Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Reviews and Aggregates-What Do You Median?

Let’s talk reviews.

So Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice came out recently. In a move many people expected, yet still didn’t see coming to quite this degree, the critics trashed it and most audience members didn’t like it. It’s been touted as a chore to watch, a dour disappointment and a muddled mess. Essentially, the movie hyped up as the “biggest event of the year” let people down. And yet, its defenders can’t stop talking about “reviewer bias” and the “flaws of the critics’ mindsets”.

I’m gonna make this disclaimer right here and now: I didn’t see Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. I've no intention of seeing Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, similar to how I had no intention of seeing Man of Steel after I started hearing how awful it was. While I’m a superhero fan, not to mention a Batman and Superman fanboy, I have limited funds to spend on movies and try avoiding panned films unless I’ve earned a free movie on my SCENE card (which lets me earn points whenever I watch movies in theatres.) It doesn’t help that historically, save the first two Superman films, Superman Returns and Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, Warner Bros. hasn’t impressed me much with their live-action DC adaptations. Their animation is usually interesting, but live-action? Not really.

I also don’t like Zack Snyder. Ignoring the fact that Watchmen confused and bored me to no end the entire time I watched it, the man’s attitude toward filmmaking and superhero films, particularly nowadays, is one of a grouch sitting behind a chair and shouting at everyone. He’s been rude, aggressive and completely disrespectful to people who disagree with his decisions, a fact made worse by him overusing the same, tired old gimmicks in place of storytelling. He’s like Michael Bay if Michael Bay weren’t aware that he was making dumb shlock. So if I sound somewhat bitter at any point, chances are that I’m indirectly letting off steam at Snyder.

Anyway, let’s get the obvious elephant of the room and discuss what it means to have an aggregate score on Rotten Tomatoes: nothing, and everything.

Rotten Tomatoes is an interesting beast. Despite, like Metacritic, being a site where reviews congregate for the sake of a general consensus, the site has become the poster boy for, in most nerds’ eyes, everything wrong with film criticism. It’s been attacked for being biased, dishonest and full of itself, when, in reality, none of its aggregates (or “average review scores”) are its fault. It’s no different than a messenger delivering an angry letter: you might be mad, but you can’t blame the messenger. Rotten Tomatoes is no different.

Honestly, I used to hate Rotten Tomatoes. But that was when I was a teenager and knew next to nothing about how criticism worked. It was once I got older and started seeing and discussing movies regularly that I began to realize that this was more complicated than I thought. Suddenly, those “snotty, grouchy critics”, like the ones from Ratatouille, became people. Occasionally stuffy people, I guess, but people. And, like any person out there, they had opinions and personal expectations that influenced how they perceived films.

I’ll use an easy example: Roger Ebert. Up until his death in 2013, Ebert made it his policy to review every movie he could see, regardless of genre or country of origin, because he loved the craft. He used a relatively straight-forward rating schematic too. Anything below 2.5 stars, for example, was awful and should be avoided, while 2.5 stars was a borderline skip with potential. 3 stars was his lowest recommendation, while 3.5 stars was great and 4 stars was masterpiece status. Sounds pretty simple, right?

Well, Ebert also went by his own criteria for films. It didn’t matter if everyone else liked or disliked a movie, it only mattered what he thought. It, therefore, wasn’t unheard of for Ebert’s reviews to clash with the consensus. They usually didn’t, but every-so-often he’d give a score that made people question his standards. I didn’t care either way, since Ebert usually explained himself quite well, but it begged the question of whether or not Ebert was worth taking at face value.

I bring in Ebert because he was the gold-standard. It didn’t matter if Gene Shalit or Richard Roeper had their own style, or whether or not someone thought number scores were superior to stars, if they weren’t like Ebert, then they weren’t worth listening to. Except that people didn’t always listen to Ebert anyway, so I’m not sure why that claim was thrown around. Regardless, Ebert opened me to the possibility that critics were people with tastes that needed valuing and appreciation. Because reviews, like the movies being reviewed, are subjective, and even complete jerks need to be respected for their takes on film.

Which leads back to Rotten Tomatoes. At one point in the site’s history, reviews also had comment pages where people could express what they thought. This proved to be a bad idea, as it allowed the average person to give those reviewers they disagreed with “a piece of their mind”. It also encouraged plenty of whining, such that comments were removed and, instead, replaced with forums. Yeah…moving on!

