lazypadawan: (Default)
This time from hack Nikki Finke of Deadeyed Hollywood.

The set up is that on a special episode of “Extreme Makeover Home Edition” that aired the other night, some members of the 501st in armor volunteered to help renovate a family’s home. If you’ve seen the show before, you know that scores of volunteers are involved with these things.

Finke, whose heart makes the Grinch’s look ten times too large, decides this is synergy taken too far. The program airs on ABC, whose parent company is Disney, now the parent company of Lucasfilm. She blasts this appalling display of do-gooderism:

"I always thought reversing fanboy disgust over George Lucas’ unbridled filmmaking greed and turgid storylines and stilted direction would be the most difficult job facing Kathleen Kennedy and Bob Iger after their deal bringing Lucasfilm to Disney was announced a month ago. Ah, silly me. Because it’s oh-so-apparent that the truly Herculean task ahead will be assuring fanboys that Disney and Luscasfilm don’t further eff up the Star Wars franchise through unnecessary synergy. Disney doesn’t even technically own Lucasfilm yet. But already ABC ensnared Star Wars characters a year ago into last night’s treacly Christmas-themed special episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. 'I just saw the opening two minutes and they had Darth Vader and his Storm Troopers helping build a new house!' one Star Wars fanboy complained to me. 'This is disgusting and it’s exactly what people were afraid of with Disney buying Star Wars. They are ruining the franchise by using it for trivial bullshit. Please write about this. It’s outrageous and it’s totally wrong.'

Wow, calling Lucas greedy and a bad director and knocking charity in just a few sentences, all because some unnamed hateboy, if he exists, urged her to write about this so-called travesty. This was so bad even "Big Baby" Rob Bricken at i09 thought it was a bridge too far and referred this hateboy as the worst Star Wars fan ever.

Really? This is something to complain about?! “Extreme Makeover Home Edition” was cancelled a while ago, probably before this episode could have aired. Maybe ABC had some programming space open on its schedule so decided to air this Christmas-themed show. We don’t know how long Disney’s acquisition was in the works but I don’t think ABC or the show’s producers knew about it a year ago, and definitely not the guys from the 501st. Maybe I missed something but from the ads, I couldn’t even tell the 501st was involved. Even if it was Disney using one show to tout its latest member of the “family,” so what? The show has always shipped the family off to Disneyland or Walt Disney World for a magical weekend while Ty Pennington and Co. fix up the house. These folks suffered great misfortune, so they were getting a dream house and a mini vacation for free. Gosh, how awful.

These butt wipe excuses for human beings (Finke and the alleged hateboy, if he exists) are outraged over cosplayers rebuilding a house. Or is it mere posturing, faux outrage because people like Finke and the alleged hateboy look for any and all excuses to trash someone they don’t like? They hold Lucas to an impossible standard then eviscerate him when he doesn’t live up to it; a standard by the way that Finke probably doesn’t apply to anyone else. I’ve seen it happen over and over again in the entertainment press and in similar blogs.

No doubt Finke plans to go to war against Episode VII and the Star Wars franchise as a whole. Trust me, this was just the shot across the bow. Why? Because she thinks that will make her even more popular with an internet army of a-holes she believes are willing to agree with her. To her, Lucas—even as a retiree—and Star Wars need to be taken down. It needs to quench her blood lust to defeat something “big.” Even if they have to step on some 501st guys and a family that lost a home to do it.
lazypadawan: (Default)
Local10 finally posted a somewhat improved apology today, presumably by the original author, for the Celebration VI Mock-A-Thon:

http://www.local10.com/news/The-Force-failed-this-one-A-Star-Wars-fan-says-I-m-sorry/-/1717324/16511424/-/2f9l7oz/-/index.html

I guess that's the best we're going to get from this guy. Oh well.

The issue to me isn't so much "bullying"; I think it has been somewhat mischaracterized as such. I see it as journalistic malfeasance and part of a much bigger problem with the media in this country ridiculing people who are different from them. My undergraduate degree is in journalism and I'm appalled at how the business has gone from at worst mild condescension to naked contempt for its subjects. Ironically this happens after more than 20 years' worth of sensitivity training drilled into newsrooms. Stuff like this really makes me angry and the press just doesn't understand why most people don't trust the media anymore.
lazypadawan: (Default)
On August 30, Local10.com, a web site for WPLG 10 in South Florida (Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach) posted a slideshow of photos from Celebration VI with mocking captions like “here are thousands of men without a date." Several cosplayers and fans standing in line to see Mark Hamill were the most common targets (not to mention Hamill and Jake Lloyd). Not all of the captions were bad per se, but many were definitely beyond gentle humor and were quite insulting and mean. For some reason it took a few days for people to notice but when they did, hoo boy. Condemnations flew from all quarters of fandom, including from the 501st, Mandalorian Mercs, The Force.net, and Ashley Eckstein. Just to give you a taste, Geek Mom on Wired.com has captured for posterity one of the captions:

http://www.wired.com/geekmom/2012/09/cyber-bullying-towards-star-wars-fans-not-cool/

