Monday, October 22, 2018

Top 10 Debates That Will Endlessly Divide Star Wars Fans

(First, a correction. A post on November 1, 2017 said that Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory had only ever been shown on CBS. It has been shown on other networks, precisely NBC from 1975-1985, ABC from 1985-1993, CBS from 1993-1995, back to ABC from 1995-2007, and NBC currently holds airing rights to the film. LeoFinelli.com apologizes for the error.)

Star Wars fans have arguments with fans of Star Trek, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings all the time. But the most heated arguments are the ones Star Wars fans have with themselves. These arguments have been known for creating rifts between Star Wars fans and putting the franchise into its own "What color is this dress?" or "Yanny or Laurel?" moments. I've ranked the top 10 here so you can see what I'm talking about.

#10. The Porgs
A neighbor of mine jokingly said, "Bob Iger (Disney-ABC CEO) invented porgs." He meant that the porgs in The Last Jedi were just in there to sell toys, with no purpose in the story. Fans have taken a humorous attitude to the whole porg situation, creating "Duel of the Porgs" on YouTube and doctoring the cover of the tie-in reader ''Chewie and the Porgs" to say and show "Chewie Cooking Porgs".

#9. The Ewoks
Again, creatures too cute for Star Wars? Many fans found the Ewoks too cuddly and marketable. But these guys dance and sing well and at least they have a point in the story. They did have their own Saturday morning cartoon in 1985 (yes, you read that correctly) and two TV movies on ABC. But come on, guys, Ewoks are darling yet mighty, that's how they're supposed to be! (I sure took a side here.)

#8. Was Yoda Better as a Puppet or Computer Animation?
In the original trilogy (as well as in The Last Jedi), Yoda was a puppet. In the prequel trilogy, he was a puppet when he could be, but for stunts that a puppet could not perform, he was CGI. Puppet Yoda is a practical special effect and surprisingly expressive, as Puppet Yoda has Frank Oz's signature touch (literally). CGI Yoda, though, can flip around and use a lightsaber. Wait a minute. Spell Check doesn't recognize "lightsaber" as a word. Shame on Spell Check.

#7. How Many Toes Does Yoda Have?
Yes, you read that correctly. Fans heavily debate the number and placement of Yoda's toes. In The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda has four toes (three pointing forward and one pointing back). In Return of the Jedi, Yoda has four toes, but this time the fourth toe is on the side rather than in back. In The Phantom Menace, Yoda has three toes, all pointing forward. In Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, Yoda has the same toe layout as in Return of the Jedi, and in The Last Jedi, his foot matches Empire. So which Yoda foot is canon? We don't know, and we endlessly debate.

#6. The Prequels
Just the prequels. Did they have any purpose? Were they good? Did they have their share of good moments? Are they even good enough to be considered canon? Was Jar Jar Binks funny? Was he racist? The prequels have spawned many debates as to their quality, and so I'm including them as a whole place on the list. Some fans, though, have said the new Disney films have put the prequels in perspective.

#5. Should Chewbacca Have Gotten a Medal at the End of the First Movie?
The TV show South Park reinvigorated this debate. In the film's 1977 novelization and comic book adaptation, Chewbacca gets a medal - but not in the film itself. Some fans think Chewbacca deserved a medal and should have received one, while others believe Chewbacca not getting a medal and causing him to growl in displeasure at the end of the movie made for an appropriate humorous ending.

#4. George Lucas's Various Tweaks to the Original Trilogy Over the Years
Han shot first. Jabba wasn't in the first one. Spaceships weren't CGI. Mark Hamill was the Emperor hologram in Empire. These are just a few of the changes George Lucas made to the original trilogy, first for their DVD releases in 2000-2001, and then in the Blu-Ray, Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu releases in 2012. Some fans argue that "the films belong to George Lucas, he can do as he pleases with them", while others argue that "the changes ruined the films". This may bring up another debate: which are better, the unaltered prequels or the altered originals?

#3. Who's the Other Hope?
In The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda mentions as Luke leaves Dagobah that "there is another hope". The subsequent Return of the Jedi film seems to say that this other hope is Princess Leia, who is revealed as Luke's sister in that film. So why would fans argue? It's because the book The Making of The Empire Strikes Back says that when Lawrence Kasdan wrote that line into the script, he and George Lucas had no intention of making Leia Luke's sister. The line was actually meant to suggest that Vader/Anakin was the other hope. Some fans reason that if the line referred to Vader, then it should be interpreted that way. Others refuse to let go of their own interpretation of the other being Leia - how they interpreted it when they first watched the films.

#2. Was Disney Buying Lucasfilm a Blessing or a Curse?
Many fans were excited when Disney purchased Lucasfilm and promised to make more Star Wars movies. This one really comes down to whether you liked The Force Awakens or not. Some fans were disappointed by the whole plot reference to the original 1977 Star Wars, saying that the franchise had lost creativity. Others, though, said that this was simply J.J. Abrams' way of stating that he wanted to make an original trilogy style film rather than a prequel trilogy style film. Many fans also worry that Disney is making Star Wars movies for profit, while George Lucas made them because he loved to tell stories. Which brings us to our final entry...

#1. How Many Star Wars Movies is Too Many?
First six was too many...and now what is thought will happen is, after the completion of Episode Nine, Disney will rebrand the first nine episodes as "The Skywalker Saga", and make another nine-episode saga, and another, and another, and we'll start debating which saga is the best instead of which movie. And don't forget Disney's planned anthology series of "Star Wars Stories". One of the things Star Wars fans like about being Star Wars fans is speculating. And if Disney wants to leave no room for speculation and only wants to fill their money bags, what will happen to Star Wars? That's where Imy storytelling might come in.

In closing, here is my verdict on each of these issues. Leave yours in the comments.

10. Porgs are extremely, and obviously, marketable.
9. So are Ewoks, but at least they have a point in the story.
8. Puppet. Frank Oz's puppeteer work and voice > just Frank Oz's voice.
7. Do you have anything better to do than debate Yoda's foot layout?
6. They're no worse than the originals.
5. Again, a meaningless debate!
4. The CGI'ed up versions are terrible. That's why I own the original versions of the original trilogy on VHS.
3. It's Vader, because when I first saw that scene, that's who I thought they were talking about.
2. I don't know. Ask me after Episode XXXVIII.
1. End it after Episode IX and make room for a new generation of storytellers (such as myself).







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Top 10 Debates That Will Endlessly Divide Star Wars Fans

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