A letter for those who ridiculed us, the women of the fandoms.
Dear Hollywood, Lucasfilms, Sony, Mainstream Media, and others:
I am but a tiny voice in the grand scheme of lore, movies, franchises, and fandoms, but I have a lot to say. You see, I am a writer, and I have been listening to the dialogue in the movies of late and playing the storyboards in my head.
What my mind’s eye sees is disappointing, and it saddens me. I will explain.
For me, it started in 2015 with The Force Awakens. I anticipated this movie and hoped it would continue the stories on the big screen I longed to see and missed. So, I watched.
Then, I found myself ranting at the lack of continuity in terms of canon and how the force works. I found myself shaking my head at a character who did not require any training to best someone who had years of it. I was frustrated.
I was hoping for a redemption arc featuring Finn, and I all got was the ex-Stormtrooper being relegated to goofy sidekick in favor of making a perfect character who could not be stopped.
Then came Ghostbusters 2016. Another disappointment that spat on the original and didn’t give proper homage to those who came before it. I and many others had valid critiques, but we were labeled by you and the media as trolls, misogynists, sexists, and bigots, among other things. You ignored the criticism of many female voices and targeted the men. I am here to tell you we are here, too, and we will not be ignored.
This movie did nothing for me. It was a competition of SNL skits and jokes. It pushed stereotypes and tropes, something I thought you wanted to avoid. It was abysmal.
The Last Jedi hit the silver screen. I waited until it came out on streaming services to watch it. Again, it was a huge disappointment. It showed me, without a doubt, that canon was not even considered. Interviews with Kathleen Kennedy would drive that point home.
She received no training. There were powers displayed here that reminded me of The Demolition Man and the writing had me screaming about the injustice done to Luke.
Don’t even get me started about the fight scenes. People more versed in combat than I have done a far better job critiquing that.
Now, there are whispers of a female fight club. Can you please stop doing this? Gender swapping and ignoring canon doesn’t work, and you haven’t learned that or don’t care to see that it is not being received well by women who want something else.
We, the females of sci-fi and fantasy exist. We purchased the comics and novels. We have seen the movies and any television series that were released. We have immersed ourselves in the lore and canon. We are here. We have been watching, listening, and screaming for you to stop.
We have criticized, critiqued, and complained. Our criticisms were, and still are, valid, but we have either been ignored or beset upon and called gender traitors, told we had internalized misogyny, and been called every name we could imagine and many we could not.
Some of us have been threatened, but we persist.
Because we want to see the franchises we grew up with to THRIVE, but they can’t do that with plot holes, infallible characters, and pushed agendas.
We want solid stories and care not who is in the lead role. We want complex character arcs and storytelling that makes us forget we’re watching a movie or television show. We want the only political conflicts in the story to be lore-driven ones and not agenda-driven ones.
We don’t want gender-swapped garbage. We want the lore to be respected, the canon to be followed, and the timeline to remain as intended.
This doesn’t mean you CAN’T make movies beyond the timeline. If you want to do that, make them on the part of the timeline that hasn’t been written about yet and not in between or before.
In conclusion, please stop with the shoe-horning, gender-swapping, and agenda-pushing. The force is for Jedi and Sith. Space is the final frontier for all, and Superheroes are supposed to be larger than life.
Until you realize this and course-correct, I will be watching The Expanse, The Orville, The Mandalorian, and The Dragon Prince, although, you might finally have something with Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
Anissa “Maddy” Walker