Hey Zerome, sorry about yesterday if I was rude to you. We just have two different opinions and that’s totally fine. Sorry again man.
Anyway, I think a big difference between fan editors and SWT is that he makes money (a lot of it) from his audience. And video monetization and patreon is one thing, but also selling merchandise that is clear copyright infringement (using Star Wars characters, logos, etc.) is another. I think when money is brought into the picture, it introduces another motive that must be considered with every decision he makes.
Beyond that, I think despite what he says about not wanting to spread negativity, his identity feels strongly built around it. Even in his follow up video, I feel he is still criticizing Disney/Lucasfilm without overtly doing it, by doing things such as giving a long praise for George Lucas (acknowledging him and ignoring the rest of the Lucasfilm team), and by reiterating that what he is doing is “by the fans, for the fans”. Again, in a way saying that he is doing what the fans want and Lucasfilm isn’t. George has become a way for a lot of detractors to gives themselves a semblance of authority, by saying they are “preserving George’s vision or legacy”, implying that modern Lucasfilm isn’t.
And despite understanding the rules, he keeps bringing up how much money he could’ve made if he had been able to monetize the video or crowdfund the project. Man, that is rule #1 of fan projects, but why do you keep bringing this up? You don’t make money for fan films, you don’t make money for fan edits. Period. And even talking about this issue with I had people keep bringing this up to me. It’s like by reminding his audience about this, he’s trying to imply how unfair Disney/Lucasfilm is by not allowing him to make money. Again, painting them in a bad light.
And like I said, Lucasfilm couldn’t allow people to do that even if they personally like SWT and really wanted him to be able to. It’s just a factor of IP law, and a safeguard to protect copyright ownership. People can cry what is fair or not fair all the want, it’s the law.
As a fan editor, or at least a person who likes fan editing, I have my own opinions on intellectual property law, but I still have to respect it to a degree. Again, Disney historically have been a major problem in the history of IP law, so I have my own critical opinions of Disney. Despite that, though, I don’t think it is fair to villainize a company when it is convenient for one’s image. Especially Lucasfilm.
SWT is also alligned with several other YouTubers who, in my opinion, are also responsible for spreading negativity in the community while having little to no responsibility for it.
Again, taking his apology video. Even though he says he’s not about the negativity, interestingly enough his comment sections don’t reflect that, going on and on about boycotting Disney or firing Kathleen Kennedy. If he meant what he said, he would actually address his audience about this.
Listen, I don’t think these people necessarily got on YouTube just to hate on Disney or Lucasfilm. People can dislike the new movies, that’s fine, totally their opinion. What happens is that the when a lot of these people started out, they began noticing that the videos they made where they talked about things they didn’t like got more views than other stuff. So, they start talking about more and more of their criticisms, drawing people in with clickbaity titles (even bigger outlets like Collider are responsible for this, especially recently), and now their identity is built around criticism and negativity. I mean, this isn’t anything new, yellow journalism has been a thing for a very long time.
And that brings me back to SWT. I think it is really cool that this guy I had a idea for a story and wanted to make a fan film. But I feel like from the beginning this whole project was built around the idea that this was an to attempt to do something better than modern Lucasfilm. So the fan film itself has inherently become a criticism of Lucasfilm, obviously enough that even the Rule of Two podcast had a video titled “Is SWT fan film better than new movies?” Super clickbait, controversial. I’m sure it was just based off a question they got from a viewer since personally there isn’t an argument, but it shows that this how a lot of people are perceiving this fan film. But to each their own, you know?
Fan films used to not be like that. Even during the Prequels, there were some fan films that parodied the prequels, but you could tell all of them were coming from a place of love.
I’m sure this project originally came from a place of love from SWT, but to me it felt like it was trying to be a big “Fuck You” to Lucasfilm.
But when people’s careers and income are built around stirring the pot because that’s what gets the clicks, the negativity we see in the fanbase today is clearly going to be a product of that.
