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ARRRRRGH! - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Why am I not sticking with my boycott of RotS reviews? Another good one, with all the same lovely pointless viciousness as the one cited earlier, with the gratuitous line added: "No sane person over the age of thirty have thought the last two movies didn't suck."


I'll be thirty-five in July. I'll admit to being a little eccentric, but I'm perfectly sane. And, not to toot my own horn, but reasonably bright as well. Good test scores, large body of work to attest to this. Oh, and my undergraduate major was comparative religion, with a focus on mythology, so I also have a better than average education about stories and how they function.

And TPM and AotC are my favorites of the series.

This is why I wasn't looking forward to this movie. The basher cadre and the vindictive press that latches onto them and quotes them without talking to the rest of us at all. They've entirely spoiled the fun, because I can't even read a good review of the movie without being insulted in a highly personal manner.

And you know what? I've been to see TPM and AotC months after their initial releases, to find myself in packed theaters full of people who are cheering at the appropriate moments and walking out with comments like, "Awesome!" and "I never thought I'd like Star Wars, but this was really good" and of course extended conversations about the moral issues. This can be heard on the FREAKING ESCALATOR AT THE THE THEATER. You don't need to make any special arrangements for it. And yet somehow or other, all of these thousands of people who bring in the cash that makes the movies so successful don't exist. Right, folks.

Oh, no. My mistake. We exist. We're just stupid and crazy and immature and therefore irrelevant. How is this determined? Well, because we understand what Lucas is doing and like the movies. Ergo, if you understand and like the movies, you're crazy and your opinion on the movies has no merit, so there's no reason to acknowledge you, and the statement that "no one likes these movies" is obviously true.

G-d, how I hate the press.
67 comments or Leave a comment
fiatincantatum From: fiatincantatum Date: May 18th, 2005 05:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Didn't you know? Liking things is doubleplusuncool. The only way to prove how cool, edgey and intelligent you are is to bash something, especially something other people enjoy. This apparently proves how smart you are.

Or something.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 18th, 2005 05:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think I should save these reviews before the press's MiniTru starts talking about how RotS really sucks as well, as they said all along...
ladyaeryn From: ladyaeryn Date: May 18th, 2005 05:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
No sane person over the age of thirty have thought the last two movies didn't suck

Well, I've certainly never claimed to be either of those, so I guess that explains why I love TPM and AotC so much. *snerk*

Seriously. Anyplace you see or hear something about 'RotS,' just turn the other way. I haven't even been looking at reviews that people I trust have vouched for.
timesink From: timesink Date: May 18th, 2005 05:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
G-d, how I hate the press.

{pats Fern} You forgot to mention that you are a "rare female fan." That's the one that bugs the living shit out of me.

I hate the press too, even if I am it.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 18th, 2005 05:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, right. How could I forget that? I've had such trouble running into other female fans of SW every time I turn around.

Of course, they're all those deviants who write fan fiction, which consists entirely of badly written pornography.

I've done my time as a book reviewer for a newspaper and a short-lived magazine and worked for a campus political rag and a campus TV station, so, though I'm not currently press, I can also admit to thinking of this as something of a familial screaming match.

Hey, at least this stupid press trick only annoys people.

(I'm tempted to watch Shattered Glass to renew my faith in people of good will who try to stop these things...)
swatkat24 From: swatkat24 Date: May 18th, 2005 05:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
WTF? I admit, I didn't enjoy Ep II very much (except for the Yoda bits), but this kind of name-calling is stupid.

daisan From: daisan Date: May 18th, 2005 05:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I SO want you to write a letter to the editor of the NYTimes with the points you're making here. These critics think their opinion is gospel, and that they have the DUTY as well as the right to slam a work of art if it doesn't meet with their expectations.

Having fought my way through an argument with a close friend in which he insisted the movies would be so much better without any of the "love crap" Lucas throws in there, I am visciously aware of the need for a well-rounded and intelligent analysis of the films and their purpose.

I can think of no better person than you to provide this. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 18th, 2005 05:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, the problem is that they'd never publish it, because expressing the opinion I hold is prima facie evidence that I'm unstable and stupid. Convenient, isn't it?
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fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 18th, 2005 05:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, I do. I just prefer the characters. Of course, the reason for this is that it's further along and has more resonances built in from previous installments, so there's more to work with, which is an advantage that no first entry in a series has.

