Paul Depaola, also known as TK-5990 from the 501st Legion, writes a blog post at starwarsreport.com entitled, What’s a Star Wars Fan to Do if They Don’t Like New Star Wars?
In it he writes:
But what happens when your children’s and/or grandchildren’s whole lives revolve around Star Wars, and you as a responsible adult figure no longer like the direction that the franchise is going? Did the supposed problem in fandom get you thinking about that?
In the mid-nineties, I was introduced to Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. An epic series of novels telling of a lone gunslinger who is trying to single-handedly defeat the evil that has destroyed his world and prevent the destruction of other worlds. It’s Lord of the Rings meets a Clint Eastwood western and I’ve devoured the 7 books in the saga plus the side stories and ancillary materials. I’ve joined online message boards dedicated to this series. For years, I’ve wanted to see these characters on the big screen and last year they finally did it. I was extremely excited to finally see this world cinematically. There was just one tiny problem, the movie sucked. The cast and crew went into the movie with the best intentions but they took the massive world of those novels and gave us an uninspired 95 minutes that lacked any of the depth that fans had waited decades for.
But did you have children who begged you to see the movies, and read the comics and books where Lando Calrissian admires his own genitalia?
Did the cast and crew call you racist for saying that the The Dark Tower movie sucked? I mean, you are aware that this is about far more than just not liking a movie now, right?
Why do I bring all this up on a Star Wars fansite? Because it’s a story that I’m sure many Star Wars fans can relate to. I know there is a percentage of fandom that was excited about new Star Wars movies but has been disappointed in the movies that we have gotten. I’ve loved the movies we’ve gotten so far, but I know there will be a time when a new Star Wars movie comes out and I don’t like it. That almost happened with The Force Awakens. Walking out of the theater opening night I wasn’t sure about what I had just seen and I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not. I saw the film multiple times afterward and grew to appreciate the movie for what it was. But, it could’ve just as easily not improved for me.
So, you’re not aware that this is about far more than just not liking a movie now.
You let the production staff know that you’re unhappy with the current direction, and hope that they’ll change course. Easy peasy.
With The Dark Tower, I simply accepted that this was a bad movie, thanked my wife for indulging me in this bad movie and moved on. No matter how bad the movie is, it can’t take the books away from me. Those always exist, untouched by what the filmmakers had done. The same can be said for Star Wars. Nothing can take away the movies and stories I enjoy. The 6 George Lucas films still exist in the same shape and form they had prior to the Disney purchase. I can always go back and watch Luke Skywalker and Han Solo storm the detention block on the Death Star or see Darth Vader reveal his true identity to Luke on Cloud City. No amount of new movies can take those away from me. Even if, Yoda forbid, they try to remake the original trilogy, they can’t take my movies away from me.
But if they had decided to make more films, would you not try to send fan mail to the production staff to let them know what you would like to see, and what you wouldn’t like to see?
I think part of the problem we have in fandom right now is that some people can not let it go. There is a completionist mentality to a lot of Star Wars fans. I have to have it all and it all has to be canon. But none of that really matters, what matters most is what you get out of it. To say otherwise is getting into “true fan” nonsense which is just a form of gatekeeping.
Or is it that the new filmmakers just aren’t very good, and that some of the older fans are trying to get the franchise back on track so it can be handed down to the next generation in good conscious? Does that possibility factor in at all?
Taste is subjective and there are no set limits on being a fan. Someone who only enjoys the original trilogy is as much a Star Wars fan as someone who saw The Last Jedi 27 times in theaters. Not every fan is going to enjoy every new thing and that’s okay. If you enjoy some piece of the ever-expanding Star Wars saga then you are a fan. If you are unhappy with any piece of Star Wars, then I recommend just moving on.
Rather than moving on, why don’t we stick around instead, and help this franchise get back on track so that it doesn’t degrade into SJW irrelevancy?
Regardless, it would appear that many people have already moved on anyway:
You mean like a Rebellion fighting an evil Empire?
Maybe at some point you’ll revisit those books or movies that you did not initially enjoy, but if you don’t, that’s okay too. I just think we would all be much happier if we focused on what gave us joy instead of dwelling on those things that we did not like.
And I think we would all be much happier if we focused on pressuring Lucasfilm to clean house so they they can produce material that will give most of us joy.