Geez, even his recent video where he talks about things Disney could do to “unite the fanbase” is so condescending. It reeks of “I know Star Wars better than you.”
I just don’t get why these YouTubers can’t talk more about the things they actually like rather than the stuff they hate? Why do they want to complain all the time? This whole controversy is just a repeat of the Solo gun marketing fiasco, where people like Geeks + Gamers and SWT began calling Disney SJW’s and pushing an agenda, when it was just Disney making variant posters to follow Brazil’s federal guidelines. Even SW Explained, another SW YouTuber, called them out for it and of course they were offended by being called out. At least they were able to give a semblance of an apology that time. Even after realizing this situation had more to do with Warner and little to do with Disney, he still take back any remarks he made from his previous video.
That to me is what is so funny about Thor’s video about the situation. He goes on and on about Disney/Lucasfilm, when this situation has barely anything to do with them. But it is an opportunity for them to vent their own biases that they have. Their opinions are justified! Thor is especially guilty of this, since it feels like now most of his videos you can’t avoid him criticizing Lucasfilm. Even videos not overtly talking about his gripes will still have a little anecdote like, “Unfortunately, Disney has done this instead, or chosen not to do that cooler thing.” You can’t get away from it.
What happened to these people talking about things they liked? Why can’t Star Wars fan just agree to disagree and MOVE ON, and talk about stuff they like about Star Wars. Everything is a crusade nowadays.
Luckily I still think there are YouTubers that are generally positive but still have their own, unique opinions where they have things they like and don’t like, but choose to focus on things they like.
Eckhart’s Ladder, EC Henry, Star Wars Explained, HelloGreedo. There are things they don’t like about the new movies, but they don’t get hung up on that stuff and instead generally make videos about stuff they actually like. Being positive, you’re gonna get positivity. Being negative, you’re going to get negativity.
Even with the first big fan editor, the Phantom Editor, he didn’t hate George Lucas or the prequels. He approached it like a professional, so what worked and what didn’t, and wanted to try and improve it. Even in his commentary, he discusses how he didn’t like how his edit became a symbol for people who hated the prequels. He even talks about how after making, he probably will never get to meet George Lucas and how a part of him regrets that.
And the OT community in general, back in the day I’m sure some people disliked George for the Special Editions, but generally from what I understand, it wasn’t constant Lucas-bashing, they just wanted him to release the theatrical editions of the films.
Things feel like they’ve changed, and people are so quick to forget how people used to be. It is so funny to me how much SWT praises George Lucas in his videos (a way to take a jab at modern Lucasfilm in my opinion), but if this guy had been born 20 years prior, he would be giving Lucas the same vitriol that he gives Disney/Lucasfilm today, and would be talking about how George has lost touch, and has forgotten what Star Wars is all about. But now it has become cool to like the prequels again.
This stuff is so relative, but people fail to see it. You can’t tell me our fanbase doesn’t have a problem when you have Daisy Ridley and Kellie Marie Tran chased off social media. It’s Jake Lloyd and Ahmed Best all over again. These people, these YouTubers, are influencers, and they have the opportunity to make the Star Wars community are more positive, inclusive one. But they don’t, because that would be going against what they’ve been preaching all this time, it feels like. They would be “selling out”, but their partially responsible for creating this environment I feel like they’re trapped in.
I just think his “brand” is too tied with the negativity of his community, and he is more concerned about saving face rather than being honest with his fanbase, which has led to me to not really trust his motivations for the things he does or says.
But who knows? I’m hoping when Clone Wars and The Mandalorian roll around, we will have content the majority of fans can agree on and we can start being friendly again and just enjoy Star Wars, like it’s so hard to do, and that will put people in a better mood when Episode IX comes out.
But if they start complaining about how Clone Wars doesn’t have enough episodes and it is Disney’s fault for not greenlighting more episodes, or if they find something to criticize about the Mandalorian I also won’t be surprised. But I’m hoping it won’t be that way.