Criticize Star Wars to be heard

There is no perfect story. Not even in Star Wars. As fans, we’re set on looking at every little detail in a galaxy far, far away and finding what’s lurking beneath the surface. Sometimes that means we find things we don’t like – and that’s okay. It is completely normal and valid to criticize what you like. If you like it, you want it to be better.

This practice turns sour when you stop enjoying what you consume and start actively looking for flaws in everything that is made. Of course, if you look for them, you will find plenty of them. But there’s a whole segment of Star Wars fandom that exists exclusively to talk about the things within the franchise (as well as those involved in making it) that they hate. It sparks debate and makes people get the attention they need, and it doesn’t really move the franchise forward. Maybe for some, that’s exactly the point.

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in Lucasfilm’s OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. &™. All rights reserved.

Having a strong opinion and launching it into the world has become a secondary activity, a source of income. A chance to rise above the noise, whatever the Twitter 2022 equivalent of “15 Minutes of Fame” is. And when someone becomes famous for their negativity, they suddenly find themselves with the illusion of power to influence and encourage others with similar views to amplify the rhetoric.

There may be a mistaken belief here that saying you hate something has the power to change it, to turn it into exactly what you think you want to see, feel, and hear. In the case of Star Wars, this practice doesn’t work as some might hope. There are whole groups of people dedicated to tearing down every new Star Wars property out there, but last time I checked Star Wars is still doing everything these groups say it shouldn’t be doing, no matter how much they protest.

Yet it is: for many of these people, “turning” Star Wars into what they want it to be is not the end goal at all. Their sole purpose is to give their opinion. Why? Because hate generates clicks and clicks make money. And there’s a sense of power that comes with having a lot of people agree with you, even if there’s no real benefit to it.

I’m not here to tell people what they should and shouldn’t do, unless of course there is harassment or bullying (which unfortunately is all too often the case). Even if I kindly asked the haters of Star Wars to shut up, they wouldn’t. People are free to do whatever they want as long as they don’t hurt anyone else in the process. I’m simply here to point out the weird and exhausting process of saying out loud that you hate Star Wars for the sake of hearing yourself scream. I do not see the interest.

But I also prefer to spend my time enjoying my life and sharing the joy of fandom with others who share the love. You do, I guess. A person doesn’t have to – and probably won’t – like everything Star Wars does. But spending your whole life criticizing a space opera is certainly an interesting legacy to crave.

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