Star Wars Topic

I’m excited to see a new non-sith affiliated villain group that’s actually a threat. I didn’t much experience legends so I’m not very familiar with the Yuuhzan Vong (did I spell that right) or other non-sith threats

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The High Republic’s Nihil have the potential to be very interesting. Perhaps they could connect in some way to the Grisk from the new canon Thrawn novels or the Sith Eternal from The Rise of Skywalker. One of my favourite Star Wars commentators recently made a video about them:

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I watched that one

I love Star Wars. I really do. I’ve seen all nine movies, and I love every one of them. I’ve spent hours and hours discussing Star Wars with my family and friends. I’ve collected too many Lego Star Wars sets to count.

But being in the Star Wars fandom has some major drawbacks, the first of which is dealing with the toxicity of the fanbase. Seriously. Star Wars fans make Bionicle fans look downright nice. You have to love the original trilogy, the Clone Wars, and The Mandalorian, and hate everything else, otherwise you’re not a true fan. And nobody ever stops trashing the prequel trilogy and the sequel trilogy for ruining the franchise.

Did they, though? I am a Star Wars fan and, whenever I’m watching a movie in the prequel trilogy or the sequel trilogy, I can honestly say I find enjoyment in it. Not that they don’t have flaws, but I’ve never had the feeling of “OMG THIS MOVIE SUX” that most Star Wars fans seem to. Not to mention, I’ve talked to plenty of people that like the prequels and/or the sequels. True, different people like different movies, but in real life, things don’t seem to be as one-sided as they are on the Internet.

Of course, not every Star Wars fan shares my view of the situation. They will never stop dissing George Lucas, or Kathleen Kennedy, or Rian Johnson, or whoever. But here’s where my thesis comes in: I think that such dissing is the reason why Star Wars has been “ruined.”

Let’s start at the beginning of all this: the prequel trilogy, which began with The Phantom Menace. After so many years, people were pumped to see Star Wars return. The trailers looked awesome, to the point that people were paying full ticket price for another movie and then leaving the theater after the Star Wars trailer played. And then the movie came out. There was so much backlash-Jake Lloyd, midichlorians, politics, overused CGI, and of course…Jar Jar Binks. People were talking about The Phantom Menace like it was the worst movie ever made when really, it had some good things going for it. Darth Maul was a memorable villain, the art direction was nice, and a good deal of the actors did good with the material they were given.

But the negative criticism greatly outweighed the praise. This got to George Lucas, to the point that he was hesitant about writing Attack of the Clones. But he did, and he listened to the fans and toned down Jar Jar. He originally had bigger plans for Jar Jar, but he scrapped them. Instead…he opted for a less-than-great love story and even more politics. Again, Attack Of The Clones had its high points-good action, creative new worlds, and plenty of fan service. Not to mention, the love story was still better than anything Twilight could throw at us. But it also wasn’t on the level of Han and Leia. And it led to immense backlash, just like before.

Revenge Of The Sith is a slightly different case, because in the years since its release, reception towards it has warmed. But when it came out, there was still disappointment. There were complaints about the handling of Anakin’s turn to the Dark Side, the overused CGI, the politics, and the way the ending played out. Really, by that point, I think people had just given up on the prequels. They were only expecting bad stuff, and with that mindset, bad stuff was all they got. So they continued to complain and yell at George Lucas. And it went on for years. Years and years and years. People never stopped making YouTube videos that explained why the prequels were poorly made movies, and things they could’ve done better. In fact, one channel made these:

To their credit, his story ideas weren’t bad. But still, the backlash that occurred so long after the last movie was unbelievable. People were saying that George Lucas should never make another Star Wars movie again. George Lucas even said in interviews that this backlash had put a seal on his desires to not do Episode VII-IX. He’d made claims years before that he’d written outlines for a sequel trilogy, but now he was denying them. It looked like Star Wars would be ruined forever.

Enter 2012, when George Lucas started to seriously think about making his own sequel trilogy. But nobody wanted to see that, so Disney came in with their own plan. They knew that, if George Lucas continued to do Star Wars his way, then the hate would never end. So they were gonna do it their own way, with a director that was actually a fan of Star Wars-J. J. Abrams. He directed Episode VII: The Force Awakens. The hype was real-really real. And when the movie came out, people LOVED it. It scored great with critics, made two billion dollars at the box office, and got several Oscar nominations. People were eagerly awaiting Episode VIII, and they were spectulating about what was gonna happen and scouring the Internet for plot leaks.