Local10.com took down the post, reinstated it, then took it down again, reinstated it, then took it down again. When I saw it, there was no byline on the piece and no comment section. Gee, you think this might upset some people? The worst thing about it was a disclaimer of sorts at the end claiming the “author” (whoever that may be) was really a fan too. Somehow, I doubt that. They tried to respond as well with kind of a faux sorry-if-you're-offended apology but that was taken down too. Local 10 started scrubbing its Facebook page, then shut it down.

I’ll get straight to the point here. Local 10 owes an apology. There’s no way in hell Local 10 or any other so-called mainstream media site would have covered a gay pride event with mocking photos of participants. Anyone who had done the same thing on a slideshow of the Special Olympics would have been strung from the nearest tree. It doesn’t occur to anyone to post mocking photos of fans going to see a football, basketball, or baseball game. Yet fans like you and me remain targets.

Local 10 isn’t some fandom or media or geek culture blog where I’m not at all surprised some loser wants to show how cool he is by trashing other fans. It’s supposed to be a professional outfit where there’s supposed to be professional standards. Was there an editor home? Why laugh at attendees instead of focusing on the gal with the gorgeous meadow picnic gown she made herself or the cute kids in Ewok costumes?

The San Diego Union-Tribune and the local t.v. channels do not make fun of Comic Con attendees. EVER. They all know those wacky kids and crazy geeks dump craploads of money on our town every year. From what I've seen of the Orlando media coverage of Celebration, it was respectful.

Whoever went from Local 10 to Celebration IV did a lousy job representing the credibility of his news organization and said organization’s poor reaction to complaints doesn’t reflect on it very well either. Lucasfilm and Reed MUST get involved. The PR departments need to get on the horn with WPLG's management and insist on a full apology immediately. Local 10 violated what fans consider a safe space in order to expose people to ridicule. This was a hit job, not reporting the news or covering an event. If WPLG management does not apologize, then I think that Lucasfilm and Reed should deny them access to future events and interviews.

I found this meme on Facebook:

lazypadawan: (Default)
Dear Entertainment Weekly,

So you think, based upon the sage advice of notorious prequel-basher Simon Pegg, that it’s “cool to like Star Wars again.” Unlike the mindless pop culture zombies who slavishly follow wherever you lead them, I don’t need anyone’s permission to be a Star Wars fan.

You see, I’ve been a fan 35 years, longer than most of your staff or readers have been alive. I’ve stuck with it through thick and through thin. Do you know when it was really uncool to be a Star Wars fan? Try 1985-1990. Marvel shut down its Star Wars title after writers couldn’t come up with anything more than fat green people menacing the galaxy. The original Star Wars fan club shuttered in 1987, just in time to celebrate A New Hope’s 10th anniversary. Kenner stopped making Star Wars toys. The first attempts at producing an animated t.v. series were gone by the time I started my senior year in high school. It seemed like by then Star Wars had fallen off of the cultural map.

Oh sure, by that time Harrison Ford was the biggest star in Hollywood, but he didn’t want to talk about those movies (still doesn’t). Yes we got the first launch of Star Tours, but that was at only one Disney park. Certainly, there was a 10th anniversary convention in Los Angeles in 1987 but it was far smaller in scale than any of the Celebrations of the past 13 years (and I didn’t go).

Nobody knew for sure if or when Star Wars was ever coming back. The first trilogy was over and remaining fans went underground, and with the exception of a small circle of zine publishers and fan fic writers, had to endure it alone. Read Steve Sansweet’s 1992 book “From Concept To Screen To Collectible.” He talks about how memorabilia and toy shows refused to let dealers sell Star Wars stuff in the late ‘80s. The 1990 edition of Dale Pollock’s “Skywalking,” a George Lucas biography, called Star Wars a ‘70s fad. Meet any other fannish types prior to 1991 and their usual reaction to your Star Wars fandom was, “Why are you still into that?”

By the way, 95% of those old fanboys who claimed they worshipped the holy trilogy back in the day abandoned it the second they got old enough for chicks and cars. Trufax, as your young readers might say.

There always were whispers of interest in the saga, people asking me if I knew anything (“sure, I’ll ask George the next time I see him”) but those were regular people. Not the precursors to today’s professional geeks. The media and Hollywood didn’t give a womprat’s butt about Star Wars. I certainly don’t recall very much about it in the early days of your publication.

When I started my fanzine in 1993, the letters I got from readers were like confessionals at an AA meeting. People were just coming to terms with the fact they still loved the Star Wars films. Over the next four years though, everything changed. The Star Wars bandwagon got rolling again.

