The Return of Luke Skywalker Means Nothing

Mundane Matt goes on a long rant where he shakes his fists at the sky and yells at #TheFandomMenace, “what do you want?!”

Matt is now under the impression that it’s merely “fashionable” to hate on Star Wars, apparently unaware that #TheFandomMenace is only a “tiny vocal minority.”  Fashion trends generally tend to flow with a majority.  So this can’t really be the case.

The problem Matt is having here, is that he doesn’t understand that it’s no longer about what we want or don’t want.  But rather, it’s now about what we can expect based on a historical track record.

A recent announcement disclosed that Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker would be returning for Episode IX.  Whoopideedoo.

Who’s directing?  The guy who told critics of The Last Jedi that they have a problem with women.  That’s who.

We’ve seen how the current incarnation of Lucasfilm treats legacy characters.  Han Solo returned as a deadbeat dad, discarding the tremendous growth that the character made in Episode VI.  Luke Skywalker came back, primarily to milk space walrus nipples, and to be beaten down by someone who just heard of the Force about a month previously.  Leia came back to fly through the empty airless vacuum outer space like Superman.

What possible scenario could one imagine, where the current crop of magic makers at Lucasfilm would come up with a compelling story for any of the characters, even the new ones that no one is interested in?

Milking

What new depths will Luke sink to in Episode IX?

So Matt fundamentally misunderstands the entire dialogue here, because what we want or don’t want is no longer a relevant part of this conversation.

We’re not in any way complaining.  Rather, what we’re doing instead, is warning others to not bother, and to not get burned at the box office for yet another steaming pile of propagandist bantha fodder.  That the garbage story telling will continue as long as the current team Lucasfilm is telling them.  To not buy their books, their comics, their toys, their t-shirts, etc.  Not until Disney cleans house at Lucasfilm, or Star Wars comes to a merciful end.  Either solution would be equally acceptable at this point.

Matt claims that we can’t answer his questions adequately about what is wrong with Disney Star Wars, yet I’ve written an untold number of words on this very blog that answers the very questions he asks, and many more that he will likely be asking in the future – for no profit.

But Matt seems to be under the impression that it’s all mass hysteria, a conspiracy theory, fake news, etc.  Maybe Matt should ask Ethan Van Sciver about the dead presidents over at Rotten Tomatoes.  Maybe then, he might actually “get it.”  Or at least get something.

Jeremy from Geeks + Gamers had his own answer for Matt:

UPDATE:

Well, ol’ Matt of the Mundane couldn’t attack the argument, so he chose to attack the arguer instead, and this was the best he could come up with:

It’s fascinating, given that I haven’t emailed the dullard in months.  Why would he fume over such a thing for so long?  Maybe I’m supposed to be embarrassed about emailing him my blog posts when I began this blog.  Or maybe my keen insight struck a chord in Matt:

…and he’s been waiting all this time for the opportunity to use that comeback in a slow-witted Costanza-like fashion.

UPDATE:

Although I mostly feel that Lucasfilm as it stands today is a lost cause, SC Reviews comes up with a pretty good list:

Kathleen Kennedy Confused Over Who Is Confused

Kennedy

Even with glasses, she still can’t find her way out of a paper bag.

According to the Guardian, Carrie Fisher’s brother Todd Fisher has confirmed that his sister will appear in Episode IX via unused footage.

Speaking to the New York Daily News at the opening night gala of the TCM film festival in Los Angeles, Todd Fisher said that he and the late actor’s daughter, Billie Lourd, have given Disney and Lucasfilm permission to use recent footage of Fisher in the film.

“Both of us were like, ‘Yes, how do you take her out of it?’ And the answer is you don’t,” said Todd Fisher. “She’s as much a part of it as anything, and I think her presence now is even more powerful than it was, like Obi-Wan – when the saber cuts him down, he becomes more powerful. I feel like that’s what’s happened with Carrie. I think the legacy should continue.”

But not according to Kathleen Kennedy, who had this to say according to the Express:

But Kathleen Kennedy, president of LucasFilm, said he was “confused”; adding she had “no idea why he said that”.

But now Todd Fisher is claiming that JJ Abrams is making it happen.

There’s been an about-turn, however: on Friday it was confirmed that unused footage of Carrie WILL be used in the saga finale after all.

“J.J. [Abrams, director] really made this happen,” Todd told The Hollywood Reporter.

“If I was in anyway an inspiration for the final decision to keep Leia a part of the story, that’s great.

“I must say at times I felt like a voice crying in the wilderness.”

Kennedy has not commented on the U-turn, but presumably signed off on a statement Abrams released on Friday as the news was announced.

Does anyone at Lucasfilm know what’s going on in that organization?  Unlikely.  But we do know who is actually confused over Princess Leia, and it’s the star of the Sequel Trilogy:

Some other blokes in #TheFandomMenace are having a bit of fun with this as well:

 

Timothy Zahn Joins The Cacophony Of “Toxic Fandom” Chants

I once thought that Timothy Zahn would be the best choice to lead the Lucasfilm Story Group, provided he was willing and able to.  No more.

Zahn

New and improved, with the stench of Disney.

Writer Andrew Liptak reports on Timothy’s comments during an interview while promoting the new Star Wars novel Alliances in a piece entitled, STAR WARS AUTHOR TIMOTHY ZAHN ON THRAWN: ALLIANCES AND TOXIC FANDOM.

How do you see fandom as having changed through all that from the EU to now? It feels like we’ve taken a toxic turn.

