(NOT originally written for Jedi News because they would probably never post this, nor would I ask them to)
Should I go see The Force Awakens?
Disney has completely thrown out George Lucas' story for Episodes VII-IX. They have reneged on a condition of the Lucasfilm sale and cut the creator out of his art.
They have repeatedly alienated Star Wars Fans by perpetuating a bold-faced lie about production methods to try and appease mainstream geekdom.
J.J. Abrams hired as a “consultant” a man who has said horrible things about this franchise and its creator (and still dares to consider himself a "fan"), and has stated that the nods to I-III shown in the trailers will be removed in favor of "something of our own", like the boring reused X-Wings and TIE fighters.
So, here's my dilemma right now.
If I go and spend money to see The Force Awakens, that will be condoning the abuse levied on me and mine by the powers that be and showing them that they can keep catering to horrible people with no repercussions.
If I vote with my wallet and disavow Disney's Star Wars as the Expanded Universe it so clearly now is without George's input, I not only give up any and all rights to judge the films themselves, but I open myself up to accusations of hypocrisy no matter how different the circumstances are.
I don't know the right course.
Is option A the Senate blindly supporting Palpatine, or Luke throwing away his lightsaber and refusing to kill his father?
Is option B the Rebellion taking out the Death Star, or is it Anakin letting his passion turn him to the dark?
Do I stand and fight or learn to let go? Both options go completely against my very core values.
And if it seems like I'm taking this too seriously, well, you may be right. At the end of the day, Star Wars is, after all, just a series of silly space movies. Movies that continue to touch the hearts and minds of millions, movies that changed the way movies are made, but movies nonetheless.
But this has never really been about the movies. I mean, of course we love them. Of course they have had a profound effect on our way of thinking and our way of life. But they’re really just stories. Touting their merits and proving that they aren't as objectively bad as mainstream geekdom would have you believe is a means to an end.
We have a culture where people are bullied mercilessly for liking something. We have a culture where subjective opinion is treated as objective fact and dissenters are shunned.
We have a culture where people can take someone’s personal expression away from them, send them and their families hate speech and death threats, do the same to anyone who helped the project and anyone who liked the final result, and all because their artistic vision just happened to clash with the fanfiction you wrote when you were eight years old. Then, not only does one not receive any kind of consequences, but one is actually praised for this.
The extreme haters created a war when they decided to be extreme about it. And when those of us rational enough to just like what we like refused to get sucked into it, we inadvertently let them win.
I have never once cared whether or not anyone actually likes any part of Star Wars. I couldn’t care less. I’m not trying to force my own opinions down anyone else’s throat. I just want to be able to say “The Phantom Menace is my favorite movie” without being lynched. Without being screamed at 1,001 reasons why I’m objectively wrong, all of which being lies, misconceptions, hypocrisy, or plain old opinions.
I would never do that to anyone, and it pains me when people compare my indignation over the sanctioned bashing of the Force Awakens Marketing Campaign to bashing itself.
But I’ve been saying all along that the movie deserves a chance. That I would not judge the film until I’ve seen it, in fact several times. But when every new thing to come out makes it look like a remake of “New Hope” made by people who don’t understand what George Lucas was all about in the first place, it makes it that much harder for me to want to see the film.
So what do I do?
Do I fight?
Do I relent?
Or do I just walk away like I almost did months ago?