But I’m guessing, given the media’s often short memory, the Era of Uncoolness you’re describing began in 1997 and if not with the Special Editions, then definitely with The Phantom Menace.

Guess what? This old school Star Wars fan embraced the Special Editions and the prequels. Just as I didn’t abandon Star Wars when it wasn’t cool in the mid ‘80s, I didn’t abandon it when you guys and your followers turned on it years later. Remember the Clone Wars movie? You people graded it with an “F.” I enjoyed it and saw the show’s potential right away. But four years later the show’s a hit, so it’s “cool” to like it now.

Whatever, EW. You don’t speak for me and you aren’t the arbiters of “cool.”

No Love,
lazypadawan
lazypadawan: (papageorge)
The NYT published an attention-grabbing interview with GL a couple of days ago, focusing mostly on “Red Tails” but also mentioning that this is Lucas’s last “mainstream” movie and he is “retiring” to focus on smaller and obscure fare.

Now if you’ve read most of Lucas’s interviews over the past 10 years or so, he’s been saying something along these lines for a long time. It’s nothing new. The climb over the hill has taken longer than expected, whether it’s the arduous process of getting “Red Tails” financed and released or getting Clone Wars off the ground. I think there are still things about the GFFA he loves and still wants to tell stories from that universe. I doubt he will ever be completely separated from it and I think ultimately, those charged to play in the sandbox will always need his input because he created that world. He still wants to do an Indy V, but that is iffy. There's the live action Star Wars show, even if that seems iffy as well. Maybe he'll get around to making his "Eraserhead," maybe he won't.

What grabbed the headlines though is the alleged reason why Lucas is backing away from the kind of movies that made him wealthy and famous. You guessed it, it was Darth Fanboy:

“’Why would I make any more,” Lucas says of the “Star Wars” movies, “when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?’”

Why indeed? Now if you’ve read most of Lucas’s interviews over the past several years or so, he’s been saying up and down, left and right there will be no more Star Wars films. It’s nothing new. But this IS the first time he’s openly admitted that Darth Fanboy has gotten to him. I don’t blame him. Like the NYT article says, instead of the studios telling Lucas how to make a movie, it’s the Star Wars version of Annie Wilkes telling him how to make a movie. Instead of chaining him to a bed and crippling him, the hateboys (credit A Certain Point Of View for that one) instead swarm onto the internet like French Revolutionary mobs and fill every comment section, message board, and social media site with heaps of hatred and scorn. They freak out if he makes any changes to the first set of movies but they feel free to come up with their own edits and pat each other on the back for them. As I posted on the Star Wars Facebook page—talk about a hive of scum and villainy—not even a proctologist has seen this many a-holes in one place.

The reactions are what you’d expect. One site derided Lucas for being petulant, never mind the several years’ worth of petulance from overgrown boys (and a few girls) who think they’re owed something and want to ruin fandom for everyone else. Maybe Lucas shouldn’t have put it the way he did, because it just tells the hateboys, “Okay man, you win. I’m done.” In fact, many of them are doing a St. Vitus Dance of victory, thrilled they’ve chased Lucas from the kingdom and now somebody else to their liking can run it and of course, let them put in their wise two cents. (Please let me know if Christopher Nolan or Peter Jackson have ever made a movie via inbox suggestions.) Somebody who will make Episodes 7, 8, and 9, a trilogy of geeky awesomeness that will totally negate everything from ROTJ through Clone Wars. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Except that’s not going to happen either. Lucas isn’t making any more Star Wars films and neither will anyone else. If he’s smart he will tell his kids at least 3 times a week do NOT let anyone get their hairy paws on Star Wars for as long as the movies are still covered by copyright.

Come to think of it, George, don't retire. I'd make Eps 7-9 those wacky little movies of your dreams, a galactic "Un chien andalou." Bwahahahaha...

Update: In the meantime, here's an interview with Rick McCallum:

http://collider.com/rick-mccallum-red-tails-star-wars-tv-series-interview/138426/
lazypadawan: (demons)
Let's be honest here: Star Wars Fandom, Inc. is one cesspool of misanthropy. At least it is in many quarters, especially on the internet. All it takes is anything new at all in the universe of films or even on Clone Wars and the whole thing just blows up into seething rage, hate, and fury. It doesn't help that many bloggers and pro entertainment/pop culture sites, publications, and t.v. shows fan those flames of discontent. For something that's supposedly a huge pop culture icon/phenomenon that makes soooo much money, it doesn't seem like very many people who invest so much of their lives into it actually like it. If you came from another planet and what you know about Star Wars comes only from the internet, you could be forgiven for thinking Star Wars is widely despised and George Lucas must be worse than Adolf Hitler, Osama Bin Laden, Charles Manson, and John Wayne Gacy combined.

