In this video, Diktor Van Doomcock explains what “canon” is and the importance of preserving it.  Truly thought-provoking.

It’s at around 15:00 that he really nails it, with the Third Law of Canon.  The discussion about the value of culture versus commerce, or the creative vision versus corporate profits, is one I would love to have.  It’s why I sat out Solo, as millions of other Star Wars fans did.  I’m not alone and wonder what it will take to get the entertainment industry to understand its responsibility to care for the creative works that it happens to “own”.

One way of looking at what is happening is to imagine that a billionaire has started buying all of the classical paintings so he can “improve” them.  To generate interest in his gallery, he starts pandering to contemporary preferences.  The Mona Lisa is now a pansexual vegan and has purple hair and a nose ring, among other changes.  He also insists that this is now the official version of the painting and that all art textbooks should be updated to reflect his current version.

It’s canon now.  He expects that he can make money off of the controversy and will sell millions of prints and merchandise that bears the likeness of his new intellectual property.  Sure, lots of people will complain, but he’ll just handwave them away as a bunch of homophobic Nazis.

Somebody out there could probably argue that this is different from what is happening to our shared culture and myths, as Doomcock describes it, but I’m really not sure how.  I agree that the case can be made that perverting works away from the meaning given by their creators for the sake of profits is desecration.  It’s as true of Star Wars as it would be someone putting a bullwhip up the Statue of David’s ass and telling us that the bullwhip was always there and if you don’t like it now, you’re a hater.

Our culture is becoming disposable.  I don’t think our society is producing anything lasting or memorable anymore.  We’re just buying brands and don’t want to admit that the movies and shows we watch are actually very forgettable and leave us feeling numb.  All that matters is you paid for a ticket, bought crap from advertisers, and purchased a pair of slippers with the brand name logo on it.

The work itself was garbage and you know it, but you’ll pay for more because you love that multiverse.  Also, some marketing analyst figured out that androgynous queer FtM pansexuals are a growing demographic  To get them to buy some stuff, you can expect to see in the next installment your favorite characters to go on a magical adventure, search for mystical artifacts, encounter strange creatures, and fuck them.  Go see it, buy the merch, and tell everyone that it was the greatest work ever produced by humanity, you stupid hillbilly bigot.

I like to think that I discourage my kids from embracing consumerism and becoming the type of empty-headed zombie fan that Doomcock talks about.  My hope is that they’ll appreciate art, great stories, and rich music.

For example, I’ve mentioned before that they’ve always grown up listening to the same music my wife and I do, much of it is the same music you love and share on our DJ threads.  I don’t tell them what to listen to and they’re free to listen to pop music if they want to, but that music is empty and soulless and they know it.  I don’t want to tell them what to think, but I want them to be able to discern for themselves what is art and what is plastic garbage.

You know what happens when people like me get sick of Star Wars or any other franchise?  I tell my kids that I think it’s trash and I explain to them why.  Thrilla was interested in the DCEU…until I explained to her everything that was wrong with Suicide Squad.  She didn’t fully agree with me because she thought Harley Quinn was a cool character, but she also lost all interest in seeing any of the other movies, even Wonder Woman.

My son loves the original Ghostbusters and rewatches it all the time.  But he has never seen the 2016 remake and has no desire to.  You can call me a misogynist asshole all day long, but I’m not going to buy him a Melissa McCarthy action figure no matter how much you protest.  Before you call me any names, know that my son has also never seen Ghostbusters 2.  It’s because I already told him it sucks and was a cynical cash grab.

Ditto for the Star Wars prequels.  Sorry, but I think they’re objectively bad movies and I’ve warned my kids that they suck. They might not believe me when I tell them they need haircuts, but they do take my word for it when I tell them that shit is shit if I rationally explain my viewpoint.

When that happens, the owner of the IP doesn’t lose just my ticket sale, but those of my family.  We don’t buy any of the toys (which are of horrible quality these days) or any other merchandise for Christmas.  As the wise and powerful Yogurt explained, moichandising is where da real money from da movie is made.

