re: Rebuttal to a Requiem

Dear Readers,

I would just like to start out by saying I do enjoy a good back and forth debate on topics such as Comics, books, movies and how people see them. Even more, I enjoy when I look at the points of the person debating me and see that they seem to prove my points for me. So please bear with me as I make a response to our esteemed colleague Ben Cass and please remember while I hold tightly to my view points, I bear no grudges or ill will towards people who contradict me in a fun spirited way. Now after saying that, I’m taking off the kids gloves and showing him why I have some valid points. ::winks::

 

I would first like to point out that I am not a fanboy, fangirl, purist or any such nonsense as that when it comes to Star Wars. However, I am a diehard fan. One of my greatest dreams growing up was that perhaps someday I would be able to write a book or at least a short story for such a great saga. Now with the announcement of the EU being discarded I am glad that dream never came true. The reasoning behind this is simple. While I am not the type of author who wishes her books to be famous or in it for the money I do want my books and stories to bear weight and to matter. If I am sacrificing several months of my time to create a novel for someone else’s universe I want to know up front is this cannon or is this a “What if” or “Alternate Whatever”. While Lucas has said since the 80’s that he is not beholden to the EU he also has never contradicted the EU, has never marketed the EU as an alternate universe, alternate time line or a “what if”. The EU has always been marketed as the continuing stories of the main characters, races, businesses what have you from the cinematic universe. All of this plays in highly to my argument as well as what has been flashing almost non-stop across the internet from every fandom site I have seen. In fact the only fandom site to take the same stance as Ben here is a site that didn’t even know when the first EU book was published and thus had the EU as 15 years younger than it truly is.

 

So Ben, may I ask you a question (feel free to use the reply button instead of a whole post if you want up to you) but here’s my thing. Do you consider yourself a “fan” of Star Wars? You have admited in your own post “I never bothered to watch the prequels, because I have a thing against prequels.” and “Aside from “The Truce at Bakura” and the “Legacy” comic books featuring Cade Skywalker, I have not read any of the Expanded Universe stuff.  I really don’t know anything about it.” So if I’m reading this right, you have watched half the movies and read maybe .00001% of the Expanded Universe. With that kind of track record of course you wouldn’t care about what happens to the EU. I wouldn’t even expect you to understand about the EU’s importance when it is being nerfed the way it is.

 

But Ben, I also know you do care about some things just as much in fact you even state such shortly thereafter with this “ I do have an emotional attachment to certain comic book characters, and I sometimes have a problem when those characters get drastically altered.  *cough Electric Superman cough*  That’s the main reason I refuse to watch “Smallville”; I don’t like the changes they made to the story.” Right there you say how you have a problem with characters you love being changed and refuse to watch things specifically because they have changed the story line. And lets be realistic, you’re talking about a comic book and comics are known to constantly reboot, retcon and down right ignore continuity whenever it suits them in fact you make a point of that in this quote “In 1986, DC Comics had their “Crisis on Infinite Earths”, which rebooted their entire universe.  Some characters were not seen again, others had their histories redone in the new universe, and things we’d thought we’d known for decades were now erased.” And again “DC did it again recently with the New 52.” So it’s ok to not like that a comic book company who has rebooted their entire company at least twice in almost 30 years has made changes to one of your favorite characters and yet Star Wars fans are overreacting when their entire universe is being rebooted and retconed for the very first time in 35 years of a continuous continuity that unlike comics books is known to span all genre’s instead of shifting to suit the audience.

 

So to continue, you want to pick apart my argument for the whole Disney changing stories but left Marvel alone. Well lets see, I do know I never mentioned them changing Marvel as they have yet to nerf if because sometimes they do make good moves but Ben you have a long history of finding the one exception to every rule and then speaking like it’s the gospel truth and you know I call you out on this ALL the time on facebook and I’m going to do it again here. So Disney didn’t Disneyfy Marvel -lets take a look at some things it did change in huge ways. Compare book to movie of Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan. Hell, look at Pocahontas where they changed not just a story but history to make it sound better and be more family friendly. Disney is also an addict of making unneeded sequels for example 102 Dalmations, Bambi 2, Pocahontas 2, Cars 2, Fox and the Hound 2, Aladdin 2, and 3, Lion King 2, and 1 and a half (though admitedly I hear 1 ½ was funny), Little Mermaid 2, and already I’m kicking a dead horse with this list but not as bad as Disney does with it’s sequels. With a track record like this Episode 7 will say that Han shot Greedo first with a stun blast instead of killing him and will have no real relevance to anything and thus is yet another unneeded sequel. You also say you haven’t seen Disney doing this to Star Wars yet so why should we worry about it…well maybe you haven’t heard about their new pink clad Mandalorian who basically gang tags with spray paint everywhere she blows up and is described as “sassy” and “spunky”. Nope sounds like your stereotypical battle hardened mercenary type where the kids are wearing their armor basically as soon as they can walk. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/star-wars-rebels-meet-sabine-681433

