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The Real Division in the Star Wars Fandom

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > STAR WARS Discussion
The Real Division in the Star Wars Fandom

EAFSAMWISE's Avatar


EAFSAMWISE
11.14.2021 , 11:40 PM | #1
Having studied and looked in detail at discussions of Star Wars from multiple angles, I've come to the conclusion that there is one major underpinning that divides the Star Wars fanbase in terms of what it expects: Namely, the issue of love and relationships and how valuable those things are or aren't.

1) First, there is the "traditional" view of Star Wars in terms of the metaphysics as partially laid out by George Lucas, that the Jedi code is ultimately correct on an objective level within the universe of Star Wars. Thus Anakin's relationship with Padme was therefore inherently wrong and Luke is seen as surpassing this by not following in his father's footsteps (despite failing in other ways and of course this is the new "canon" imposed by Disney that not all of us accept). George Lucas himself even stated his objection to Luke having a spouse, on the grounds that it would go "against Jedi teachings" and that in the Star Wars world, Jedi teachings are inherently the "good side." This is the "official" and "established" standard of morality that both Lucas and his successors have ultimately accepted. However, many fans were understandably upset with these underpinnings and believed that Luke ultimately got a "raw deal" in the end compared to other characters after all three movies of the Original Trilogy had just come out by the 80s.
2) Thus, many Legends authors (their efforts culminating ultimately in games like Kotor and Swtor) sought to rectify this by in fact asserting an underlying notion woven throughout much of their literature and to an extent their games that Love is in fact not a wrong thing in itself but it's how one goes about Loving others and forming relationships with them. Part of this was an underlying dissatisfaction with the Buddhist undertone taken in the Star Wars universe that love and attachments are inherently wrong or are a distraction from true inner peace which comes from transcending ones need for these things. Obviously most regular people and fans don't agree with or find the monastic Buddhist, emotionless mentality to be an appealing one and so it almost seems like Legends authors were bringing a general critique to the Jedi code and saying it was too extreme. However Lucas and those in charge felt that this created a contradiction in what he sought to create from the beginning, which aside from sheer greed probably also played a role in him screwing over those who'd made the Legends material and their fanbase. This understandably angered a lot of fans.

And thus, this is the ultimate source of tension between the members and different factions of the Star Wars fanbase: those who accept Lucas' pseudo-Buddhist, emotionless metaphysics within the Star Wars universe, and those who ultimately seek to shake their fist (perhaps rightly so) at the "powers that be" in this fictional universe because of the way it seemed to work and that the nature of love (both romantically and otherwise) in this universe makes it unnecessary or even dangerous and Anakin's fall is seen as the ultimate testament to it. **This**, I would say, is in turn why many fans seem to like Kreia in Kotor 2 and see her as almost a sort of "good villain." They realize the metaphysics of the Star Wars universe, decide they find that universe interesting, but that its potential can only be realized by villifying or at least critiquing the ideals and sides (the Force and Jedi Code) which Lucas and his successors have sought to assert as "good" and to turn this notion on its head or see it in a more nuanced way.

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ralphieceaser
11.15.2021 , 03:01 PM | #2
That is why the original moves were so terrible, the star wars universe is great, the lore, the characters, the powers of sith and jedi can manifest with enough knowledge, even the rule of two which I dislike as a system has a lot of great material and details which would create a great show.

But instead all the movies have been barely shown the greatness of star wars lore, obviously with a focus on big audiences they want simpler movies but holy **** you have so many cool sith powers you could show, so many old sith lord tombs you could try show, nope instead we have the usual generic big bad vs big good fight, le typical look mom spaceships are shooting on each other

It doesnt help that the originals were made in an era of very simple people were movies were mostly propaganda hence the typical ultra big bad vs le ultra goody 2 shoes character, nuance was rarely ever a thing back then, the prequels and sequels tried to add a bit of nuance and no only did they get a backlash because gamers TM see everything nuanced as "politics" they kept the original star wars mentality of making a movie with barely any star wars lore, they are really making a generic space film for kids to watch.

