Why so much hate in the Star Wars fandom?

Why so much hate in the Star Wars fandom?

By: Gerard Baer (Editor-in-chief)

 

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” – Master Yoda

Star Wars.

Since May of 1977 it has been the focus of the dreams and fantasy of many kids, adults, and kids who grew into adults. One of the first and strongest memories I have is watching Star Wars on the big screen that very year. It has always been something that has brought me great joy. I loved playing with my Star Wars action figures, ships and play sets. I loved playing Death Star escape or The Battle of Hoth with my brothers and friends. There were numerous books written after the release of Return of the Jedi. In 1999 we were given the first of the 3 “Prequel” films. This past year, we enjoyed the thrill of a new Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens. Several generations of Star Wars fans have been born from these films and the books that were written. My 6-year-old son may quite possibly be a bigger fan than myself, and that is saying something. The sheer number of people who have loved and enjoyed sharing in the fandom of this franchise is staggering. Yet today, I am saddened by the state of the Star Wars fandom.

You see, today I have been discussing a small but vocal part of the Star Wars “fandom”. I am speaking of the hate and disgusting tactics of some disgraceful individuals who claim to be fans, but have in reality demonstrated that they have serious personality and social defects that need immediate attention. Let me explain…

When George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney, it was a good thing. It meant that there would be new Star Wars content coming for all of us to enjoy. In order to have the creative flexibility and freedom to create this new content, many hard choices had to be made by the team at Lucasfilm. There were so many books written, some with wild and crazy plot twists and timelines, and some plain old bad stories, that there had to be a line drawn as to where the true canon started and stopped. This had to be done in order to move forward in a coherent way with the new stories. The problem is, there are some beloved stories that many fans have read and loved for many years, that had to be placed in the “non-canon” category. This is an unfortunate effect of creating new content going forward. When you pay $4 Billion for the intellectual property of a company, you need to find a way to maximize the revenue of that franchise. This is business 101. Some are completely out of their minds upset that Disney bought the franchise and in their narrow view have come to the conclusion that Disney will “ruin” Star Wars. To these people I say this…don’t go see the movies or read the new books and comics. Period. End of discussion. Like any other product in the market place, if it is not well received it will fail. Lucasfilm has shown with the documented success of The Force Awakens, that they have made the decision to show up to play. And they have knocked it out of the park.

The problem is, there are some delusional individuals that can’t accept the changes that have been made, and actually live in a fantasy world where they think that they can influence the decision making process of one of the biggest, most successful companies in the entertainment industry by spewing hate and discord. What has saddened me, is how sad and pathetic these terrible people are. They take their hate, and verbally assault those who don’t stand with them in their ignorant viewpoint and beliefs. They have even taken to making threats to people in different parts of the fandom, to the point where some are actually taking a step back from enjoying the discussions with like minded fans due to such threating actions. This saddens me. When someone has to stop enjoying something they love due to the hateful actions of someone who only stands for hate and anger, it may be time for all of us to take a step back and think about what is actually happening to the Star Wars fandom and society as a whole.

Why so much hate in the Star Wars fandom?

First, we can all agree that this is a fictional universe, correct? If you cannot answer “yes” to this question, please stop reading now. Go talk to a mental health professional today. I wish you well on your path to recovery.

Second, can we all agree that hate speech and threats have no place anywhere in life, including the Star Wars fandom? If you cannot answer “yes” to this question, please see response to answering in the negative on the first point.

When did it become acceptable for someone to lash out and issue hateful comments and threats to fans of a Science Fiction/Space Fantasy franchise?

When did it become acceptable to mock a dying fan for wanting to see the new movie prior to his death?

When did it become acceptable to question the motives and timing of J.J. Abrams, Lucasfilm and Disney for their kindness in fulfilling this fans dying request?

When did it become acceptable to mock and question Mark Hamill and John Boyega for supporting the decision to allow this fan to view the film?

When did it become acceptable to attack and threaten fans because they accept and enjoy the new material?

Why so much hate in the Star Wars fandom?

Some of these “EU Militants” exercise this vile behavior via Facebook groups, Twitter accounts and other forums. Some of these people have actually put together a plan to have their message of “bring back the EU” on a billboard near the Lucasfilm headquarters.