I think fandom in many ways is following the trend in the world in general of less civility and more toxicity. A lot of that is the anonymity of the internet. People generally will not come up to me and say, “I hate your books,” but on the internet, they can say that because they are essentially anonymous, even if they have their name. You’re never going to face whoever you’re picking on.

But you’re right — it’s gotten very, very toxic. And it’s bleeding over into real life as well. People say and do things in public they never would have done 40 years ago, because the public would… there’s a certain amount of shame and disapproval from the overall society. A lot of that seems to have eroded away. 

Anonymous political speech has a long and proud history in the United States, beginning with the earliest pamphleteers of the American Revolution.  It allows ideas to be expressed with a reduced worry of consequences.  Ideas that might otherwise be suppressed.

Because the consequences today typically entail a mob of smelly unemployed SJWs marching and chanting on your lawn at 3 a.m., and possibly flinging their own feces around.  Though, usually only when a semester is in progress at some local university, so it is only seasonal.

But in the modern era, internet anonymity has been around since the usernames of online discussion forums and blog comments sections, which were around for a good chunk of the 1990s.  It was also around in the usernames of the earliest online bulletin boards used throughout the 1980s.  And if we really want to go back further, it was around in the CB handles of the 1970s and earlier.

So anonymous speech isn’t anything new, contrary to uneducated belief.

And certainly there’s not much difference between online anonymity, and the anonymity of the masked savages of Antifa.  Why is it that media personalities rarely if ever attack them for their masked anonymity?  Anonymity only seems to be a problem, when the Collective deems the ideas being expressed as “problematic.”

Only recently in the modern era of “social media” have we seen loud opinions against anonymous speech.  Why is that?

Perhaps Mr. Zahn and those like-minded would like us to register our real names online, as they do in communist China.  That way they can find us of we express something that they don’t approve of.  Is that what the Collective is nudging towards here?  Probably.

It’s unfortunate that there are those who seek to attack identity, rather than argue the merits of raw ideas.  But I suppose that’s the very nature of identity politics.

So much of it is misplaced.

Misplaced?  Is there anyone else calling #TheFandomMenace toxic, racist, sexist, misogynist, homophobic, etc.?  If so, feel free to let us know.

It’s just bizarre that people pick on an actor or an actress for a movie they don’t like. This actor or actress did not write or direct it! They did what they were told! It’s not their fault.

What’s even more bizarre, is that purportedly mature adults are willing to believe a narrative with no evidence to support it.

The entire SJW narrative around Kelly Marie Tran’s Instagram account hinges on an opinion in a single tweet from an unverified Twitter account.  You can read about that here.  Furthermore, there is much circumstantial evidence that points to Kelly Marie Tran temporarily disabling her Instagram account in order to better comply with a social media NDA while in production for Episode IX.  You can read about that here.

Especially with The Last Jedi, it seems like there’s a very entitled sense of “this film didn’t turn out the way I expected, therefore it’s the worst thing in the world.”

You can go up to disapprove of something, but going up into hatred is just wrong and wasteful. 

Or it may be just a basic sense of “this film sucks rodent turds, I want my money back.”

The primary examples of entitlement here comes from SJW activists who screeched for equal representation and gender equality.  From those making demands as to who should or should not direct or write based on melanin and genitalia.  And from those demanding to see themselves represented on screen, just as Narcissus wanted to gaze upon his own reflection.

There’s entitlement within Lucasfilm, who seemingly feels entitled to fan’s hard earned money.

And there’s also a bit of entitlement in toxic creatives, who apparently feel entitled to not have their work criticized.

But the fact of the matter is, the conversation no longer focuses on the movie itself.  Or any movie for that matter.

The fans aren’t talking about the movie anymore in any great measure.  Most fans really have moved on.  Instead they’re now responding to moronic comments from toxic creatives, and idiotic media “think” pieces.  Lucasfilm representatives can’t help themselves but drag this out all the way to the release date of Episode IX.

The fact that few are actually talking about the movie itself anymore, and that we’re all mostly talking about fan opinion and toxic creative remarks now, is itself a pretty good indication as to the quality of that movie.

There are more things in this world that deserve some hatred rather than movies or universes or fan things. There’s still a whole lot of slavery in the world! Let’s save our hate for that. How about that, guys?

How about that?  You can’t criticize a crappy movie because slavery exists.  I’m glad that’s settled.

Simon Pegg Calls A “Cinematic Event of a Generation,” “Just A F*cking Film”

Simon Pegg feels awful over a fishy event for which there is exactly zero concrete evidence.

simon-pegg

He’s ready to believe anything he’s told.

In an IndiWire piece entitled, Simon Pegg Reminds Toxic ‘Star Wars’ Fans: ‘The Lest Jedi’ Is ‘Just A F*cking Film’ and ‘None of It Matters’, Simon Pegg spoke with writer Zack Sharf.

First, Simon confessed his past sins:

During a video interview with Now This, Pegg got honest about his own experiences with toxic fandom, which included being one of those angry fans himself back in the day. Pegg admitted he was one of the many “Star Wars” fans after the release of “The Phantom Menace” who criticized the franchise for including Jar Jar Binks. Ahmed Best, the actor who performed the motion capture for Jar Jar Binks, revealed earlier this year the extreme backlash to the character led him to contemplate suicide.

“I feel so ashamed of the fact that there was actually a victim, a human victim in that,” Pegg said “I think most people were regarding Jar Jar Binks like he was a real creature and wailing on him for being annoying, or whatever, or not liking him. But there was a person behind that. And I read that and just thought, ‘Christ, I’m one of those people.’ It makes me feel awful.”

