Star Wars: Always reminded us that the fans define the story of Star Wars. So take a moment and enjoy what you love most about the franchise.
We’ve all had The Last Jedi argument till we’re blue in the face. I happen to fall on this side, and while not discounting racism and sexism from a small subset of Star Wars fans, I like to think the real reason why there’s been so much animosity towards The Last Jedi is it takes our favorite story and throws it away.
But, I’m not here to talk about that movie. I’m here because Topher Grace did what Topher Grace seems to do best: make awesome Star Wars content (ok you’re a good actor too, Topher).
His latest masterstroke is a compilation of all ten Star Wars films turned into a narrative mega-trailer that is essentially a pitch to anyone somehow living outside of the reach of Disney’s marketing machinery, or for fans, everything we’ve been missing. Another dork sider has published a great piece about it here.
He managed to take a whole bunch of content that we complain relentlessly about (see Episode I,II,III,VI,VII,VIII) and tell a story that a lot of diehard/purist/calluswhatyouwant fans enjoyed. To quote a friend of mine, “I got all those Star Wars feels I’m supposed to get from The Last Jedi scenes.”
Same, dude, same.
So, how’d we get the ‘feels’ here with the exact same scenes, same characters, and same dialogue? Because of a new context; a new interpretation if you will. Topher’s Star Wars: Always trailer reminded me of a larger idea that in my fugues of Star Wars fandom I often forget; our favorite galaxy, far far away is well…make believe. There are no wrong stories (no…not even The Last Jedi), and, more importantly, we all have ability to define our own version of those stories.
"We, the fans, ultimately make Star Wars."
So, let’s take a moment to appreciate what Disney, Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Rian Johnson (and a huge slew of others) have done. They’ve told a story the way they want. Sometimes in ways we like — and often in ways we don’t — but what’s amazing is that seems to have inspired fans across the world to tell those stories themselves, and fans (rebels?) haven’t exactly hit that exhaust port, but they’ve at least grazed the surface.
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It’s the golden age of Star Wars, people. Not because of blockbuster movies, a mediocre new kids show, or two Disney+ shows that seem to be heading in a great direction, but because the fans have never been more active in building and enriching the universe in every possible direction they can think of.
We got to enjoy a year of exceptionally made fan films that are just the tip of the iceberg of what’s to come. Disney and LucasFilm, to their credit, have given their blessing, perhaps partially because they know the fans who pay real, hard-earned credits to go to the parks, see the movies, buy the merch, etc., are the same ones pouring the hearts and souls into these projects.
Fans, when they use their power for good, have so much power that Disney even got their friends at Warner Music to back down after a licensing dispute on one of, if not the, greatest fan films ever made.
A fellow writer here at Dork Side did a great job compiling a best of the best fan films list from the past few years, but to all my slightly embittered fellow fans, ranging from the angriest troll already smashing Episode IX on Rotten Tomatoes to the everyone who hated how Luke’s “fight” with Kylo went, the time for action is now. If you don’t like how the story’s being told, tell your own – because I, for one, would love to see it told in every different way imaginable.
The technical capabilities are there. The will is there. Let’s keep the passion alive, and use the tools at our fingertips to make Star Wars exactly the way we want it.
Who says the Expanded Universe isn’t part of canon? Maybe Luke’s still the Jedi we want him to be. That’s the power of the fiction that George Lucas gave us; it’s taken on a life of its own. It’s time for a bunch of ragtag rebels to come together and build that galaxy the way they want. I look forward to seeing all the stop motion animations, Shakespeare soliloquies, lightsaber battles, and heartfelt stories to come in 2019 and know that the best years of Star Wars are ahead of it because something can only get better when there’s this much love.
What do you love most about the Star Wars fandom? Hit the comments and let us know.