An Open Letter to Star Wars: Stop Demonizing your Fanbase
Dear Star Wars,
It's not me; it's you.
For as long as I can remember I have been amazed and in love with the Star Wars franchise. I argue Star Wars is the greatest film trilogy of all time. But since the Last Jedi not only have the films been subpar in my opinion but perhaps what most dissapointed me was the response from those who now blame their missteps on the alt-right, Russian bots, and toxic fans.
The first two are just excuses the media has been throwing around which mean almost nothing. I'm here to explain why there is clear disconnect between the "toxic" fan base and the franchise. (As well as critics and audiences)
1. Diversity doesn't make a film good or bad
Let me be clear: Any angst towards Kellie Marie Tran should be directed towards Rian Johnson. She was given a horrid script for her character arc and development. As the first female Asian main character in a Star Wars film, Tran deserved better. For his part, Rian Johnson calls critical Star Wars fans 'manbabies'. Maybe Johnson should look to emulate stories with diverse cast members that actually provide us with a great story like Black Panther and more recently Crazy, Rich Asians.
2. Story Continuity Matters
When many complained that The Force Awakens played it too safe - while applauding The Last Jedi for taking risks. JJ Abrams had set the base for the next trilogy. Rian Johnson came in and destroyed all of it. A couple examples include Luke's story arc: The Force Awakens was all about finding Luke using map pieces he left behind - Now he doesn't want to be found. Another is the addition of Rose Tico to the relationship matrix. Was it Finn/Rey or Finn/Poe? Nah, now it might be Rey/Finn but also Rey/Poe...and also Poe/Finn? What about Rose/Finn? The relationships between characters has become a convoluted mess.
While I could go on, the point is Star Wars fans just want good films. If you're gonna give us sub par character development and weak storylines you're going to get rightly criticized. For that, the blame doesn't fall on the "toxic" fans but perhaps on "toxic" filmmakers.
Lifelong Star Wars Fan