Seriously, when was the last time you saw real joy and happiness in Star Wars fandom? *Shrug.* Maybe kinda sorta at the last Celebration?

You can't lay all of this on George Lucas either for making what are really just very minor changes over the years, which have happened almost constantly since 1977. After all, the first version of ANH I saw wasn't called "A New Hope," it was just plain "Star Wars." No, this has always harbored a lot of very reactionary fans. That crowd has only grown larger and louder over time. You see, I've been involved in Star Wars fandom for almost 20 years. My first fannish contact was with the fan fiction/zine crowd. This was years before rumors even surfaced about the Special Editions. Yet I still encountered people who found fault with everything and with Lucas. I never mentioned this before, but the first time I sat down to watch the existing trilogy with some of these folks, I was shocked that some of them were nitpicking all of the films. Didn’t like this person’s delivery. Oh look at that mistake. I never liked this scene. Yadda, yadda, yadda. In all of the years I’d watched the first Star Wars trilogy--in the theater, at home by my lonesome, with family, with friends, etc.—I had never watched the movies with a jaundiced eye like that. I watched them to enjoy them, to get re-immersed in that world, to find little things that made me rethink the story, and so forth. There was a time or two when I’d watched the movies with people who didn’t quite get them and with one wise guy who wasn’t really into that sort of thing, but these were fans. Before there were message boards, there were zine lettercols and there were some headdesk worthy rants in those. I vaguely recall complaints about Lucas’s refusal to “share power,” a whole lot of dumping on the new novels and comics back when I still liked them for no other reason than they were something new, and looking down on fans viewed as too pro-Lucas. There was one zine in particular that was so abrasively anti-Lucas, I dropped it. And this was one small slice of fandom prior to 1995!

When I first got wind of possible changes to the first trilogy during the summer of 1994, my first reaction was, “No, that’s not going to happen.” Changing anything about the existing Star Wars movies was to my much younger self was almost sacrilegious. As I put it at the time, it was like putting a bikini on Goya’s “La Maja Desnuda” (go look it up). It didn’t make any sense…until it made sense. I realized the Special Editions were in many ways a needed dress rehearsal prior to tackling new movies, and that included working with digital effects. If it made Star Wars fresher to younger audiences used to “Jurassic Park” or “Independence Day,” fine by me. In fact, while the fanboys griped about Greedo shooting first, what went unnoticed were the legions of new fans the movies attracted and the opportunity finally given to fans who had only seen the films on t.v. to enjoy them on the big screen. One of the additional benefits of the Special Editions is that the restoration process saved the negatives from total disintegration, which would have made future re-releases difficult if not impossible.

When I first got wind of younger, hot Anakin getting put in as a blue ghostie in the ROTJ DVD, my first reaction was, “Why?” Then I figured out why…it helped tie the movie in better with Eps II-III, which I think was the real problem the complainers had with the tweak because they don’t like Hayden and it ticked them off he was interfering in “their” movie.

To me the little tweaks are part of what keeps Star Wars fresh and alive, not a museum piece. It’s fun to find the little surprises. I think it’s great Lucas is trying to finesse it and have the two trilogies be as cohesive as possible to make an amazing whole. You may not think they are necessary, you may not think they are executed as well as they could have been. The Blu-Ray has tweaked the Greedo/Han shootout further and I think it’s the best execution to date based on a “leaked” clip (you know I have never cared about the whole shooting bit). But the constant meltdowns over fairly small things is perplexing to me, and far more disappointing than any “change” Lucas could ever devise. They're hugely embarrassing to me because it does not reflect well upon anyone who claims to be a fan. Seriously, it doesn’t despite the egging on from i09 or Gizmodo or whatever. When people who clearly aren’t Star Wars fans are referring to the angry bird fanboys as “Star Warstards” and “Star Wars f@gs,” you know folks are really getting sick of this crap. I’m sure the mentally disabled and gays are greatly insulted by the comparison. And well they should be if the best fans can do is to flame Katie Lucas’s or Bonnie Burton’s (!!) Twitter accounts, as though it’s all their fault.

“But, don’t I have a right as a fan to be upset?!” some of you might ask.

I can’t crawl into your head and tell you what you can and cannot find meaningful, even if I don’t understand why you find it that meaningful. But I have to wonder why anyone who says he or she loves the saga is willing to toss it all aside because of a single liiiittle thing. Don’t buy the Blu-Rays if you don’t want them but I think you’re cheating yourself out of the many POSITIVE things about the Blu-Rays in the bargain. (I will also say the same for those who wholesale reject the prequels or Clone Wars.)