Pegg is apparently unaware that the media was more to blame for the Prequel hysterics and hate against Jar Jar than the fans were.  So unless the media reported on Pegg’s anti-Jar Jar comments, it’s unlikely that Ahmed Best was ever aware of them.

But having confessed his sins to the satisfaction of the dipwad media anyway, Simon then apparently felt forgiven enough to spit out his own epithets at #TheFandomMenace free of hypocrisy:

Pegg now views toxic fandom as proof of what little empathy exists in fan culture these days. Tran and her “The Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson have faced harassment for months from fans unhappy with the new additions they made to the franchise. At the end of the day, however, “Star Wars” is just a movie and Pegg thinks fans need to remind themselves of this simple fact.

“There’s no diplomacy in that, there’s no empathy,” Pegg said. “We’re becoming very, very insular as human beings. We’re becoming very self-driven, selfist, our opinions, our needs, our wants. I feel sorry for Kelly Marie Tran because she was just in a film — a fucking film, that’s all it is. None of it matters, none of it “I think it would be nice if everyone just got on. You know and stopped being so aggressive.”

Well Simon, many people are in fact getting on.

SoloSolo

But perhaps Simon could tell us if there’s a special word for the brand of diplomacy that Lucasfilm representatives have been engaging in, in response to fan criticism.  Is it a heretofore unheard of and unique form of empathy that Lucasfilm is employing?  Are not fans also entitled to feel a little “ennui?”

Human beings are “selfist” by their very nature Simon, and always have been.  It’s why wars are fought.

Simon may feel sorry for Kelly Marie Tran.  But I feel sorry for Simon for believing in a narrative that has no concrete evidence supporting it, merely because it flows with a deeply moronic political agenda.

The entire SJW narrative around Kelly Marie Tran’s Instagram account hinges on an opinion in a single tweet from an unverified Twitter account.  You can read about that here.  Furthermore, there is much circumstantial evidence that points to Kelly Marie Tran temporarily disabling her Instagram account in order to better comply with a social media NDA while in production for Episode IX.  You can read about that here.

But Simon and I can agree on one thing.  The Last Jedi is in fact, just a film, which truly does not matter.  Nothing that Disney has produced does.  Many others agree as well, and are saving their money.

Simon Pegg is currently in prep for Star Trek 4, another formerly great franchise.

Toxic Fembabies Cry Over Buffy Reboot

Buffy

A feminist explains her displeasure with the Buffy reboot.

Oh, how the tables have turned.  Jeremy from theQuartering has a lot of fun with this:

A stunning comment regarding the Buffy reboot comes from Anita Sarkeesian.  For those who may not know, Anita is a noted feminist who was in the middle of the Gamergate controversy.  She has a show on YouTube entitled, Tropes Vs. Women in Video Games.  Keep in mind if you watch the video, that when Anita says she’ll apply “critical analysis,” what she actually means is that she’ll impose the Marxist/Freudian based “Critical Theory” that she was indoctrinated with in college onto video games, and that no actual critical analysis is involved.

It’s interesting that Anita Sarkeesian would be so down on the Damsel in Distress trope, given that she herself was a damsel in distress as described in The Phases of a Geeker Gate, according to various accounts.

She was also quite happy with the 2016 Ghostbusters film which rebooted the franchise with an all female cast:

Despite frustrations like this, the Ghostbusters reboot takes the beloved franchise from the 80s and manages to give us more of the rollicking comedic sci-fi adventure we loved in the 1984 classic while simultaneously wiping out much of the sexism that plagued the original.

She also felt that critics of the Ghostbusters reboot were misogynists:

The onslaught of aggression toward the remake is not at all surprising to anyone participating in online culture these days, where attacks against women remain a daily occurrence. In fact, online misogyny is so tiresomely predictable that the film anticipated it. In one of its most grimly funny moments, Abby (Melissa McCarthy) and Erin (Kristen Wiig) see a comment left on a YouTube video they have posted: “Ain’t no bitches gonna bust no ghosts.”

Some internet misogynist may have commented that “ain’t no bitches gonna bust no ghosts” on that video the new Ghostbusters upload to YouTube, but in the end, just like the heroes of the original, they bust the ghosts and save the day.

Of course, we all know how truthful SJWs are, and how representative of reality that their entertainment is.

With regards to the impending Buffy The Vampire Slayer reboot, Anita had this to say:

I can only imagine the nature of her tweets talking about the Ghostbusters reboot at the time.

Even more stunning than that though, was the headline at the ultra-feminist website, The Mary Sue.  Princess Weekes writes:

No, I Don’t Want a Black Buffy Reboot, and Here’s Why

When the news broke over the weekend announcing that Joss Whedon was not only launching a Buffy reboot, but doing so with a black female lead, my reaction was a very heavy sigh.

There was a time when this kind of news would have excited me in ways I can’t even explain. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of my favorite shows, in spite of many things, but not only am I not interested in a reboot, but this move to make the lead black—as reported by Deadline—is just a bad move on multiple levels for me. Don’t get me wrong; it’s not inclusive casting that I’m objecting to. I just want black women to get their own stories.  

Maybe Anita and Princess just have a problem with strong black females.  Maybe they just have a problem with watching people who don’t look just like them, and don’t understand the social and cultural importance of representation for marginalized people.  Any of that sound familiar?

Can someone get me a Fembaby Tears mug?  It wouldn’t be sexist and/or misogynist, since men also now claim to be feminists.  Therefore fembaby would apply to all whining feminists equally regardless of gender.

