A modest suggestion for those who believe Disney is championing diversity in Star Wars for ideological reasons:
I’m talking about those of you who believe that there is some nefarious feminist agenda or enforced diversity conspiracy at the heart of the Star Wars franchise. And I want to focus on those of you who feel it is acceptable to harass or threaten actors, producers, or fans because of your beliefs. However, if you are one of those people who sincerely believe that harassment and threats will change how these movies are produced, I think you’re too far gone to get this so just move along.
Here is a more logical reason that Disney and other film companies are engaging in and embracing diversity in their IPs.
Hang on to your jockstraps, boys.
- Women have money.
- Women have nerdly interests.
- Women spend money on things their nerdly interests.
- People of color have money.
- People of color have nerdly interests.
- People of color spend money on their nerdly interests.
- And they like Star Wars. They like Disney movies. They like Marvel movies. They like Pixar.
- And their money is as green as yours.
Does that sound cynical? I’m asking because most of you seem like you know cynicism pretty well.
Do you think Disney didn’t know about Harvey Weinstein’s open secret of abuses? Or Bill Cosby? Do you think they run a factory of child stars because they want every kid to achieve his or her dream of childhood stardom?
While the end result is refreshingly progressive, it wouldn’t happen if that end result wasn’t profitable. It’s not like Disney is forcing people to buy products. They know the market has changed and are responding to it.
Let me say that again.
Disney is not driving social change.
It is responding to changes in the marketplace.
So, you may be right that Disney is taking the brand in a different direction than you’d like but – sunflowers – the market is completely different than 1977 or 1983 or 1999 or 2005.
It isn’t so profitable telling stories or selling toys just for boys. The proof is in the numbers.
But let’s talk about the 1,200-pound bantha in the room, kids.
Star Wars is a brand built around merchandising and is a highly profitable IP in that regard. The brand is so tangled up in your childhood nostalgia that you don’t notice. In fact, you forgive and forget every stupid creative choice and revision made to the films because it is too important to lose.
It is populist space opera that has its place, but was designed to sell you stuffed Ewok toys and plastic spaceships and little effigies of your heroes because Saint George knew you would buy them and make him incredibly, ridiculously wealthy.
He knew you would buy the Special Edition films. He knew you would get over the changes to the Holy Trilogy and buy tickets to the prequels that were SO bad in SO many ways because it was Star Wars. You forgave everything Saint George did to alter the memories of your precious childhood.
Oh sure, you bitched about it, and it made you feel like a free-thinking fan. But did you leave the Church of Saint George over it? No. Because your need for the love those films inspired in you overwhelms your sense of self or perhaps all sense. And if you ever sent or shared a hateful message to a working actor over a fucking movie role, I suggest you have more issues than just a lack of sense.
The pod races. The shitty dialogue. The clunky stories. The revisionist effects and sequences. The plot holes. This is not classic cinema. George Lucas wanted to make Flash Gordon, couldn’t get the rights and decided, “Fuck it, I’ll make my own cultural phenomenon and keep all the licensing rights!”
And you forgave because you couldn’t walk away from the trough. Except. Now it is different. Now, you have an excuse to bitch even louder because Saint George is out and the Evil Mouse House is in charge with their dastardly social engineering plots and enthusiasm for writing icky girls with cooties and DARE TO GIVE THEM POWER!
Suddenly, after six films, cartoon series, books, and abominable television series, Kathleen Kennedy is the devil, girl power is ruining life, a black hero is superfluous, and Star Wars is off the rails.
Get the hell over yourself.
Come on. You didn’t scream about Luke ending his story like a punk, but somehow Rose Tico is terrible? Poe Dameron disobeying a direct order and commencing a battle that killed hundreds, wasting valuable military assets is okay…but Vice Admiral Holdo was too much for you? Do you even listen to yourselves when you issue a “Call to Arms” over a piece of pop culture entertainment? In terms of our world today, it is pathetic a thing to make your mission, but even in the realm of entertainment criticism, it is still profoundly silly.
It is a movie. Actors put themselves out there every day to be judged by the public. Producers and artists do their best in a bureaucratic and market-driven profession to please every last mouth-breather looking to have their belly tickled. They work long hours on set, they do long junkets to promote their movies, dance like monkeys on talk shows for your amusement, and all they ask is you give them a fair review. That’s the job.
That professionalism should nullify anyone’s armchair tantrum or gesture of hate. But, no. You all had to go dark and embrace your hate. There is no world, no life, no circumstance where that makes you better or stronger than those who actually got off the bench to make the things you enjoy.
Yes, even if it sucks.
The problem with Star Wars is not diversity. The problem with Star Wars is that you have voluntarily surrendered yourself to a brand that has only wanted one thing since 1977 – your money. It sold you on characters and situations that were just as much tied to merchandise as Transformers or GI Joe.
You think you’re leading some holy crusade to preserve the purity of something that was never pure; a piece of entertainment desired to amuse and distract you from the challenges of real life. It was never meant as modern mythology as its stories had already been told in other, better films and books. Star Wars is a part of your childhood and your life. You’ve shared the movies with your friends, your, family, and your kids. But if it moves you to enjoy taunting people or threatening them because of what it is becoming then you are the one with a very big problem.
I implore you to reconsider your life choices rather than distract yourself with corporate conspiracy theories
Something in your life went wrong, so wrong that you have replaced part of your life with a movie intended to sell you toys.
That is a sad, sad reality.
Because you’ve been duped.
Want to escape the pattern? I have your answer. You just need to know about the secret Star Wars chase figure hidden somewhere on the Dark Web and issued as one of every 25,000 Star Wars figures: Episode IX’s big villain called “D’oh Egress.”