I’ve gone back and forth over writing this for a long time. There’s been a creeping fear that’s been growing worse ever since Lucasfilm revealed Star Wars Episode VII back in 2012, and a revelation that happened on Twitter just yesterday confirmed this fear among many “Star Wars” fan sites, which meant I was going to post this.
First, a bit of a preface. Prior to 2012 Star Wars didn’t have much of a future outside of television series such as The Clone Wars and the forthcoming Star Wars: Detours. For Star Wars fans, that didn’t really matter. When this site launched back in 2010 it was because Jason and I love Star Wars. We’d continue to cover and write about Star Wars even if there were no new movies coming out. The October 2012 announcement just meant there would be more new Star Wars, and for us that was a great thing.
When Episode VII was revealed, suddenly sites who previously didn’t want to have anything to do with Star Wars were covering it with “scoops” and “rumors”. Any chance to slap “Star Wars: Episode VII” on a story was taken, as they saw a big traffic surge whenever they wrote something about Star Wars. It doesn’t matter if the site had previously bashed the franchise or its fans, the new interest in Star Wars was enough for them to write about it whether or not whatever they were printing was true or false.
It’s not really an elitist thing, but instead more of being insulted by film blogs who only pretend to be “fans” of Star Wars because they know it’ll get them a whole bunch of clicks and money from ad revenue.
Just yesterday the editor of one of these film blogs complained on Twitter about people wanting to see pictures of the Millennium Falcon in Episode VII. Rian Johnson, the director of Looper, called him out on it and asked him why his site even bothers to post Star Wars stuff if it disgusts him so much and his response was what many people had suspected:
This is just one film blog, but there are others who have bragged about what Star Wars does with their traffic:
Again this isn’t some kind of elitist complaint, but Star Wars fans should feel used when they realize that some large blogs are only “passionate” about Star Wars because they’re passionate for the clicks that Star Wars brings them. It’s a disease that’s only going to get worse, and it’s another reason Star Wars fans need to be sensible about rumors and speculation in this time leading up to the first new movie in nearly a decade.
The actual Star Wars community is filled with fans who love the saga and run sites that cover it out of true passion for the galaxy far far away. MakingStarWars.net, JediNews.uk, ClubJade, Star Wars Always, TheForce.net, and the many podcasts such as Rebels Report, The Cantina Cast, and Rebel Force Radio are all there for fans. These people are fans and they don’t pretend to be fans just to get you to click on their “Star Wars Episode VII scoop” stories. They cover Star Wars because they love Star Wars, traffic bumps or no traffic bumps.