The Star Wars fandom is currently in the midst of a full-scale civil war, mostly due to Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Is a galaxy far, far away beyond repair?
With Marvel’s Infinity War dropping over the weekend, a host of the most beloved superheroes and villains engage in all out war on the big screen. I have yet to see the record-breaking blockbuster, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about the Disney owned-film. Ironically, the fandom of another Disney owned franchise, Star Wars, is in the midst of a civil war of its own.
The Star Wars prequels which came out between 1999-2005 kickstarted the internal struggle. More than a decade later, that cold war has turned into a full-scale battle, thanks in part to Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
At first, it appeared to be a just a small portion of the Star Wars faithful expressing their displeasure in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. However, the more time carries on; the fandom is split down the middle — with a line drawn in the sand ( I hate sand).
There is no middle ground when it comes to Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Either you hate it, or you love it. Unfortunately, that’s caused a great disturbance within the Force, one that seems beyond repair.
I’ve expressed my pure joy and love for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. I feel the film challenged the status quo and was ground-breaking for a galaxy, far far away moving forward — with Rian Johnson knocking the film out of the park.
After expressing my love for the movie, our site (where I see every single comment and message) received thousands upon thousands of comments responding to my positive outlook on Star Wars: The Last Jedi. A substantial amount of the words I received went beyond disagreeing with my opinion and were flat-out hateful towards me personally.
We at the site were even accused of being Disney “hacks” who got paid off by the Mouse himself – I’m still waiting for this big “payday” to arrive in the mail, by the way.
For a while, I took it in stride and responded graciously, but the anger directed at our site (and towards me) kept growing. Such feedback encouraged me to write a few articles responding to the hate flowing through of a portion of our followers — starting with this piece here from early January.
Though I have wanted to address the matter for some time, of the 100-plus articles I’ve written since Star Wars: The Last Jedi dropped, only in three of them did I call out the fandom for what I believe to be toxic behavior. The rest of my content has been in line with the primary goal of our site, which is to embrace what we love about the Star Wars Universe.
I felt it was necessary to address this overflow of toxicity, not only on my site but many other Star Wars venues. Sticking up for the current Lucasfilm/Disney team and Star Wars: The Last Jedi didn’t sit well with some.
To be fair, I did write some blunt (but accurate) thoughts on the matter and even called out the behavior of some specific fans and sites, for which I received a great deal of feedback — most of it negative and, truthfully, some of it deserved.
Two YouTubers who responded to one of my articles, in particular, didn’t address the issues at hand but attacked me personally for voicing my opinion. These YouTubers in their videos and their followers within the comments section said many vulgar and untrue things about me — proving my very points expressed within my previous statements.
I’ve received messages on my personal Social Media pages from followers of such sites; expressions of hatred escalating quickly towards threats. I’m fine receiving feedback and even varying opinions on the matter, but tracking down my accounts to harass me individually is not the way to go.
I even had to heighten my security measures on my Social Media accounts to protect myself from such scum and villainy, after seeing vulgar comments about me and my wife, whose picture was on my profile — but not now, due to these recent events. That’s unfortunate because I kept my Social Media privacy settings minimal so I can interact more intimately with fellow Star Wars fans.
Also, calling me an “SJW” (social justice warrior) is comical — especially since you’ve never met me in person. Perhaps, I just like the movie and new content.
Yet, I’m the one accused of being a bully, for making observations and expressing opinions?
With a more gracious approach, SC Reviews addressed my recent article on this very issue, in a civil manner, and I appreciate his deep and thoughtful insight on the topic. This style of response is precisely what I meant when I closed out my previous article with:
"“I believe we will make great strides towards this goal if we discuss this issue in a civil manner and listen to one another – making progress towards a common ground of peace, inclusion, and reconciliation.”"
This exchange is a step in that very direction.
I won’t breakdown frame by frame what was said, SC Reviews did that on his own, but I’ll address the main points. The gist of the video, a response to me, was expressing their right to speak the truth about the state of Star Wars.
More from Dork Side of the Force
- Daniel José Older named a High Republic Adventures character after someone special
- How animation changed Star Wars: Ewoks and Droids
- Kelleran Beq comes to Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes
- The Mandalorian’s Pedro Pascal becomes No. 1 on IMDb’s Starmeter for 2023
- Unwrapping the Star Wars LEGO Advent Calendar: Day 7
He is correct; it’s okay to criticize the current regime for their choices, especially if you feel they need accountability. I believe my thoughts were lost in translation, or maybe I didn’t worthily express them.
I take no issue with him, or anyone else, addressing the current creative minds behind the existing Star Wars franchise. I agree that those with power need to be held accountable by the people.
The issue I have is the manner in which it’s been done, that’s all. Devoting an entire channel to angrily bashing and ranting against Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson, Kathleen Kennedy, and even the lovely Daisy Ridley, is not helping the fandom; it’s hurting it.
Accusing them of not caring about the Star Wars franchise is ludicrous, too, just because their take on beloved characters differ from where you wanted their story arcs to go in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Hop into the comments section of the two videos that attack me personally, and you’ll understand where I’m coming from — while getting a small taste of what Rian Johnson and Kathleen Kennedy go through each day.
A more effective way of expressing such displeasure is having an actual conversation, which I admit I’ve done a poor job of as well, but (finally) is what I’m attempting to do here — and what I believe SC Reviews was doing in his rebuttal to me.
I’m frustrated, for different reasons, as they are, and I feel we aren’t making any real progress — until now.
I’m glad you made this particular video. Now, we are one step closer to finding a common ground.
Maybe someday soon we can talk in person over cups of Jawa juice and continue to build bridges; not burn them. I believe “a new hope” has emerged.
May the Force be with you!