The core issue with Rotten Tomatoes was that it left itself open to attacks for doing its job too well. It didn’t matter that an aggregate was something it had no control over, people saw that movie X was either “Fresh” (i.e. 60% and above) or “Rotten” (59% and under) and jumped to conclusions. If the movie was “rated too highly”, the site was “being paid off”. If it was “rated too lowly”, the site was “being full of itself”. And heaven forbid a movie people hated receiving a 75% and above, because that meant it was “Certified Fresh”!

Essentially, it was a disaster waiting to happen, bringing me to Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. As of right now, Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice stands at a 28% on Rotten Tomatoes, as based on 320 reviews. The audience reception is at a 69%, as based on 200000+ reviews. There’s a discrepancy here, no doubt, but the consensus speaks for itself. The complaint is that a 28% is “too low”, and that the Marvel movies are cut slack despite having flaws too. But is that really true?

Not quite. There are many reasons why that claim could be deconstructed, but I’ll focus on the reviews themselves. For one, the 28% isn’t the objective score. Rotten Tomatoes is a site where reviews are pooled and given an average, so a 28% translates to “28% of the 320 critics who reviewed the movie actually liked it”. It’s not a judgement statement on the film or the fans, it’s an average. It’s no different than 320 people grading a paper and pooling an average: they all have different expectations and grading schemes, and that end result is the average of those who liked it.

Okay, that’s not the best analogy, but you shouldn’t be upset over the score without knowing why. To Rotten Tomatoes’s credit, the reviews have links to their original pages for further clarity. All you need to do is click on and read them. Do you have to agree? No, but you can at least read them.

As for the whole “conspiracy” angle? Take off the tinfoil hat, it’s nonsense. Maybe some of the critics might’ve had incentives, but all 320 of them? Are you honestly telling me that 320 people, many of whom have never even met one-another, simultaneously conspired to trash this movie? Even if that were true, of which it’s highly doubtful, how would you prove that? And don’t give me the “Disney paid them off” argument either, because that’d imply Disney had the time to do something like that.

I’m somewhat tired of having to constantly defend Rotten Tomatoes to people, as it assumes I believe it's perfect. I don’t. I think its guidelines can be shifty sometimes, and there needs to be a disclaimer over how it’s not empirically objective. I also doubt the authenticity of some of its reviews, and I think it needs to stick more closely to its own “Fresh/Rotten” standards. Also, its columns can be really annoying, especially when they parrot their aggregates.

But as a whole, I actually don’t mind it. I don’t agree with a lot of its scores, but I can’t argue with it when it’s only the messenger. In the case of Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, the message is pretty clear. Do you have to agree? No, but you should respect the differences of opinion. Because that’s far more important when it comes to the perceptions of art.

Then again, this is the internet, so I doubt that the complainers will actually listen…

Saturday, April 16, 2016


Let’s play a game, shall we?

WRRRRROAW! (Courtesy of Star Wars.)

Take a look at that trailer. A good, hard look. Tell me, what do you see? Ignoring that weird conversation at the end with Mark Hamill, tell me what this is. How does it make you feel? Did you know about this prior, or are you discovering it now? Does it give you excitement, or does it annoy you?

Me? I’ll tell you what I see: a trailer for an interesting premise. A trailer for an exciting film. A trailer that promises something great. And, finally, a trailer for a movie that happens to be part of Star Wars. That’s what I see.

Unfortunately, it’s not what many people on the internet see. They take one look at this trailer, and…
“Star Wars: Rogue Feminist!!!!!”

“I don't mind using females as a main character, but it starts to feel forced now”

“its the fact that it will keep growing on a larger scale where feminism will be forced down our throats through every thing we see.”

“Feminism has taken over Star Wars… Only one missing to make that official in this trailer was Kylo Ren.”

These are some of the tamer comments, FYI.

This mindset disturbs me. It disturbs me because it’s a growing trend in the nerd community now that films are wising up and diversifying their characters. It disturbs me because it shows a lack of tolerance for the non-stereotypical male hero. And it disturbs me because men have had leading roles for decades, and now that women are getting a chance it’s being touted as “forced propaganda”. Basically, it disturbs me because it reinforces, yet again, that people are scared of ideas that challenge them, most-notably that women can be interesting too.

Let’s look at those five comments individually, so as to see what they imply about people’s attitudes toward women:

1. A movie starring a female lead is automatically feminism-no, it’s called having a female lead. I hate how feminism is so heavily misconstrued that it has to be mentioned whenever a woman is the main character in a story. Feminist stories usually entail a deconstruction of some kind of male archetype, be it aggression to women, dominance in most areas of life, shaming of feminine sexuality, or that they’re not allowed to move up in life. Star Wars: Rogue One is none of these. It’s a war movie that has women in it, which makes sense considering women serve in every Western military and have done so for decades.

