I was introduced to a saying some time back, and I think it is really appropriate for the state of the Star Wars fan base. Now, for perspective sake, I am not looking to bash the community that I love so dearly. Rather, I am hoping to identify sources of issues so that our once wonderful, now borderline toxic community can be repaired and get back to what we once were.
That saying is “No one hates Star Wars like a Star Wars fan”. I used to equate that to a lack of knowledge or just passion for the universe. And then I began to equate the hatred with a bit of both, the lack of knowledge and passion. These days, well, I do try to examine the source more. How well-researched is their point of contention? Is it just a Kathleen Kennedy blame game, or is there more to it than that?
And again, for the record, I have zero problem with someone disliking something when they have a point and aren’t just waving around the buzzword-filled Kathleen Kennedy hate flags. Personally, I have had several people come on my show and talk with me about the things that I was very unhappy about inside both the prequel-era movies and our new sequel-era movies. I love having a discussion with people whose viewpoints differ from my own. People whose thoughts and feelings are outside my own little bubble.
Here are a few points of contention for Star Wars fans and we will see if we can find ways to mend our galactic fences …
Okay, let’s address the 1,000lb elephant in the room first. Kathleen Kennedy gets a lot of hate for doing her job. Sadly, many don’t understand the role of a movie producer and assign her hate for things she is not responsible for when it comes to the movies. Kathleen Kennedy doesn’t write and doesn’t direct, she is an Executive Producer who oversees the production and assists the director in executing their vision. (Click here for a great explanation of what an EP actually does)
This, however, doesn’t absolve her of complete blame since she is also the President of Lucasfilm.
But at some point, the blame has to go to the people hired and put into the positions. JJ Abrams and Rian Johnson didn’t work well together and didn’t make a cohesive story between the two of them. So does she get some of the blame? Sure does. She hired the people, put them in place and they failed. But you can’t blame the manager of the burger joint because your McRib wasn’t built right. You address it with the manager, and hopefully, they fix the issue with their staff. Kathleen Kennedy has done this. There is a reason you see the Holy Filoni (hallowed be thy name) and his favorite Favreau in charge of a lot of Star Wars moving forward with Filoni being installed as Executive Creative Director. We made it clear that we didn’t like the McRib that was served. We complained to management and she got new staff to serve better burgers.
Just because you don’t like something moving forward in Star Wars, doesn’t make it Kathleen Kennedy’s fault. Maybe you’re just hating it because it’s the popular thing to do? Maybe …
It’s just too woke
We aren’t going to spend a lot of time on this. Everyone deserves to be shown kindness and respect. EVERYONE.
If you think that Disney and Lucasfilm are too “WOKE” because they wrote in some characters to help girls and marginalized members of our communities have someone to look up to, then the problem ISN’T with Disney or Lucasfilm and diversity. The problem is with you.
Ask yourself, why should I be the only one who gets to have heroes?
Disney ruins everything
But does it? Does it though? Does it REALLY? The quick answer is no. The long answer is also no, but just takes longer to get there. The honest answer has more to do with you not liking what they made, and that is fair. But, because it wasn’t written how you would have written it, starring who you would have cast, or allowing diversity of characters into the story, doesn’t mean that it’s ruined.
What it means is that it just isn’t for you, and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean that you should try to tear it down for everyone else. That’s not OK. Let other people like what they like, and dislike what they dislike. Disney has many people of varying cultures, upbringings, likes and dislikes, and other variables to keep in mind when creating content. So it’s not that Disney has ruined something, it’s that they have made it more accessible to a wider audience.
Sometimes the things they make will appeal to you and an audience similar to you, and sometimes it won’t, and that’s OK.
Disney isn’t to woke, they haven’t ruined everything, and Kathleen Kennedy isn’t out to take away Star Wars from you. It seems to be the opposite, at least for the Kathleen Kennedy portion anyway. If anything, during her time of oversight we have seen more Star Wars than ever before, and I welcome it. Bring it on!
Some things will be a swing and a miss … it’s bound to happen. But that just means we line up for the next one and see what happens there. But I have faith in Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau, and their body of work should give us all hope when it comes to Star Wars and the love they put into the shows.
So just remember, it’s OK to not like something from Star Wars. It’s not OK to be toxic about it. And I hope you didn’t take any of this personally… we can all do better & be better.