Does that mean my kids are forbidden from watching shitty movies and television shows?  Not at all.  I’d sit and watch the Star Wars prequels, Black Panther, or anything else with them if that’s what they wanted to do.  However, I would still reserve the right to explain what I think of those movies on their merits.  Like it or not, they will give my opinion tremendous weight, even if you know full well that I’m a complete prick.

Most parents are old enough to remember the better, original content of the 80’s and 90’s and they don’t like what is happening now with it. Come on, what was the last original concept that came out of Hollywood?  The Matrix? That was almost 20 years ago.  I don’t know what it’s going to take to change the culture enough to where we see similar creative works being produced again.  But I’ll tell you this: all signs are pointing to Star Wars Episode IX being the crux.  Should it fail like Solo, maybe there’ll be some impetus for change.

I hope it doesn’t come to that, but the idea of destroying (the profitability of) franchises to save them (artistically) is quite appealing to me.  I liked The Last Jedi alright, but I’m willing, even eager, to sit out the next movie if it will prevent any more Solos or Rogue Ones from happening.  And don’t look now, but it appears that Disney is already getting the hint.

What does it all mean?  If Hollywood studios want to keep the IP that they’ve purchased viable, they have to return to respecting the vision of the original creators of their IP or those of us who grew up with it, loved it, and made it successful will reject it. We will not pass it on to the next generation.  They won’t grow up with it and won’t be susceptible to the nostalgia surrounding those “properties”, as I am.  Once canon is fully abandoned, what investment do I have in it?  None.

It has nothing to offer, and therefore there is nothing to pass on.  That is how legends die.  How creations die.

Anyway, please check out the video.

14 comments

  1. I saw the Force Awakens and thought it sucked. I did not see any of the other ones after that. I guess I did see part of Rouge One on Netflix, but fell to sleep 10 min in and never bothered to watch it again, not that it might be great, I just don’t care about it anymore. So I guess I can’t really say much on the politics of the Star Wars movies. I just though Force Awakens was a rehash of the first Star Wars, not to mention the big glaring problem of how the rebels defeated the empire and in 30 years not only managed to fuck it up just a little bit, but f’d it up to the point that the empire was completely reorganized and had a laser planet that could take out solar systems. How the hell did that go under the radar? The new Darth Vader looked like a zit faced stoner kid that I couldn’t even rely on to cut my lawn, which made me even more puzzled as to how the empire rebuilt itself. I thought the movie was almost a parody of Spaceballs. Since an original plot for the reboot seemed to be out of the question, they should have just started Awakens with a shot back to Skywalker before Yoda died where he accidentally spills water on Yoda’s back and created 12 more evil yodas. That could have kept this shitty franchise going for decades.

  2. How the hell did that go under the radar?

    It’s one of the overlooked goofs that left-wing, politically woke Millennials love to compare themselves to the Resistance and adopt so many of its trappings but never seem to notice that it is astonishingly incompetent at everything it does in the movies.

  3. Without a worthy bad guy at the helm, like Thrawn, the Empire remnant should have at least been much smaller. Also the Republic 2.0 seems to have the same leadership problems they had before the first one collapsed. No wonder Luke thought the Jedi were done. You’ve also had a generation grow up under thirty years of civil war, a concept that should have gotten more attention than just another round of “Trust the Force because the people who haven’t been able to end the war say so.”

    I really don’t see that many new movies anymore precisely for the reasons mentioned. There is good stuff out there, like Deadpool or A Quiet Place, but you have to go outside of the mainstream for it. No wonder people are turning to Netflix and binge watching older stuff, or Stranger Things with its nostalgia vibe is popular. As the past gets further away, we may look at it with rose-colored glasses, but at least it gives us something to look at. What will Generation X or Z or whatever they call themselves remember? And where will their new and truly original content come from?

  4. You’ve also had a generation grow up under thirty years of civil war, a concept that should have gotten more attention

    That’s another hilarious allegory I draw from TFA. The Republic and First Order aren’t at war at the beginning as far as I can tell, but the Republic actively arms the Resistance to undermine it. They basically start the war with inciteful behavior and then it fully blows back on them.

