Certain things invoke nerd rage, which, while entertaining to witness, is best avoided when possible. Here are 5 things you never say to a Star Wars fan:
“The only good film was Empire.”
I’m going to avoid the prequels for now – more on them later. While Empire may have been a great film, Empire was not the only good film. I don’t know when this happened, but a film being ‘dark’ doesn’t necessarily make it ‘great’. Just because A New Hope and Jedi end on positive notes, it doesn’t make them any less relevant or any less enjoyable than Empire.
Chronologically by release, the only characters of note established in Empire were Yoda, Lando, and Boba Fett – and if you watch in numerical order, the only character of importance introduced was Lando. The only world of matter that was introduced was Dagobah (not to discount Hoth and Bespin, but they were visited and deserted, never to be heard from in the films again). I love Empire, it’s my favorite of the films – but to use it as a way to discount the other movies is ridiculous.
“Clone Wars is an unnecessary cash grab – it’s just a way for Lucas to make money from merchandising.”
First – shut your mouth. Until you’ve watched the masterstroke that was The Clone Wars animated series, you don’t get to insult it. In my opinion, Clone Wars is not only the best Star Wars work of the last 20 years (yes, even more than Timothy Zahn and Aaron Allston’s books in the EU), it did the nearly impossible, and made the prequels better.
Between Episode II and Episode III, a time gap occurs that was never explained, until Clone Wars launched. Seeing the Clone Wars in action – first hinted at in Episode IV by Obi-Wan – was harrowing. You grew attached to characters whose names were only numbers. You cheered for a padawan in Ahsoka Tano who had no history in the universe, but became a focal point for character growth and conflict between the Dark Side and the Light Side. And – most importantly – you got character backstory on people who had little or no speaking lines in the prequels, like Ki-Adi Mundi and Plo Koon, two Jedi with unique looks, and now a real story to their credit.
Most importantly, though? The Clone Wars brought new people to the fandom, and made fans out of those either too young to see the prequels, or too jaded by their stories to care.
“The great Galactic Empire was defeated by a bunch of teddy bears.”
First, the Ewoks didn’t defeat the entire Empire – they defeated a few soldiers on a moon in the middle-of-fucking-nowhere. It was a skeleton crew of soldiers with some heavy-duty firepower on their sides in the AT-ST, but little familiarity with the terrain. The Ewoks – despite being adorable – were clearly hunter/gatherers, given that half of them carry sharpened spears, and aren’t afraid to get aggressive when they see something they don’t like.
Calling the Ewoks ‘teddy bears’ is like calling the American Revolution a ‘small scuffle’ – the fact is, a guerilla war was fought by those more familiar with the locale. Even before you take the Expanded Universe into account, logic alone would dictate that the entire military of a galaxy-spanning empire wouldn’t be stationed on a small moon. The Ewoks didn’t defeat the Empire, they defeated a platoon of Stormtroopers that basically got tasked with guarding a shield generator on an unpopulated planetoid – you know, the guys who weren’t good enough to be on the Death Star II.
“Your universe shouldn’t need to be Expanded in order for it to make sense.”
This is just idiotic. EVERYTHING has an expanded universe – video games, movies, TV, comics, magazines – all of these things expand the source material. Amazon has a whole wing dedicated to fan fiction.
People fondly remember the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, which itself was an expanded universe of the original Eastman and Laird comics. Even the Bible has an expanded universe – the New Testament! An EU doesn’t symbolize a weakness to the source materials, it signals a growth of ideas and brings characters and events into focus, showing sides of them you might not have seen.
“The only good part of the prequels was the Pod Racing scene.”
And we come to the big one. I won’t argue that there are a lot of flaws with the prequels – there are numerous issues with the films, and the stories, while not as weak as many OTers want to believe, aren’t as strong. But to take nearly 7 ½ hours of film and say that the only good part is one action scene from the first film is ridiculous. Some other great moments from the prequel trilogy:
- The first notes of ‘Duel of the Fates’ hitting, and Darth Maul being revealed
- The ignition of the double bladed lightsaber
- R2-D2’s introduction into the Star Wars universe
- Obi-Wan and Anakins pursuit of Zam at the start of Attack of the Clones
- Christopher Lee as Count Dooku
- Order 66
- Yoda vs. Count Dooku
- Palpatine testing his influence over Anakin at the start of Revenge of the Sity
- Liam Neeson as Qui-Gon Jinn
- A 30 minute dog-fight to open Revenge of the Sith
- The final battle and emotional confrontation with Obi-Wan and Anakin on Mustafar
Jay Malone (@JCorduroy) is the co-host of the PushtoRegenPodcast, a fancast about HeroClix. He also loves the world of GI Joe, and writes a (somewhat) regular column for TheTerrordrome. Jay once lived in a cupboard under the stairs like Harry Potter, has a dog that looks like Stitch, and his 3 year old son is named after the ruler of Latveria – but don’t tell his wife that.