Now yes, Princess is a black female writer.  And SJWs may breathlessly point that out in the comments section below before arriving at this sentence in order to prove…something.  But melanin content is irrelevant.  What matters here is that she’s an SJW.  And as we know, white male SJWs have a bizarre tendency to routinely talk about white males as though they themselves aren’t white males.  Think of how often white male SJWs decry the white male lead in film and television.  It’s likely that we’re seeing the same psychopathology at work here.

In any case, just imagine all of the carefully composed hyperbole in all of the “think” pieces that I’ve responded to on this blog, which can now be appropriated and repurposed when responding to these toxic fembabies.

Many white women see themselves as rightfully at the center of all narrative, and believe any narrative that doesn’t feature them as heroes, even when they are featured in supporting roles, has displaced them.

And that goes for both categories of reactionaries—the Buffy fan upset that the franchise’s heroes now includes (*clutches pearls* and/or *gasp*) female people of color and the misogynist, racist, classist, dark side of the populace that’s always been present, wielding power in one form or another.

But saying there’s a lot of cultural anxiety around this particular generational handoff is an understatement. And when you consider that Buffy fandom has long been presided over by white women, it’s natural this would lead to angry policing over what Buffy is and isn’t. And that policing can be ugly and lead to toxic fandoms in which people who aren’t white women don’t feel comfortable.

It’s also about telling the original batch of Buffy fans that the franchise isn’t necessarily for them anymore. It’s rather for those who have been waiting on the sidelines (fans who weren’t white women) or fans of all stripes young enough to have fallen for Buffy through reruns.

Yes, there is a ticked-off splinter of the Buffy fandom angered by the reboot. These Hope & Change fembabies have been spreading their overblown hatred all over social media. As you might imagine, those “fans” aren’t very comfortable with the reboot’s more progressive messages. Their hysteria-tinged reactions are best ignored.

You can find good conversation and criticism of Buffy online, but you have to wade through the small number of very loud, very angry and often very white female “fans” who try to spread the message that Buffy is ruined due to its inclusion of actors and characters who aren’t also straight, white females.

This is all simply beyond delicious.

Art By Committee

committee

The Lucasfilm Story Group debates Poe’s jacket.

Recently, Odin’s Movie Blog made in an interesting video, about a Reddit thread posted by Reddit user saltierthancrait talking about the experience of the members in the Lucasfilm Story Group:

You can read the original Reddit thread here, but I’ll also post the test on this blog:

Yesterday I wrote a comment looking for more information on the Story Group and the people involved. I went ahead and started researching and was absolutely dumbfounded to discover that collectively they have practically ZERO experience in writing or entertainment. It was suggested that I make a post with some of that info, so here it is.

The Lucasfilm Storygroup:

Let’s start with the head of the Story Group: Kiri Hart.

Kiri Hart’s experience is… to say the least… lacking. Her writing credentials are: 1 episode of Crossing Jordan in 2003 and 1 episode of 1-800-Missing also in 2003. She worked as a story editor on 7 episodes of Crossing Jordan in 2003, and then nothing is listed on her IMDB until 2014 when she earned a credit on a Phineas and Ferb Star Wars special. I have absolutely no idea why this person was chosen to lead the new Lucasfilm Story Group that would be in charge of continuity and crafting the overarching stories between the trilogies and stand alone films. Not only did she never work on anything Star Wars, but she only ever wrote TWO EPISODES OF TELEVISION 9 YEARS BEFORE BEING HIRED BY KATHLEEN KENNEDY. WTF…..

Here is a 2017 New York Times article about Kiri Hart and the Story Group. This part stood out to me:

Kathleen Kennedy founded the group in 2012 when she succeeded George Lucas as president of Lucasfilm, putting Kiri Hart, a former film and TV writer, in charge of the unit. Ms. Hart’s first move was to make the story group entirely female, starting with Rayne Roberts and Carrie Beck. Both women had experience in film development but had also worked in other arenas — Ms. Roberts in magazine publishing, and Ms. Beck with the Sundance Institute.

I am seriously speechless learning that Kiri’s primary criteria for choosing people to hire for the Story Group was their gender.

Let’s take a look next at Kiri Hart’s first two hires: Rayne Roberts and Carrie Beck.

Rayne Roberts IMDB states that her experience (prior to Story Group) was as an assistant to someone on a movie called Life As We Know It and as an associate producer for a 2008 documentary called The Fair Trade. That’s it, nothing else before joining the Lucasfilm Story Group.

Carrie Beck’s experience isn’t any better. Her only experience listed on IMDB before joining the Story Group was as an executive producer for a made for TV movie in 2010 called Ghosts/Aliens. That’s all. Pretty weak “experience in film development” as the New York Times article put it.

So let’s go on and take a look at the rest of the Lucasfilm Storygroup members.

Up next is Diana Williams. No experience listed at all prior to joining the Lucasfilm Story Group.

Leland Chee has the most experience with Star Wars prior to joining the LSG (Lucasfilm Story Group). His experience with Star Wars was as a GAME TESTER IN 1998 as well as working in Lucasfilm Licensing in 2006. Not exactly a writer, but at least this person had some experience working on Star Wars projects, even if it was just testing video games in the 90s.