    No wonder people are turning to Netflix and binge watching older stuff, or Stranger Things with its nostalgia vibe is popular.

    Stranger Things is a treasure. The nostalgia aspect works for me because I was about the same age as the kids at the time depicted in the show. It puts me in the mind when things were scary, unknown, and awesome.

    But the nostalgia isn’t a substitute for good storytelling and character development, which ST has in abundance. It has meaning. Almost all of the reboots and other original movies use nostalgia as a crutch for uninspired stories and totally unrelatable, if not outright despicable, protagonists.

    What will Generation X or Z or whatever they call themselves remember? And where will their new and truly original content come from?

    I really don’t know. They’re very creative and I’m guessing that they’ll make their own, but they’re not going to get any inspiration from the Millennials. They’re a pretty uncreative group, generation-wise. Say whatever you want about the Boomers, they gave us Xers an awesome childhood in entertainment.

  5. They’re very creative

    The next Spielberg will probably come from the Web. It’s what they know and where they go to express themselves. They also seem to be somewhat more conservative than the Millennials and many seem to like the older stuff as well.

  6. We’re back on the culture war ate my Star Wars, again?

    Look, I think it’s safe to say the side stories themselves were a failure as feature films. Some of this stuff might just be better played out on Netflix, but seriously, the presumption that you or some dipshit kook that figured out how to record a YouTube video (and has correctly virtue signaled YOU) has any real clue what works is fucking laughable.

    “I don’t like Star Wars because I like my characters chaste virgins… like I was when I came to know the franchise” is acceptable. At least it is your opinion,

    “Disney really fucked this whole franchise up with that pansexual joke. I know it’s a worldwide release, but white republicans in flyover country are fucking jedis. We have small numbers but if we’re not catered to until our toes curl it’s curtains for your franchise” is too stupid to even comprehend responding to.

    Maybe Star Wars isn’t about you now? You will be counted on to order the Star Wars just as salty and bland as you remember it on Netflix. Disney and Lucasfilm are trying to capture a new audience, not make sure it all sits well with the trump demographic, or even politics at all.

    I know you guys have this all figured out but let’s dispell a mystery here for the people that can comprehend: Tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars are invested to make a product that MAKES MONEY. It is not a covert attack on your hillbilly sensibilities.”

    They are simply trying to grab as much audience as they can, while communicating to the next generation. Like, “remember when your parents totally thought marylin Manson caused the columbine shooting, and you thought the fact that your parents fucking hated him that made him even more seductive and cool, even though it is demonstrably shitty music on every level in retrospect, proving your parents right but it didn’t fucking matter he was a god?”

    We get it, everyone but true heterosexual jedis are not welcome on your lawn.

  7. We’re back on the culture war ate my Star Wars, again?

    Someone either didn’t watch the video or understand it. Ah, well. I’ll play anyway. It’s a slow day.

    Some of this stuff might just be better played out on Netflix, but seriously, the presumption that you or some dipshit kook that figured out how to record a YouTube video (and has correctly virtue signaled YOU) has any real clue what works is fucking laughable.

    You think Star Wars is a success right now? That’s interesting. I’ll address that.

    “Disney really fucked this whole franchise up with that pansexual joke. I know it’s a worldwide release, but white republicans in flyover country are fucking jedis. We have small numbers but if we’re not catered to until our toes curl it’s curtains for your franchise” is too stupid to even comprehend responding to.

    I don’t want to be “catered to as a white Republican”. I want to be entertained with a good story, relatable characters, and I want it to preserve the canon without simply dressing it up as “light sabers, Darth Vader, TIE fighters, ISN’T THIS GREAT”

    I skipped Solo because I anticipated that it would be more like Rogue One and the prequels in telling yet another story that didn’t be told while cramming it with fanservice crap. The pansexual thing (which you alone consider to be a joke, Jon Kasdan has repeatedly made it clear that he was serious) is what shows disrespect for canon in the name of trying to bring in a new audience.

