If there’s one thing any serious ‘Star Wars’ fan knows, it’s that the love of the Force, the Skywalker family, Chewbacca and all the rest leads to crazy heated arguments. Thankfully, lightsabers aren’t real, otherwise some damage might have already been inflicted among dueling fans.
Sometimes this can be fun, but sometimes people can get super-pissed. And yet, as we move into an together different epoch of Star Wars fandom, there’s every reason to internalize a more peaceful, calmer, and passive attitude toward everything having to do with Star Wars. Luke Skywalker is definitely going to be in the next regular Star Wars movie than his three seconds in The Force Awakens. Plus, even if the forthcoming Rogue One is a weird inbetween-y midqeul of the existing Star Wars stories, it’s still spoiling the crap out of us. Star Wars films are now coming out every year until we die, or until we build a real Death Star. And yet, some of the wounds from the past are still keenly felt. There are seven Star Wars movies out so far, so here are seven over-the-top complaints from Star Wars fandom plus advice for how to permanently get over each anger-inducing thing.
7. Rey’s Instant Force Aptitude
Against all odds, The Force Awakens was widely accepted, and even instantly beloved by most sane people, but also diehard Star Wars fans, too. However, one creeping complaint comes in the form of how quickly Rey is able to master the ways of the Force. She has no formal training, and is seemingly way better at using the Force than Luke ever was in the regular movies. People get mad about this.
How to get over it: First off, make sure you’re not a sexist. If you are, we’re done and you can stop reading.
For everyone else: while I sympathize with the fanboys making this complaint, splitting hairs about the Force has always seemed more than a little silly. Like what would happen if two astrologists debated about horoscopes? That’s what fighting about the Force is like. There’s also something here that smacks of elitism or gate-keeperism, which the original Star Wars never touted. Yoda and Obi-Wan are kind of old-school snobs with their Masters degrees who sort of look down on people who didn’t go that route. But Anakin, and definitely Luke are like people who went to community college and then dropped out and got the rest of their education on the job. In terms of Force stuff, Rey is like that, too, only more so. To put it another way: Rey is even more school-of-hard-knocks then her forbears, which is fine.
6. Anyone, Saying Anything About the EU
Since the Lucas Story Group was incepted, and the old Expanded Universe was turned into “Legends,” various types of Star Wars fans have expressed outrage or at the least affected a universal love for all the novels and comics which have come before. A lot of people will talk about the Zahn books, and nearly everyone will mention Luke’s erstwhile wife, Mara Jade.
How to get over it: Pretending like all the Star Wars media which predated the existence of the Story Group was somehow entirely cohesive are universally “good,” is a really dubious claim. Specifically, the “Give Us Legends” campaign revels in this kind of ignorance because it implies a kind of pure altruism to the creation of these stories, which just isn’t there. There was no “original” version of the Star Wars saga after Return of the Jedi, only various licensed novels, comic books and videogames, which were effectively, first and foremost, products. This isn’t to say a huge amount of that writing isn’t excellent and downright wonderful. But theres also some bad ideas, and other stuff that doesn’t make sense. Or at the very least, is just inconsistent. It’s just that pretending like there’s this blanket reverence for all the EU because it’s all equally awesome is like saying you are in favor of a particular animal rights group, only to discover said group champions the rights of cockroaches, too.
5. George Lucas
He created Star Wars and then, years later, kind of messed everything up with the 1997-1998 “Special Editions,” and then the prequels. If you say George Lucas’s name three times while starring in the mirror wearing the Chewbacca mom’s mask, George Lucas will appear and destroy you. He wasn’t supposed to be messing with the newer movies, but boom, there he is on the Rogue One set.
How to get over it: Eh…I’ve been saying this for awhile, but George Lucas actually isn’t that bad. We can make pretty strong arguments for awkward or bad decisions George Lucas made with the prequels, but overwhelmingly those choices weren’t cynical or pandering. They were his artistic decisions. Theres something pure and even a little beautiful about that. Plus, he’s not really having much of an impact on these newer things, so give him a break.
1999’s Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace introduced a lot to the reality of that galaxy, far, far away. One thing that really pisses of Star Wars fans is the idea that there is a fake-scientific explanation for how the Force “works.” Specifically: tiny little organisms in our cells called “midichlorians.” If you’ve got a lot of these in your blood, you’re be able to use the Force WAY better than other jokers. Is this annoying? Yes. Do we need to get into the narrative reasons why it’s stupid? No.
How to get over it: This one is easy: just pretend it didn’t happen. Or more realistically, try to imagine an instance where ANYONE working on the new Star Wars movies says, out loud, in front of normal people, “But guys, what about midichlorians?”
3. Vader Screaming NOOOOOOOOO!!!!
In Revenge of the Sith after Hayden Christensen gets his Vader on and adopts James Earl Jones’s voice, he walks like Frankenstein’s monster and says NOOOOOOOOOO in the most embarrassing way possible. Even among embarrassing Star Wars screams, this is pretty bad.
How to get over it: Just be happy he didn’t scream PADMMMEEEEE!!! Also, it’s a good reminder to watch the James Whale-directed 1931 Frankenstein movie, which is still awesome.
2. Jar Jar Binks
The reason this sends people into nerd-induced rages is obvious.
How to get over it: Everything about Jar Jar is in really poor taste. But, my favorite detail (which Ive recounted many times) is the existence of the Jar Jar Binks candy from 1999 in which you were encouraged to lick his his tongue. The fact this exists is great because it’s so blatantly stupid that it goes all the way on the dumb spectrum to come out the other side and becomes genius.
1. Greedo Shooting First
Without a doubt, Star Wars fans get more rage-filled about this than anything else. In the original Star Wars, Greedo is murdered in cold-blood by Han Solo. But, in the 1997 “Special Edition,” Greedo quickly fires a laser-blast, which retroactively means Han has fired in self-defense. This makes Han “less cool,” in the eyes of many.
How to get over it: I think the number of people Han Solo straight-up kills in The Force Awakens more than “makes up,” for this. Remember when he punches that pirate guy and then throws him into the mouth of those outrageously murderous monsters? If even the canonical Han Solo shot second, he still takes out a lot of dudes and doesn’t feel bad about it.