If you’re searching for an example of how quickly a fanbase can turn on a franchise, look no further than Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Directed by Rian Johnson (Looper), The Last Jedi‘s the second installment in what’s been dubbed the Sequel Trilogy, and is currently eighth on the all-time domestic gross chart ($620M). Not to mention it can presently lay claim to the eleventh spot globally ($1.3B) and is 90% Certified Fresh on the Tomatometer. Bafflingly, though, despite each and every remarkable achievement, the Star Wars fandom is fighting tooth and nail to have it stricken from the record.
In case you haven’t heard, there’s a petition circling the interweb on Change.org to remove The Last Jedi from the franchise’s canon. Started some eight months ago by diehard Henry Walsh, the goal of the said document is to achieve 150,000 signatures, and as of today, the appeal’s closing in on the targeted figure, with almost 110,000.
Here’s how the petition reads:
Star Wars has long been a story about two things, the Jedi and Luke Skywalker. After over 260 novels where we could follow the adventures of that great hero you, the Walt Disney Company decided to strike all of that from the official canon and wiped out three decades of lore. We were excited to see Episode VII to see how our heroes lives turned out since you took away what we knew. We saw the death of Han Solo, we saw less than a minute of Luke Skywalker.
Episode VIII was a travesty. It completely destroyed the legacy of Luke Skywalker and the Jedi. It destroyed the very reasons most of us, as fans, liked Star Wars. This can be fixed. Just as you wiped out 30 years of stories, we ask you to wipe out one more, the Last Jedi. Remove it from canon, push back Episode IX and re-make Episode VIII properly to redeem Luke Skywalker’s legacy, integrity, and character.
We stuck by you when you did things that hurt us before, so we ask you now, please don’t let this film stand. Don’t do this to us. Don’t take something so many of us loved so much and destroy it like this. Let us keep our heroes.
Even though this petition is picking up steam, and despite the, let’s call it, divisive, reception to the film – after all, it does hold the lowest audience score for a Star Wars movie ever – Disney has still opted to award Johnson his very own trilogy in the canon. Which, as you can imagine, not too many people are happy about.
Since the release of The Last Jedi, the director’s been subjected to constant and incessant criticism – bullying, really – on Twitter, causing fellow filmmakers to leap to his defense. And while I can abide by personal opinion, there’s certainly no need to attack an individual over creative differences verbally.
Instead, if you were one of those who felt disappointed by his entry into the franchise, why not sign the aforementioned petition and make your voice heard that way?