    If you would watch the video, you’d understand why alienating the audience who doesn’t like established characters being radically changed is a bad decision, as is pandering to SJWs; who don’t repeatedly see movies, don’t buy toys, and are a tinier demographic than the white Republicans you hate so much who made Star Wars a success, to begin with.

    As I’ve pointed out, Star Wars already had a pansexual character. It’s Jabba the Hutt from the original trilogy. If Kasdan or Kennedy or Johnson want a dashing and interesting pansexual character, then they should make an original character.

    Come up with some new shit. Can’t happen in modern, creatively bankrupt Hollywood, of course.

    Disney and Lucasfilm are trying to capture a new audience, not make sure it all sits well with the trump demographic, or even politics at all.

    And I’m saying it’s a bad idea. They’re going for a demographic that is largely disinterested in it, doesn’t have money to spend on merchandise, doesn’t have kids, and therefore doesn’t buy toys. If they don’t want politics involved, then why isn’t a producer reining in Kasdan for injecting his identity politics into canon (which he freely admitted he was doing)?

    “It’s a worldwide release”, you say. Fascinating. How do you explain the performance of The Last Jedi in China? It made $42 million there. What about Solo? $16 million. This from the largest potential audience in the world that also happens to have incredibly shitty taste in sci-fi films.

    Transformers: The Last Knight made $229 million in China. Even Independence Day: Resurgence pulled in $78 million–more than TLJ and Solo combined. Are the Chinese a bunch of white Republican hillbillies? I ask because it turns out that when people don’t have a nostalgic attachment to Star Wars, they’re left with the fact that the movies just aren’t very good?

    This is exactly the position Disney has put Star Wars in. The fans–who you and Disney clearly despise–feel like it has betrayed canon, they no longer have any attachment to the franchise, and they’re not going to watch the movies anymore.

    Tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars are invested to make a product that MAKES MONEY. It is not a covert attack on your hillbilly sensibilities.

    And they have now managed to put out a Star Wars movie that lost money. Great investment.

    Please tell me who this new audience is who is worthy of the investment and will make back the hundreds of millions of dollars. It couldn’t be Millennial SJW’s because they don’t have the money or interest. It isn’t foreign audiences. They give no fucks. It won’t be the next generation because all of us who are being turned off by the creative decisions Disney is making aren’t going to pay for our kids to see it, which means they never get interested.

    Like, “remember when your parents totally thought marylin Manson caused the columbine shooting, and you thought the fact that your parents fucking hated him that made him even more seductive and cool, even though it is demonstrably shitty music on every level in retrospect, proving your parents right but it didn’t fucking matter he was a god?”

    What the fuck are you babbling about? Nobody wanted to see Star Wars because it was shocking or to rebel against their parents. Most Star Wars fans are into it because their parents either took them to see it or first introduced it to them on home video.

    What I’m trying to explain to you is that parents aren’t going to keep introducing their kids to Star Wars because they think it sucks or it “isn’t really Star Wars”. You don’t get that next generation.

    As for the current generation of youths, they are more conservative, as WVR said above and they mock SJW Millennials as much as Boomer Republicans do. They’re not going to touch Star Wars when they recognize it as an uncool and embarrassing brand to be associated with.

    So please, again, tell me why you think the current strategy is working in spite of the dwindling box office returns, who this new audience is since foreign audiences have rejected the last two movies and people who have children are checking out of the franchise, and why Kennedy and half of Lucasfilm shouldn’t be fired? Since you know how this works, as you say.

  8. I had to take a break for dinner, but wanted to address two more of your points.

    “I don’t like Star Wars because I like my characters chaste virgins… like I was when I came to know the franchise” is acceptable.

    …and…

    We get it, everyone but true heterosexual jedis are not welcome on your lawn.

    To your first point, nobody ever said that Star Wars had to be sexless. It isn’t. The original trilogy had Han Solo putting moves on Leia that would result in a #MeToo backlash if they made it today. The prequels were entirely a tragic love story between Anakin and Padme. The galaxy’s a big place. Obviously, somebody is screwing from time to time.

