The fandom minute: ESB in Entertainment Weekly, TPM/AOTC reviewer speaks

On the newstand. The 30th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back (and the upcoming Making of The Empire Strikes Back) lands the cover of this week’s Entertainment Weekly. The issue will be on stands (and hopefully in subscriber mailboxes) on Friday.

Prequel madness. With the release of his Attack of the Clones review, MTV has a an two-part interview with Mr. Plinkett/Mike Stoklasa of Red Letter Media for a sitdown on the reviews, copyright, mocking, and backlash. Meanwhile, Bryan Young continues his defense of The Phantom Menance.

Chartage. It’s equal mockery under the law for Star Wars, Star Trek, Firefly, Avatar and Lost fans in the sci-fi superfan reference manual.

Younglings. Head over to Offbeat Mama for Darth Aesop’s Death Star party. The balloon sabers are particularly brilliant.

Cake! Neatorama spotlights Star Wars cakes.

13 Replies to “The fandom minute: ESB in Entertainment Weekly, TPM/AOTC reviewer speaks”

  1. Bryan Young’s rebuttals to that 70 min. Phantom Menace “review” are quite good. Unfortunately, the comments under his articles at the Examiner site are nasty, vicious & hateful. Sad that this is what things have come to, nowadays…

  2. Holy cow, things are getting awfully heated over at Bryan Young’s rebuttals. It’s kind of cracking me up that so many people are so willing to start pointing fingers and calling someone stupid for having written this rebuttal, or for having named his son “Anakin”

    Seriously, have they never heard what celebrities name their children? Apple, anyone?

  3. They’re mostly on part 4.

    People are going to be assholes on the internet: That’s why the comment moderation queue was invented. Maybe Bryan figures that making the few folks to take this seriously enough to say flamey things makes them look like the trolls they are… ::shrug::

    IMHO, if they can’t be bothered to be somewhat courteous than they should go in the trash. Giving them a spotlight, much less a reply, only breeds encouragement. But I think I have a lot less patience (or relish or a point to prove) than he does. ;)

  4. Dunc,
    There may be only a handful at the Big Shiny Robot site, but at the Star Wars Examiner blog on, where Bryan is cross-posting these articles, they are out of control…with attacks against Bryan and his son, and anyone who disagrees with him. Taht’s what we’re referring to here.

  5. I originally didn’t realize they were paginated on BSR, which is why I edited my comment.

    I really, really don’t get the passion (in either direction) that some folks feel for the PT (I enjoyed the Youtube review because that kind of overreaction is part of what they’re satirizing) but personally insulting people and their kids is just out of line. But again, that’s the internet for you.

  6. Well, I’ve had a good time annoying some trolls over on the Examiner, and I’m glad to see that the people who were making inappropriate comments about Bryan’s son got their comments taken down. I was also glad to see that whomever commandeered my posting name got their first comment taken down. I really don’t enjoy it when people use vulgarities like that (assuming you saw the initial comment), even if they are anonymous and on the internet.

  7. This is probably a sign that I spent far too many years as a message board moderator, but my patience with trolls is pretty much nil, salt-the-earth style.

    I don’t know how much moderation power Bryan has (suspect it isn’t much,) but those Examiner comments are a shining example of why you need real people manning these sort of things.

  8. I don’t have much control over the comments. And I think they need to not be anonymous.

    And I love the prequels and these reviews were just meant to let people who like the movies and are sick of being beaten up on by the prequel-bashers a place to have a rational argument against the Red Letter review. Of course, the RLM review had its funny parts, and I think Phantom Menace could have been better, but I love it as is, and don’t need to criticize it for what it isn’t.

  9. Well, I meant real people moderating. There are valid reasons to be anonymous (or use a pseudonym) but flat-out insulting people is abusing that privilege.

  10. I posted a message on the 2nd MTV thread in response to the article. It went something like this:

    “Of course Lucasfilms is courting a younger fanbase. By the time the next major anniversary rolls around, most of the older fanbase will be DEAD! And I mean that literally; the original fanbase is getting older and so is Lucas – they’re growing old together, except Lucas is enjoying his approaching twilight years while the older fanbase is turning into that grumpy old man who’s always yelling at kids to get off his lawn and mumbling to himself about things no one understands. Some of them are even becoming senile and psychotic, justifying every stereotype every comic and pop celebrity has ever had of them. Lucasfilms has to cultivate a new generation of Star Wars fans in order for the series to survive. These aren’t Star Wars fans. They WERE Star Wars fans, a long time ago, before they started to hate everything that disagreed with them, from Lucas to other fans, and even their own love of SW. If the series sticks solely with them, the series will die. Lucasfilms knows this, and while they let these guys get away with their tirades, they’re not willing to gamble away their money making empire on people who will die of old age in the next 25 – 30 years.

