SciFi Fandom Pride: Where’d You Go? “He tends to say whatever comes into his circuits.” – Cassian Andor, Rogue One

The Force Awakens

To think about pride, like for me familiarity with popular science fiction, it is true that in 2015, enthusiasm for the Star Wars films, Star Wars fandom, soared nearly beyond measure when Lucasfilm presented the Star Wars film The Force Awakens.

The realization was great that appreciation for the popular trilogy of films of the nineteen seventies and eighties was “striking back,” an achievement again like the success of Star Wars in the spring of 1977.  George Lucas nearly didn’t get his 1977 film made, according to accounts of what happened, and even though it is true that most film projects whether original in scope or not fail to get made, it is an endearing success story that Lucas made the movie.  The phrase “success story” lacks the weight behind what Star Wars actually did to Hollywood cinema, which was as expansive as what became of the Star Wars galaxy a long time ago and far away.


Photographer:
One Idea LLC

The fervor for Star Wars returning in 2015, helmed by J. J. Abrams, was awe-inspiring.  In fact, Star Wars’ ability to create awe is what gives it such a punch.  For The Force Awakens, original cast members from 1977 joined a new cast for a continuation of Return of the Jedi.

The Force Awakens was a giant success and seemed to bring with it the promise that Star Wars would be once more returning with aplomb and dedication.  Despite unravelling the plot of the original Star Wars films by undoing the Rebel Alliance’s success destroying Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, and failing to bring Harrison Ford, the late Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill together in The Force Awakens, it was implied that untied ends and more importantly the reunion between the actors from the original movies would appear in Star Wars Episode VIII in 2017, directed by Rian Johnson.

Discouragingly, Johnson’s film about Star Wars horrified and divided the Star Wars fandom, by dismantling thoughtlessly a trove of Star Wars lore, failing to shoot what would have been an extremely important reunion of Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa and Han Solo, and, also front and centre, bringing identity politics into the movie.

There has always been a deep-felt pride in Star Wars and while I’m a Canadian, I felt pride when Star Wars returned loud and strong in 2015 with The Force Awakens.  Then I felt that pride evaporate when I realized that The Last Jedi is potentially ruining Star Wars, which sounds catastrophic and yet is indeed a possibility.  There is every chance that the best science fiction, at least science fiction on film, the best of the entire twentieth century, will be undone if Episode IX fails at the box office.

The rest of Star Wars will be history.

There are voices on the Internet, the fandom, divided by The Last Jedi, that organized and presented a call to Disney to save the glory of Star Wars by insisting CEO Bob Iger and Kathleen Kennedy do the work to successfully market Episode IX, for which we have not yet heard a title or seen a trailer.  Star Wars Celebration is in a few days, helping Star Wars on its way.  Youtuber and filmmaker Star Wars Theory has promised to upload video he’ll shoot at Celebration.  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8CbFnDTYkiVweaz8y9wd_Q

In the event that Episode IX is good, the Star Wars fandom will unite, and pride will spread throughout.

If the film flops, Star Wars will go to that great “clearance bin” in the sky.  I hope very much for pride but chances are it is through.

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Why Star Wars Episode IX Troubles are Hotter than Jennifer Lawrence

The summer of 2011, Jun 3, 2011, the movie adaptations of Marvel’s X-Men continued with X-Men First Class.  To many fans’ delight, it turned out to be both well-executed and of substantial interest.  Film history website IMDb identifies that Jennifer Lawrence is “the most successful actor of her generation” https://www.imdb.com/name/nm2225369/

Beneath is a link to a scene from X-Men First Class.

X-Men: First Class (2011) – Charles Xavier & Raven Darkholme

https://binged.it/2HFD3RV

Jennifer Lawrence in X-Men First Class is Raven.  She tackles the question of what it means to be beautiful and what it means to be normal.  She is the shapeshifter.


X-Men First Class Promoshoot

You might say it’s ironic that the name of the mutant team, the name “X-Men,” implies that the X-Men should be male, but Raven ranks among them as an important character who is female.  Jennifer Lawrence was the highest-paid actress in the world in 2015 and 2016.  Her casting in the film reflects her strengths as an actress, in addition to X-Men First Class’ effectiveness exploring gender, and ever-elusive equality.

