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The Blue & Gray Press | December 16, 2017

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A Note to Science Fiction Fans: Please Stop Complaining

It’s simple: those who enjoy science fiction need to stop complaining about its lack of realism.

There are fans of “Star Wars” and there are fans of its animated television counterpart “The Clone Wars,” but, more often than not, these two groups are mutually exclusive. Furthering this gap was the announcement that the series would be reintroducing fan-favorite protagonist, Darth Maul, to the franchise.

While the opportunity to see the aggressive, devil-horned Sith Lord is certainly tantalizing, there is a small problem: in the now infamous fan-boy bane “The Phantom Menace,” Darth Maul was cut in half at the waist and fell down a seemingly bottomless pit. Cue fan outrage.

It’s hard to take people seriously when they complain about the lack of realism in a science fiction franchise, particularly one with such a heavy precedent for resurrection and surviving near-death encounters.

Considering Darth Vader was born after Anakin Skywalker was burned alive on the shores of a lake of lava after being cut into pieces, or that General Grievous was able to survive in a cyborg body with nothing but his eyes, heart and guts intact, the throngs of jaded fans crying foul seem a little silly.

The fan uproar cuts to the core of a deeper issue within science fiction fans in general, and “Star Wars” fans in particular; they hate everything.

Let’s rewind back to before “The Clone Wars,” before “The Phantom Menace” and even before the 1997 re-releases of the original “Star Wars” films. Even upon the release of the original “Star Wars,” fans bickered and complained about the golden protocol droid C-3PO. C-3PO’s status as a proto-Jar Jar Binks held up through “The Empire Strikes Back” until “Return of the Jedi,” when fans found something new to hate in the Ewoks, the furry teddy bear imps that comprised the citizenry of the forest moon of Endor.

The films were re-released in 1997 and, after over a decade, fans finally had something new to moan and groan about when George Lucas hopped on his computer and tampered with his films. This was a misstep beyond correction, unless you can muster the strength to not watch the remade films, but who has the willpower for that? And of course, come 1999, fans bemoaned the destruction of their childhood when the prequel trilogy of films was released.

The simple fact of the matter is that the audible majority of “Star Wars” fans have never been happy and never will be.

I applaud George Lucas for moving his franchise on into further generations, despite the obnoxious cries of aging fans. Why shouldn’t kids today be able to watch a new section of the “Star Wars” saga unfold? “The Clone Wars” isn’t for the middle-aged fans that were able to see “A New Hope” in theaters. It’s for eight-year-olds. And me. Shut up and let us enjoy it.