That said, there was still criticism towards The Force Awakens. The criticism was that it followed A New Hope too closely, to the point that it felt like a remake. But people were willing to forgive those flaws, because it was still a really good movie, and there were two more movies in the sequel trilogy to go; Disney had proved they could make a movie that felt like real Star Wars, and now they could go wherever they liked in the next couple movies.

While we waited for Episode VIII, we got Rogue One. And yeah…it was great as well. The production didn’t go so well, and the movie had its problems, but most people seemed to enjoy it. Of course, that doesn’t mean there were NO detractors.

Anyway, the hype for Episode VIII: The Last Jedi continued. And when the movie came out…oh man. The critics loved it just as much as The Force Awakens, if not more, but the fans were a different story. The backlash was…well, it was The Phantom Menace all over again. People seemed to hate everything about The Last Jedi. They hated the portrayal of Luke Skywalker (note: I don’t fully agree with this, but that’s a discussion for another essay), they hated the character of Holdo (I do agree; she seemed to lack good reason for keeping her plan secret), they hated the way the movie tried to subvert expectations, they hated the Finn and Rose side plot. Fans were yelling at Rian Johnson and Kathleen Kennedy about the movie they had made, and that they should eliminate the movie from canon.

But here’s the thing: The Last Jedi was a very different Star Wars movie. It didn’t copy any of the previous movies’ storylines. It tried to subvert expectations while continuing the stories of the characters we’d already been introduced to. In other words, it tried to give the fans exactly what they wanted. And yet the fans still bashed it.

Solo didn’t help matters much. The movie got mixed reviews and bombed at the box office. Why this is…I think there are a number of reasons. One, people were still reeling from The Last Jedi. Two, the movie itself was far from great, with plenty of good points and plenty of bad ones. Three, the production was just as troubled as Rogue One’s, if not more. Four, now that there was a new Star Wars movie every year, it just didn’t feel special anymore. On the whole, Solo was what pushed Disney to stop with the Anthology films.

But Episode IX was still coming, with J. J. Abrams back to direct. The return of Palpatine piqued some interest, but the way I perceived it, most people were expecting the worst. And the story of John Boyega leaving the script under his bed at a hotel, and then that script leaking online, is pretty embarrassing.

Then the movie came out. And everyone agreed on one thing: it was trying its darndest to please everybody. It was as if Disney and Lucasfilm had seen the backlash towards The Last Jedi for being so different, and they just didn’t know what to do. So they loaded the movie with fan service and disregarded a good deal of plot points from The Last Jedi. That is, they toned down Rose, they changed Luke’s personality, they made Kylo Ren repair his destroyed helmet. And it was this late in the game that I realized what the real problem was: with every new movie, the studio was trying to give the fans what they wanted, and yet the fans still bashed them for it.

TLDR: After the prequels got backlash, people wanted Star Wars to keep moving forward without George Lucas. So Disney gave them a Star Wars that didn’t have George Lucas. But the Star Wars they got was too similar to the original trilogy. So Disney tried to mix up the formula, but the fans didn’t like that. So Disney tried to return to the classic formula that was “guaranteed” to please everybody. But that didn’t work, either.

Now, you could easily make the argument that the quality of the work itself played a part of this. From the details that have surfaced about the production, it seems doubtful that J. J. Abrams, Rian Johnson, and Kathleen Kennedy had the entire sequel trilogy planned from the start. But still…

Like I said, the fan backlash has always been very mean-spirited. It is perfectly normal to say you disliked a movie for this or that reason. There is nothing wrong with hating a movie, no, no, no. But Star Wars fans have taken that hate and…well, they haven’t handled it well. They bit the hand that fed them, and it directly affected the work that they were getting. As I see it, the situation is somewhat comparable to Bionicle. Anyone else remember this video?