I mean, they made a ton of star wars movies but none explained or even voiced the Sith or Jedi code, that is why I never really care about movies because all the great details and lore are in games and books.

MadDutchman's Avatar


MadDutchman
11.15.2021 , 05:38 PM | #3
Can't say I really agree with this as the source of the divide.

Most fans (even the fairly hardcode) don't really care about the Buddhist influence. And GL successors don't entirely follow this pattern either. In fact, they make a point (ex. in TCW and Rebels) of showing how the "Buddhist" Jedi lost their way and were destroyed by their own arrogance and hypocrisy. They sacrificed compassion to the alter of expedience. If they actually cared about individual people, the clone wars would likely have ended very differently.

In regards to love in particular, this is another point that has hardly divided the fan base and we see many examples of both ideologies even from the same creators
Ex. Kanan and Hera were not portrayed as an unhealthy relationship at all and that was under Dave Filoni, largely considered the "heir" of GL. On the other hand, we see Ahsoka share the same caution about attachments during The Mandalorian. Same guy behind it.

Neither of these has sparked controversy. It is a part of individual characters and their stories and makes perfect sense in both cases.

Quote: Originally Posted by ralphieceaser View Post

It doesnt help that the originals were made in an era of very simple people were movies were mostly propaganda hence the typical ultra big bad vs le ultra goody 2 shoes character, nuance was rarely ever a thing back then, the prequels and sequels tried to add a bit of nuance and no only did they get a backlash because gamers TM see everything nuanced as "politics" they kept the original star wars mentality of making a movie with barely any star wars lore, they are really making a generic space film for kids to watch.
.
The issues people had with the sequels had nothing to do with nuance, but characters who were not consistent or respectful to what was already established, including the already established lore (see Rey Mary Sue learning the force in a few hours) and considering the current climate (and KK's very strong and public political views), to say that those movies were not motivated by politics is just pure insanity.

I also can't grasp the argument for the PT either. Keep in mind, many of the people complaining about the PT also love TCW, the latter of which has far more nuance than the PT or OT. If "too much nuance" as a problem were to logically follow, then TCW would get the same hate. It doesn't.
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ralphieceaser
11.15.2021 , 09:13 PM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by MadDutchman View Post
The issues people had with the sequels had nothing to do with nuance, but characters who were not consistent or respectful to what was already established, including the already established lore (see Rey Mary Sue learning the force in a few hours) and considering the current climate (and KK's very strong and public political views), to say that those movies were not motivated by politics is just pure insanity.

I also can't grasp the argument for the PT either. Keep in mind, many of the people complaining about the PT also love TCW, the latter of which has far more nuance than the PT or OT. If "too much nuance" as a problem were to logically follow, then TCW would get the same hate. It doesn't.
None of the movies ever felt consistent with star wars lore though, we have thousand year old sith spirits, we have seem some extremely powerful abilities, we know of force transfer which was heavily shown in the darth bane trilogy, we know the power that can be access through the force.

And what we get in the movies? Force pushes, lightning and lightsaber fights, it is like children level force powers, hell they dont even teach the godamn jedi or sith code in a star wars movie, like that is absolutely absurd! The movies, all of them are nothing like star wars.

Also regarding TCW i would say the fact that it was a series rather than a movie makes a huge difference, not only tv series have to have nuance due to the length of their story and unlike the OT, it was made in a period were tv series and movies were more than just brain dead big bad vs goody 2 shoes.

I understand that you see Rey as somekind of big bad stronk feminist icon that was only there because she was a woman but for me, she was just a woman force user, her aptitude with the force could be explained by being stupildy overpowered genius(maybe even the will of the force was behind her) aka what we call bad writing, or like you said, not consistent of established lore. The thing is for me Rey learning force powers on the fly is just as bad as seeing jedi masters and Sith lords just use pathetic child level force powers when we know the levels

And people can argue that on x specific occasion they couldnt use the power but that doesnt really matter because it was clear the directors did not even think about those grander powers and isntead were making a children's space battle movie with some light sabers, telekinetics and lightning spam.