Moreover, try to see it from Lucas’s perspective. It has to be hugely frustrating to have this vision in your head of how everything is supposed to look and what’s supposed to happen, only to find limitations put on that vision by cold hard reality: money, available technology, the collaborative nature of film and all of the egos that go with it, time, etc.. The Star Wars that lives in Lucas’s noggin is probably frustratingly just out of reach but with each new innovation, the reach gets shorter, and I think that is especially true with Eps IV-VI. So whenever he gets a chance to go back to it, he can make that Krayt call closer to the way he wanted it to sound or put in more creatures or something. He can make the connections between his first set of movies and his second that much more readable to the audience. While I’m sure most if not all filmmakers would love to go back and finesse their earlier movies, not everybody can and not every film has enough interest to warrant the effort. And we’re talking about something a little different here than a Woody Allen comedy and something bigger in scale than one-shot blockbusters.

Here’s the only thing I care about: I want people watching Star Wars long after I’ve bought the moisture farm. A century from now. 500 years from now. Only God will determine when Lucas has tweaked enough and perhaps he will, in blue ghostie form, continue to announce changes to whomever’s in charge.

Do read what Randy Martinez and Tom Hodges have to say about the topic:

http://artistrandymartinez.tumblr.com/

http://www.tomhodges.com/2011/09/01/haters-will-hate-always/#.Tl_zH67zZgk.twitter
lazypadawan: (facepalm)
Today I get around to the latest mini tempest, a C&D issued to a bar in Brooklyn that had planned to run a Star Wars marathon over 4th of July weekend. The hipsters running the joint proceeded to whine about it to everyone who would listen and it's of course followed by the usual blind fury and rage directed at that cold, evil George Lucas. The media always portrays this sort of thing as the "little guy" getting beat down by the "evil faceless corporation."

Well, Darth Media and Darth Fanboy, U.S. copyright law covers exhibition and performance rights. You can invite your friends and family over to your house to watch your shiny new Blu-Rays in September. You cannot take them to some public establishment like a bar or restaurant and show them to the patrons. The bar owner thought he could get around any issues by not charging cover, but he was using the movies to draw people into the bar to buy drinks. Duh! You wouldn't believe by the way how many businesses get nailed for playing music over the PA without paying ASCAP licensing fees. There was even a case where a band that sued a bar somewhere because it hosted a cover band that hadn't paid ASCAP licensing fees.

"But it's just a bar!" they whine. Well, if you let a few guys squat on your land, pretty soon you're going to have a whole squatter village all over the place. Moreover, Lucasfilm asserted in its C&D that it had suspended exhibition of the films. Why is that? Because they have Blu-Rays and movie tickets to sell!

Lucasfilm owns Star Wars. It can tell me to take down my fan fic. It can tell me to deep six my icons. It probably won't because I'm not a financial drain on the company. But it can do what it likes. If you don't like it, go lobby your Congress critter to repeal our copyright law. While you're at it, lobby the European Union to do the same. We actually changed our copyright laws to comply better with European protection for authors.
lazypadawan: (Default)
Producers for the “Oprah Winfrey Show” are looking for someone with “the ultimate” collection of Princess Leia merch/memorabilia, as reported on TFN and Club Jade, to feature on the program. I have no idea what the show is going to be about, but I have read rumors/speculation that Carrie Fisher and mom Debbie Reynolds are slated to appear on a future episode of the show. Maybe this collectors’ search is part of that episode, maybe it isn’t.

But I can’t think of anything more potentially awkward and embarrassing than to have the real person who played the focus of your collection drop by your house to see it. I may as well package up every non-PG-rated fic I’ve written and send them off to everybody who played those characters, CC: George Lucas.

Even if I didn’t mind sharing my collection of stuff in the way Elvis fanboy Nicholas Cage didn’t find anything peculiar about marrying Lisa Marie Presley, I would be greatly concerned about being portrayed as a weirdo, a freak, an obsessive nut, or even a stalker and that there is something creepy or unsettling about my collection.

I do have a large Star Wars collection, with a variety of stuff. But like many collectors not named Steve Sansweet with a big warehouse to store everything, there are certain items or characters that I’ll favor. A good friend of mine will buy anything with Han, Chewie, or the Millennium Falcon. I knew a collector back East whose collection focuses entirely on ROTJ Luke. He has a website and, yes, he did show pictures of his collection to Mark Hamill. I know of another guy who only collects sandtroopers and another who likes Jawas and Tusken Raiders. I love anything with Anakin, so long as the piece doesn’t really suck or it’s not too big or too expensive. I know another collector on the East Coast who collects anything having to do with female characters; I also favor Padme, Leia, Ahsoka, Asajj Ventress, etc.. There’s a woman collector whose focus is on Padme stuff. She worked for Official Pix.