 

You also say ouch to my listing JJ as a nail in the SW-EU coffin and while it may be harsh sounding it certainly holds no less weight. Don’t get me wrong I have enjoyed much of JJ’s work that’s out there and as I said Star Trek was visually stunning but it was also a cop out. I know you don’t understand this and you obviously need to brush up on some definitions too with what your saying. You say that the new Star Trek is not a reboot but look up reboot- “term that comes from computer usage. To reboot a computer is to start it up again after a computer crash. Hence, “reboot” has the connotation of starting a process over again.” Well guess what Star Trek has a process of what 11 or 12 movies and something like 5 TV Shows if I’m not mistaken? To then go back and start over is a reboot. However the movie is also a retcon according to the definition of such in the Urban Dictionary which says “Adding or altering information regarding the back story of a fictional character or world, regardless of whether the change contradicts what was said before.” Oh wait so getting Bones and Kirk to meet in Starfleet Academy isn’t a retcon when they originally didn’t meet until Kirk got the enterprise, not to mention all the other retcons that were out there for the various histories of the characters. I stand by my assertion that Star Trek was beautifully made but to just say “oh it’s an alternate history” is truly a cop out. They retconned their characters before they created an alternate timeline to reboot the series and it was ALL unnecessary Story Wise. They could have easily rebooted the series and gotten new fans by simply doing the same sort of story without bringing in the original spock and without having any time traveling characters. Vulcan could have still been exploded without breaking continuity with the earlier series of Enterprise which established a time police that would have been on hand to stop exactly what happened in this story. You say this alternate timeline didn’t contradict anything that happened before, yet you have all the retconing which if they had left out the time travel of spock would have made your point valid. The simple addition of a time traveling spock causes the differences in the characters origins to be contradictory unless you are saying that Spock not only traveled in time but also traveled to another dimension that was already a different timeline, but then you have the paradox of was that really an alternate timeline if he hopped dimensions too or was that always meant to happen there. Considering they never talk about that little paradox then yes they are contradicting themselves. So if JJ was fine doing this to an epic saga like Trek then why wouldn’t he be fine with doing that to an epic saga like Star Wars? Ben now that you watched Doctor Who you should have learned ALL about that wibbly wobbly timey wimey and dimension hopping changing stuff cause and effect lesson.

 

Oh and one small note…you talk plot holes and then you mention things Lucas did but we’re not talking Lucas and continuity we’re talking the EU and continuity, there is a huge difference. Lucas is the creator of the movies and the boss of the old continuity staff…this is the guy who changed the facts of who shot first in the special edition to Greedo shooting before Han. When Lucas says Jaba dies from Farting too much in the next special edition instead of Leia choking him out he’ll change it and not care about NerdRage being shot at him. However the EU has a lot less plot holes because they actually have to have all their stuff OK’ed by a team of people whose job is to say OK or Nay to just that type of mistake. So to talk about your plot holes lets see..

 

Leia has memories of her mother being kind but sad….ok lets try this on for size this one is just conjecture but having read every EU book after RoTJ. Leia is a force sensitive so it could be possible that she can subconsciously flow walk (which is a power that her son Jacen could do) when she is asleep to see her mother around the time she was born. Or she may have a memory of right after she was born just before her mother died when she was both gentle and sad as she named them right before death.