Pablo Hidalgo is the most well known name in the LSG but his credentials aren’t any better than his peers. His experience prior to joining the LSG was as an uncredited visual artist on 3 projects in 1999 and 2000. Then he played an uncredited extra in Revenge of the Sith in 2005 then that’s it before joining the LSG. Pretty weak credentials for someone who is supposed to be in charge of crafting large overarching stories and maintaining consistency as well as dealing with the public via social media. He had no experience in any of those things before joining the LSG.

Next up is Matt Martin he has no credits on IMDB, so it’s pretty safe to assume he had no writing, story or Star Wars experience prior to joining the LSG.

Steve Blank had no experience prior to joining the LSG.

James Waugh has no IMDB listing so we’re going to assume he had no experience prior to LSG.

Josh Rimes is one of the more experienced members of the LSG having worked as a producer on Bojack Horseman and The Booth at the End in 2010 and 2014 as well as working as a “logger” and “production secretary” for Curb Your Enthusiasm and a series called Smith in the 00s. At least this guy had some notable experience in the entertainment world before joining the LSG. He also wrote 1 television episode of a show called Stranger Adventures in 2006. This makes him the only other member of the Lucasfilm Story Group who has actually written anything besides Kiri Hart. The sum total of their writing credentials are 3 television episodes in the 00s………… wtf…….

Next we have Stephen Feder who has no IMDB listing so he probably had no experience before LSG.

Last but not least comes Cara Pardo who had no experience before joining the LSG and her only credits are as herself in The Star Wars After Show as well as an extra on The Star Wars show. She is listed as an executive assistant for the LSG so she probably is getting lunch for people like Kiri Hart, Rayne Roberts and Carrie Beck and she probably isn’t very involved in the story or creative direction of Star Wars.

That’s it, there’s your Lucasfilm Story Group and their collective experience.

I don’t know about the rest of you but I am speechless. I really don’t know what to say…. How the Hell did this happen? Why did Disney let a group of people with zero experience play such important roles in the franchise they paid 4 BILLION dollars for? The members of the LSG are probably getting 6 figure salaries too.

My biggest question however is what exactly was the metric used by Kathy Kennedy and Kiri Hart for hiring these people? It obviously wasn’t writing, entertainment, film or television experience… nor was it experience in the Star Wars universe. It looks like they only hired one person from within Lucasfilm’s existing pool of employees (Leland Chee from Lucas Licensing)…. so what exactly were the qualifications and experience they were looking for when choosing people to hire for the Lucasfilm Story Group? That’s what I want to know. I want to know why they hired this batch of people who are so obviously unqualified.

I think we’re over the target now regarding who to “blame” for the sorry state of Star Wars today: Kathleen Kennedy, Rian Johnson, Kiri Hart and the Lucasfilm Story Group seem to be the culprits.

EDIT— /u/TheMastersSkywalker has also done some research into the Lucasfilm Story Group and his detailed post can be found here: /r/saltierthancrait/comments/8znhh3/so_who_is_the_story_group_and_what_are_their_main/

The text for the Reddit thread by TheMasterSkywalker reads as such:

I have seen this question asked multiple times on here. People don’t really know who they are and what they do but when the canon wipe came they were sold as being the key to the NEU. So what is the purpose of the story group,who are they, what do they do, and what have they done before?

The Lucasfilm story group was created in 2013 by Kathleen Kennedy and Lucasfilm VP Kiri Hart with the goal of abolishing the canon hierarchy and is responsible for determining what is canon and noncanon for the star wars universe. Or to use the Vanity Fair quote

Part of what makes Lucasfilm’s new system work is that Kennedy has set up a formidable support structure for her filmmakers. Upon her arrival, she put together a story department at Lucasfilm’s San Francisco headquarters, overseen by Kiri Hart, a development executive and former screenwriter she has long worked with. The story group, which numbers 11 people, maintains the narrative continuity and integrity of all the Star Wars properties that exist across various platforms: animation, video games, novels, comic books, and, most important, movies. “The whole team reads each draft of the screenplay as it evolves,” Hart explained to me, “and we try, as much as we can, to smooth out anything that isn’t connecting.”

But what they do and how they do it, and how much power they have over what happens seems to differ from interview to interview. In the now well known vanity fair interview RJ says their was no mapped story for TFA and that he was given a lot of leeway. In fact here is the full quote

What the story group does not do, Hart said, is impose plot-point mandates on the filmmakers. Johnson told me he was surprised at how much leeway he was given to cook up the action of Episode VIII from scratch. “The pre-set was Episode VII, and that was kind of it,” he said. If anything, Johnson wanted more give-and-take with the Lucasfilm team, so he moved up to San Francisco for about six weeks during his writing process, taking an office two doors down from Hart’s and meeting with the full group twice a week

(https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2017/05/star-wars-the-last-jedi-cover-portfolio) and when questioned on that and the fact that it conflicts with what KK said he doubles down on it https://i.redd.it/rou03k7aad0z.png .

But that is just the movies. What about the rest of the universe? The books and comics?

Well according to one of the earliest interviews by CRB we learn this about the story group

However, the purpose of the Lucasfilm Story Group goes far deeper than simply streamlining canon. At its core, the group is much more about developing new stories, by coordinating efforts in all related media to create a more unified and satisfying meta-story, or as the title of the panel states, “One Big Story.” Still, after decades of stories that occasionally contradicted each other, (resulting in a five-tiered approach to canon, ranging from “established history” to “not real”) some fans were skeptical as to whether even a coordinated effort between Lucasfilm and Disney would eventually result in a similarly chaotic continuity. Also known as “Keeper of the Holocron” and Lucasfilm’s resident “Star Wars” expert, Chee merely said the group doesn‘t anticipate that problem. Hidalgo assured, “We won’t fall back into past practices.” https://www.cbr.com/swca-reinventing-the-star-wars-universe-with-the-lucasfilm-story-group/

I could speak about about the “teirs and contradictions” but that is not the point of this post. This post is simply about what the story group does. So it says that they are there to make the universe one big story and that everything fits.

