It’s a difficult time to be a real fan.
Oh, sure, never has geekdom been catered to on a larger scale. Superheroes and Star Wars flood cinemas, while even niche properties have found a second (or third) life in a variety of reboots, prequels, sequels, semi-sequels, proto-remakes, reimaginings, and gleepquels (a term I’ve devised meaning a film that ignores existing sequels to continue a series from an earlier point).
But a slavish devotion to continuing franchises well past their saturation point isn’t enough for those, like myself, who take their childhood nostalgia seriously. We demand more than just frequently scheduled blockbusters and their associated cabal of merchandise.
We want respect. Respect for our time. Respect for our passion. Respect for our steadfast unwillingness to evolve as people.
Which brings me to The Last Jedi, Disney’s latest attempt to smother the flames of passionate Star Wars fandom by hiring a young, talented director with a love for the series and its encyclopedia of minutia and giving him semi-free reign to continue an already existing storyline.
The result was a film that blatantly ignores what fans of the series demand: entirely new situations and characters that are simultaneously obvious imitations of beloved classic situations and characters, which also somehow involve having to blow up a giant, moon-sized laser cannon. Also, Chewbacca will be there.
The Last Jedi abandoned the gritty realism of cannibal teddy bears, carnivorous sand vaginas, and parsecs as a measurement of time to instead wallow in social justice-themed compromise. There are women. And they are doing things. Most of them don’t even need to be rescued!
Not to put too fine a point on it, but Star Wars was a movie made by men, for men. A lightsaber (or “laser sword”) is really just a big, lethal penis that can also cut through metal. An elegant weapon for a more civilized age! TIE fighters? Penises with wings. Tauntauns? Furry penises that smell worse on the inside than outside.
Mercifully, some enterprising folks have gone ahead and re-edited The Last Jedi as a not-at-all completely insane, form of protest.
Any hint of femininity or sincere emotion has been sliced out, as is any hint of studio-mandated diversity, aside from the literally dozens of aliens that litter the background of every single scene. Also gone is that bit where Luke drinks the Thala-siren milk because it brings up a variety of issues we don’t want to deal with.
What remains is a tight, 46-minute De-Feminized edit, that also manages to slice out any positive acts by people of colour for good measure. It’s bland, predictable, and entirely sexless, which makes it perfectly representative of devoted fans of the franchise.
The message from faithful Star Wars fans is loud, clear, and very often punctuated by threatening private messages: we prefer our movies, like our toys, perfectly preserved in plastic, exactly as we remember them. When someone plays with them too much, they inevitably lose their value.