 

Kenobi doesn’t recognize R2 or C3PO after spending so much time with them during the clone wars times. So lets see C3PO is made by Anakin and modeled after a protocol droid. At first he looks like a rag tag model since he was put together with scrap by the time Obi-wan sees C3PO again he is a nice bright shiny gold and most of the protocol droids from that line are a majority color of either gold or silver. Watch the Prequels and then watch the Originals again and count the number of Protocol droids in there in the background…there are a lot of them then add the ones from the rest of the universe. Also why would Kenobi pay much attention to 3PO they wiped his memory when he went with Leia. As for R2 who didn’t get his memory wiped he is an Astromech Droid of the R2 series you have an R2 series with batches from A to Z and who knows how many numbers for each batch or how many droids were even produced in that same batch number. Add to the fact that the R2 Series is the MOST popular astromech droid around and that any starfighter too small to have it’s own navicompter NEEDED and Astromech and Larger vessels kept them for repair (see ep 1) I can imagine there would be several million Astromech units with just R2’s paint job alone.

 

Luke completes his training in days/weeks. Well we have no clue how long he stayed on Dagobah but even when he left he wasn’t done his training. Also Yoda died without finishing Lukes training…Luke was a self styled Jedi Knight and Knights are not done their training they just finished stage one. It took Luke many years and studying tons of Holocrons to truly finish his training and become Master Skywalker.

 

The Force doesn’t help Vader Recognize his daughter. Simple…the force is not a DNA test. The force doesn’t make you omnipotent. Vader was under the Assumption that Padme was dead before she could give birth. He never knew of Luke until the rumors of his name reached the Emperor and Vader and they said “wow that can’t be coincidence.” the Force was enough to let Vader glean that Luke did have a sister though so props to the force for being that forthcoming.

 

So you agreed with me that we may not see certain characters but some may be introduced. I said as much so not sure why you’re arguing that point but let me back this point up a bit more by saying this. Yes you might see a Mara Jade but will she be Mara Jade or just someone with her name. Will Mara be the Emperors Hand when she was a kid, will she be force sensitive, will she fall in love with Luke, will she have red hair, will she be an assassin? Chances are 90% of that background or even all of it could change, if so then that’s not Mara Jade. Would you still like to see Clark Kent in a Superman Movie if he was a dog sitter, if he didn’t grow up on a farm, if he was Batman. No you’d pitch a hissy fit just like any true Superman fan would. So while we may see names we might not see anything we recognize. I think that’s cause to complain.

 

As far as you thinking Chewies death was lame. That’s your opinion and I won’t fight it. Personally, I can’t think of a better death scene for such an important character than Saving his best friends youngest child by sacrificing himself and then having the audacity to howl defiantly at a friggen planetary body that is coming down to crash on his head. You couldn’t get such a spectacular nor more heart wrenching scene than that! Would you prefer he got his knee taken out by a stray blaster and spent his old age in a wookie version of an assisted living home? Roar wrrrahh hrrrroah (Translation: “I used to be a smuggler until I took a blaster to the knee” )

 

And now I get towards the end of your rebuttal and I have to once again bring something up. You state “My point is that these new universes, while having no direct connection to the Golden or Silver Age of comics aside from characters, have not thrown out those old eras and forced you to forget about them.  They’re still there; they can still be read and enjoyed.  The assorted movies that have been made don’t always have a lot in common with the comics, but that doesn’t mean I have to pick one or the other.” Yet you won’t watch Smallville because it changes things, you won’t watch the movie version of Phantom of the Opera because you’re afraid it will ruin your enjoyment of the stage production (you told me that yourself many times). So in some ways you’re right you don’t HAVE to pick one or the other and they are there but you DO pick one or the other, you do it all the time. I also have not said that we will forget the old EU…I said that to the fans of the EU the EU will ALWAYS be Cannon, the EU will always be forefront in our mind. For us the EU will not die no matter what Disney and LucasFilm throw at it. What I have said is that it’s a slap in the face of all the authors and fans who have viewed this as the legit cannon universe for 35 years. To simply throw it out and cannibalize it is the height of rudeness and as the WWE would say “not the best for business” When you have millions of fans who have known one thing for 35 years, have poured their heart and soul into it for 35 years not to mention have emptied their wallets into it for 35 years you can’t expect to scrap everything saying that from this point on no matter what we do we’re not going to be bothering with using what you know unless it suits us to without having outraged fans.

