Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Opinion: Lessons From The Past


SWU: Star Wars fans! You must let Disney complete the training.
Star Wars Fans: I can't keep the vision out of my head. They're my friends. I've gotta help them.
SWU: You must not overreact!
Star Wars Fans: But the EU and Gaming will die if I don't.
David: You don't know that. [appears in spirit] Even the SWU cannot see their fate.
Star Wars Fans: But I can help them! I feel the Force...of boycotts!
David: But you cannot organize it! This is a dangerous time for you, when you will be tempted by the Dark Side of the Force.
SWU: Yes, yes! To David you listen.
David: It is just business. Disney will sweep away the old to usher in the new. That is why your friends are made to suffer.
Star Wars Fans: That's why I have to rage across the internet.
David: Fans, I don't want you to go crazy over this. Boycotting, raging, and condemning Disney won't accomplish anything. I don't want to lose you to anger and impatience the way we've lost others.
Star Wars Fans: You won't.
SWU: Stopped this must be. On this all depends. Only a patient fanbase with the Force as their ally will conquer stupidity and it's Emperor. If you end your calm demeanor now, if you choose the quick and easy path as others did, you will become an agent of evil.
David: Patience!
Star Wars Fans: And sacrifice the Clone Wars and LucasArts?
SWU: If you honor what Star Wars will be in the future, yes!

In the past week, I have witnessed fan outrage of a truly epic proportion. I have seen fans blast the following ACTUAL quotes across social media:

"Disney closed LucasArts? We should boycott all things Disney!"
"omg disney is evil"
"is the clone wars okay? is it all right? it seems in its anger, Disney killed it."
"Disney shud (sic) burn!!!"
"I refuse to go see Episode VII #boycottallstarwarsforever"

I sense a strange disturbance in the fanbase. Forget that, I sense outright panic. Cancelling the Clone Wars kicked over a mighty hornets nest. Now, however, closing down LucasArts has opened a crack within the fandom so that now a Grand Canyon of rifts has formed.

But why all the fuss? LucasArts did indeed give us such classics as the X-Wing and TIE Fighter flight simulators along with The Force Unleashed and Battlefront series. But what had it done lately? In 2009 alone, the company put out seven games. From 2010-2012 it put out only five including Star Wars Kinect (mixed reviews) and The Old Republic (lost 700,000 subscribers in five months).

A former employee for LucasArts had described the company as being on "life-support" and some speculated it was going to be shut down before the Disney buyout had happened. True, there were rumors and speculation of new projects, but too much was unknown to get excited over them. Release dates were pushed back further and further with no end in sight.

The REAL tragedy to all this is what's being lost in the shuffle. Lawrence Kasdan (Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) has been brought back. Dave Filoni is confirmed to be working on a new Star Wars series. Movies are coming, stand-alone films are in pre-production, and Star Wars will be coming to Netflix.

All of this thanks to Disney.

All of this is being buried by the un-necessary rage.

The TRUE problem to this is we live in a world where people expect things to come at not just light speed, but Facebook speed. We want to know what is going on right now, not wait for news to trickle in. We can instantly comment on the Star Wars Underworld's Facebook page (and some of you do...very frequently) and we can get a response back pretty fast. But unfortunately, that's not how the world works.
You can't refresh the Drudge Report or CNN every ten seconds and expect to see the latest news. The Wall Street Journal still puts out a few articles a day. And seriously, how often does StarWars.com change its home page? The business world moves at a more "realistic" pace than we want. We will get new content, new games, new novels (call me, Disney!), new movies, and yes even new series on the television. Will it happen right away? Why can't we get an announcement? Where's the super-secret strategic plans Disney has set out for the next ten years?

Because that's not how things work. Writers have to be hired, plots hammered out, then shredded, then the hammered writers scribble out more ideas. Sets have to be built, concepts go to storyboards, then spring to life, which requires costume making, casting of actors, and a small army of lawyers to get involved.

Star Wars fans are racing off half-cocked, just like Luke. Heed old Ben Kenobi's one word plea: Patience!


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