A Brief Sad History Of Lucasfilm’s Treatment Of Fans Under Disney

I’m sure that Lucasfilm would love to just let the past die.  But let’s go ahead and review some of this history anyway, for those who want to better understand a big chunk of the reasons behind the impending boycott against Solo, lest we forget.

Fans

Lucasfilm’s customer base.


 

This all really started in 2013 shortly after the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney, when Disney prematurely canceled the well received Clone Wars series.  This dismayed many loyal fans who felt that while the series started out a bit rough, it had surpassed the Prequel feature films by the end of its run.

CloneWars

Though unfinished, it’s still more entertaining than material produced under Disney.

The closing of LucasArts also in 2013 didn’t help matters either, as it would lead to controversial problems with glitchy Star Wars games produced by EA.

BattlefrontGlitch

That’s not the Luke that game players were looking for.

Then in 2014 came another hit; the official dissolution of the Expanded Universe.  Disney Lucasfilm explained that the death of Chewbacca in the Extended Universe forced them to erase it using a bulldozer rather than a scalpel.  But it later became apparent that they merely used that explanation as a pretense to excuse rewriting the mythology as a whole with their own SJW vision.

Though painful for some, in the long term this move proved to be beneficial to fans, as it allowed them to easily differentiate between genuine canon and Disney material, and to dismiss any material with the Disney logo printed on it.

A more detailed of the history of the decision to blow the EU to smithereens like the planet Alderaan, can be found here.

Legends

Vastly more interesting and complex than material produced under Disney.

For many loyal fans, Disney was starting off on the wrong foot with these actions.  So a general dissatisfaction with Lucasfilm under Disney set in with the fanbase right from the very beginning before Disney ever produced anything.


 

Then in 2014, clips of The Force Awakens hit the public.  After seeing John Boyega in a stormtrooper uniform, some fans were reasonably asking why the stormtroopers were no longer clones of Jango Fett as played by Maori actor Temuera Morrison.  According to Star Wars lore, stormtroopers came from the earlier clone troopers, which were all clones of Jango Fett.

But apparently some didn’t like those questions being asked:

 Actor John Boyega has four words for anyone who’s upset he’s playing what appears to be a black Stormtrooper in the latest “Star Wars” film: “Get used to it.”

The 22-year-old British actor posted the message on Instagram yesterday after his appearance in the new trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” aroused feverish discussion on social media. On YouTube, some questioned whether a black Stormtrooper made sense, while others reacted with racist remarks.

Supporters responded on Twitter with the hashtag #BlackStormtrooper.

So reactionaries manufactured the whole black stormtrooper controversy out that, a controversy which ultimately didn’t exist.

Of course, this being the Internet Age, where Everything Is Terrible™, soon people were talking about the “black stormtrooper controversy.” And then, all of a sudden, there were a series of denunciations of all the “racist” Star Wars fans who freaked out because a black dude was wearing a Stormtrooper costume. This Mashable post is representative of the genre. But there’s something odd about this so-called controversy. All of the people writing about it just kind of take for granted that there’s some hardcore contingent of Star Wars fans who are writing that the series is ruined because a black dude is playing a stormtrooper. It’s just assumed that this is true.

But … is it? I mean, sure, I bet someone somewhere on the Internet is ranting about minorities taking the jobs of, um, Maori clones, because the Internet is a large and terrible place filled with any number of terrible (and probably large) people. That being said, if you search Twitter for “black stormtrooper,” you’ll find 1,291,074* tweets decrying the super duper racist people who are super duper butthurt about a black stormtrooper, and roughly zero** tweets from people are actually upset about the fact that a black dude was in a stormtrooper costume.*** Go back and read that Mashable post. You know what’s fascinating about it? There’re exactly zero pieces of evidence backing up the belief that there’s any “black stormtrooper criticism.”

But that didn’t stop John from using the fake controversy to make all manner of political speeches in an attempt to ingratiate himself with Hollywood’s power structure.

“I’m in the movie, what are you going to do about it?”

YouTube questioned why a black actor was playing a Stormtrooper, the racist underbelly of the Internet showing itself to be no more advanced than when the original film was released in the ’70s. Boyega’s response was a dignified but forthright Instagram message: “Get used to it.”

“It was unnecessary,” he says of the negativity. “I’m in the movie, what are you going to do about it? You either enjoy it or you don’t. I’m not saying get used to the future, but what is already happening. People of color and women are increasingly being shown on-screen. For things to be whitewashed just doesn’t make sense.”

Out of that fake controversy, came all manner of bold lecturing and posturing from SJWs about how there can be black stormtroopers in the galaxy, even though no one was really arguing against that.

Some were simply asking if the First Order had opened their ranks to enlistees, or if they abducted children to gain new recruits, and if the Empire had lost the ability or funds to continue cloning troops.  Literally nobody said that there couldn’t or shouldn’t be a black stormtrooper.  Some fans were simply curious as to how that development would have come about in the context of Star Wars lore.

