The following is an open letter to Star Wars Spin Off film writer Gary Whitta.
Dear Mr. Whitta,
First, allow me to congratulate you on your new job as writer of the first upcoming Star Wars spin off film. I can't imagine how exciting it must be for you to be writing in a universe so beloved by so many, yourself included. I can't wait to go to the cinema on December 16th, 2016 and see what you and your collaborator Gareth Edwards have in store for us.
However, there is an issue I would like you to address at some point between now and the release of the film. Over the past 24 hours fans have been scouring the Internet to find out your history with Star Wars. What they founds was much disdain for the Prequel Trilogy and Special Editions, as well as some less than kind words about creator George Lucas (or "the maker", as we like to call him).
You, like everyone else, are 100% entitled to your opinion. That being said, my concern is that your way of expressing your opinion sheds a bad light on Star Wars and risks disenfranchising fans who do appreciate the more recent installments in the saga. Many fans from the younger generations grew up with the prequels and special editions and feel as passionately about them as you do the Original Trilogy.
I'm not saying you need to change your opinion or only say say positive things. Far from it, and I hope I am not coming across that way. I completely understand that part of the creative process is to be critical of prior works, both yours and others. What I am doing is asking you to change your approach. For example, stay away from words like "abomination" and avoid saying things like "F$%k George Lucas" when discussing your opinions. And if you have some nice things to say about the Prequels and Special Editions we'd love to hear those too!
Please keep in mind that you are now officially representing the franchise and, by extension, the fans. By changing your approach, you reduce the risk of alienating fans who do enjoy the Prequels and Special Editions. The great thing about Star Wars is that there is so much to love and everyone can find something they can like (even if there are parts they aren't so fond of). Focusing on the parts we love (and not so much on the other stuff) creates a more unified fan community and is better for the overall health of the franchise.
So, over the next two and a half years, my hope is that you will take my advice and focus more on the parts of the saga you love. Like I said, you don't have to lie or only sing the praises of the Prequels and Special Editions, simply use different language when discussing the films in the media. (Shameless plug: if you're looking for a place to start this shift in approach, I highly recommend The Star Wars Underworld Podcast). This will reflect better on you within the fan community, and on the franchise to the rest of the world.
Once again, congratulations on the new gig. I look forward to seeing what's in store on December 16, 2016.
May the Force be With You,
You can follow Dominic on Twitter: @DominicJ25
This article is an opinion piece and represents the views of the writer, and not the entire Star Wars Underworld organization.