 

And to finish you say “Personally, I think people with reactions like Amanda are ultimately hurting their own enjoyment.  They have already decided that they’re not going to like the new versions of their favorite stories, and are trying to find reasons to justify their dislike.” and “It’s not healthy to go in with that kind of attitude.  You might end up costing yourself one hell of a fun ride.” Well first off, you know me. You know I do not do this normally. Also, as I have pointed out, I have many reasons to go into this new trilogy with trepidation. And furthermore, I can’t see where you get off even saying this when you admit you do the same thing. Until you go and watch Phantom without your preconceived notions and go and watch Smallville or a prequel to anything you have no leg to even stand on with this argument.

 

I think I have made my points pretty clearly and so I put this argument to rest for now.

2 thoughts on “re: Rebuttal to a Requiem

  1. Only had time to skim through it. I’ll reply fully when I get a chance. Two quick things, however.

    I refuse to watch the movie version of “Phantom” not because I’m afraid it will ruin my enjoyment of the stage version, but because Gerard Butler’s voice ABSOLUTELY SUCKS AS PHANTOM. I was excited for the movie version…and then I saw the first trailer, and heard him slaughtering the songs. I’ve gone on YouTube and watched the full scenes of those songs, reasoning that it might have just been cut poorly in the trailer…but no. His voice is just not good enough for the part. I can deal with the added scenes and songs; I didn’t particularly like the changes they made to “Les Mis”, but the overall movie was amazing, and so I just deal with it. Butler’s voice is on par with Nick Jonas in the Les Mis 25th anniversary concert. It makes me cringe to hear him try to sing the part.

    As for “Smallville”….I steadfastly refused to watch that even before it premiered, simply because of its premise. The more I have heard about it over the years, the less interested I become. Yes, I have a thing against prequels. No denying that. It’s why I haven’t watched “First Class”, despite enjoying the X-Men trilogy. It’s why I didn’t watch “Wolverine Origins”. It’s why I have no interest in the “Fantastic Beasts” trilogy that they’re going to spinoff from “Harry Potter”. Absolutely zero interest in seeing that story.

    Admittedly, I dislike the changes they made to the storyline, but I’m willing to ignore that. (Using your example, I actually don’t have a problem with a Superman who wasn’t raised on a farm; that’s irrelevant to the character. The important thing is the values instilled in him by the Kents. Wouldn’t matter if they were rich, poor, farmers, dog-walkers…whatever.)

    No, the main reason I don’t watch “Smallville” is simply because it’s a prequel, and so holds no interest for me. Had they turned him into Superman during the show’s run, and not the final five minutes or whatever it was, I would probably watch it.

    1. Ben,

      You deny your reasons for Phantom now but that was what you originally told me. You said it I remembered it deal with it it still shows that you will not watch things due to changes/preferences in styles and still proves my point. As for Butler all I can say is he made Phantom his own and was excellent in his part. You never once before Phantom came out told me you were excited for it in fact you told me the exact opposite for the reason I stated and then you got worse when you heard Butler in the previews. At that time you never said he was horrible you said he “didn’t sound like phantom” to you because you were predisposed to Crawford and other play versions which you enjoyed. We had a long conversation about this several times when the movie was due out.

      As for your second point about Smallville and why you won’t watch and why you won’t watch the potter spin-off and such it’s still a valid point. You pick and choose what you want based on preferences to if it’s a prequel or not, you choose with story line, you choose with how they do things. The reason I picked the whole “wasn’t raised on a farm” is because if he was raised in a city he wouldn’t have had the same upbringing, he wouldn’t have been with the Kents, he wouldn’t be superman. Every change in an established character makes it a different character. While you may not like prequels and such like that to me the history is important. Imagine Darth Vader knew he had children you could have had a dark side dynasty. Consider if Mara Jade wasn’t the Emperors hand or wasn’t force sensitive, she would not have met Luke and fallen in love and given birth to Ben Skywalker. Imagine if Luke was on an affluent water filled world where he wouldn’t want to leave everyday of his life and the death star doesn’t get blown up and the emperor rules until Vader takes power. Every little change whether you admit it or not changes a character. That’s the point you’re missing. YOU want SUPERMAN you don’t want the Red Son Superman, you don’t want the smallville Superman. That’s my point if they choose to pick characters and then change WHO they are then they aren’t that character.

      You can pick and choose only parts of my words and ignore the message in them if you want but it won’t change a thing.

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