These same people attempted to publically coordinate an effort to ruin the viewing of The Force Awakens for other fans by purposely posting story spoilers in various places. Nice people, huh? They should all be completely ashamed of themselves.

To these people I say, it’s time to accept the facts of the matter and find a way to enjoy your fandom without the need to actively hate what others love.

The funny thing is, some of these individuals who have been tearing their garments and lamenting over the loss of their beloved “EU” are the same fools who hate the “Prequel” movies. So let me get this straight: You hate that the old Lucasfilm sanctioned “EU” was made “Legends”, but using the other side of your hypocritical mouths, you completely bash every aspect of the Lucasfilm sanctioned Episodes 1-3? There are people who hated the prequels so much that they “re-wrote” them. Let’s just say, we are all better for them NOT being writers for Lucasfilm. But this is the kind of garbage that is permeating our fandom. There are members of Facebook groups that use PM’s viciously against other members in posts and cry “I am a victim!” when PM’s they have viciously sent to members are made public. The funny thing is, these hypocrites have employed the same tactics over and over again. It is grade school level nonsense. Some of these individuals are just melancholy attention seekers who bring nothing positive to the fan base in general. I have a hard time believing that some of these individuals are adults.

Why so much hate in the Star Wars fandom?

Some of these hater fans are completely boycotting everything new coming from Lucasfilm. What exactly do they think they will accomplish by doing this? They are missing out on all of the new stories. How can you just ignore Rebels? That series is fantastic. How can you ignore The Force Awakens? Rogue One? Episode VIII? They are most certainly only hurting themselves.

There is a lot of talk about what a “true fan” is. When I say “true fan,” I am not basing that on the parts of the franchise you like or don’t like. A true fan is someone who can agree/disagree/discuss with out spewing HATE. If you are a TRUE fan of Star Wars, we must band together to repel this hate and drown out the small but vocal group of hate mongers that seek only to destroy and mock. A true fan would also be a decent human being.

We MUST create a movement to stop this type of behavior. We MUST take a stand to promote the franchise that we love and ignore the hate. The way we do this is by completely ignoring these individuals. Every time someone engages with them, they win. In reality, the only thing they can do is get under our skin and make us upset. And we are the only ones who can allow them to get to us. Cut them out. Cut them off.

This is in no way a general statement against fans of the “EU”. This is not a rant against the “EU” or “Legends”. It is a rant against HATE. There is a ton of great content. I myself am a big fan of the “EU”. There are many fantastic books that I have read, and Lucasfilm’s decision to classify them as “Legends” does not diminish their appeal or entertainment value.

Let’s get together and celebrate what we love. There are so many REAL things wrong with the world today. Many of us use discussing Star Wars as an escape from the struggles of reality. This is, after all, a fictional release from real world issues. This article will be posted on our group (The Alliance of Star Wars Fanatics) blog and shared with all of the groups we know that share similar values.

I hope I did not come across as being too sanctimonious, but some of the discussion and events of today inspired me to put some of my thoughts down, and share them with all who care to read them. Please feel free to share this article, or just the sentiment of the article.

Why so much hate in the Star Wars fandom?

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” These words may have been spoken by a fictional character, but have real life application that can benefit all of us.

We must promote what we love, and leave the hate behind.

Right now…come over to The Alliance of Star Wars Fanatics (Click group name to visit!) to discuss this and other STAR WARS news!

 

Gerard Baer is the creator of www.taoswf.com and Senior Administrator for The Alliance of Star Wars Fanatics, and Administrator for Star Wars Exposé & Star Wars Fanatics Facebook groups. He is also the Co-Founder of The Alliance Group, along with all their associated properties. Main duties include Webmaster, content creator and graphic designer for www.taoswf.com, as well as general all around control freak.

Gerard Baer

Gerard Baer is a Managing Partner and Creative Director for The Alliance of Star Wars Fanatics (TAOSWF) and www.taoswf.com, along with all their associated properties. Main duties include webmaster, content creator and graphic designer for www.taoswf.com, as well as general all around control freak. He has been a Star Wars fan since seeing "A New Hope" in 1977 at age 4, and always will be. MTFBWY...ALWAYS!

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5 Comments

  1. RedMetalhead April 15, 2016
  2. Jimmy Edwards April 16, 2016
  3. Jan Ors April 16, 2016
  4. RedMetalhead April 16, 2016
  5. The Watchman April 18, 2016

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