The main point of the video is, nostalgia is a powerful thing. The original Star Wars trilogy is viewed through a lens of nostalgia for many people. And people are right to love the original trilogy-it was a major milestone in cinema. But the way people are handling their nostalgia is just ugly. They are demanding that every new Star Wars movie is exactly like that original trilogy that they watched and loved when they were younger. But that’s never gonna happen. As I mentioned above, the original trilogy still had its flaws. Sad truth: no movie is really flawless. At the same time, the original trilogy still had its great aspects. But, to quote the words of another user, from another topic entirely:

Replace every “Bionicle G1” or “G1” with “The original Star Wars trilogy” and you’ve got pretty much what my point is. Nothing will ever be the same as the original trilogy. There will be more Star Wars content in the future, that’s a given. Maybe it’ll be great, maybe it’ll be terrible. But it’ll never be the same as the original trilogy. So we need to stop demanding Lucasfilm for perfection. If we continue to spit at and insult them and pretend as if we own the franchise and we are the gods, not only will it have a negative impact on them, but it’ll also poison the community as a whole.

And if someone likes other Star Wars content besides the original trilogy, then there shouldn’t be anything wrong with that. People are…well, people. They like what they like. If they like one movie from the prequel trilogy, all of the original trilogy, two movies from the sequel trilogy, and one of the anthology films, there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with that.

Above all, everyone seems to be forgetting one crucial detail. No matter what Disney or Lucasfilm does, they can’t change the past. Whatever fun experiences you had with Star Wars-Disney can’t change that. You still had fun. And everyone who’s being introduced to Star Wars now, because of the new content…they’re having fun too. So sit back, relax, and let people have their fun. Stop trying to convince everyone to take your side. Instead, just let everyone to their own. I know that’s what I’ll do. Like I said before, I am a fan of all three trilogies. I recognize the flaws, but I still have a special place in my heart for every movie. And if someone else disagrees with me, I can respect that. Because everyone is entitled to their own point of view.

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While yes, some of the Star Wars fans are really toxic (there are some rumors going around that the actress who played Rose may have been harassed online by some fans), but at the same time, there is nothing wrong with liking or disliking Star Wars if you do so in a respectful manner. I’ve seen a lot of Star Wars fans who didn’t like the sequel trilogy, but gave a constructive criticism about how it could have been improved.

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I think the problems with the prequels were the love scene writing (although awkwardness is to be expected from a child slave who was freed and indoctrinated into a cult), maybe the politics were a little bit excessive (though I quite enjoyed that aspect), and Christensen’s acting, but I enjoy them.

I also enjoyed rogue one and solo

The sequels however… I think the problem was every time the fans didn’t like something about the last movie, the plans got thrown out the window and they did what the fans wanted. The lesson disney needed to learn is that fans don’t always know best. Yes they’re who the movie is made for, but there’re so many different demands from different fans you can’t try to please all the fans. Just stick to the plan

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Christensen is a great actor, the lines in the prequels were just trash.

I agree with Duckie on this one. People are perfectly free to like what movies and directors they want to. If the decide to be toxic children about it then that’s their problem, and it doesn’t have to bother you.

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I could likely go into another essay just by responding to all of this. I agree with a lot of your ideas and opinions, but I also look at things a bit differently, too. I’ll hit some of the big points I want to respond to:

I would honestly argue that the Bionicle fanbase is one of the tamest fanbases I’ve ever seen on the large scale. We have our debates, our discussions, but at the end of the day, we can all join together under the livestream of the Biocraft film and join to type “BAN MARKUTA” into the chat. I mean, one of the three virtues is unity, something we have. The fanbase is both diverse yet unified, and Star Wars does not have that ability.

You can almost define a Star Wars fan by which trilogy they tend to prefer. I myself could be defined as a prequels fan, which I often am assaulted for. I have a few friends who are also prequels fans, and a few friend who are OT fans, and a friend who is a sequels fan (we frequently bash on him, so I’m not saying that I’m clean of Star Wars fanbase bloodshed).

Bionicle works differently, because while I am an '07 fan, I also am a All-Year fan, and find not a single year completely worthless. I have my dislikes and my preferences, and I will debate over them (Toa Inika = bad, Toa Mahri = good), but at the end of day, I am overall a Bionicle fan, not a particular year. I know you could make an argument for G1 VS G2, but that’s still much less division that Prequels VS OT VS Sequels VS Legends VS Rebels VS Clone Wars VS Spinoffs (the last two of which I could also declare myself a fan of). The Star Wars fanbase constantly seeks to kill itself, which is awful because it makes me want to enjoy spending time with Star Wars fans less. I even kind of gave up on Star Wars for a bit, until the Mandalorian came out.

