An Open Letter to Prequel
(And a brief lesson in the horrors and consequences of festering hate)
Written by: Alex Sandell
I'm old enough to have watched all 3
Star Wars films during their initial theatrical runs
in '77, '80 and '83 and clearly remember spending the 3 years in-between
Episodes IV and V and Episodes V
and VI hanging out with friends at the park,
riding bike, drinking grape soda or Hi-C that came in those
strange pouches with the straw "on the rear" that you "stick right into here"
(no, Mr. Travers, we weren't guzzling Kool-Aid) and having a great time
talking about what was to come next
in this wonderful saga George Lucas had created. These
discussions -- many of which I still remember almost word for word -- are
some of my most treasured childhood memories.
In 2005, Internet forums have turned into the new place to "meet up," and well over half the people posting in many of the prequel forums appear to be under the age of 20, which would make them kids when this newer trilogy started. This younger generation's conversations are startling similar to the ones we had 25 years earlier. Like the original trilogy belonged to those of us between 4-15 years old in 1977, the prequel trilogy belongs to the youth posting in those forums. Sure, older folks not jaded to the point of being incapable of enjoying a fun film are more than welcome to join in the discussions and relive a small part of their youth -- it was our mom and dad's money, and later our own, that paid for these prequels in the first place. But the amount of cash we've poured into the franchise does not mean that we own it. That's where self-proclaimed "prequel-bashers" get confused and this false sense of ownership is used by many as their justification for acting so ugly toward younger Star Wars fans.
remind me of some old dude that would hang out in the park with the kids and
scream, "BUT YOU WON'T LIKE JEDI -- IT HAS EWOKS!
EWOKS, I TELL YOU! PREPARE TO BE DISAPPOINTED!" And they'd
yell it for years on end, and
they'd somehow be everywhere at
once. They'd be at every pizza place sitting in the booth behind the
kid's. They'd be in every park, every playground, every bowling alley, every
arcade, every birthday party and every other place where a group of "younglings"
wanted to just talk Star Wars. And these bashers would always be shaking their
fists in the air and screaming at the kids that were there to discuss the films.
Of course this didn't happen in the late 70's and
early 80's, and that's why memories of talking all
things Star Wars are treasured, not tarnished.
I didn't post in any forum for Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith until I saw the film and wrote my review. This wasn't for any reason other than I didn't want to be "spoiled." I wanted the movie to be as much of a surprise to me as is possible with a prequel leading into a sequel. Once I saw it, I couldn't wait to post. For the first time, a prequel had given me the feeling of excitement and sense of wonder that the original Star Wars trilogy gave me when I was a kid! It was such a great film, and after being slightly under whelmed by Episode I and let down by nearly every element of Episode II, I could hardly believe it. But my parade was quickly pissed on when I saw that there was no where in these forums where I could go discuss the film without prequel-bashers spitting their venom my way, calling my comments "hyperbole" and cattily referring to me as a "fanboy."
Before I noticed the persistence, cruelty and dominance of the bashers, it was fun to see the enthusiasm of so many people in Star Wars forums over Sith. But I packed up and left when I saw that prequel bashers couldn't seem to stay out of a single thread. They had to keep yelling, "IT HAS EWOKS! EWOKS, I TELL YOU! PREPARE TO BE DISAPPOINTED!" And they kept yelling this so loud, without break, that they were unable and unwilling to hear anyone else's opinions. They couldn't take a breather and allow fans of the prequels to say, "Y'know, we don't care. We love these movies, anyway. And maybe we're not grumpy old men. Maybe, just maybe, we won't be disappointed." But the bashers of the Star Wars prequels are convinced that only their opinion is correct, and they make sure to let everyone in every forum at every site know this ... over and over again.
Why? What's the point? It's obvious reading the posts
in the forums, blogs and boards across the web that
around 90% of the people in them liked or loved
Episode I and II. But the loudness and inappropriateness of
the bashers has pushed the fans into becoming a "silent majority." Many of these
people are young and, as mentioned above, this
is their trilogy. And this is the LAST time
they're going to get to form memories and speculate
and dream of what's to come. This is the final Star Wars film. They don't get
another chance, and the bashers don't get another
chance. If they really want to wreck it for
themselves by pissing and moaning about
the prequels that they've seen, that seems like
a fair enough thing to do (although it also seems like
they should really be able to GET OVER IT by this
point), but why not do it in the forums specifically
set aside for the prequels that they're complaining
about (Episode I & II)? And why not give Episode III a
Despite what many of these prequel bashers claim, they are bashing a film they haven't even seen. They are attacking Revenge of the Sith in just about any way that they can. They are ignoring the overwhelming amount of positive reviews and are latching onto the small number of negative ones that have been written. Maybe it's to protect themselves from being disappointed, yet again. But most people in these forums aren't as miserable over the prequel experience as the bashers seem to be, so why don't these haters hold their hostility in for a few days -- just 72 hours -- and stop trying to bring the fans down to their level?
The bashers aren't doing any of the fans of the prequels a favor by pointing at them and screaming, "your opinion is wrong!" And no one is trying to deny the bashers their voice. There are places for this vocal crew to bash all they want. There are even "sanctuaries" where they can post all the negative crap that they can come up with (some of which I agree with -- esp. in regards to Attack of the Clones), without retribution, or wrecking other people's fun. And, once they've watched Episode III, if they don't like it, I think they have every right to voice that opinion -- but to bash out of a "feeling" they have that they won't enjoy the movie is ludicrous.
When these bashers cross the line and stink up Revenge of the Sith boards with their non-stop negativity, all that they are doing is tarnishing memories that should have one day been treasured.
ęCopyright 2005 Alex Sandell/Juicy Cerebellum [All Rights Reserved]. This article may not be reprinted without permission of the author. Anyone caught doing so will be thrown into a Rancor Pit, and, if they survive, will be thrown into court where I will sue their asses off.
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