vision recut after the jump.” (April 7th, 2016)
- “I hated [The Phantom Menace] less than other people did at the time because, fun fact, this was the first Star Wars movie I ever saw (unless you count Spaceballs). I wasn’t so much disappointed as I was kind of perplexed — like, really? THIS is the film series everyone is so obsessed with? It’s kind of boring and kind of racist and the less said about it the better.” (December 19th, 2016)
- “Cool Stuff: Eric Tan’s ‘Star Wars’ Prequel Trilogy Posters Make These Movies Look Good […] Though there is a substantial amount of Star Wars fans who hate the prequel trilogy, there is still a sect of passionate individuals who will to defend all three movies until they’re red in the face.” (January 19th, 2017)