    The new trilogy is no different. They had a weird attraction thing with a shirtless Kylo Ren and Rey as well as a sweet romance between Finn and Rose. Granted, TLJ critics hate Rose’s character, but nobody has been complaining about romance in Star Wars. I’m not sure where you’re coming up with the idea that Star Wars has to be “chaste”. In fact, the Plinkett review of TFA even complained about how sterile it was and how notable the lack of romance was.

    https://youtu.be/miVRaoR_8xQ

    Before you call this just another dipshit YouTuber, I’ll tell you that Simon Pegg was definitely influenced by the Plinkett reviews of the prequel trilogy and it therefore arguably influenced TFA.

    The alternative sexual lifestyles aren’t the issue by itself. It’s the manipulation of an established canonical character for no other reason to pander to that mythical new audience for. As I’ve said before, Lando was the insanely cool, indispensable hero of the Battle of Endor. It was wrong to turn him into a robot fucker and even insulting to actual LGBT people to imply that’s what they’re into.

    I would argue that a homosexual relationship between Poe and Finn would’ve worked better than Finn and Rose. I don’t think it would have turned audiences off and I wouldn’t have protested. Finn was my favorite character in TFA, there was already a clear bromance with him and Poe in that movie, and it would have been about two new characters. They wouldn’t have been changing anything in canon. They’d be creating something new.

    Do stuff like that instead of retrofitting established and beloved characters to appeal to Tumblr sensibilities.

    That’s honestly what I want to see. New shit.

    One reason why TLJ appealed to me and I liked it overall is because of the “let the past die” theme. You know why I like that? Because when the old characters are gone, they’re not being distorted or exploited anymore. I think Star Wars needs to move forward. If that includes gay characters, great.

    Disney had better understand though that those characters have to be well-developed and relatable. They can’t just say, “Hey, look! We put a gay character in Star Wars! Love us for our virtue signalling!” and leave out any real character development, like they have with Rey who exists only to demonstrate the concept of “Hey, look! We have a female hero lead in Star Wars! Love us for our virtue signalling!”

    Again, give me good stories and relatable characters and yes, leave the politics out of it. SJW’s are uncreative and stifling. Nothing by them is going to be any good and nothing made for them is going to appeal to enough audience to result in financial success.

  9. Holy shit!! You and WVR not only agree, but have solved the Star Wars riddle? Let me be the first to acknowledge the rarity of you two agreeing here on this blog, so there’s that. In addition, there’s so much genius to those thoughts, where do we begin? You’re right, I’m wrong. I guess the only question is how would you like Bob Iger’s salary? Is it 400 million straight down the middle since you’re both so fucking adept at entertainment, or is it more like a 3:1 ratio since you came up with the real ideas?

    I guess Disney can shitcan the entire Lucasfilm branch and just have you two guys, just like the episode when Homer Simpson became a car designer for the everyday man.

    You don’t know one thing about how Disney planned to make money on this. You don’t even know IF Disney intended to make money on this. They might have said “fuck it. We’ve made 2 billion this year on movies alone. We need a write off.” They might have only needed the story as a backdrop to avoid costly character development in video games. hell, the whole movie might have just been a marketing tool to sell more characters IN video games as expansion packs.

    then there’s the parks….. Well, never mind. You and WVR know the real scoop here, all Disney can do is obfuscate at this point. It is a front in the cultural war. Unfortunately it is our Waterloo, and we can only curl back to lick our wounds from the great and powerful Orange One and his band of internet trolls.

    This is almost as cringeworthy as when that dipshit here INSISTED he and some white hillbillies in the midwest not only sacked the NFL, they sacked ESPN too for being too liberal (despite that being demonstrably false, anchor by anchor, story by story). You could shove the cable numbers under his nose, show him by the bullet point how ESPN’s financial success was tied to cable subscription, but nope! He KNEW it was the Trump Train ramming through!!

    How about this geniuses: I’ll buy two Disney stocks TODAY at 104.00 and you buy the conservative movie studio’s stock of your approval, and let’s see who is holding more money in profit at the end of the year.

