Thursday, April 13, 2017

My Life in Fandom: The Official Star Wars Love-In Begins in Orlando

The Mouse and Lucasfilm are putting on Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, Florida this weekend. It started today, and whatever else you can say about the convention organizers you cannot say that they don't know how to deliver on the hype. What I'm embedding below is the big 40th Anniversary panel, which has all sorts of folks who usually don't show up at Celebration doing so, and yes this does have a Carrier Fisher moment at the end. It's very hard not to feel that love for all things Star Wars after watching something like this.

(Note: The channel I took this from has plenty more panel videos to watch. Click through and enjoy.)

It's very easy to fall into the lazy habit of being cynical about everything a corporation that owns a big and beloved thing like Star Wars does, and it is unfortunate that some of that comes from the own-goals that said corporations do far too often, but let us not forget that the core of the business that these corporations operate to maximize their profits stems from the maintenance of goodwill with their proven audience.

(Yes, there's a follow-up to that last bit, but I'm reserving that for another post because it's a buzzkill after that feelgood panel. If you want a clue, here's a hint: it's about that audience, and a plan to change it.)

Right now, the generation that grew up with the prequels are now entering their big earning years. The generation that came in with the Original Trilogy are now settled with kids, and they're running the business now. (Which drives a lot of stuff building on the Original Trilogy right now, and future plans have more ties to the prequels; no one said the Mouse wasn't capable of long-term planning.) They want to take what they love and build on it. They may not know exactly what they are doing (Cargo Cult mindset), but they remember the feels and that's what's driving development.

If we can do anything good for Star Wars, it's to help these folks get the knowledge that Lucas bestowed to Filoni back firmly into the institutional knowledge of the company- and then base all future development on that knowledge going forward. Yes, they need to know the pulps that Lucas drew from. Yes, they need to know the mythology that Lucas drew from. These are the pillars that allowed Lucas to tell old stories a new setting and create a modern mythology; he told the truth, and that truth is what resonates across the decades. If we can foster that devotion to truth, and building things out of love for the truth, knowing that it is that which drives the feels that the fans are so devoted to, then we can make Star Wars great again despite the SJWs doing their worst to converge it.

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