Fandom: Was The Last Jedi really the breaking point?


When Star Wars: The Last Jedi causes a small rift within the fanbase, let’s consider the alternative.

Consider this for a moment, there was a time where we had seen the last live-action Star Wars movie to ever be made.  Thirteen years ago when Revenge of the Sith was released, it was a possibility that it would have been the last live-action Star Wars movie ever.  George Lucas had been saddled with so much hatred of the Prequel Trilogy he had resigned himself to the fact that he’d never make another live-action movie again.

ORLANDO, FL – APRIL 13: George Lucas attends the 40 Years of Star Wars panel during the 2017 Star Wars Celebration at Orange County Convention Center on April 13, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images for Disney)

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Now there’s a good portion of the Star Wars Fandom that seemed content with this fact.  Who could blame them? With the excellent The Clone Wars animated series, it seemed the future of Star Wars had found the perfect medium to deliver incredibly deep and profound stories.  We received stories that answered so many of our questions about the Force, Mandalore, The Clone Wars themselves, and if we’d ever see Darth Maul in action again.

Then the unimaginable happened.  Disney, which understood the power of Star Wars, decided to purchase Lucasfilm from a now-retired George Lucas.  Now for fans such as myself this announcement was met with unbridled joy.  I would be getting more of the Franchise I loved so much.  I had read plenty of the Extended Universe novels and comics, played my fair share of the video games, but this meant more new Star Wars. And in its intended form, on the big screen.

Is the House of Mouse getting underserved hatred?

For some fans of the Franchise this was the worst thing that could happen. Some people genuinely hate Disney. I personally don’t understand it, but there are certainly things I hate that people love. It genuinely seems for this contingent of fans, that no matter what Disney does with the Franchise they will hate it.  That’s their prerogative and it seems their negativity has been spewed all across the internet since the purchase.


BURBANK, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 28: (L-R) Producer Dave Filoni, actress Ashley Eckstein, and producer Simon Kinberg arrive at the Disney XD’s ‘Star Wars Rebels’ Season 2 finale event at Walt Disney Studios at Walt Disney Studios on March 28, 2016 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

For other fans the hatred stems from Lucasfilm’s decision to remove the popular Expanded Universe from Star Wars Canon. Although these stories are still very much available for consumption and have been renamed Star Wars Legends, for fans who had invested so much time with the EU it seemed like a genuine slap in the face.


Star Wars Tales # 18 Cover; Marvel Comics

The move however was the only logical choice if the desire was to move forward making films.  With so much material having been created regarding both the time before the films and the time following the films, how could Lucasfilm possibly make a movie and keep all Star Wars fans happy.  And at the same time how could they make a movie that the casual film audience didn’t need an appendix to follow what’s going on.

Related Story: Paul Bettany on Solo criticism.

Moving forward with Star Wars

As we move forward without the former EU it appears criticism of The Last Jedi lies in and around story choices. This in and of itself is understandable. The vitriol behind the criticism however is not understandable.  

However impassioned we feel about the Franchise, as fan we don’t own it and it’s not solely ours.  The Franchise is supposed to evolve beyond what what we remember. It’s how the story lives on for a new generation of fans that can relate to these new characters better than we do. And the reality is we may not be wholly attuned to what they symbolize as a whole. 

With the news that The Clone Wars series  is returning coming out of Comic Con, and all the other new content being created it’s a great time to be a fan. If it’s no longer the Star Wars you love and remember, you can always watch the Original Triogy and read Star Wars legends.  But please don’t ruin the fandom for the rest of us.  There are real fans who genuinely are enjoying the new stories being told.

Star Wars Episode IX is scheduled to hit theaters in December 2019.