The fallout from Star Wars Episode 8 has been ugly.
Since December 2017 there has been name-calling and the mounting message that if you had any issues with the handling of the Star Wars franchise by Rian Johnson and Kathleen Kennedy, you were a misogynist, a bigot, an alt-right bigot or a “manbaby.”
It is undeniable that an extreme minority have expressed distasteful and abusive views and forced stars like Kelly Marie Tran and Daisy Ridley from social media, but somewhere along the line the loyal and dedicated, but dissatisfied and increasingly alienated, Star Wars fans were lumped in with the toxic few.
Filmmaker Marc John’s new project EPISODE BACKLASH will give those fans a chance to air their views, as well as those who loved the film, in a fair setting. Scroll to the end for the link if you would like to take part.
Marc told Express Online: “I agree with fans about the storytelling deficit. I am a lifelong fan.
“Star Wars is a magnificent mythology. It is a critical moment when great mythologies are handed down to new storytellers. Fans just want to see good Star Wars movies. This rebellion is no minority. It is a movement. It is driven by love for Star Wars, not by hate.
“Having won a High Court legal battle with Lucasfilm in March 2018, regarding an agreement I had to film and broadcast an independent Star Wars fan convention which took place in December 2015, some fans suggested I make a documentary about the backlash against The Last Jedi.
“Then came the highly effective boycott of Solo. I saw the rebels were airing their views in a reasonable manner. A radical fringe minority were not.
“I also discovered that many in the news media were labelling fans who voiced valid criticism as sexist and racist. No distinction was being made between the rebel majority and the radical minority. No acknowledgement was being made that fans were, and are, objecting to the storytelling.
“The backlash has nothing to do with race or gender. Yet various news outlets continue to paint the fan rebellion at large as a hate group. This is unfair and inaccurate.
“The film, titled EPISODE BACKLASH, is the result.
“Fans worldwide are being invited to share their views about Disney’s Star Wars by answering a set of questions I have. Their video responses can be privately uploaded to me.
“The intention is to explore the backlash in a civilised, intelligent, documentary debate. Fans who support the current direction of the film franchise are just as welcome to participate as those with different views.
“EPISODE BACKLASH will not be an angry protest film, but an all-inclusive debate. The film will be suitable for all audiences.
“As for the radical minority, the film is no platform for their views. The question of how to deal with hate will also be explored. But, from what I can tell, the most vehement hostility is not being perpetrated by the fans, but against them.”
Marc told Express Online the response already has been so overwhelming he will not take any more submissions after the end of September 2018. He will then invite academics, artists and scholars to contribute their own unique interpretations of this unprecedented fan movement.