  10. You and WVR not only agree, but have solved the Star Wars riddle? Let me be the first to acknowledge the rarity of you two agreeing here on this blog, so there’s that.

    I wasn’t aware that him stating a fact and me acknowledging that said fact is a fact is “agreeing on stuff” and noteworthy. I’ll have to ask WVR later about his opinion on the wetness of water and whether space is really big.

    You don’t know one thing about how Disney planned to make money on this. You don’t even know IF Disney intended to make money on this

    Earlier…

    I know you guys have this all figured out but let’s dispell a mystery here for the people that can comprehend: Tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars are invested to make a product that MAKES MONEY.

    I’ll let you argue with yourself and move on.

    They might have said “fuck it. We’ve made 2 billion this year on movies alone. We need a write off.”

    Yeah, there’s the ticket. Greatest film franchise in history. Let’s treat it as a write-off!

    They might have only needed the story as a backdrop to avoid costly character development in video games. hell, the whole movie might have just been a marketing tool to sell more characters IN video games as expansion packs.

    The games aren’t selling that great either.

    https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2018-01-31-star-wars-battlefront-2-disappoints-with-over-7-million-sold

    As for the use of characters, I’m not sure who would want to play a Star Wars game as either Rose Tico or SJW Fembot, but I’d love to have a conversation with xim or xer.

    This is almost as cringeworthy as when that dipshit here INSISTED he and some white hillbillies in the midwest not only sacked the NFL…

    The NFL rolled over on the anthem issue and acknowledged that the public pressure brought by the president forced the change, after you spent all last Fall denying that this would be the case. You were wrong then and you’re wrong now.

    It is a front in the cultural war.

    Which is entirely Lucasfilm’s fault. Particularly Kathleen Kennedy who tends to say the sort of abrasive and divisive things that you do, but that studio executives are usually smart enough not to say out loud.

    I’ll buy two Disney stocks TODAY at 104.00 and you buy the conservative movie studio’s stock of your approval, and let’s see who is holding more money in profit at the end of the year.

    First of all, what is even a conservative movie studio? I wouldn’t even know whose stock to buy. Second, I’m not predicting Disney’s demise or Bob Iger being fired. It’s already clear that Star Wars is going to be scaled back, which is a good thing. It’s also clear that Kathleen Kennedy is going to be the one sacrificed, since this whole mess is ultimately her responsibility.

    Whether or not Lucasfilm’s new leadership respects the franchise and its canon will determine its success, if any. But you’re delusional if you think it can keep going on like it is. The box office numbers are an embarrassment for Disney and they’re not going to let that stand, particularly with Episode IX already planned, a new trilogy, and an Obi Wan movie in the works. Those can’t all be “write offs” and it’s not what Disney bought Lucasfilm to do. Unless it’s all a part of some ingenious 28 point plan to destroy Star Wars and sell more games or something.

    Your sad devotion to Lucasfilm’s SJW politics has not helped you conjure up a coherent explanation for the failure of the last two films in China. Or given you clairvoyance enough to find why the rebelling fans dislike the new characters.

  11. Well I must say reading this was the most entertainment I’ve gotten out of Star Wars in quite some time. Thanks guys.

  12. It’s sad that bitching about Star Wars is more entertaining than watching it. I almost wish Disney would keep making disastrous movies just because it makes for such wicked fun arguments. I never see the Marvel fandom getting to do this, with their good movies that largely avoid politics, strictly adhere to canon and studio employees who don’t insult the audience.

  13. I never see the Marvel fandom getting to do this, with their good movies that largely avoid politics, strictly adhere to canon and studio employees who don’t insult the audience.

    Were you just talking about the established canon of the previous movies? Because there have been some serious drift from the comics canon.

  14. Were you just talking about the established canon of the previous movies? Because there have been some serious drift from the comics canon.

    I’ll say they definitely do a good job sticking to the canon of the movies. At the minimum, they seem to have the “moral canon” faithfully maintained from the comics.

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