In my post earlier this week, I wrote about the emergence of an online community of people who appreciate George Lucas’ Star Wars Prequels as a source of memes. The meme-ification of these movies have changed the public perception of them. Once they were hated, now they’re enjoyed.
With the emergence of the Prequels as memes, they have moved from despised to appreciated. The ironic thing is that fans of the prequels – and obviously not all fans, just the toxic and vocal ones – have entirely forgotten what it feels like to enjoy movies that are publicly despised.
A lot of the content and comments on R/PrequelMemes tend to blame Disney for the supposed “Decrease” in quality of the Star Wars franchise. They get quite angry about The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.
And just as I was finishing my first Prequel Memes post, I found this post from a Star Wars meme page I follow:
But of course, there were comments that had a lot to say:
- “Those movies suck and deserve harsh ridicule. You only call us “toxic” because there are no actual arguments for why we are wrong.”
- “The only toxic thing in this situation is Disney.”
- “sometime toxicity is necessary.”
- “we are toxic because we care about the franchise we love.”
The Star Wars fandom has always been exceedingly toxic, and the fact that some of the commenters seek to deny it shows how oblivious they can be to that sort of thing. These are likely people who wouldn’t necessarily be upset that Kelly Marie Tran was bullied off of Instagram; similarly, Ahmed Best received a lot of negative attention for his role in the prequels, and considered suicide as a result.
On Reddit, I found this meme, criticizing the edition of A New Hope where Han doesn’t shoot first:
The obvious irony here is that they blame Disney, who didn’t make that change to A New Hope – it was George Lucas in 1997, well before Disney ever acquired it. The blame should be with Lucas, but since R/PrequelMemes casts Disney and Kathleen Kennedy as their villains, they can’t admit that Lucas might have made a questionable storytelling decision.
Or this post, which argues that review aggregators don’t work?:
The Prequels, once hated, have now skewed people’s perceptions of what makes a “good” movie. So when Lucasfilm took the feedback they got from the Prequels, they made movies that appealed to viewers who were critical of the prequels. And this did not please fans of the prequels, who reacted with the same vitriol we saw in response to the prequels.
I had planned on doing a post about this to be uploaded shortly after my “The Glory of R/PrequelMemes” earlier this week. And in my prep for that post, I found that more than a few people had already made memes about it.
I am glad to see that not everyone who makes these memes are entirely oblivious to the irony here.
(I realized I didn’t provide context for the above picture: it was posted as a screenshot to R/PrequelMemes with a title along the lines of “Look at these heathens in R/[other subreddit]!”)
Really, I just wanted to do this post to talk about how silly this whole thing is. Fans of the Prequels hate the Sequels for a variety of reasons, but often – not always – they express this hate in unhealthy ways. There’s no moral to this story, and I know that this post won’t change the way that disgruntled fans express their dissatisfaction. I just hope one or two of them reads this and says “Hm. That is ironic.”
I guess it could be construed as unfair for me to blame prequel memes or R/PrequelMemes for people who hate the sequels. The comments seem to be much more vitriolic on platforms outside of Reddit – look in the comments of any sequel-focuses post by any official Star Wars account and you’ll see.