Come to think of it, maybe Star Wars: Rogue One IS feminist. I say that because it has a female lead who appears to have depth and is accepted into a rebel cell like it’s no big deal. Given how so many lone wolf women are harassed by men in work environments in real-life, perhaps that’s implying that we should treat women with acceptance, not rejection. Because women are valuable assets to any business. All you need to do is look at their work ethic.

2. Having a woman in a story is considered “forced”-why? Because there aren’t enough women in mainstream action films? Why is it that generic macho-man #4584829 is respectable, but if a woman is put in that position it’s “forced”? What makes an Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone-style lead acceptable, but not a Rey or Katniss Everdeen? Yeah, you don’t think we had enough of the “macho man” stereotype in the 80’s and 90’s, huh?

Even when looking at the Star Wars franchise, how many female leads have we had? The first three films had Luke Skywalker, who was a male, while the prequel films had Anakin Skywalker, who was also a male. Meanwhile, Star Wars Rebels, that show I mentioned recently, has a great cast, but it’s about a Jedi and his Padawan who are, you guessed it, both males. Even Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which had a heavy focus on Ahsoka Tano, centred largely around, you guessed it, two Jedi males. Are we seeing a pattern here?

The only Star Wars story, film or TV-alike, to have a female lead, not including this new one, is Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with Rey. And guess what? People complained about her too, calling her a “Mary Sue”. It’s as if her fears and doubts throughout the film, let-alone her occasional screw-ups, don’t count as character flaws! I wonder if people know what “Mary Sue” means…

3-4. Having female characters means that feminism is taking over Hollywood-no, it doesn’t. It simply means women have one of their own to root for for a change.

I like how people keep forgetting how many male-oriented action movies, or films in general, we get every year. Most are generic shoot-‘em-ups, but still. There are plenty of male heroes to choose from, even in big-name franchises. The well will never dry up. If anything, they can go there if a woman scares them so much.

Besides, a woman lead every-so-often should be welcomed, especially since so many nerds are female! Isn’t it amazing how Porco Rosso made a joke about how more than half of the world’s population is women in 1992, and yet we haven’t gotten the memo 24 years later? (Come to think of it, the love for Studio Ghibli films is odd when you consider their roster.) If that’s the case, why are we not seeing more women in mainstream films that aren’t damsels-in-distress or pretty faces? What gives, where are my heroines?

Besides, feminism hasn’t taken over Hollywood yet; after all, if it had, we’d probably start seeing their cavalry and super deadly assassins pop-up in the headlines.

5. Star Wars is pandering to Social Justice Warriors now-pfft! *Starts laughing for 3 minutes straight*

For those who don’t know, a “Social Justice Warrior” is anyone who demands social progress. Wanting equal treatment for women, for example, and being vocal about it makes you a Social Justice Warrior. Unfortunately, it’s been skewed into seeming like something terrible. “Social Justice Warrior” has, therefore, become synonymous with “being demonic” in the eyes of whiney nerds, making it look worse than it is. It's kinda sad.

Also, I’m sorry, but that’s too rich: the internet can’t tolerate people who want to see real change in Hollywood. What, did they not get enough ice cream before the SJWs demanded some? This mentality is harmful and toxic, and it needs to stop. Social change isn’t bad if it’s for the right reasons, and Star Wars catering to people other than white males is one of those reasons. Not all moviegoers are white men, and they deserve their power fantasies. If that bothers you, then you’re kinda sheltered and haven’t experienced any major challenges in your life.

I get that nerds feel intimidated by reality. I’m a nerd too, life wasn’t kind to me growing up. But that gives us no excuse to start lashing out at others, as that makes us look petty and shallow. Star Wars isn’t only our property, we don’t have exclusive ownership. It belongs to everyone, and that’s okay. If a movie in the franchise wants a female lead, especially when its last one was a huge box office draw, then by all means they should go ahead! It’s not the end of the world, after all!

But whatever, human nature is human nature, and people will complain regardless of the logic that you throw at their feet. I only wish we could make fun of the weird name of our lead instead of whine that she’s a girl. (Seriously, Jyn Erso?! Are you sure you didn’t have toilets on the brain when you came up with that?)

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Case for Star Wars Rebels

How about that Star Wars Rebels?