In 2019, the next Star Wars film is struggling with a backlash among fans given woes with the previous film in the franchise.  The 2019 film I’m referring to is Star Wars Episode IX, coming in after the disastrously written Star Wars Episode VII:  The Last Jedi.  Star Wars Episode IX has its work out cut out for it.

The Last Jedi Opening Weekend USA box office was $220,009,584, 17 December 2017.  The X-Men First Class USA Opening Weekend was $55,101,604, 5 June 2011, twenty-five percent of the former.

While box office returns mean that both films were successful, the Marvel Universe remains hotly anticipated with a trailer for Marvel Avengers Endgame just airing in the Superbowl broadcast yesterday, while Star Wars Episode IX may fail.

Star Wars is suffering some major troubles, with entries like Episode VIII The Last Jedi savaged by fans to who Star Wars is close to the heart.

Solo A Star Wars Story failed financially last year, and an animated television series from Disney, Star Wars Resistance, is arguably receiving relatively little enthusiasm among viewers.

These fans are the “fandom.”  In fact, the Star Wars franchise is suffering greatly owing to problems with The Last Jedi, which, while returning an economic gain for Disney, is failing to ignite the same passion in the hearts of Star Wars fans that the original trilogy generated, as did (again, arguably) Episode VII The Force Awakens in 2015.


Yoda

What Jedi Mind tricks are afoot?  I think essentially both X-Men: First Class and Star Wars Episode IX calculatedly use a sense of the past as an aspect of the setting.  However, the two movies address gender and gender equality rather differently.

In X-Men First Class, the mutant Raven struggles with her self-image in a very literal sense.  Contrast that with The Last Jedi.  Here the female Jedi apprentice Rey, Daisy Ridley, is problematic for many viewers of Star Wars in that Rey lacks a distinctive character arc.  In other words, she is without a back story that can make sense in viewers’ minds.

Rey’s origins are unknown, but she masters aspects of The Force which were previously established in Star Wars lore as being impossible.  Rey’s mentor Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) struggled to achieve his status as a Jedi Knight under both Obi-wan Kenobi and Yoda (in the 1977 and 1980 Star Wars films).  The late Alec Guinness portrayed Obi-wan Kenobi in the original trilogy and Ewan McGregor was Obi-wan in the prequel trilogy.

This is a link to a jovial Mark Hamill speaking of Daisy Ridley.

Mark Hamill Living Like Yoda Wishing Daisy Ridley Happy Birthday

https://binged.it/2BexZOy

Like it or not, what’s hot about Star Wars is that the backlash to Last Jedi director Rian Johnson is a compelling drama in its own right.  I see it everyday on YouTube.

YouTube channel Geeks + Gamers has taken for itself the responsibility of taking to task the folk at Lucasfilm.  To restore the glory to Star Wars, Geeks + Gamers feels Lucasfilm lost this by sacrificing so much of what had been established about Star Wars.

Jeremy at Geeks + Gamers thinks through and through that Lucasfilm is reducing the importance of something special to him and to legions of other fans of Star Wars.  Jeremy and many others feel that Lucasfilm is insisting that identity politics control the creative process instead of the requirement for writers to come up with sensible new entries for the sci-fi titan Star Wars.

That said, Star Wars needs success now the way that the X-Men franchise needed a success following X3.

Disney, Lucasfilm and the future of Star Wars are an exciting drama.  If you’re interested, and you believe that Star Wars needs to go forward proper, instead of what it’s currently doing, maybe you would like Geeks + Gamers, if you aren’t already watching Jeremy and his friends.

I don’t feel too invested in the backlash, although I think of it virtually every day.  Star War Episode IX has a release date in December.  Geeks + Gamers don’t exclusively address the situation with Star Wars, but Jeremy’s dismay for Lucasfilm is often-stated, with a commitment to giving subscribers fireballs.

Marvel Avengers Endgame has a release date in April.  It’s the sequel to Marvel Avengers Infinity Wars.

Paperclips on a piece of paper

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Beneath is a link to a Geeks + Gamers video in which Jeremy names his favorite X-Men titles.

Geeks + Gamers Staff Top 5 – X-Men Universe Films

https://binged.it/2MGZRj4