In fact Kathleen Kennedy described them as a “star wars writers room” and says that “Ideas are being plotted out for projects though 2022” along with comments by Matt Martin saying that Lucasfilm is “committed to a shared continuity”. https://www.cnn.com/2017/05/04/entertainment/star-wars-may-the-4th/index.html

And a second quote from KK

“We’ve thought this all through. The story group has put together a very carefully thought-through strategic plan for how we’re developing the stories and what those stories are and targeting filmmakers. We’ve looked at it up through, I would say, 2019, Episode IX.” http://collider.com/star-wars-episode-viii-story-kathleen-kennedy-george-lucas/ Also from Pablo we get this gem about how they work with authors

While the term “Story Group” may make it sound like they are dictating the story, that’s not usually the case. In most cases, authors or filmmakers who are hired to work on Star Wars properties, are given the oppurtunity to come up with their own stories and ideas. While doing that, they work closely with the Story Group to make sure the stories are authentically Star Wars (for example, Darth Vader doesn’t dance or something) and also fit into the larger plan. Hidalgo said they’ve heard pitches from people who have great ideas for characters who are then told, “Come back in six years.” That’s because the story they’re pitching would fit in better with a character at another point in the future. https://www.slashfilm.com/lucasfilm-story-group-star-wars-canon/

We also get stuff from other interviews talking about “Pablo Hidalgo and Leland Chee spoke about fact-checking the tiniest of canonical details for public consumption. Their biggest hits are the “visual dictionaries” of photos and illustrations from the movies,” which in hindsight because their are multiple problems with the how the TFA and Solo visual dictionaries connect. https://www.dailydot.com/parsec/star-wars-celebration-lucasfilm-story-group/

So it sounds like the Story Group are the final line of what is canon and in charge of the story going forward. But that narrative has shifted a bit.

We have a interview where Pablo comments that ” It is a common misconception that the Story Group exists to ensure continuity between the various media in which Star Wars stories are being told: films, novels, comics and video games…” http://eleven-thirtyeight.com/2016/08/europe-2016-a-celebration-of-the-lucasfilm-story-group/

He has also stated in tweets (that he has since deleted) that the word canon actually means very little to them when coming up with stories. But thats ok because while he may have deleted his tweet we have a interview from another member of the story group on how they feel about canon. Basically that their is no truth in the Star Wars universe and that everything can be changed if they so wish https://www.polygon.com/2017/4/13/15290994/star-wars-celebration-continuity

We also have Chuck Wendig saying that ” “I had a lot of freedom to develop and shape the story; guidance from Lucasfilm was about sharpening that story and bringing my vision in line with the storyworld at large. It was pretty much the ideal relationship, and I never felt stifled or managed”

OR Claudia Grey saying “”I thought, when they came to me, they were going to tell me what to write, but that was very much not the case. I had a lot of freedom. The outline had to be approved, but it was my outline and they really let me tell the story I wanted to tell. It was wonderful.””

We also have John Jackson Miller a Legends vetran say that it was more “”not so much a matter of content flowing in our direction as the authors, but like ‘Hey, here’s a character you should name-drop.'” For example, when he was writing his short story “Bottleneck” (which appears in The Rise of the Empire), he was asked to insert a character who would later appear in Alexander Freed’s Battlefront: Twilight Company.”

“Oh, so much freedom. It is absolutely the book that we wanted to write. I would say, there’s not really oversight, but there’s guidance, and that’s really an editor’s job. And [our editor] did a really terrific job with it” Says Ben Acker and Ben Blacker http://www.syfy.com/syfywire/how-star-wars-authors-work-with-lucasfilm-and-earn-creative-control

So basically that the Story group lets them do what ever they want as long as their are no major contradictions and that they are just there to add in little wink and you will miss it shout outs to other stories.

So that is their stated purpose. They are there to curate the canon (but at the same time don’t care about what is canon), are there to put in little wink and you will miss it shout outs and guide the writers (but at the same time give them lots of freedom), create a outline of the galaxy for the next ten years (but let the directors do what ever they want).

I’m not sure if that made it clearer or muddier. Not to mention the fact that their are already a number of canon mishaps in the universe, contradictions between VD’s and what we see on screen, and a comic writing a young reader book out of existence.

The next question is who are they and what do they do?

The story group is made up of 11 people

The first and former member of the story group was Kiri Hart http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Kiri_Hart who is the VP of development for Lucasfilm and the Development lead of the Story Group

She has been given producer credits on Star Wars Rebels as well as co producer credits on Star Wars The Last Jedi and Rogue One. And a executive producer credit on a movie called Strange magic. However being a producer doesn’t mean she was part of the creative team. It just means her job is to bring in writers, actors, finance, etc for the project. And as head of the Development division is in charge of all of those projects.

However she is one of the few members of the story group to have writing credits to their name. She is credited for writing one episode of Rebels (Family Reunion..and Farewell) where she is one of eight writers on the team for that episode. One episode of Crossing Jordan called (Perfect Storm) and one episode of a show called 1-800-Missing called (Thin Air). She has no other writing credits, has published no novels or comics, and has no previous work in Sci-fi or Fantasy

The next person on the group is Carrie Beck http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Carrie_Beck who serves as the VP on animation and the Director of Creative Content.