But most of the Corn Nuts-munching couch potatoes out there watching Oprah don’t understand that about Star Wars collecting and I doubt the show’s producers would either. There’s a reason why I’m very wary of dealing with the lamestream media when it comes to fandom.
lazypadawan: (Sith on a plane)
Mommy, make it stop!

This is the second time this year some dope tried to spread a rumor there's a new "trilogy" on the way. Today it was IESB.net posting a blind item from an unnamed "super top secret insider" that there's a new set of movies in the works, due for release sometime after all of the existing films have been released in 3D. It makes total sense, right? Didn't they put the Special Editions out in advance of new movies?

Ah, but back then we knew there would be more movies. We'd known since the early '90s.

There are so many things off about this rumor, I have no idea why IESB.net ever posted it and why Wired.com jumped so quickly to report it. This new trilogy allegedly wouldn't involve the Skywalker family (what's it going to be about, Jawas?) and that it would "probably" be set in the Star Wars universe. Well, where would a Star Wars movie take place? Middle Earth? Even more absurd is the story that it might start with Episodes 10, 11, and 12, mysteriously skipping 7-9. WTF? Why, so Lucas can go back at age 100 and finally do that gap trilogy everybody's been dying to see? Will it explain why the Skywalkers were suddenly dropped?

This nonsense drew so much traffic to IESB.net, the site crashed and some poor schlub at Lucasfilm had to take time out of his weekend golf game or whatever to deny this preposterous story, which Wired.com posted.

Guys, repeat after me...NO MORE MOVIES. Got that? Yes, we'll see lots more Clone Wars, Seth Green's upcoming comedy series, and once they figure out the money aspect of it, that mythical live action show. We will see the six films in 3D shortly. But if Lucas were to wake up tomorrow with the idea of making more movies, it will be several years away and the man is now 66 years old. Give it a rest.
lazypadawan: (bashers)
Ever since I started writing fan fiction and getting fanzines in the early 1990s, I've always been befuddled by the attitudes of a small number of SW fans. There have always been people who resent Lucas for some reason and think that if only the GFFA was in their hands, it would be so much better. There have been know-it-all fanboys since civilization began. Sometime over the past 20 years they got together like some hellish Reese's peanut butter cup and it seems like with every passing year, they get louder, more obnoxious, and uglier.

As a result George Lucas is the Emmanuel Goldstein for unfocused and irrational nerd rage. The people who hate him loathe him beyond reason or logic, which is why I call it Lucas Derangement Syndrome. Really, what on Earth justifies it? But the internet echo chamber and the media have fanned it for so long, it has inspired a cottage industry for small-timers trying to get attention (and perhaps a shot at the big time). This is why we have basher-themed documentaries and epic-length scathing "reviews" on YouTube. They get a tremendous amount of press from the mainstream media and even got some approving nods from people in Hollywood. Because of that, you just know there's more coming which will keep feeding the hate.

Let's be honest. This is no longer about a love or passion for SW. It hasn't been for years. The kinds of people who are gleefully pumping their fists in the air over the YouTube bashfests don't really care about our favorite saga. The only thing they care about is being right. You see, they're just like the villain in "The Incredibles," the obnoxious fanboy who wanted to be a superhero but didn't have any powers and was only a nuisance. It turns out he's the supervillain later on in the movie. He creates all of these gizmos to give the illusion of power and then tries to destroy the superheroes he could never be. At one point he tells Mr. Incredible that "I've outgrown you." But we know he didn't outgrow anything; he's held on to this immature anger all of this time. These doofuses feel like Lucas personally betrayed them. Yet not every fan felt the same way they did. Moreover, the prequels were all very successful at the box office, they sold lots of action figures, and brought in many new fans. I think that upset them even further.

So, they're trying to win here by re-writing the narrative with the help of a compliant media always eager for controversy and an appetite to tear down a public figure. In the internet echo chamber, it's easy to find a lot of other loud voices egging each other on. They're trying to make sure the only thing that remains from that era 1997-2005 is their sound and fury.

Which is why they are viciously attacking any nail that can't be hammered down. Technology has made a society that's already rude, crude, and narcissistic even more so and nothing's a quicker getaway car than an anonymous internet comment. A couple of months ago, somebody hacked into the e-mail account of another SW fan site to send me (via SWPAS) hate mail. Yes, somebody went through the trouble of hacking just to do that.

But what's truly alarming is what happened this week on the Star Wars Examiner's page. The author posted rebuttals to the YouTube TPM basher. Not a single commenter who disagreed with the author bothered to actually argue his points. Instead they lobbed ad hominem attacks, outraged that someone out there actually LIKED TPM. They called the author "gay," wished for someone to beat up the author's son, and hoped the author's son would someday stab the author in the job. Absolutely sickening.