I’m not actually sure whether or not I can agree with this. I enjoy every Star Wars movie, and therefore I still have a positive opinion of each, but that’s when they stand alone. If I move them to compare with each other, that’s when I appear to dislike some movies.

[details=Star Wars movies I don’t like compared to the others and why because I wanted to write this down but you guys probably don’t want to read it]I have seen ANH so many times and heard about it so many times that I feel as if all the fun and color have vanished from it. I say it’s my least favorite film, not because I don’t like it, but because I don’t have a whole lot of fun watching it.

I totally see TFA looking so much like ANH that that one falls next in line, despite its few and mainly uninteresting differences.

And then, RoS I probably would not be so hard on if it wasn’t the last film of the Skywalker Saga. I wasn’t wanting Endgame. I was wanting a good, exciting finale, at least decent. I didn’t expect to have one, no, no, but I just wanted a fluid, fun movie and I did not see myself get that.[/details]

Whenever a line of expectation is built by the fans and the film does not meet or exceed it, no matter how good it is, it will likely be hated upon.

I believe each trilogy at least as something good going for it:

Prequels = Best stories (I know I’m going to get attacked for this one, I already have, but I truly believe the prequels have brilliant plots and could be fantastic if redone, my main problem with the films is the dialogue)

OT = Best reality (They turned out the best overall, despite an underwhelming plot if you strip away the characters, setting, really the only brilliant moment is the big twist everyone in the world knows)

Sequels = Best visuals (They really were good)

I truly believe haters should louder than lovers.

I may be being overly optimistic, but I think/hope this is true for all three prequels

Which makes absolutely no sense with his character, but then again, his character itself made no sense in the movie

THIS is what dooms films. But, not giving the fans what they want also dooms them.

I think the biggest flaw with the sequel trilogy is a flaw I see with so many Disney films that I am critical towards: they play the audience for nostalgia.

Force Awakens, they just re-skinned A New Hope, which certainly warrants debate, but I am not looking for an argument, merely a response to this. they used that nostalgia to make you like the movie… until people realized this and hated it for it.

Nostalgia is a weapon. It will make or break a film/product. In the cases of Star Wars, we can see where it fails, excluding a few instances such as the latest season of Clone Wars and the spinoff films. I still think Endgame handled fan service/nostalgia properly.

The trick about nostalgia is that I believe you can never make it the main attraction to your movie. If your film doesn’t stand good on its own, nostalgia will not support it. Nostalgia is a bonus.

No. The Prequels must reign supreme.


CLOSING THOUGHTS

I love Star Wars. I love a lot of it, I like another big chunk, I’m indifferent towards a bit, and I despise a part as well. The same thing goes with every franchise I’ve ever been invested in. I know I love different parts than other people, and I know that others hate the parts I love (especially this part), but I also know that my opinion is mine and that their opinion is theirs. I spoke with a friend of mine about RoS, and I, who didn’t really like it, could not, no matter how hard I would ever be able to try, be able to overcome his strongest argument for why it’s his favorite piece of Star Wars media of all time: “Well, I enjoyed the movie.” We have evidence, debates, and logic, but all of that can be trumped by opinion, regardless of how valid it is.

Star Wars for me has never, ever been about the movies. It’s tied for my favorite franchise of all time (or at least up there), and yet only one of the eleven (thirteen if you count Clone Wars film and Holiday Special) films makes it into my top ten favorite movies of all time (Rogue One hype). Star Wars has been about the world, which is why I prefer the Clone Wars and the Mandalorian and Jedi: Fallen Order to 10/11 movies. It’s just who I am. I love the aliens, the ships, the planets, the bounty hunters, the battles, so maybe that’s why I like the things I do about Star Wars.

TL;DR

  • Bionicle is far more united as a fanbase than Star Wars, my reasoning is explained above.

  • I enjoyed every Star Wars movie as a movie, but not every Star Wars movie as a Star Wars movie.

  • Every trilogy has at least something that makes it cool.

  • Hate shouts louder than appreciation.

  • Prequels are comin’ back…

  • Kylo Ren is weird

  • Film studios should focus a lot more on making a good movie over using the fans’ nostalgia against them, or else they will easily be trashed on (look at live action Lion King, if you want a clear example).

  • Prequels are great

  • Opinions will overpower logic, for better or for worse.

  • I like Star Wars as a world more than Star Wars as a set of films.

