Futurism logo

The Culture of Star Wars: How Fans Ruined the Franchise, Not Disney

by Jonathan Sim 3 years ago in star wars

They're beginning to sound like separatists.

Disney ruined Star Wars! They're trying to cram their feminist SJW political beliefs down our throats and they made a bunch of terrible Star Wars movies where they ruined Luke Skywalker! Why can't George Lucas be in charge?! AAARGGHH!!!

I've heard this way too many times. Every day, I just see a bunch of people who claim to be "fans" of Star Wars complain about Star Wars as much as they can. About how Disney ruined the Star Wars movies with The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.

Now, in the past, I've written countless articles talking about how Star Wars fans suck and how their criticisms are invalid and everything, but I'm not gonna do that today. I'm gonna be objective.

Today, I'm not gonna talk about my own opinions. I'm gonna be giving you a brief history on how Star Wars ended up like this, and how the fans of the franchise are responsible for what has happened to Star Wars. I won't be rude or pompous or anything. I'm just gonna be telling you the events like they happened.

Let's take a trip back to 1999...

After sixteen years without Star Wars films after the release of Return of the Jedi in 1983, fans were overjoyed about the idea of a new Star Wars movie. People couldn't wait for George Lucas to release Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.

The movie came out. And how did fans of the franchise react?

PEOPLE LOVED IT! Fans of the original trilogy were nearly unanimous in saying that the film was fantastic and a must-see. One person in the video even stated that Jake Lloyd, the actor who played 9-year-old, Anakin, stole the whole movie.

You see that? Almost every single one of those fans are radiating positive ideas and thoughts about The Phantom Menace. In fact, one guy in the video said THIS:

"It'll be a great movie twenty years from now. It'll be a part of six great movies...unless the next two really suck. But I don't think they will."

How were Star Wars fans so in love with The Phantom Menace back when it came out, when many currently consider it to be the weakest Star Wars film along with Attack of the Clones?

I think it can be chalked up to one thing: hype. There was so much hype around The Phantom Menace, and everyone thought it would be the greatest thing ever and when fans watched it, they simply wanted to like it. But when the hype died down, people ended up thinking, "Damn, that movie wasn't that good."

And then, the hate began. People complained about The Phantom Menace, people complained about Attack of the Clones, and the complaining never stopped. Everyone was f**king livid at George Lucas for "raping their childhood" with those s**tty prequels.

You can go to YouTube, look up "Star Wars prequels suck" and find dozens of videos criticizing the prequels. The hate for the prequels is everywhere amongst Star Wars fans, and the reason George Lucas sold the rights to Disney is because of all the backlash that he got for the prequels.

Now, I can't not partially blame myself because I've done my own fair share of prequel hating, but whenever I complain about the prequels, I don't try to do it in a mean, hateful way. My criticisms are constructive, and that's something that not all Star Wars fans can do, which is make levelheaded, fair criticisms.

People hated the performances of Jake Lloyd and Ahmed Best (9-year-old Anakin and Jar-Jar Binks, respectively), and these two actors got so much hate that Lloyd permanently retired from acting and Best was nearly driven to suicide. All because of Star Wars fans and their vicious attacks.

It wasn't just the actors who received criticism and attacks back then. As I said, Lucas also received a lot of hate for the prequels, which is why he sold it. This is a quote from Lucas on how the hate impacted him:

"You go to make a movie and all you do is get criticized and people try to make decisions about what you're going to do before you do it. You know, it's not much fun and you can't experiment. You can't do anything. You HAVE to do it a certain way. I don't like that. I never did."

Lucas tried to experiment with the Star Wars prequels by making them different from the original trilogy. And it blew up in his face. All anyone ever wanted to do was point out everything he got wrong and how he could have done so much better with his decision-making.

And Lucas didn't want to be a part of that. He wanted to experiment with new things, but he didn't want to receive any more fan backlash.

Every time Lucas made an addition or change to the original trilogy as well, he got hate for it. And when he made the prequels, he got hate for that as well. So, you can kind of see how he could start to get sick of it.

So, Lucas sold the rights to Disney. And Disney went in their own direction, with Lucas agreeing and disagreeing with some of the choices they have made in their sequel trilogy.

Let's think about this — if Star Wars fans hadn't given the prequels so much hate and if we had just kept our mouths shut about the quality of the prequels, would we be where we are right now in terms of Star Wars?

No. George Lucas would have still enjoyed making Star Wars films, and he'd be at the helm of Episodes 7, 8, and 9. Rian Johnson, Kathleen Kennedy, and J.J. Abrams would have no creative control, and Lucas would be making the new films.

But is that currently the case? No, it isn't. So, it doesn't matter if we think the Star Wars sequels are good or bad. What we know is that had Star Wars fans not given Lucas so much hate about the prequels, Lucas would likely still own the franchise, and he'd still have fun making these movies.

Now, some of us have criticized the Disney-era of Star Wars for killing off Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi, when in Lucas's original plan, Luke was to die in Episode IX, after training Leia in the Force.

But the way I see it, it doesn't matter, because since Carrie Fisher passed away after The Last Jedi, she would not have been able to make an appearance in Episode IX anyway, meaning that Lucas's original vision wouldn't have come to fruition, whether he was still in charge or not.

And there was some criticism over Disney releasing too many Star Wars films, and essentially milking the franchise. I think we can all agree that Star Wars-based films and TV shows are being released at a much higher rate than they were in the past, with Solo, Star Wars: Resistance, and The Mandalorian all having been released recently or to be released soon.

People also say that the recent Star Wars films suck, and I'm not gonna put out my own opinion on that just yet. The way I see it, if you don't like the new films, it's fine, but if you do like them, that's fine as well.

Because a few days ago, a Star Wars fan was reacting to the cancellation of the Boba Fett film by saying Kathleen Kennedy canceled it for having a male lead character. And when I responded criticizing him, many people started cursing me out. They called me a "f**king [N-word]" and made many attacks on me personally, and I quickly backed out of the discussion.

And all I want to say is—what happened?

Star Wars used to be something that united us. It was something that we could all smile about and enjoy. Now, Star Wars fans everywhere are spreading dubious claims and criticisms about the recent Star Wars films and arguing with everyone about it, calling everything terrible.

Why can't we just respect each other? Why can't some fans just respect fans of Star Wars with differing opinions? Because at the end of the day, these are just movies, and complaining about it gets us nowhere as a society. You know what complaining about Star Wars has led to?

It's fine to not like certain parts of Star Wars. I don't like certain parts of Star Wars myself. But the more we complain about little things like this, the less we're gonna move forward as a society.

Endless complaints about Star Wars is what made George Lucas sell Star Wars. So, if you complained about the prequels and you're now complaining about Disney's Star Wars films, you can't really blame anyone but yourself. Because you sunk your own boat.

And if you don't like The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, just know that these films are subjective. Some people actually like it, and some don't. There are children who watch these two movies and have an absolute blast. And that's a good thing.

There is no objectively good or bad Star Wars films, and opinions aren't facts. Complaining endlessly about these movies has brought us harm in the past, and if we're not careful, it could bring us harm in the future.

So, let's all just shut up and let the people who like the new Star Wars movies like the new Star Wars movies.

At some point, this Star Wars fandom just went wrong. And if we want to fix it, we're gonna have to go back. Back to 1999, when all of us could enjoy Star Wars and be respectful of those that didn't.

star wars

Jonathan Sim

Film critic. Lover of Pixar, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Back to the Future, and Lord of the Rings.

For business inquiries: [email protected]

Receive stories by Jonathan Sim in your feed
Jonathan Sim
Read next: The Girl in the Unknown Room

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2021 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.