Really, I do have a good re-education center--two of them, actually. Vader's Mask is my site, and of course there's Saga Journal... I'm sure we could find a room for you.
sreya From: sreya Date: May 18th, 2005 05:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yesterday I was getting REALLY frustrated because my own parents were reading the RotS reviews and already starting to bash Natalie and Hayden. They haven't even seen RotS yet!!! I kept my mouth shut because, well, I'm home on vacation for only 9 days and I don't really want to launch into an argument with them that may end with them skipping the movie tonight. (Yes, they can be that petty, my father in particular) But GOOD GRIEF, it's frustrating! And obviously they liked SOMETHING about the last two because they bought midnight tickets this year which they've not done in the past. And when Dad decided to watch Star Wars yesterday, he was looking for TPM, and just as willing to watch AotC as ANH.

So WHY they had to start in on bashing already yesterday is so frustrating.

Sometimes I just don't understand human behavior.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 18th, 2005 05:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sometimes I just don't understand human behavior.

There are times--more and more as I get older--when I find C-3P0 to be the wisest character on screen...
zoepaleologa From: zoepaleologa Date: May 18th, 2005 05:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I saw the first trilogy when it came out. I'm old enough. I sort of prefer them from a story point of view. I can still remember what a jaw dropper it was in 1980 when Darth Vader said, "I am your father".

I still loved the last two made. I do not think we can actually apply judgement to the new trilogy, until we have seen the actual story arc, and can then judge Lucas's intentions.
buongiornodaisy From: buongiornodaisy Date: May 18th, 2005 05:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Whose review was it?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 18th, 2005 05:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Boston Metro, the local freebie.
From: psalm_27 Date: May 18th, 2005 06:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is why I have avoided all reviews of RotS and newspapers in general. Somewhere it was decided that the public only wanted to hear negative things or that we revel in bashing.

I loved AotC, liked TPM, and thought that the cast was fabulous in both. I've never understood the criticism of Hayden Christenson, he's played Anakin exactly as I would have imagined. I would say that the writing wasn't always an easy thing for him to work with, but he was fine. I've not heard any criticism of Natalie Portman. She's done a great job, especially for someone who's had to wear such huge headwear.

I'm giddy with anticipation to see RofS on Saturday (I know, I have to wait for hubby!). At the same time, I've packed the purse full of tissues and anticipate a cry-fest. As I did with RotJ, I've kept myself spoiler-free (of course, it was much easier with RotJ). I'll never forget that moment when Luke realizes that Leia is his sister. Still gives me goosebumps.

BTW, I've learned, especially in the last two elections, that somehow the everyday folk never gets asked his or her opinion on anything. I guess it doesn't matter whether its politics or entertainment.
ashavah From: ashavah Date: May 18th, 2005 06:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm getting a bit sick of it too.

And I am also sick of the fact that my favourite radio station is full of people on their way home from the movie, talking about it and being spoilery. *hates assignments and illness for preventing midnight viewing*
keridwen From: keridwen Date: May 18th, 2005 06:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
A friend of mine put it well. "Wow, there's lots of hate going around"
dangermousie From: dangermousie Date: May 18th, 2005 06:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Found you though a link in ladyaeryn journal.

I so agree with you. I am not 30 (27 this month), but I am fairly rational and normal, and yet I prefer PT to the OT. It just resonates more with me.

There is nothing wrong with disliking TPM, AotV, or even Citizen Kane for that matter. But I think an intelligent person can "agree to disagree." The fact that people hold different opinions from you, Mr. Critic, does not make them insane, immature, or even people of bad taste. That is why we are a society of individuals, not the Borg. I didn't really love TPM, but I can see how other people would. And I loved AotC but would never dream of saying: "If you don't like it, you are a moron." How hard is it for a critic to understand, that quite simply, tastes differ. Argh.
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fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 18th, 2005 07:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
(I think people expected Episode I to start about in a different part of the story--maybe 2/3 of the way through AotC...)