Yeah, that's what it come down to. I'm sorry, but anyone who writes something like this, or hacks into e-mail accounts just to get at me is NOT a good person and no one I would ever want to associate with. I was thisclose to cancelling my trip to Celebration V and you know, there's still four months where I could very well choose to do that, money be damned. This isn't passionate love for a childhood tale, this is thuggery.

I'm thisclose to printing up all of those comments from Star Wars Examiner and send them to Lucasfilm. These are the kinds of "fans" they have been desperate to keep? Thugs who throw around gay slurs and tell someone his son deserves to be beat up or that he deserves to be murdered by his son? Why?

Update: I've since found out that the author got comments concerning molestation and sodomy of his son.
lazypadawan: (bashers)
The folks at starwars.com have no pride. After over 10 years' worth of trashing all things Star Wars, trashing George Lucas, giving all of the prequel films bad reviews, and rewarding the CW movie with an "F," EW publishes a tribute to TESB's 30th and starwars.com cheerfully promotes it. Remember when things were so bad between EW and Lucasfilm, EW apparently didn't get to go to a press screening of ROTS? Remember when EW claimed that a young boy thanking Lucas at Celebration III was a staged stunt? I do. All of that and more. I've refused to buy a single issue of that magazine since 2000 and this isn't going to change my mind now.

All of those rare pix? You can find them on the internet for free. There's even a Facebook page dedicated to rare vintage SW pictures. The book excerpt will be in "The Making of the Empire Strikes Back," which I'm sure many of you are going to buy anyway. As for the rest of it, who cares what some staffer at EW thinks of TESB? I already know it's the only SW movie they think is worth anything because they've said so over and over.

EW can kiss my butt.
lazypadawan: (alliwanted)
I hate anything associated with Gawker Media. Why? All of their sites are written by a combination of Huffington Post and TMZ.com rejects, long on mudslinging and short on facts. Such as when it comes to Star Wars or Papa George.

Today its sf/f media site i09 posted a ridiculous item confusing the upcoming live-action show, author Karen Traviss's decision to quit writing Star Wars, and Clone Wars. Go look the damn thing up if you feel like it, I'm not going to bother to link to it. But it's amazing to me a site that's purportedly professional would run something like that without bothering to check for accuracy first. Or, maybe accuracy isn't so much the issue as it is a creative writing exercise that draws the usual Lucas-bashing and prequel-bashing.
lazypadawan: (boogie yoda)
After raising heck yesterday on Twitter and on SWPAS about starwars.com's Twitter re-tweet of a PT-bashing cartoon, starwars.com deleted the retweet and today there seems to be a curious uptick in PT-related tweets.

Just a coincidence, right ;)?

I'll have more posted on SWPAS later but thanks to any and all who helped score this victory for fair-minded, saga-lovin' fans everywhere!

Power to the people!
lazypadawan: (devil)
They have no respect for the PT or for prequel fans at starwars.com. Un-freakin-believable. Read the whole sordid tale here:

http://starwarsprequelappreciationsociety.wordpress.com/2010/01/11/starwars-com-twitter-rts-anti-prequel-cartoon/
lazypadawan: (Default)
Now that starwarscelebration.com has hotels available at its convention rate (hint: check other travel/discount hotel sites before booking), you'll have start thinking about what you're going to wear.

ShopStarWars.com has for sale several costume items that are movie-accurate and have prices to match. Some, like the Imperial officer's cap isn't too bad ($39.95), while others are crazy expensive (Obi-Wan Robe: $294.99). I saw a pair of shoes that are replicas of Padmé's shoes from AOTC. I don't plan on buying a whole outfit but the shoes are cute and I could use them IRL. They were $74.95 or something, which is pretty reasonable for a good pair of leather heels, which these are. When I first tried to pre-order them, the price on the drop-down menu shot up to $350! What? Who made these, Jimmy Choo? Manolo Blahnik? Which was the right price? After contacting ShopStarWars.com, it turns out the price was $74.95 after all.

If you head over to http://starwarsprequelappreciationsociety.wordpress.com/2009/12/19/the-ongoing-jihad-against-tpm/, you can read my lovely little rant du jour.
lazypadawan: (Default)
Gotta love a day when people are mostly goofing off at work, heh heh. This allowed me to find that the Today show cast got all decked out in SW costumes and played a round of "Jedi Jeopardy" in honor of Halloween. Some observations:

1. This has to be the most hair Matt Lauer has seen in decades.

2. In no way does Al Roker's SW-themed bedroom resemble mine. No sir!

3. During the Jedi Jeopardy segment, you can see Fozzie the Bear and Elmo watching in the background.

4. Watch the gropy Ewoks around Meredith "Princess Leia" Viera.

You can watch video of both the costume sequence and Jedi Jeopardy here:

http://today.msnbc.com/id/26184891/vp/33548204#33548204

You can also find photos here:

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/

Update:

Oh, it gets even better! Here's video of an Ewok moonwalking, then humping Al Roker's leg, followed by pushups and more humping. Be sure you're not drinking anything:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tyu0oCRXUMA

Update II:

From starwars.com's blog, it looks like Ahsoka and Cad Bane made an appearance on the Today show set as well:

http://starwarsblog.starwars.com/index.php/2009/10/30/snapshots-from-the-today-shows-halloween-fun/
lazypadawan: (headdesk)
Spread on the internet today was a rumor that they're going to make a third SW trilogy (all new) in glorious 3D.