But those fans were labeled as racists anyway, and actor John Boyega was praised for leading the charge.  Media still asks him about this fake controversy in interviews.

Boyega

Not Temuera Morrison.


 

The next significant incident came in November of 2016 from the screen writers of Rogue One, Chris Weitz and Gary Whitta.  As told by The Hollywood Reporter:

On Nov. 11, Rogue One writer Chris Weitz launched a barrage of anti-Donald Trump tweets that mirrored what many in Hollywood had posted on social media in the wake of the presidential election.

But several messages took the crusade further, injecting the new Star Wars film into a divisive political debate: “Please note that the Empire is a white supremacist (human) organization,” wrote Weitz. Added fellow Rogue One scribe Gary Whitta, “Opposed by a multicultural group led by brave women.” Both men changed their avatars to a Rebel insignia with a safety pin, a reference to the symbol of solidarity with persecuted groups that has spread following the election.

By choosing to get political publicly, the writers had stupidly offended half of the fan base.  They may have come to that realization later, as the tweets were subsequently deleted.  But it was too late, the damage was done, as multiple articles about the tweets were written and published all over the internet.

WetzWhitta

Maori is not an option in their myopic black and white world.

As an aside, I still have yet to have anyone satisfactorily explain to me why SJWs would get so upset over fans asking reasonable questions about why a stormtrooper would be black instead of Maori clones, while simultaneously declaring the Empire to be a white supremacist organization.  How do those two things reconcile?  Who knows.


 

KathleenKennedy

Bitter misandry has a name, and it’s Kathleen Kennedy.

Also in November of 2016, Kathleen Kennedy made a statement which may very well be the most monumentally stupid statement in the history of public relations.  She actually stated publicly that she didn’t feel the need to cater to male fans, the very paying male fans who had built the franchise into what it is today over the course of decades.  As The New York Times reported:

So while JJ Abrams lectured that Star Wars is “all about inclusivity,” it appeared that long time male fans were to be excluded under Kathleen Kennedy’s regime.

If I were a customer at a drug store for 40 years, and a new manager told me that she would no longer stock beard trimmers because she didn’t feel the need to cater to male customers, guess where I wouldn’t be shopping anymore?

Needless to say, the reaction to this statement from male fans who had been purchasing merchandise regularly since childhood, wasn’t at all positive:

A more recent reaction:


 

So a quiet anger among the fanbase was already simmering, when The Last Jedi was released in December of 2017.  The blatant ultra-feminist and SJW propaganda in The Last Jedi proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back with the fanbase, and the Backlash was born despite the media’s snide attempts to dismiss and ignore it.

Anger over the poorly written, directed, and edited film was bad enough.  But the Backlash really came to a head in February of 2018, when JJ Abrams decided to make a massively ignorant public statement to IndieWire:

“Their problem isn’t ‘Star Wars,’ their problem is being threatened.” 

“If you are someone who feels threatened by women and needs to lash out against them, you can probably find an enemy in ‘Star Wars.’ You can probably look at the first movie that George [Lucas] did [‘Star Wars: A New Hope’] and say that Leia was too outspoken, or she was too tough. Anyone who wants to find a problem with anything can find the problem. The internet seems to be made for that.”

Abrams

Not too terribly talented with a microphone.

Despite the fact that no one in the fanbase had ever made such complaints about Leia, JJ Abrams weirdly argued as though someone did.  Abrams’ thoughtlessness really put the Backlash into overdrive, even more so than The Last Jedi film itself did.

Even worse, his deeply stupid comments unfairly marginalized similar legitimate criticisms of TLJ from women and people of color.

This also had the effect of propelling a multitude of snide “garbage tier” media writers as Ethan Van Sciver calls them, to frantically type out “think” pieces that either declared the Backlash non-existent, or that claimed that it consisted entirely of a “tiny vocal minority” of whining “man babies.”  I’ve gone through many of those amusing pieces on this blog.


 

In February of 2018, John Boyega dismissed the Backlash as:

“…one tweet from a guy with three followers and then a lot of people react to it.”

This may be a talking point that Lucasfilm ordered reps to recite via memo, as shortly thereafter, Aftermath author Chuck Wendig would parrot this same sentiment.

john-boyega

Dismisses the “tiny vocal minority.”


 

In March of 2018, Aftermath author Chuck Wendig dutifully tweeted the following:

Chuck then spent the next several days blocking Backlashers on Twitter who responded to his tweet by giving him a piece of their mind. Chuck’s frequent meltdowns can be read about here, herehere, and here.

WendigAxe

Chopping up soy for lunch.


 

Rian Johnson has made countless stupid statements during his post-premiere Explanation Tour, too many to recount here.  You can read about his many comments elsewhere on this blog.