I guess that’s all I felt I needed to say. Oh, yeah, I should mention that nostalgia isn’t a massive factor into me liking or disliking Star Wars (it still is one, for sure), for all films except the Phantom Menace, which, as a kid, was my favorite of the four films I was able to watch, that and the OT. So, in other words, if Disney wants to play my nostalgia, put Jar-Jar into a bunch of things. I still like 'im.

Also Disney is garbage and should let Marvel and Star Wars and Pixar do their own thing.

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That’s one of the criticisms I’ve seen towards the sequel trilogy. The movies work on their own, but as a trilogy, it’s kinda shaky. And yeah, I guess I see where people are coming from here…

The whole point of his character is that he’s conflicted between the Light Side and the Dark Side.

Maybe if the next couple movies turned out better, then people would’ve been more forgiving of TFA playing on nostalgia. Then again, I’d argue that the prequels are also guilty of playing on nostalgia.

I think the people who say the sequels/prequels are bad are the same people who grew up with the OG trilogy and don’t like how different the sequels/prequels changed up what they imagined the history and future to become and be like.

I personally think the prequels were pretty fantastic, and I love the sequels for all the cool new vehicles, weapons and troopers :stuck_out_tongue:
I mean sure the story isn’t as perfect as the Marvel universe or something but at the same time, you have to take into consideration the fact that star wars was made in the 1970s, so the story then probably was considered to be a little odd and maybe not that great as well.

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Gee, I was wondering why I got quoted in a topic I had never seen before

It’s a bit unfair to your argument to say my point translates seamlessly over to Star Wars. Anyone can pick up the movies and watch them, sometimes exactly the same way other people saw them. Remasters and fanmade restorations (and even derestorations) exist in large quantity. As well, anyone fond of the original Star Wars trilogy can rewatch the old movies with a fresh perspective and the ones I’ve spoken to who have done so often end up changing or refining their opinion of them.

Bionicle, however, is the stories you make with the sets. It’s the stories you tell and you alone experience. It’s as good as you remember because you wrote the entire story. That’s the point of my statement whereas your statement is “Nostalgia is a powerful tool and people are biased to a one-time thing” so it’s incorrect to quote me on this when my point has little to do with yours.

Regardless, bold move to start a debate topic with an essay and quote an almost year-old post (which makes me wonder how you came about making this topic - writing it first and then seeking the quote, or coming across the quote and making a topic around it).

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I didn’t base this entire thing around your quote. As I was writing it, I remembered your quote. The point I was trying to make was that people’s childhoods are experiences. The movies themselves are part of those experiences. As kids, people watch their movies over and over again, loving them to death. Then, when they get older, they realize the flaws of those movies. The movies can still be good, but the reason people hold them in such high regard is because they were part of an experience-something that they can’t experience again. That, good people, is nostalgia.

There are many reasons for this, or at least why it seems this is the case.

1: “good” is often the default. This is particularly true with large themes like Star Wars or Marvel. If I go to see a Star wars movie, I will like it by default, and if I don’t like it, there must be a reason.

  1. Most positive comments on a movie are fairly simple – “that was good, I liked it.” Negative comments, however, almost always explain why. “That movie was awful because ___.”

  2. If no one gives feedback, creators will continue doing what they did in the last one. If you liked the last one, you don’t need to say anything, then. But if you didn’t like it, you want to let them know that what they made was not to your liking.

  1. You’re equating “trying” with “succeeding”. Disney tried to make a movie fans would like. They did not succeed.
    Do or do not, there is no try. this contributes nothing to my point, I just had to quote that.
  2. Eight wasn’t bad because it was different. It was bad because it was bad. If eight had been different and good… Well, some people would still complain because it was different, but not to the extent it got.
  3. This may seem harsh, but: if Disney, or whatever director, made a bad movie, that’s their fault, not the fans. Disney kept trying to change things based on the criticism of the sequal trilogy, but it failed because it was still bad. At least to some people – I know people who loved the sequal trilogy.

Also, I hate the sequels because IX wasn’t called From His Nap.

Correct! Because it was impossible to please the fans. No matter what they did, there would still have been backlash.

True, but in this situation, Disney was actively trying to give the fans what they wanted, based on the immense outcry and criticisms. And the fans berated Disney for trying to give them what they wanted.

That would’ve been pretty funny…

The fact that people like things such as The Mandalorian, Rouge One, or even Doctor Aphra is proof that Star Wars fans can in fact like things that are made by Disney. You argument implies that fans won’t like anything that isn’t the original trilogy, but that simply isn’t the case.