That, I think, is where I'm just confused by the reaction. We knew that the story of the prequels was going to be about how Anakin fell. To show a fall from grace, you have to show the state of grace. Starting as late as they were thinking wouldn't have left much left to tell--there would be no point of reference, just kind of starting with an unstable guy who trips and falls, rather than the whole provenance of how he got there... which was the story that was promised. I'm not sure what they expected to get out of three movies if they started that close to the end of the story!
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zhonnika From: zhonnika Date: May 18th, 2005 07:21 pm (UTC) (Link)

All I can say is WORD!
author_by_night From: author_by_night Date: May 18th, 2005 08:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
*Hugs* I see reviews like that all the time for movies I like. If it makes you feel better, it's probably that such reviewers aren't really watching enough to grasp the mature tone.
myf From: myf Date: May 18th, 2005 09:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hey Fern, I've been meaning to ask - and this is a good place for it - whether you have reviews of the first 2 SW films online, because I'd love a link. I thought they were deeply ordinary, so I don't blame a lot of reviewers for thinking so and saying so in their reviews. But denigrating those who don't agree is a silly way of going about their jobs.

Anyway, if you have links I'd be really interested in your views of those films.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 18th, 2005 09:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
I actually was pretty busy doing in depth analysis, and never wrote individual reviews of them. (Talking about images of people rising and falling throughout TPM interested me more than saying "Two thumbs way up!!!" I assumed that the fact that I started a website devoted to Anakin, wrote quite a lot of fanfic, and discussed the minutiae of the movies would be quite enough to establish that I didn't think of them as "ordinary." Come to think of it, I've never written a review of any SW film. Or HP book.)
akashasheiress From: akashasheiress Date: May 18th, 2005 10:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm very new to the SW-fandom, but I'm still able to appreciate both the old and the new movies.

Personally, I really enjoyed PM and AotC - I even didn't mind Jar Jar that much;)

Maybe it's just my imagination, but I really can see Padmé and Anakin in Luke and Leia. Only, I think Luke actually (personality wise) resembles his mother more than his father - something about that innate mildness of character.

Did I make any sense whatsoever?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 18th, 2005 10:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ha-ha... you have no idea how much sense it makes to me! I've written a few novels worth of fanfic that boil down to the idea that the twins are gender-bent reflections of their parents--Luke with his patient and forgiving manner, Leia with her absolutism and passion. What's really neat, actually, is that you don't necessarily notice it at first, but Mark Hamill, in facial structure, resembles Natalie Portman more than either of the actors playing Anakin, too. I love the casting.
shezan From: shezan Date: May 18th, 2005 10:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know, even though some facts are contradicted in ROTS, your story Old friends, long gone really fits with the general tone. In fact, it's uncanny.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 18th, 2005 11:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
I knew I'd guess some facts wrong (though my first response will be to figure out how to twist what we're left with so I don't have to change too much; Paul Sheldon's resurrection of Misery Chastain is my working model for anything's-possible), but I'm pleased at how well the tone in general has turned out to fit with the movies. It's gratifying.
subsidaryforge From: subsidaryforge Date: May 19th, 2005 12:03 am (UTC) (Link)


You know, I am not a fan of Phantom Menace and Attack. My opinions of them are, in fact, pretty strong, while my feelings toward the original trilogy are strong in the opposite direction. But I have known intelligent, heck, brilliant people that adore the new films and can write at great and thoughtful length about them. Adoring a lot of sci-fi and comic book "mindless pulp" as I do, I'll forgive reviewers who don't like the things I do. That's fine and inevitable. Tastes are going to differ. Although I bristle a little when something I like is labeled "stupid" (or some variant), I recognize that I do it, too. But I completely object to deciding that only idiots/geeks-who-never-left-the-basement/losers, etc, or, conversely, "smart people/good people/etc" are going to enjoy something. Anything. I don't care if it's Manos, Hands of Fate, or the latest Academy Best Picture or some artsy indie film. If I like something and you really don't, I'm not going to tell you you're an idiot for not liking it or if you really thought about it, you'd adore it. (At least, not with any seriousness) One person's opinion is not the be-all and end-all of what's good and what isn't.
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