In case you haven’t noticed from my past blog entries, I’m a big fan of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. I really only discovered it this past year, but not only does it do justice in fleshing out a Star Wars era most fans were miffed over because of the associated movies, but, taken on its own merits, it’s actually pretty good. Not fantastic, but pretty good. Plus, it introduced one of the greatest characters of Star Wars lore in its, admittedly, crappy pilot film, even if we didn’t know at the time. Overall, it gets my stamp of approval.

It’ll, therefore, come as a surprise when I say that Star Wars Rebels, that follow-up show people are mixed on, is pretty good too; in fact, judging by the Season 2 finale, I’d say it already has the potential to rival, or even surpass, its sister series in the near future. Despite this, people won’t give the show a break, especially not when compared to Star Wars: The Clone Wars. I get that there’s a lot to live up to, but the intense amount of backlash has gotten to a point where I can no longer keep my mouth shut. And so, like Frozen, I’m gonna deconstruct some of the most-ludicrous complaints I’ve heard.

By the way, there’ll be spoilers. You’ve been warned:

“The story sucks!”

The is the most widely espoused complaint. Ignoring that Star Wars Rebels is only two seasons in, meaning it has a lot it hasn’t shown yet, I don’t agree at all. It’s a tale about the beginnings of the Rebellion that also tells the story of a doomed Jedi master-apprentice relationship. (At least, from what I’ve gathered so far. The show, like I said, is only two seasons in.) Ignoring that that premise writes itself, there’s a lot of potential with all the questions it raises. Questions like:

Who were these Jedi?

What brought them together?

Why aren’t they in the films?

What’s their connection to the Rebellion?

How did the Rebellion begin?

Why aren’t the original founders of this rebellion in the films either?

How did the Rebellion grow from a group of rag-tag guerrillas to what it became in the films?

And this isn’t even including how it fits into prior canon!

I seriously think people aren’t giving it enough of a chance, especially now that Star Wars is owned by Disney. They see the acquisition as a destruction of something beloved, when it’s not. Star Wars Rebels has proven itself to be introspective and tightly-written for what it is, far more than its predecessor could dream of! That’s right: this is a tighter-written show than Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Its opening movie was solid, and while it occasionally has filler, it’s still more succinct than the “out-of-order” approach of its direct predecessor. An approach that, need I remind you, was never fully-realized because the show got cancelled after its 5th season.

In case you think I’m ragging on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, don’t: I love that show; heck, I wrote two pieces praising it! But it’s not perfect. Ignoring its cheap animation, and we’ll cover that later, the pilot film was atrocious! And even as the show was improving in quality, it still had missteps (like those Jar Jar Binks episodes) and pointless filler (see the Mortis episodes) along the way. Not even the sixth season, which was a Netflix-exclusive, was immune to blunders.

In contrast, Star Wars Rebels has been chugging along smoothly since its above-average pilot film. And I get it: it’s not a war show, so there’s not as much to mine in terms of commentary and subtext. But it doesn’t need it, as the premise of “before the Rebellion” is enough for a good story. I wish people would see that, instead of immediately jumping on it for replacing an already-beloved show that ran for almost six years.

“The characters suck!”

Like the previous complaint, this one’s easily rebutted. Star Wars Rebels has six main characters, each with a compelling back-story and motivation for wanting to take down the Empire. Kanan is a Jedi who survived Order 66 while still a Padawan, and he wants to practice being a Jedi without constantly being hunted. Hera is a fighter, the daughter of a Twi’lek war hero during The Clone Wars, and she’s desperate to stop the Empire so it doesn’t oppress other races like they did her own. Sabine is an ex-military cadet who fled her imperial training on Mandalore, Zeb is from a race nearly brought to extinction by the Empire and Ezra’s parents were murdered by the Empire for speaking out. And then there’s Chopper, who’s…well, Chopper. But he’s amusing enough that you appreciate him anyway.

Anyway, these are well-realized characters with motivations that make sense. They also act like a team, which is important because they’re a micro representation of the Rebellion. We also delve into their back-stories, like when Hera confronts her father and explains why he’s no different than the Empire. They’re not stock stereotypes plucked from a book of tropes, they feel real and relatable. And that’s where the show’s real strengths are, as even the filler episodes are dedicated to fleshing-out character.