It is all quite disgusting from my perspective when i ve read comics, books and plays star wars games.

divinecynic's Avatar


divinecynic
11.15.2021 , 09:55 PM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by ralphieceaser View Post
It doesnt help that the originals were made in an era of very simple people were movies were mostly propaganda hence the typical ultra big bad vs le ultra goody 2 shoes character, nuance was rarely ever a thing back then, the prequels and sequels tried to add a bit of nuance and no only did they get a backlash because gamers TM see everything nuanced as "politics" they kept the original star wars mentality of making a movie with barely any star wars lore, they are really making a generic space film for kids to watch.
If you really think there was no nuisance or shades of grey in movies in the 70s...well you need to watch more movies. Go watch Taxi Driver, One Flew Over the Cockoo's Nest, The Godfather....I could go on. Star Wars started as a fairytale in space for kids. That's why it is what it is.

The Prequels got backlash because the dialogue, plot, CGI, etc were bad. Nuance had nothing to do with it.

There was a lot of good stuff in the EU like the Thrawn Trilogy, Old Republic, etc. and it's all better than the Prequels. The Sequels are pretty bad as well. The Mandalorian is really good at least.

As to the real divide in the fandom, honestly age is one of them (OT folks vs Prequel-usually folks defending the Prequels grew up with them) and the other big one is how the fan feels about the Disney stuff.

MadDutchman's Avatar


MadDutchman
11.16.2021 , 05:53 PM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by ralphieceaser View Post
None of the movies ever felt consistent with star wars lore though, we have thousand year old sith spirits, we have seem some extremely powerful abilities, we know of force transfer which was heavily shown in the darth bane trilogy, we know the power that can be access through the force.

And what we get in the movies? Force pushes, lightning and lightsaber fights, it is like children level force powers, hell they dont even teach the godamn jedi or sith code in a star wars movie, like that is absolutely absurd! The movies, all of them are nothing like star wars.

Also regarding TCW i would say the fact that it was a series rather than a movie makes a huge difference, not only tv series have to have nuance due to the length of their story and unlike the OT, it was made in a period were tv series and movies were more than just brain dead big bad vs goody 2 shoes.

I understand that you see Rey as somekind of big bad stronk feminist icon that was only there because she was a woman but for me, she was just a woman force user, her aptitude with the force could be explained by being stupildy overpowered genius(maybe even the will of the force was behind her) aka what we call bad writing, or like you said, not consistent of established lore. The thing is for me Rey learning force powers on the fly is just as bad as seeing jedi masters and Sith lords just use pathetic child level force powers when we know the levels

And people can argue that on x specific occasion they couldnt use the power but that doesnt really matter because it was clear the directors did not even think about those grander powers and isntead were making a children's space battle movie with some light sabers, telekinetics and lightning spam.

It is all quite disgusting from my perspective when i ve read comics, books and plays star wars games.
What you are comparing is old EU "author oneupmanship" with what was in the top level canon (remember there were multiple levels of canon back then)

As far was GL and company were concerned, the books, comics and games were just fan fics. And let's face it, the crazy overpowered nature of many of those characters is a classic from fan fiction (as fun as it can be sometimes, it's still a bit ludicrous). And when Disney took over, all of this got removed from canon completely.

All those crazy OP Sith Lords and Jedi Masters? Never existed. Even before Disney, they were not even in the picture. (notice how when mining the old EU for stories, Filoni and friends pick people like Thrawn, who is not a stupid OP FU, but a character who is both interesting and scary without the flashiness.)