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I’ve seen this argument a lot, and once agreed with it. I don’t anymore, because I’ve realized that it isn’t true…

TLJ does a great job of convincing its viewers that it’s not a rehash of other Star Wars films, but it is. It’s ESB with a little bit of ROTJ thrown in (down to the fact that there are numerous scenes which are 1:1 copies of moments from both of those films, such as Snoke showing Rey the plight of the fleeing Resistance Fleet, to the Battle of Crait being a redo of Hoth, but at the end of the movie instead of the beginning).

The attempts to subvert expectations in TLJ fail because they are intended to subvert, to take a scenario we’ve already seen before and do the exact opposite, regardless of whether or not the opposite is narratively coherent. Granted, much of this is the result of the retrospectively flimsy foundation TFA provided, but a lot of it also has to do with Rian Johnson’s seemingly deliberate attempt to turn Star Wars on its head, rather than trying to make a good movie first, and then add in subversive elements later.

I wouldn’t frame this as a matter of doubt–there was no plan. This is practically indisputable given the testimonies we’ve had from actors, writers, and the directors/producers themselves. And as much as I agree with you that toxicity is a problem in the Star Wars fandom, the fact of the matter is that Disney and Lucasfilm bungled the Sequel Trilogy to an incredible degree, one which is far worse than any damage Lucas did with the Prequels. The Prequels are bad films technically, but they have heart, soul, and a story that makes sense. The Sequel Trilogy is a soulless mess, because it seems that the people behind it believed that–because they were making Star Wars movies that weren’t the Prequels–they could do minimal work and make maximum profit. They were lazy, uncoordinated, and, quite frankly, incompetent in their handling of the entire trilogy.

I think this is true in some cases, but many other people with more nuanced opinions get lumped into this “toxic” group by other fans simply for disliking things that are objectively poorly made. Are there many people who wanted Sequels that felt like the Originals? Yes. But as you’ve stated, Disney made films that basically adhered to that, and they’ve now been panned by many fans. Why? Because there’s an undercurrent here that is easy to lose sight of when we consider things merely in terms of whether fans want nostalgia or freshness. What is the ultimate answer?

It’s this. Fans don’t really want either of those things. They want quality. Quality, of course, comes in many different forms, but at the end of the day, whether a story is rehashed and cliche or fresh and subversive, it will only have broad appeal if it’s good.

I expected more out of the Sequels than hollow fan service and flimsy plots that emphasized spectacle over story, because even the Prequels, which are dicey, tried to satisfy both of those parts of me. The Sequels assumed that they could bait me with flashy fights, good acting, and a manufactured feeling of nostalgia, and for a few years, they did. But there’s nothing underneath them, and I can’t blame that solely on Disney’s attempts to “please” everyone. I blame it on what I see–a flawed and haphazard approach to making a trilogy which would have been better from the start if its creators had done even a bit more outlining and communication. “Pleasing” fans has little to do with executing the basic aspects of cinema competently, so I find it hard to swallow the idea that this is a situation created mainly by the fans.

Ultimately, I agree with your main argument. Everyone should be allowed to like what they like without having to be badgered into agreeing with others under the threat of being branded a “fake fan.” That’s not what I’m here to do, and that’s not what intelligent people do when sharing their opinions. But I’m wary of suggesting that people should be asked to keep negative opinions to themselves in order to prevent these kinds of arguments. No work of art is exempt from criticism, no matter how toxic the voices that surround it.

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Something that I seem to be the only one who’s noticed: the prequels are rehashed plots from the originals, too.

Let’s start with the first movie of the trilogy. In both cases, we open with two good guys on an enemy ship, who end up escaping to the planet below. Later on, those two good guys are involved in rescuing the main female character of the trilogy. Then there’s a young Skywalker boy on Tatooine, who, thanks to the Jedi he sees as a mentor figure, gets his chance to leave the planet for a better life. Later on, his Jedi mentor is killed by an evil Sith lord, but the Skywalker boy gets a chance to blow up a big bad guy thing in space. And then there’s a celebration.