Guyz, PLEASE.

Yours truly has been on the SW fandom bus for 32 years. Unlike the troglodyte knuckleheads who were all born 1980 something and whose knowledge about SW has been based on distorted rumors, assumptions, tropes, and urban legends, I actually have read just about every major interview and article about the topic. Lucas mentioned nine movies only once or twice, waaay back when. As time marched on, he never mentioned anything about a story post-ROTJ. Why? He had never really planned on it. If he ever talked about future Star Wars films, he only mentioned doing movies that took place prior to ANH. Why do you think they let those Timothy Zahn books and that "Dark Empire" comics series take place post-ROTJ? Because there have never been plans to make movies in that time period, while the prequel era was off-limits until there were actual films.

Use common sense here. Right now, Lucas is involved with Clone Wars and with getting the live action show off of the ground (which is about two or three years away), as well as producing the upcoming "Red Tails." He doesn't have time to bug with a whole new trilogy and even if he woke up tomorrow with an idea, it would be several years before anything would hit the screen. Lucas didn't start writing TPM until 1994 or 1995, even though he knew by about 1992 or 1993 that he was finally able to make the movies. Then came about two or three years of pre-production work, principal photography, and then about two years of post-production work. All told, 5-7 years, at least. And what would they be about anyway? The six part series is about Anakin's rise, fall, and redemption. Any new movies without Anakin/Vader would really be their own cycle, not true sequels to ROTJ.

Besides, I'm not really sure why the same people who hated every second of the prequels and spend every breathing moment of their lives complaining about them want to see more movies. What makes them think things will be different this time? No amount of wishful thinking is going to get whoever's flavor of the moment to magically sweep in and turn SW into whatever some jerk fanboy thinks it ought to be.

Now we all know that Lucas eventually would like to convert all 6 SW films into a 3D format but that little project is years away, if it ever happens. We don't know if in a year or two, 3D turns out to be yet another incarnation of a 1950s cinematic fad that keeps making comebacks.

People, we're more likely to see a Beatles reunion tour with all of the original members than to see an Episode VII show up in theaters. Just get it through your heads.
lazypadawan: (Default)
I'm tired of writing about this stuff and I'm sure you're probably sick of reading about it, buuut for some strange reason the official starwars.com blog decided to bring attention to the "jabs" the writers of CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory have made against the Clone Wars show. And not in a "write these SOBs and give 'em a piece of your mind" kind of way either. I've only heard one lame jab and it was in an episode that aired some months back. Even the blog entry notes the episode it referenced aired in November. Why bring it up now?

(See my comments to the entry.)

http://starwarsblog.starwars.com/index.php/2009/05/14/the-big-bang-theory-writes-lucas/#comment-164884

I have an idea...for Celebration V they can bring in Chuck Lorre and Simon Pegg for a panel to see who can slag Lucas and everything that came after TESB the most. *Eyeroll.*

Meanwhile, starwars.com published in advance a map and list of events for the first SW Weekend. The one I'm going to! I see Jay Laga'aia is signing, so I guess I'll have to pick up a FastPass. I've heard horror stories about the autograph FastPasses, i.e. people camping out since 3 a.m.. Any SW Weekends veterans have any advice for this novice?

Finally, they posted an article on five Westerns every SW fan should see. I've seen 'em all, nyah nyah.
lazypadawan: (headdesk)
With New!Trek upon us, the ugliest rivalry since the Yankees and the Red Sox could flare up again. First to light a fire and throw in some kerosene is our old buddy Simon Pegg, who plays Scotty in the flick. Pegg is famously a PT basher but now he thinks SW has no integrity!! From an interview with New York Timeout's website:

Star Trek, in the end, seems to have won the war, because it maintained its integrity, and now the effects are catching up as well. So you sort of get your Star Trek cake and eat it, too. I'm sure Star Wars fans around the world will want to kill me for saying that, and see me as a traitor, because I've always been a very outspoken fan of Star Wars, but I've never been publicly keen on the new ones.

It makes you want to look up at the ceiling and yell, "KHAAAAAAN!!!" Integrity? WTF is he talking about? Lucas made the movies he wanted to make, not kowtowing to fanboy nation or movie critics or internet dweebs. That's integrity.

Please tell me again why do people at Lucasfilm suck up to this guy?

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