Why is this difficult to understand? Yes, Kanan being the pupil of Jedi Master Depa Billaba was a retcon, no denying that. But so was Ahsoka being the Padawan of Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and she ended up being the best part of that show. The Star Wars universe is so rich that it’s possible to introduce new characters in-between movies, flesh them out, kill them off and still make it work. It’s happened with Ahsoka, so why can’t it happen with the cast of Star Wars Rebels?

I’ve heard additional complaints that the show has too many cameos, like Lando and Leia. Yes, because Star Wars: The Clone Wars didn’t have cameos, right? It’s not like we didn’t see Chewbacca and Greedo for one or two episodes, even if it didn’t move the story along, right? Why does that show get a pass, when this one doesn’t? Am I sensing double-standards?

I’m not gonna act like every character in Star Wars Rebels serves the grander story. The whole episode dedicated to the Lasats, aka Zeb’s people, was cheesy and provided hokey closure to their tragic back-story. But not every character in Star Wars: The Clone Wars did either, most-notably The Father, The Daughter and The Son from those weird episodes on Mortis. It’s a give-and-take, and neither show is flawless. But they both juggle their casts as a whole quite well, which is more than they needed to.

“The show doesn’t take any risks!”

Oh really?! *Cough cough* Sorry, dry throat.

I don’t understand this one on a deeper level: Star Wars Rebels is a kid’s show, therefore it can’t take risks? A Star Wars cartoon can’t-do these people not realize that kid’s shows can be ambitious? Sometimes more ambitious than adult shows because they encourage creativity? Do these people not realize that this is Disney we’re talking about, the same company that gave us “Hellfire” and the death of Mufasa? What, they think that because it’s Disney they’re gonna treat Star Wars worse because “family-friendly”? Are they THAT dense?!

Good storytelling is good storytelling, irrespective of audience. Good stories take risks to deliver ideas, and Star Wars is no different; after all, this is the same franchise that made blowing up a planet a big deal and incorporated it into the main story. This is the same franchise that, 38 years later, upped the ante by blowing up 5 planets simultaneously and showed the civilians screaming helplessly as they were about to die. And the latter was under Disney’s supervision, no-less!

Okay, not a great example, especially since I know the real complaint here: Disney won’t show on-screen deaths in a TV show because “death = sad”. Well whoopity-freaking-doo! Star Wars Rebels doesn’t show a person dying on-screen! Cry me a river, build me a bridge and get over it. It’s a bad reason to claim that a show sucks, especially since we hear the deaths happen and see the aftermath.

Is this really what we’re so concerned about? Does seeing death really turn us on? Whatever happened to using your imagination and filling in the gaps with your mind? Yeah, yeah, film is a visual medium…but sometimes what you don’t see is as important, if not more important, as what you do see. That’s what Avatar: The Last Airbender did too, and no one complains there!

I understand that Star Wars: The Clone Wars showed on-screen deaths constantly, and I respect it for doing so when it was appropriate. But guess what? That was also a show meant for teenagers, meaning it could get away with that sort of stuff. Star Wars Rebels is for a younger audience, so they can’t. It’d be nice if the censors could be a little more relaxed, but you make due with what you have, and the creative talents have done exactly that. Remember, “rating” is a six-letter word when you’re skilled and clever, after all.

Besides, the show is plenty ambitious! For one, the main characters being a rag-tag group of rebel nobodies was a big risk, especially given the clout Darth Vader and The Rebel Alliance. They could’ve written this about Leia or Lando Calrissian, but they didn’t. Instead, they chose a Jedi no one’s heard of, a kid no one’s heard of and a group of C-squad Star Wars characters. If that’s not enough, they’ve dug deep and shown the effects the Empire has had on its citizens. It’s a great way to comment on dictatorial regimes, much like how Star Wars: The Clone Wars used its premise to comment on the harsh realities of war. How this isn’t interesting and risk-heavy, especially considering the target audience, is beyond me!

Besides, there’s death in this show, so shush!

“The show’s art-style is awful!”

This one’s trickier to deconstruct because it involves looking deeper into the show’s design history. To sum it up, Ralph McQuarrie was commissioned by George Lucas in 1975 to work on rough designs for the first Star Wars film. Many of his ideas were ultimately modified, much to his disappointment. So when Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012 and began production on Star Wars Rebels, they decided to use the original design styles of McQuarrie.

Truthfully, not every choice sits well with me. I don’t mind most of them, or even the pointy lightsabers, but Yoda reeks of The Uncanny Valley and Darth Maul is too clean for my tastes. The former had an awesome design for the Prequels and Prequel cartoons, so to see something that looks too human, yet isn’t human enough, is creepy. And Darth Maul? Given that he’s a war-torn Sith reject, his design doesn’t fit.