Now for the second movie of the original and prequel trilogies. In both cases, the movie has a major action sequence that leads to the main characters being split up: one goes off to do Jedi stuff, and the other hides from the bad guys while undergoing a love story. Then, when one group of main characters in captured by the bad guys, the Skywalker boys recklessly goes to save them, which results in him getting his arm cut off. Oh, and there’s a bounty hunter whose last name is Fett causing trouble every now and then. And a space battle in an asteroid field.

And the third movie. We begin with the good guys on a mission to rescue their friend/ally from a bad guy who’s introduced in this movie (unless you count the Special Edition of A New Hope). Then, after the rescue, we return to the main war at hand. And all the while, Emperor Palpatine is trying to coerce the Skywalker boy into joining the Dark Side.

Are the prequels carbon copies of the originals? No. But frankly, I’m surprised that no one else has noticed what I have. Really, copying plots of earlier movies has always been a thing in Star Wars.

I’ve been told that the Disney executives did have a rough plan…before Rian Johnson decided to do his own thing, and J. J. Abrams tried to course-correct.

That’s not my point. If you don’t like a specific Star Wars movie or trilogy, that’s perfectly fine. But what isn’t perfectly fine is when you try to force everyone to be on your side and your side only.

Which they tried to give us. The Force Awakens was a way of saying “Hey, it’s cool, we can make a movie that feels like Star Wars.” The Last Jedi was the first case where they were actually giving us a movie that didn’t rely on nostalgia, but of course his methods didn’t go over well with everyone. Which brings me to my next point…

I’m not saying it’s entirely the fans’ fault for the movies’ quality. What I’m saying about the fans is that their pointless vitriol had an influence on the filmmakers. The Star Wars fanbase is so toxic, the toxicity seeped into the people that were actually making the movies. Now, the filmmakers’ decisions are still ultimately theirs, but they were faced with a daunting task-pleasing millions of fans that, if even the tiniest thing was wrong, would bash them with endless hate. Let’s see you try and accomplish a task like that.

Am I defending the sequel trilogy? Maybe. I’m personally a fan of it. As you hinted, there are reasons to like it-the visuals, the acting, and the music. I also find enjoyment in the characters and their interactions, and I also find the storylines to be enjoyable. Plus, it’s still better than a lot of the original EU nonsense.

But my main point is, the toxicity of the fanbase is what’s ruined the franchise. Do we have a right to criticize content creators when their work disappoints us? Of course. But we have no right to attack others based on their opinions.

Do you feel attacked?

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Thank high heaven, I haven’t been attacked based on my opinions. But the flamewars I’ve witnessed are ugly to say the least.

Absolutely. But unlike the Sequels, they managed to inject a coherent and compelling story into their rehashed basic plots, because they had Lucas’ vision of the hero’s journey behind them. The Sequels rehash the Originals mostly to gain fans who were left jaded by the Prequels, but they do little to no work to flesh out any of the characters or conflicts that they create within their reformatted structure, which is why they’re riddled with plot holes and inconsistencies.

Obviously their plan wasn’t too set in stone, then, if they allowed a director whom they hired to completely deviate from it and then leave almost no threads for the final film to pick up with…

I agree. But where is the line between “offering criticism” and “forcing everyone to be on your side?” I have seen many defenders of the Sequels accuse “haters” of being “toxic” and “salty” for offering simple, justifiable criticisms. I have also seen Sequel haters dismiss honest attempts at defending the Sequels. Both sides, in these cases, assume that everyone with an opinion about the Sequels is trying to force that opinion on everyone else, which isn’t true.

I agree that there’s a lot of toxicity in the Star Wars fandom. And yes, the task of pleasing millions is daunting. But is it impossible? No…and we should expect seasoned film producers like Kathleen Kennedy to understand the nature of criticism vs. toxicity. The 2008 Clone Wars series faced a lot of backlash in its first few seasons. But its creators weathered that criticism, and now the show is almost universally acclaimed. Why should professional filmmakers be allowed more slack for their failures than a small team of creators for a pet project TV Show?

I agree that it played a role. But I disagree that it’s the sole cause. Regardless of fan toxicity, Disney contributed a remarkably inconsistent trilogy. Their decision to not plan ahead was not one the fans had any influence over, as that kind of decision would have been made long before the Sequels came out. Had there been a real plan for this trilogy, it would have been better by default, even though negativity would have undoubtedly existed. The fact that fans are going to react negatively to some choices you make doesn’t justify going into a huge project with no plan–or, even worse, with a vague plan that you then allow your own employees to ruin…

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