fan backlash

The fan outrage around Rian Johnson‘s direction of Star Wars: The Last Jedi has become so torrid that directors who have nothing to do with Star Wars are starting to get roped in. Or, perhaps out of some noble Jedi instinct, they’re stepping in to defend the director from the fan backlash that has been going on for more than six (!) months now.

James Mangold, who has a pretty good standing within the geek community for helming the terrific Logan and scoring an Oscar nomination for it, is the latest to chime in to tell fans to just…chill. But he has more to say than just “calm down” — Mangold warns that if fans take their extreme backlash too far, it could result in their worst fears coming true.

There’s a beloved sci-fi series whose characters preach, “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Well, James Mangold says that the anger surrounding Star Wars: The Last Jedi could stoke a new kind of dark side in Hollywood: a future in which “hacks and corporate boards” direct blockbuster movies and any unique creativity is stifled.

“At the point when work writing & directing big franchises has become the emotionally loaded equivalent of writing a new chapter of The Bible (w/ the probable danger of being stoned & called a blasphemer), then a lot of bolder minds r gonna leave these films 2 hacks & [corporate] boards,” Mangold writes.

When someone replied saying that was already the case, Mangold responded that directors like Rian Johnson and Christopher McQuarrie are not “owned” by any corporation — despite popular belief. They are the ones fighting behind the scenes for fans, Mangold said.

The reason that Mangold mentioned Christopher McQuarrie is that the Mission: Impossible – Fallout director was innocently tagged in a tweet by Johnson, who recommended to his followers that they follow McQuarrie for writing advice. But the anti-Last Jedi trolls immediately descended and flooded both their mentions, leading McQuarrie to speak out publicly in defense of Johnson and declare that he would never direct a Star Wars film despite a lifelong wish to do so.

That Mangold (who wasn’t inadvertently tagged or anything!) nobly leapt to both their defenses is a sign that this fan backlash and the progressively toxic Star Wars fandom is getting out of hand. Though we’ve pointed that out time and time again.

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