On the flip-side, Ashoka Tano’s redesign is a vast improvement over her original look in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Considering I could never look at her sport's bra shirt or vixen shirt without feeling uncomfortable, it’s nice to see a design that isn’t male-gaze heavy. Not to mention, she looks wiser and more distinguished in her battle armour attire, so her redesign gets my seal of approval. As does Darth Vader’s slight redesign, which accentuates his demeanour and makes him even scarier.

To play Devil’s Advocate for a minute, what about the designs in Star Wars: The Clone Wars? To quote myself from an earlier blog:
“The animation improves over time, especially in later seasons, but it never reaches true filmic quality; in fact, the pilot movie is so un-cinematic that you’d think a C-list studio rendered it. And it did: Lucasfilm’s then-new Singapore animation division. I like that the show was ambitious in-spite of its limitations, especially in its action, but it’s impossible not to see its restrictions: characters are blocky, hands and feet are generic and it’s almost impossible to tell clones apart when they have their helmets on. It’s dirt-poor for a CGI show.”
My thoughts haven’t changed. If anything, the animation in that show looks worse when juxtaposed with Star Wars Rebels. Especially since the latter is more consistent in its designs and fluidity. That doesn’t mean it’s without its own limitations, the characters never change clothes, but it’s an improvement…even with its missteps. And besides, there’s more to this show than designs: filmmaking techniques and acting are big components too. If it’s getting both right, then who cares if the designs are different?

“The show’s repetitive!”

Really?! To paraphrase Chris Stuckmann’s excellent analysis video, Star Wars has always been formulaic. This has been true since 1977, and it continues to be true today. And give it credit: the formula works, and it’ll continue to work as long as fresh ideas are added to the core aesthetics. So calling this show “repetitive” is hypocritical when you don’t apply that to other Star Wars properties.

But I get what detractors are referring to: they’re talking about the Inquisitors. We went from one Inquisitor in the first season, to two for most of Season 2, to three by the season’s finale and ended with a line that implied there were more out there. I guess it’s no surprise when your two antagonists in Season 2 are called “The Fifth Brother” and “The Seventh Sister”, but it’s pretty clear that these are gonna be the new “Separatists” of Star Wars Rebels. It’s irksome to many people because it feels “formulaic” and “lacks originality”, except that Star Wars has always been formulaic.

And, honestly, I like the Inquisitors. They’re not the most-threatening opponents, although The High Inquisitor from Season 1 was definitely a worthy adversary, but they’re cunning, intelligent and keep our heroes on their toes. Plus, that they have Sith-like powers, yet aren’t technically Sith, means we get to see plenty of Jedi-on-Dark Jedi battles. Y’know, like the kind in the now-defunct EU?

But really, if you’re gonna complain that the Inquisitors are “repetitive”, then you might as well call the reuse of "The Death Star" in three different films “repetitive”. Or the reveals of every single villain in the films “repetitive”. Or every multi-part battle in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, especially in the later seasons, “repetitive”. Especially that last point, because it’s absolutely true. And this is coming from a fan.

I’m not sure what people expect: is the reuse of the Inquisitors as a plot-point redundant? Maybe, but they move the story along. They also add to the tension, help flesh-out the heroes and show how powerful the Empire’s influence is. Not to mention, their lightsabers are awesome! What’s not to like about a double-bladed sword that doubles as propellors?

I know this rebuttal was weak, but the complaint was too, so…


I’d go on to list more complaints, but I felt these five were the easiest to deconstruct. Because they exemplify the real reason detractors of Star Wars Rebels drive me crazy: nitpicking. The show has real flaws, especially in its pacing, I’m won't pretend otherwise. But when all I’m hearing is nitpicks, particularly ones that also apply to Star Wars pre-Disney acquisition, then I start wondering if people will never be satisfied. (You try proving me wrong, I dare you!)

I, therefore, have a proposition for said detractors: give it time. I don’t mean that in a “persist through something you don’t like” kind of way, that’s not fair to anyone, but rather in a “give it time to really show its true colours” kind of way. The show is young, being only 1/3 of the way through its life-span, and it’s already showing real promise with its Season 2 finale. It took Star Wars: The Clone Wars three seasons to become something special, and even then it still had occasional hiccups. Star Wars Rebels deserves that same chance.

Or…you can continue slighting it for no reason, the choice is yours. So long as you realize that you’re being unfair, then I guess I can’t really complain.