She was in some way involved in the SWTOR: Galactic Star fighter expansion. She is also given Producer credit on the “canon adjacent” Lego show called Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures where her duties seemed to be working with the creators to keep it in line with canon.

“We work with the Story Group, and we work with a woman named Carrie Beck, and she has this smile… and when we pitch things to her and she smiles and says, ‘You can’t do that,’ we know that we’ve stumbled into Rogue One, Episode IX — who knows what. But seeing The Force Awakens before we started, I was like, ‘Oh, that’s why we couldn’t do that one story!'” ―Bob Roth responding to an interview on IGN

She is also given Executive producer status on the Forces of Destiny. An EP is concerned with management accounting and/or with associated legal issues and may or may not work on set. And finally a producer on a TV movie called (Ghosts/Aliens) which is at least a Sci-fi project. She has no writing credits nor has published any books or comics.

Third is Rayne Robers http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Rayne_Roberts who is the creative executive for Lucasfilm. Another producer she is given credits as that position for every star wars visual media project. Her job as a creative executive means she is tasked with reading scripts and finding source material which can be turned into motion picture content. So either looking at previous stories, reaching out to directors and writers and that kind of thing. She was also given credits as the assistant to the creative executive on (The Haunting in Connecticut 2) and (Life as we know it)

She as well has no writing experience nor has she published any books or comics.

Next is Diana Williams http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Diana_Williams who is the Producer of Franchise Synergy. She is of course given production credit on Rebels like everyone previously and is some how connected to Galactic Star Fighter. She also appeared in a TV series called (Science and Star Wars)

I have no idea what a Producer of Franchise synergy does but she has no production or writing credits to her name nor has she as far as I could find published any books or comics.

Next is Leland Chee a legends veteran, Lucasarts game tester, and the keeper of the holocron (basically the official Wookieepedia) http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Leland_Chee

While he has no writing or production credits nor has produced any comics or books he is possibly the most qualified to be on a committee called the Story Group as he has been in charge of keeping the lore straight for a long time.

Next is Pablo Hidalgo http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Pablo_Hidalgo who has been involved in a number of star wars projects such as the internet content manager for Lucas Online, some fan groups, and West End Games RPG books and serves as the Creative Executive in story development.

And next to Chee is probably the most qualified to be on a “Story group” (Though personally I would switch him for Jason Fry). Pablo has written 37 Reference Guides, Webstrips, short stories, and magazine articles. He is the only member to have published a book and/or comic.

Next is Matt Martin http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Matt_Martin who is a creative executive for Lucasfilm and the manager of digital content and community relations. Basically get on twitter and talk to fans and answer their questions.

He has a degree in Visual Communications which bascially means he has a degree on how to interact with people though media and sell ideas. He has no producing or directing credits and has no published a book or comic.

Next is Steve Blank who does not have a wookieepedia page or a IMDB page or a good reads page and whose only appearance was during Celebration Orlando during an interview.

After that we have James Waugh who is also a ghost.

Josh Rimes who according to Chee has something to do with animation https://twitter.com/HolocronKeeper/status/870138261129224192 but we don’t know what.

After that is Stephen Feder who likewise has no information on him other that he works on the story group and that his twitter is private.

and finally we have Cara Pardo who is invovled with Battlefront II in some fashion.

So thats its. The 11 members of the story group. OF which only 1 person on there has published a book or comic and only two have any actual writing credits (with only one being in star wars). For a story group their are no story tellers on it. The two that come close are both people’s whos job is to take the lore other people created, slice it down into small digestible bites, and publish it.

TLDR: So what did we learn? They are there to curate the canon (but at the same time don’t care about what is canon), are there to put in little wink and you will miss it shout outs and guide the writers (but at the same time give them lots of freedom), create a outline of the galaxy for the next ten years (but let the directors do what ever they want). And The 11 members of the story group. OF which only 1 person on there has published a book or comic and only two have any actual writing credits (with only one being in star wars).

Also I discovered this video that I like that says some of the same things. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMm0c6Asdds No idea who the bloke is but he comes to the same conclusion many of us have of why not grab someone like John Jackson Miller, Zhan, Luceno, Claudia Grey, etc and put them on the group or at least have them rotate in from time to time so what we can have people who have written books and comics and for video games in what is suppoused to be a writers group.

Edit: Apparently I and u/aveydey had the same idea.

Here’s the video that the second Reddit thread references:

And here’s the relevant text from the Polygon article that the Reddit thread references:

There is ‘no truth’ in the Star Wars universe, according to Story Group

Everything can be changed if they so wish

The disadvantage to this, however, is that there is “no truth” in the Star Wars universe because of how easy it is to change information, according to Lucasfilm’s Leeland Chee. Chee is one of three core members that belong to Lucasfilm’s story group, a select number of writers in charge of maintaining Star Wars’ continuity in every movie, game, book or other piece of media that relates to the Star Wars universe.

While appearing on The Star Wars Show at Star Wars Celebration, Chee said that it’s difficult to establish a canonical truth in the Star Wars universe because of how often things change.

“There’s no such thing as truth,” Chee said. “Things that we assumed as truth, like 4-LOM is a bounty hunter that’s not a robot all of sudden changes.

“Anything is malleable.”

Matt Martin, another member of the story group, said that it makes writing a little more difficult when things in the Star Wars universe change as often as they do. That’s not even taking into account how important intricate details are. Information that they thought they knew turns out to be different, leading to a heap of research for any new development.

