We know that there are whiney fan boys. And we know that there are Star Wars haters. But there is nothing worse than someone who claims to be a Star Wars fan and can't stop criticizing George Lucas or his work. Beware of these False Fans.
It seems that in the "Original Trilogy" days one could tell who the real fans were. It was all black and white. People either loved Star Wars or they didn't like it.
But then the 1997 Special Editions came along, and Star Wars fans started to split up: those fans who supported Lucas' vision and those fans who wanted... well, who knows what they wanted, but they sure liked to complain.
When Episode I came along in 1999, all Hell broke loose. The whole purpose of The Phantom Menace was to introduce the characters, to set up all of the story pieces in the chessboard. These characters and story pieces would start moving in the next episodes. All true fans knew that. But, some people did not get that, and some fans were not that patient. They wanted the whole package in one movie. These so-called-fans could not stop complaining about how Episode I was not what they had wanted it to be. I remember Howard Stern saying in his radio show something like, "these people have been waiting 16 years for this movie... they finally have it... and they criticize it." And I knew exactly what he meant. A real fan is supposed to be supportive, not attack the artist with vile and cynical comments. It made me sick.
People complained and complained and complained. Their expectations were ridiculously high and they were disappointed with Episode I. Not because it was a bad movie, but because their short-attention-span-minds could not let them see the whole picture (the whole 6-episode saga). For example, in a local San Diego news report where they interviewed people coming out of the theatre on opening night, I remember a young woman saying she didn't like the movie because, "there's no story." Well, there IS a story there, you just have to pay attention.
The start of the "Prequel Trilogy" marked the beginning of the Old vs. New debate. A dumb discussion which is completely generational in my opinion. Since that summer, fandom is split into "Original Trilogy" fans and "Star Wars Saga" fans. Sad.
And Lucasfilm knows this. During this year's Cannes Film Festival, George Lucas said:
"I see it all as one movie, so I don't pay much attention to people who prefer one chapter or another chapter. But we've discovered that we have two fan bases. One is over 25 and one is under 25. The over 25 fan base is loyal to the first three films and they are actually in their 30's and 40's now, so that they're in control of the media, they're in control of the web, they're in control of everything basically. The films, which those people don't like, which are the first two, actually are fanatically bored by the other two. And if you get on the web and you listen to these conversations, they are always at each other's throats and the devotion for each group is pretty equal."
But, there are false fans in both groups.
I had almost gotten used to so-called-fan complaints. But then, the false fans took it to another level. When the Star Wars "Trilogy" (or half of the Star Wars Saga) premiered on DVD in September 2004, fans learned that the movies had additional editorial changes. The hate of the false fans exploded, going as far as saying that Lucas had no right to make changes to his movies because they were public property and that he is obliged to release the original versions of the films. I couldn't believe it. I was past disgusted. I was past sad. I was just mad as Hell that these ignorant little creatures could not shut up and just enjoy the movies. But no one said it better than Scott Holleran in his article "George Lucas vs. the Stormtroopers". Regarding the false fan attitude, he said, "There is a word for this philosophy: fascism."
Now, I'm not saying that Star Wars fans should not have a critical mind. They should. But, there is a big difference between being critical and being cynical. I'm just saying that if you are going to call yourself a "Star Wars fan," than you need to learn to accept it, and enjoy it, as it is. And leave the Star Wars bashing to the non-fans.