Hello everyone! Your favorite wannabe fantasy author here, and I thought this was a good time to coin a new OP ED piece on a topic that has recently stirred some controversy.
It is a very interesting time to be a geek. This is the day that Doc and Marty traveled to future Hill Valley in Back to the Future Part II, Jurassic Park made a massive haul at the box office, the Harry Potter series is set to continue after a long hiatus and of course, a new Star Wars movie is on the way in a few months.
With the new trailer having recently been released, people could not be more excited for this film. Pre-ticket sales alone have already broken records. How many series can you name that have crashed servers before they even hit the theaters?
Of course, there will be some people trying to spoil everyone’s fun. Recently a trend began on twitter where some, shall we say, less than enlightened individuals whined about John Boyega being one of the film’s leads. They whined and complained that the film promoted the so called ‘white genocide’ and that it ruined the franchise by including someone of color in a major role.
They must be new to Star Wars because apparently they forgot this little tidbit.
Of course, the internet exploded with condemnations and articles seeking to skewer the fools who put out the outrageous tweets. Many of the articles were clever, well worded, and thoroughly eviscerated the guilty parties. There is just one problem.
That is exactly what they wanted.
Let us begin with the facts. This so called movement was started by two people. Two people who wanted to bring attention to themselves because in their delusional minds, setting the internet on fire would bring them some kind of self importance. The people who sent out these tweets probably haven’t even seen Star Wars. The reason they targeted it is actually pretty simple.
Star Wars is trending.
It is an attention getting tactic that has been used successfully by pundits in the past. Ann Coulter for example claimed that the 2014 soccer match was a sign of moral decay in America. Of course we have been playing soccer here for years, and Coulter knows that. Once she made her statement, article after article came out explaining just how stupid she was, which of course gave her the ammunition to say “See? Look how whiny and sensitive these people are. This proves I am right.”
Does Coulter really believe that soccer is a sign of moral decay in the states? Nope. She only said that because the soccer match was a popular topic of discussion, and a good way to get attention.
The exact same thing happened here. Star Wars, like many other great works of fiction, has transcended its confines as a story to become a part of humanity’s collective heritage. What better way to get attention than to jump into a crowd of hyped fans and start spewing racist rhetoric? The internet became alive with response after response to their garbage, which is just what they craved. It gave them an illusion of power.
That is not the way to beat people like this. The real key to victory is found, oddly enough, in a little movie called A Nightmare on Elm Street.
We all know the story. A child murderer returns from the grave to murder teenagers in their dreams. At one point in the film, badass horror heroin Nancy and her boyfriend Glen (played by a young Johnny Depp) talk about how to defeat the crispy killer who is haunting them. Glen recalls some eastern teachings he read, and tells Nancy how an entire civilization built their culture around their dreams, even developing some pretty impressive skills in lucid dreaming.
“What if they meet a monster in their dreams? Then what?” Nancy asks.
“They turn their back on it. Take away its energy and it disappears.” Glen answers.
Sure enough when all of Nancy’s traps fail, she is left with only one way to vanquish Freddy. She turns her back on him and states “I take back every bit of energy I ever gave you. You’re nothing. You’re shit.”
And just like that, Freddy is gone.
Nancy’s plan of attack works, and though it doesn’t permanently defeat Freddy (as if the six sequels didn’t make that obvious enough), it does save her life, allowing her to eventually return and defeat Freddy for good.
Ideas can be dangerous, with ideas dealing with racism and racial superiority having especially bad track records when applied to the real world. But ideas are only as dangerous as we allow them to be. The citizens of Germany allowed themselves to be fooled at taken by an idea, and gave it the power it needed to murder twelve million people. If they just turned their backs on it, and ignored the bile spewed by those seeking power, the idea would have withered and died.
Rebuttals of bad ideas are important, but only when the idea gets enough power to become dangerous. The two responsible for this so called boycott are two people who probably live in their mother’s basements and don’t have jobs, so all they can do is blame other people for their own failures.
This will not be the last time the world hears such garbage, and it will certainly not be the last time it is attached to something as beloved as Star Wars. Just remember, the popularity of Star Wars is precisely the reason people like this will leach on to it. They will continue to kick down the doors of our parties to disrupt our festivities whenever something starts trending.
So you turn up the music and sing louder.