Happy Sunday, 3.5 readers.
Bookshelf Q. Battler here.
I just read this CNN article in which George Lucas says he’s “done with Star Wars.”
“You go to make a movie and all you do is get criticized,” Lucas told Vanity Fair. “People try to make decisions about what you’re going to do before you do it. It’s not much fun. You can’t experiment. You have to do it a certain way.” – CNN
ON THE ONE HAND – I see his point. The great part of the Internet is that nerdy fans can comment and discuss their favorite movies, TV shows, books etc.
The downside is that its a great environment to make a lot of back seat drivers. “No! Those two characters can’t fall in love and WHAT?! You’re going to kill off so and so and WHAT that guy changed his mind and he’s no longer a bad guy now?!”
Hollywood listens to all this mumbo jumbo. Sometimes that turns out well when the fans know what they are talking about. Other times it falls flat when a director or actor or someone puts the kibosh on an idea that’s a little out there, beyond the norm, that would have paid off big time but they didn’t want to draw the fans’ ire.
Probably the most recent example I can think of is the latest Avengers movie in which Black Widow kicked ass all throughout the film and fans were like “Joss Whedon’s anti-woman! He didn’t give her enough to do!” Boo. Bad nerds.
ON THE OTHER HAND – The CNN article linked to above went on to say:
“The issue was ultimately, they looked at the stories, and they said, ‘We want to make something for the fans,’ ” Lucas said, presumably referring to Disney, which purchased Lucasfilm — including the “Star Wars” franchise — in 2012. “People don’t actually realize it’s actually a soap opera, and it’s all about family problems; it’s not about spaceships. So they decided they didn’t want to use those stories. They decided they were going to do their own thing, so I decided, ‘fine. … I’ll go my way, and I let them go their way.’ ” – CNN
Pbbbhhht. Well, true – Star Wars does have a lot to do with that damn dysfunctional Skywalker family…BUT, did we really need that Sound of Music-ish scene in Attack of the Clones where Anakin and Queen Amidala prance around in love in the field? No. More lightsabers and space ships please.
Revenge of the Sith was pretty solid, and when I was younger, I enjoyed The Phantom Menace and Clones mostly because I was just happy to see Jedis back on the screen.
But let’s be honest, those films were more about loading up on as many quirky, merchandisable characters as possible just to sell kids toys.
There’s nothing wrong with that. Bills need to be paid and that’s what these new films will do as well BUT I have a hunch that it will be done in a way that fans will be like “that was badass!” and “wow what a badass toy!”
The nerdy adults will be anyway. If your kids are yelling “badass!” they probably need a time out.
I get Lucas’ frustration though. It must suck to create this wonderful universe, bring it to the big screen, become the modern day father of science fiction and then be told by your fans that you, the creator of your own universe, are doing a bad job of running your universe.
That’s probably how Darth Vader felt when those pesky rebels started calling for rebellion.
SIDENOTE: One other example of fans taking over that I’ve seen lately comes from The Walking Dead.
SPOILER ALERT – REPEAT: SPOILER ALERT
Did you notice there’s a spoiler alert in effect? OK don’t say you weren’t warned.
Glenn may or may not be dead. The writers of the show have made it look like he totally is, but also left it open to a possible interpretation that he might not be.
Fans have been up in arms on social media, complaining that they have to wait to find out, how dare the writers toy with their emotions like this and so on.
I’m going to channel my inner Uncle Hardass and say, “get a job, hippies!” Hell, I love that show as much as the next guy. I’ve invested a lot of time into it. But when it appeared that Glenn died my reaction was “Awww, that’s too bad…*pause for 5 seconds* OK I better brush my teeth and get ready for bed.”
Seriously, who has time to worry about the fate of a fictional character? JOBLESS HIPPIES WHO NEED A JOB AT THE SALT MINES, THAT’S WHO!!!
Wow. I’m becoming an Uncle H. clone
What say you, 3.5 readers? Who calls the shots, readers or writers?
Personally, it’d be a great problem to have. I only have 3.5 readers and none of them have started calling the shots yet.
I suppose when I reach the point where people are like “We want more Yeti!” or “Alien Jones is like a hairless ALF, you hack!” then I’ll know I’ve made it.
Get bossier, 3.5 readers. Actually, please don’t.