With the continuing poor performance of Solo: A Star Wars Story, it really is becoming clear that we are at a point where a certain group of ‘fans’ are ready to bring about a truly horrific time for fandom.
First off, Solo was a good movie and deserves far more praise than it has received. While it was not perfect and was a new take on a story that has been told a few time already. Han’s early life has already seen a few iterations in the old Expanded Universe (Now known and Legacy). Like with most of the old EU, it was left behind but the basics were kept. In fact a fair amount of Solo was based off the known story for Han and Chewbacca, which have been part of the official history for them for some time. Go back and read my last post to get the full of my views on Solo and why it is not doing as well as it should.
I will summarize it though with saying Toxic Fans are a big part of the reason.
Regretfully Star Wars is not the only place we see this toxic fandom. We saw it with the relaunch of Star Trek. I personal love those movies, even if too often the science is just bad, real bad in them. I actually watch the first with with a group of skeptics and while we ripped apart the idea of building the Enterprise on the Earth’s surface and how it made no sense for Spock to have seen Vulcan get destroyed, we enjoyed it. Why? Because it was actually far more engaging than the old movies ever were. Abrams put adventure and action into the movies, while keeping the stories interesting and relevant, as well as giving us characters we care about and who work well off each other. I already am aware that some of what I just said is not going to be agreed to by everyone, but I have already have the debate on those issues and stand by my statements. The new Star Trek movies are an IMPROVEMENT over the old ones.
But a good deal of the diehard Star Trek fans, these toxic Trekkies, didn’t like the changes. They went off on the movies, ranking them as the worst. They didn’t care that for once their franchise was actually doing real impressive at the box office, since before the new movies, Star Trek, while doing good, was never really dominated the box office. This attitude is partially why the third of the new films, which in my opinion is the best of them, somehow did not perform too well at the theaters. Now this is Star Trek and there is no doubt there will be a fourth one and even talk of fifth with an unexpected director. The classic Trek movies were never as successful as the new ones, but the toxic fans don’t care. Too many changes, this is not their Trek and they would rather sink the franchise as a whole than suffer a new take on the concepts and characters.
Now the same summer we got our last Star Trek movies, we also got a reboot of a classic fan favorite, Ghostbusters. Ghostbusters actually made just as much money at the box office as Star Trek did, but due to how Hollywood works, there are no talks about doing another Ghostbusters. Why? Because true toxic fans ruined it.
This reboot had a female team of Ghostbusters and it was a highly enjoyable film. It was perfect as a Ghostbusters movie. It had enjoyable characters, some being over the top, but they worked. There was a solid story, a lot of laughs and adventure.
It should have worked and restarted the franchise. Before the movie even came out, we saw toxic masculinity take over in an organized attempt to ruin the film. These men claiming to be fans decided they had every right to attack a film they did not see, going after the females stars and countering the positive reviews, just because they could. Regretfully their efforts seemed to have paid off. We most likely will not be getting to see this enjoyable team of Ghostbusters on the big screen again, all because of toxic fans. We saw this as well with The Last Jedi. I liked the character of Rose. She was both strong and venerable at the same time, in way that was actually realistic and worked. Yet toxic masculinity crept in and has attacked her, pushing the talented actress to leave social media after being unjustly targeted and overwhelmed by childish attacks, which also happened to at least one of the stars of Ghostbusters. There is no justification for such trolling, ever.
Of course it also goes the other ways.
We recently saw a group of toxic fans of the DC universe come out and blindly attack Black Panther. The DC cinematic universe is not doing well. The only have one good movie out of six. Yet the diehard fans refuse to accept that reality (Sorry folks, but Batman vs. Superman is about as bad as it gets, with no real story, plot or likable characters in it. I don’t consider the character of Wonder Woman likeable here, as we don’t get a real sense of her in the film.) They have become bitter and there was an organized effort to go after the Marvel movies, which not surprisingly failed. Black Panther has been a worldwide success despite their attempt to ruin its ratings. They have however been much more successful with the organized attacks on Star Wars, which they have openly said were in retaliation, making bizarre claims that Disney has somehow been involved in all the bad reviews the DC movies have received. They were able to play off the toxic masculinity of some disenfranchised fanboys in attacking The Last Jedi and succeeded in convincing some that it was a horrible movie, which seemed to have rolled over into helping hurt Solo. This is a clear effort to try and sink other franchises. If people won’t say their franchise if great, then they’re going to try to bring other franchises down.
Understand I am not saying that a person cannot be critical of films they dislike. I clearly am that. Bu we can express our dislike of things without trying to go the extra levels of attacking them. I am a huge fan of Spider-Man, yet Amazing Spider-man 2 was a true disappointment for me, I felt it was a movie that ignored so much of what Spider-Man is all about with a story that just did not work on any level. It is part of a franchise I love and have enjoyed for most of my life. I am critical of it and will openly talk about my views on it, but I never once considered organizing a campaign to have Sony declare the movie non-canon and start over again. Nor did I put effort into attacking future Spider-man movies, all because I was bitter over one. I loved Spider-Man Homecoming and am excited to see Spidey being an active part of the MCU. There was one movie I disliked, but never once did I think it would be a good idea to ruin the franchise for everyone because of it. I hoped they would learn and make things better, which they did.
Feel free to enjoy what I do not, no one can stop you from finding enjoyment where I just don’t. I have actually disliked critically acclaimed films and shows, as well as liked stuff that was generally considered bad. Never once have I had to bring others down in order to feel my views were justified.
We as fans actually have a responsibility to be fair with our criticisms and how we go about expressing our admiration for the franchises we enjoy. There is nothing of value coming from the toxic fans, especially the toxic masculinity of far too many of them. If you didn’t enjoy a film, say so, give your reasoning and then let it be. Sit back and let others create their own views, even if they disagree with yours. There is nothing wrong with that. It may puzzle you, but that’s fine.
And if you dislike the idea that women are now getting their time to shine and be the center of attention in the films, well that is just being a dick and you need to grow up. The toxic masculinity of some fans is just inexcusable and needs to go away.