    That’s why many series that were once popular are now dead. They never bothered to seek out a new fanbase, so once the old fanbase died, that was it. Indiana Jones has faded from the public spotlight because of that. Indy was big in the 80’s, and a part of him has remained there. Yeah, Indy is still pretty popular in the mainstream. But it has NOWHERE near the global appeal of Star Wars.

    And the creators of Robot Chicken…these are the guys you’re saying are devolving Star Wars with their projects? I thought that a hugely popular special that got praise from everyone, original fans and newcomers alike? Yeah, I’m sure Seth Green and his cohorts would like to hear that – your incredibly wise opinion of their work. *sarcasm* $20 says they respond back to this guy and verbally kick his ass. Actually, scratch that. They’ll probably parody him in their series. *evil grin*

    If I remember right, plenty of series have catered to little kids and younger viewers – starting with Batman, in its current “The Brave and the Bold” incarnation. Hell, that did worse and devolved all the way back to the 1960’s campiness! Why shouldn’t Star Wars be allowed to do the same? This is just setting kids up so that they know the characters, THEN they can appreciate the grown-up stories later on when they’re older. I can’t believe how many older Star Wars fans literally hate kids. Believe me, they *literally* hate kids – I’ve heard stories about their abuse.

    The problem with the OT is that everything is rebels vs Empire. Rebels vs Empire, Rebels vs Empire, bounty hunters occasionally pursuing the heroes, Rebels vs Empire…that’s all there is! That’s why you can’t do a new series set in the time period of the OT, cartoon or movies alike. Unless you change something drastic, like let Anakin live and bring back some Sith Lords, you will only have a basis of starfighter battles, which gets old eventually. The OT period just isn’t suitable for world exploration, the way the PT is. Writers have tried to do it with the EU, and people pick them apart at every turn. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. If they add new settings and original characters, and try to create interesting new storylines, they don’t want to hear anything about it. Unless a project is basically wanking to the image of Luke, Leia, and Han, while Harrison Ford lurks in the back and grumbles about how much Star Wars didn’t make him (including the OT: yes, he hates that too, fanboys; don’t delude yourselves), fans don’t want to hear about it. The OT may have the superior movies, but the PT has the superior world. There are so many directions you could take with the Old Republic setting, you have enough material to last you for fifty years of stories. Not so with the Rebellion period.

    It seems the OT fans want the series to die with them. They were the ones who first saw Star Wars, and they want to be the last ones who experience it. I’ve even heard people saying they’re raising their kids not to like any Star Wars movies, which is insane. So you’re not even going to let the kid decide on their own whether or not to hate the movies or accept some and hate others? You do realize this is ensuring that Star Wars dies out with this generation, and that no one remembers it 25 years from now. The older fanbase wants a remake, where Han will be the main character and everyone will move around in bullet time. But that’s the big trick. If they kill off Star Wars, there will be no remake. No one will care about Star Wars enough to want one. Like I said, the grumpy old man yelling “HAN SHOT FIRST! Get off my lawn, you damn poseur fans!” I’m ashamed to be associated with these guys, in any way, and it definitely shows that there are different levels of Star Wars fans that media outlets should take into consideration.”

    Of course, not *all* the older Star Wars fans hate kids and not all of them are on the level of these asshole posters, but enough of them are that it makes the fandom really look like a bunch of spoiled five-year olds throwing a tantrum at GL over their favorite book. I really don’t want to associate with them anymore. As far as I’m concerned, only one world exists for me – the movies, some EU and my fanfics, that’s it. I don’t even entertain conversations with these fools, go to conventions, or get involved in large forums, so that I don’t have to suffer their hatred they outright have for prequel fans.

  11. Looong post! Fair point though, I like what your saying. I don’t mind the prequels, though I do believe the dialogue is awful in some parts.

    But like you said, SW isnt just the OT, I love the old republic, golden age and Galactic Alliance storylines.

    I want more, not less, and I like the fact that new characters have been introduced and take centre stage with han, leia and luke etc.

  12. Oh and further to that, I for one am kinda bored with rebellion era nostalgia book releases now. It’s been done to death!

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