I'm glad they've done this personally. Otherwise we'd just end up with more Vitiates/Valkorians who are fun in small doses, but get really stale over time due to real character development being sacrificed to cinematics

Or put another way, Star Wars is not and was never intended to be a power fantasy.
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ralphieceaser's Avatar


ralphieceaser
11.17.2021 , 02:27 AM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by MadDutchman View Post
I'm glad they've done this personally. Otherwise we'd just end up with more Vitiates/Valkorians who are fun in small doses, but get really stale over time due to real character development being sacrificed to cinematics

Or put another way, Star Wars is not and was never intended to be a power fantasy.
Definitely your preference there, everyone is free to like what they like which is why I said i dislike all the movies, star wars for me is swtor, the books like the darth bane trilogy and swtor novels and older comics, that is what made star wars interesting to me, not the movies who are just generic flashy space fights with barely any depth. Even for the PT most of the interesting parts and depth came from reading the darth plagueis novel and knowing what was happening during the movie but was not being shown.

What we see in movies doesnt feel very star warsy after you experience actually interesting characters and Jedi vs Sith plots from.

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Toraak
11.17.2021 , 06:37 AM | #8
Some of the Sith powers in the novels wouldn't transfer over well to movies. For an example the transfer Bane does when he takes over his apprentice so he can live forever. While in theory this may be a cool ability to some, it really wouldn't work well on screen. This ability would basically be as bad as how Rey learns how to use Mind Trick without being taught the ability, and without an actual knowledge of the ability.

ralphieceaser's Avatar


ralphieceaser
11.17.2021 , 04:27 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Toraak View Post
While in theory this may be a cool ability to some, it really wouldn't work well on screen..
I mean they can easily make it interesting by showing a mental fight inside their brain when Bane attempted to take Zannah's body

EAFSAMWISE's Avatar


EAFSAMWISE
11.20.2021 , 07:37 PM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by MadDutchman View Post

I'm glad they've done this personally. Otherwise we'd just end up with more Vitiates/Valkorians who are fun in small doses, but get really stale over time due to real character development being sacrificed to cinematics

Or put another way, Star Wars is not and was never intended to be a power fantasy.
To be fair, most fans aren't necessarily upset that some of the stories from Legends are being "changed" in themselves. Rogue One did pretty well for example and I've heard nobody complain about how it displaced the earlier version in Legends of what happened to enable the Rebels to get the stolen Death Star plans. Most people who've actually watched the shows also have little to no issue with TCW or Rebels.

But the Sequel Trilogy in particular is unpopular because it was badly written. If anything, they seemed to be taking queues from the ridiculously overpowered types of Force-wielding characters in Legends and tried to invent a new one. That's essentially what Rey was, with her Mary Sue act. She and Kylo kept having all these powers **at random** with little to no explanation except "da Force." This didn't mean she was cast as perfect the whole time, to be fair (she struggled and was in fact looking for meaning which she didn't already have). But it seemed like the entire time she was basically just "correct" in what she did and everyone else was ultimately wrong and she either did what she had to in order to make people believe her or she had to kill them because they tried to use or oppose her for dangerous ends. The entire trilogy is just her "discovering herself" and realizing how right her path is and how everyone else including her needs to realize that. That is ultimately why people didn't necessarily like the way in which her character was developed. There was also the lack of a proper arc for Finn and the fact that Lando Calrissian was basically sidelined and just brought in as a prop for Episode 9 (if I had written The Last Jedi, I would've at least had Lando appear at the Canto Bight casino since he IS a gambler and could perhaps be connected with the "code-breaker" that they were trying to get in touch with; I also would've retconned it so that Finn turned out to have been a son Lando had that was taken from him since the First Order's stormtroopers were in fact kidnapped at infancy or very young from families--it would've been perfect, but alas it wasn't meant to be, b/c Rian Johnson had to ********** on the whole thing).

That being said, most people who still keep up with and have given Disney's projects a "fair hearing" are actually okay with them except for and unless the Sequel Trilogy comes into play, which is what it really comes down to for most of us.