I am literally as mad at Star Wars fans right now as I was at George Lucas after seeing Episode One.
Let me back up. I found the franchise when I was in middle school, late in the OG game, but when there was still but the original trilogy. My best friend at the time and I had an encrypted note-passing language derived from Star Wars symbols, and as we were Catholic school girls at the time, I will totally take credit for the “May the Force be with you….. and also with you,” rhetoric.
I even have to admit, I was so excited for the prequels; Star Wars for my generation. My mother bought be a 12” animated Jar-Jar Binks bank that Christmas. I was understandably naïve. Now in the advent of the final three films in the 9 “originally” planned stories, I have fought back my inner-rage against the creator for trying to control a brand that has long since left his domain. If not for EU, (and a potential Disney merger) there would never have been Episodes 1 – 3.
After THE Trilogy, Star Wars survived, and became more than was ever planned, more complex and far reaching than George “toy-boy” Lucas ever conceived. We embodied his world so completely we gave it an entirely new life through the Extended Universe. I say “we” only in the sense that I identify with it as a reader, I have done nothing of value to contribute to the zeitgeist. But this is why I previewed the Solo movie with a reserved hope. I have a very strong connection to the Han Solo Trilogy, and his true origins. I went as Bria Tharen for Halloween two years in a row, and had no issue explaining to everyone that asked why I was wearing a basic brown robe when I was already too old to be trick – or – treating, to say the least.
What I know to be true now, though it may be an unpopular perspective, is the double-sided sword, that there is a Star Wars for every fan. It has branched infinitesimally out in all directions, and there is no “true” version. There are kids today growing up with 7-9 as the films for them, just as I did with the -to me- disappointing prequels. Embracing the love and hate of your connections to the brand is what makes it so special.
What pisses me off, and why I am so mad, is that while the Star Wars franchise belongs to us now, we are killing it.-Me, 2018
Just as there is a version for every of a myriad of fans, there will never be one Star Wars film that makes everyone happy. It is too reminiscent, relying too heavily on nostalgia. It is too radical, they took too many liberties with the cannon. There is a giant bi-pedal duck creature posing as a diplomat. The biggest mistake we make is that every like or dislike is representative of the fan base as a whole.
There is no doubt in the power of the fan base in this digital age. I won’t go into it now but I think that this has been the absolute death of the DCEU, but the effect is the same here today as I punch-dance out my rage in the digital forest of my buried blog. We did it, we win.
We effectively tanked what I thought was a decent Star Wars film. The creators of Solo took some liberties, but I could tell that they had at least read the source material. Striker is way fucking cooler and explained a lot more of Han’s hidden talents throughout the film then that weird Proxima worm Lady. He is a sophisticated rogue, not a love-sick idealist. But he definitely was a Corellian orphan with dreams of becoming an imperial pilot. I even liked that they glossed over the Wookiee life-debt Chewie swore to Han for saving him from the Empire through very different circumstances.
My main point, should you care to take away from this, is that convincing the actor that played Rose to delete her Instagram is doing nothing to further the franchise that we love. And boycotting the latest spin-off is only going to hurt the fans in the long run (you want to see the Kenobi origin, right!?).
If you consider yourself a fan-person, consider this. Love Star Wars for the infinitely complex creature that she is and use your force-powers for good. It is as only as great (or terrible) as we make it.