“Even when I’m dead sure of something, I still look it up like three times before I ever answer anything,” Martin said.

And then we have a recent lecture on canon from our old friend Chuck Wendig:

So what does all of this mean?

It’s an interesting line of inquiry to look into the experience of those within the Lucasfilm Story Group.  Though I would caution readers, that these brief blurbs may not present the whole picture.  While human maintained databases contain some information, they likely do not contain everything.

But what’s more interesting to me is the purpose and nature of the Lucasfilm Story Group.  There’s a lot of confusing and conflicting information here.

On the one hand Vanity Fair tells us that it “maintains the narrative continuity and integrity of all the Star Wars properties that exist across various platforms.”  On the other hand Pablo Hidalgo tells us that “It is a common misconception that the Story Group exists to ensure continuity between the various media in which Star Wars stories are being told: films, novels, comics and video games…”  So which is it?

The CRB states, “At its core, the group is much more about developing new stories, by coordinating efforts in all related media to create a more unified and satisfying meta-story, or as the title of the panel states, ‘One Big Story.'”  But then SlashFilm tells us that, “While the term “Story Group” may make it sound like they are dictating the story, that’s not usually the case. In most cases, authors or filmmakers who are hired to work on Star Wars properties, are given the oppurtunity to come up with their own stories and ideas. While doing that, they work closely with the Story Group to make sure the stories are authentically Star Wars (for example, Darth Vader doesn’t dance or something) and also fit into the larger plan.”  So which is it?

Kathleen Kennedy states, “We’ve thought this all through. The story group has put together a very carefully thought-through strategic plan for how we’re developing the stories and what those stories are and targeting filmmakers. We’ve looked at it up through, I would say, 2019, Episode IX.”  But then Kiri Hart says, “What the story group does not do, Hart said, is impose plot-point mandates on the filmmakers. Johnson told me he was surprised at how much leeway he was given to cook up the action of Episode VIII from scratch.”  So which is it?

On the one hand CRB reports, “Still, after decades of stories that occasionally contradicted each other, (resulting in a five-tiered approach to canon, ranging from ‘established history’ to ‘not real’) some fans were skeptical as to whether even a coordinated effort between Lucasfilm and Disney would eventually result in a similarly chaotic continuity. Also known as ‘Keeper of the Holocron’ and Lucasfilm’s resident ‘Star Wars’ expert, Chee merely said the group doesn‘t anticipate that problem. Hidalgo assured, ‘We won’t fall back into past practices.'”  On the other hand, Polygon reports, “‘There’s no such thing as truth,” Chee said. “Things that we assumed as truth, like 4-LOM is a bounty hunter that’s not a robot all of sudden changes. Anything is malleable.’  Matt Martin, another member of the story group, said that it makes writing a little more difficult when things in the Star Wars universe change as often as they do.”  So which is it?

I think there’s two ways of looking at this conflicting information.

First, that the Lucsafilm Story Group is simply an utter chaotic mess, with no grand unifying vision to guide them.

Second, that the members of the Lucasfilm Story Group are coming up with their own unique descriptions of what the Lucasfilm Story Group does, because they’re being disingenuous, and not telling the public what the Lucasfilm Story Group is really up to.

So what are they up to?

Well we can look to the statements of authors like Chuck Wendig, Claudia Grey, John Jackson Miller, Ben Acker and Ben Blacker, and even screenwriter Rian Johnson, who all seem to say that they were given an immense amount of freedom to tell whatever stories their hearts desired.  We’re also told that “truth” is malleable, that in one book 4-LOM might be a bounty hunter, but maybe not in the next.  So they’ve essentially traded the supposedly problematic “five-tiered approach to canon” for a hundred tiered approach, where each author gets to create their own special little canon within that “malleable truth.”  And then of course we have Chuck Wendig’s rant against canon.

So the authors write the stories, and apparently aren’t burdened by canon continuity considerations, hence the great freedom they enjoyed.

So if writing stories, and/or maintaining canon continuity isn’t the primary function of the Lucasfilm Story Group, what is?

I submit the following speculation.

I suspect that the Lucasfilm Story Group’s primary purpose is to ensure that the right politically correct oppressed and marginalized groups are represented, and that a sufficient number of woke points are expressed.  Remember, these are political activists rather than genuine artists.

Some of them may not want this to get out to the public.  But others may not mention it simply because they view the injection of their politics into media as a neutral issue, and we can look to the lyrics of Chuck Wendig to understand how SJWs think in this regard:

This would explain, why we get stories about Poe’s jacket rather than a Jedi artifact from antiquity.  It would explain why we get stories about Lando admiring his own genitalia, rather than operations on his Cloud City.  It would explain why we get stories about Han Solo’s racial equality, rather then his next big heist.  It would explain why we get an hour of Holdo barking at Poe, rather than Leia calmly giving orders with the men simply carrying them out.  It would explain why the patriarchal hero had to be seen milking alien teats, rather than ascending to higher states of consciousness through the Force.  It would explain why Rey skipped the first phase of the Hero’s Journey.  It would explain why we get Finn the janitor and Rose the mechanic, rather than Finn the TIE Fighter pilot and Rose the StarFortress bombardier.  It would explain why it all sucks so bad.

The Lucasfilm Story Group isn’t much interested in telling stories about wars in the stars or building a grand mythology.  Their primary focus is pushing political propaganda couched in Star Wars cosplay.  And that would explain why the EU had to be firebombed and overwritten.