” […] Something is deeply broken among the Star Wars faithful. Respectable discourse has deterioriated completely as a small but determined minority of “fans” turn to the Dark Side—hate-spewing assholes looking to ruin the party for everyone, and often succeeding. […]
When J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm released the first teaser for The Force Awakens in 2014, roughly one year ahead of its premiere, it was dissected, analyzed and judged to a greater degree than any other Star Wars product ever before (the trailer generated a then-record of 112 million views online within its first 24 hours).
Immediately, fans began taking sides, with many excited at the prospect of Episode VII, but plenty more dismayed (one eye-opening tweet I remember seeing at the time criticized the trailer for having “Tracy Morgan” pop up out of nowhere).
It was a far more widely divisive ecosystem with even more negativity than the prequel era. Those trailers didn’t generate nearly the same level of aggressive skepticism, and this trend has continued through the sequel trilogy. […]
The internet will always house trolls. Despite their inevitable presence, these figures seem to be most drawn to blockbuster franchises (some fans of the DC superhero movies are known to share a similar temperament), emerging with ultra-aggressive takes and bullying journalists, actors, directors and fans who don’t share their views.
It is in these self-constructed online echo chambers in which these kinds of issues first begin to sprout and inevitably lead to conflict.
Ultimately, despite all of the benefits that the internet and social media provide in disseminating information and improving communications, it may have torn down the healthy manner in which we used to consume and debate cinema. […]
It can’t be easy to see a friend of more than four decades head down a path you’re not comfortable with. But if your fandom has calcified to the point where you’re only seeking out the negatives and looking to cut others down over their enjoyment of the series, then you’re not even a fan at all.
You’re just a sad little troll.”
The author of the article is Brandon Katz. Here are some of his great contributions to a civilized and respectful debate on Star Wars.
@webb_ej "LET'S CRAM AS MUCH SPACE SHIT INTO THE FRAME AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE!!!!!" — George Lucas
— Brandon Katz (@Great_Katzby) December 3, 2014
My girlfriend’s 13 year old brother loves the prequels. I have failed as an educator.
— Brandon Katz (@Great_Katzby) May 11, 2018
— Brandon Katz (@Great_Katzby) December 16, 2015
“Obviously, the prequels sucked.” (source)
“Yes, the prequels were truly heinous pieces of cinema. The Dark Side of filmmaking, if you will. As a devoted nerd and lover of Star Wars, I hardly even acknowledge these films existence. […]
But, as someone who had the misfortunate to witness the prequels, I also acknowledge that [the new set of movies] can be a continued shit storm.” (source)
“Those movies straight up suck.
The disappointing prequels frayed the franchise’s reverence in the eyes of many fans (I’m not bitter, you’re bitter) and dulled a bit of the shine generated from the original trilogy. They also hurt a new generation of potential fans. Imagine the first new Star Wars release in your lifetime was The Phantom Menace; how would that theater-going experience shape your opinion of the series?” (source)