But the worst probably came out in April of 2018, when he yelped “Delicious Fanboy Tears” in a Sméagol-like manner, during an interview with FlickeringMyth.com:

Q: One of the things that surprised a lot of people about this film is the way you approached some of the mysteries J.J. created in the previous film. I believe the term is that there were a lot of “fanboy tears” about what you decided to do…

A: [laughs] Delicious fanboy tears!

Calling fans manbabies, didn’t really help matters either.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

 

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Apparently anyone who doesn’t like his movie is a sexist manbaby.

0318-rian-johnson-getty-5

Salivating over precious fanboy tears.


 

Also in April of 2018, REBELS voice actor Freddie Prinze Jr. who played the Kanan Jarrus character, sparked his own Twitter firestorm with fandom, when he posted the following insult about a fan who had criticized Alden Ehrenreich’s performance as Han Solo:

That was the post that started it all, and caused fans to respond to him via Twitter.  As a result Freddie hulked out on Twitter.

As far as I know, Freddie may be Hulking out on Twitter to this day, as he continues to blame everyone else around him for starting this mess.

FreddieHulk2.gif


 

In May of 2018, Pablo Hidalgo reacted in anger over Ethan Van Sciver’s extremely popular satirical Soylo T-Shirt.  Pablo Hidalgo is the Brand Communications Manager at the Lucasfilm Story Group, who recently posted a death threat which may or may not be a joke.

Pablo tweeted out the following in response to Ethan Van Sciver’s parody, insulting long time fans in the process:

Pablo then went on to post more foolish remarks on Twitter, many of which have since been deleted.

More on this incident can be read here.  Pablo’s previous antics can be read about here, and here.

Pablo

Managing the brand into oblivion.


 

Then in May of 2018, an old video of Rian Johnson surfaced where he discussed the desire to create movies that anger half of the audience.  This is the guy that Lucasfilm hired to direct a film in their $4 Billion franchise:

While making controversial films that spark heated debate is a lofty goal, it’s a poor policy for a 4 billion dollar franchise. And while certain risks and liberties can still be taken in that arena, The Last Jedi simply took far too many.

Will Rian Johnson employ this philosophy in his own Star Wars Trilogy? Will he deliberately infuriate what’s left of the fan base 3 more times? If so, who will be left when he’s done?

Rian-Johnson

Loves to piss off half his audience, but doesn’t want to hear about it.

One of the more interesting behavioral aberrations to come out of this from Rian, is that he then later claimed to have muted the very reaction that he earlier claimed to have wanted to create and and hear.


 

For months Backlashers were told by defenders of Disney Star Wars that claims of identity politics in the new franchise amounted to little more than a conspiracy theory.  Then in May of 2018, co-screenwriter for Solo, Jon Kasdan, tweeted out a statement celebrating and confirming the presence of identity politics in Disney Star Wars.

Jon’s statements and tweet served to generate artificial buzz for the film, as retroactively rewriting a 40 year old character agitated many within the fanbase.  More on this story can be read here.

THE FIRST TIME

Lawrence Kasdan’s son explains why identity trumps story.


 

In June of 2018, author of Lords of the Sith Paul S. Kemp decided to lash out at Star Wars critics, over the Kelly Marie Tran Instagram incident for which there is little circumstantial evidence for, and for which there is a likely alternative explanation.

There are probably some followers of this feed who use the term “forced diversity,” “SJW,” or “politically correct,” or whatnot.

If you’re one of them, unfollow me. I don’t merely disagree with you; I find you contemptible, a detestable human being with whom

— Paul S. Kemp (@Paulskemp) June 11, 2018

You can read about the rest of his tirade here.

PaulS.Kemp

Likes to get worked up into a lather.


 

In June of 2018, several Lucasfilm representatives took to Twitter to inform the paying fans that they aren’t customers.  You can read about that here.


 

Throughout most of this, it felt like Mark Hamill was sending out smoke signals to the fans while in captivity at Lucasfilm.  Many speculated that he was trying to warn fans that they were in for a steaming pile of Bantha fodder.

Mark Hamill has since recanted some of these statements.  But he’s also purportedly recanted his recanting.  So what he really meant then and means now is anyone’s guess at this point.

We likely won’t know the full truth until everyone’s NDAs expire, and everyone involved can be interviewed for a documentary about what went so horribly wrong with Disney Star Wars.


 

Maybe those reading this can send a friendly but firm Tweet out to Bob Iger, and ask him if these are the kinds of employees that his company hires.

83 thoughts on “A Brief Sad History Of Lucasfilm’s Treatment Of Fans Under Disney

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  19. When John Boyega first popped his head up as a Stormtrooper in that first TFA teaser, my first response was, “Oh! Cool!”

    When John Boyega first popped his head up and responded to the *alleged* outrage over his appearance in that trailer – an outrage of which I had heard nothing about – my response was, “Oh Shit”

    This has been the pattern for me with most Star Wars news announcements ever since.

    It’s like they…make an announcement and, just like magic, they respond to an alleged outrage…

    Liked by 1 person

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