The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau continued to show that he’s reversing course on how Lucasfilm and Disney have dealt with Star Wars following the release of Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi.
Back in June, Favreau signaled that he and Lucasfilm would be taking a different attitude towards Star Wars fans.
Favreau spoke to The Hollywood Reporter detailing that creators need to listen to fan feedback. He explained, “You put something out in the world, and then it echoes back at you. You have to listen. It’s not a one-way street. It’s a two-way street. You have to feel the energy of the audience.”
He continued, “But when you come from comedy — and when I was doing improv back in Chicago — that’s it: You have to read the room, you have to feel the room. You have to be in community with the audience. You have to be part of it.”
“The fact of the matter is, as much as we love working on Star Wars, we love even more making Star Wars for other people,” he would later state.
He then added, “And when other people are excited by it, dig what we’re doing and are appreciative, that’s as good as it gets for us.”
Favreau would go a step further in speaking with Deadline earlier this month. He would first detail that his vision for The Mandalorian is to tell simple stories.
He explained, “We wanted to really wind it back to the things that inspired the original Star Wars and really get it small in scale and tell simple stories, because part of what you inherit when you’re going to see Star Wars now is this whole history, because the stories have been told for decades, and it was nice, with the new medium, to be able to start with a new set of characters to introduce a new audience.”
Favreau then detailed that when creating new Star Wars stories he’s thinking about the core fans. Favreau stated, “But we always knew…and this is something I learned from…over at Marvel and working with Kevin Feige, is you always want to keep the core fans in mind, because they have been the ones that’ve been keeping the torch lit for many, many years, but these are also stories for young people and for new audiences.”
He continued, “These are myths, and so you always want to have an outstretched hand to people who might not have that background. And so you’re really telling two stories at once. You’re telling the story for the people who are fresh eyes, and you’re telling the story for the people who’ve been there with the property and with the stories and the characters for so many years, and make sure that you’re honoring them, as well.”
In a separate discussion with Deadline, Favreau would again detail that he aims to honor and be respectful to the past. He explains, “To have a way to create a freshness, while still being respectful of what came before, I think is one of the challenges of storytellers in this moment, because we’re inundated with so much content.”
He added, “Now, everything’s at the touch of a finger, so everybody has a tremendous cultural context…You know, everybody’s checking your work.”
As we’ve previously reported this is a huge change in how Lucasfilm deals with their passionate Star Wars fanbase. Lucasfilm creators previously derided and Star Wars fans when they criticized them and the current Star Wars stories Disney had been creating.
Rian Johnson described his critics as “manbabies” after The Last Jedi was panned by the majority of viewers.
He would double down responding to one critic saying, “Ok, I have to draw the line at you dragging your drooly little manbaby butt across the wheel of fortune answers account. Back to the swamp, you’re free/blocked.”
Johnson would go so far as to describe fans who disliked The Last Jedi as participating in “violent harassment campaigns.”
He would later go on to claim that The Last Jedi critics were Russian bots using a shoddy report from Morten Bay.
Johnson was not alone. The treatment towards Star Wars fans appeared to be systemic throughout Lucasfilm and their creatives.
J.J. Abrams claimed Star Wars fans had issues with women. In February 2018 he stated, “Their problem isn’t Star Wars, their problem is being threatened.”
He elaborated, “Star Wars’ is a big galaxy, and you can sort of find almost anything you want to in ‘Star Wars. If you are someone who feels threatened by women and needs to lash out against them, you can probably find an enemy in ‘Star Wars.’”
Abrams continued, “You can probably look at the first movie that George [Lucas] did [‘Star Wars: A New Hope’] and say that Leia was too outspoken, or she was too tough. Anyone who wants to find a problem with anything can find the problem. The internet seems to be made for that.”
He then responded to fan criticism of The Last Jedi indicating it wouldn’t affect The Rise of Skywalker, “Not in the least. There’s a lot that I would like to say about it, but I feel like it’s a little early to be having the ‘Episode IX’ conversation …”
Abrams then stated, “I will say that the story of Rey and Poe and Finn and Kylo Ren — and if you look, there are three men and one woman, to those that are complaining that there are too many women in ‘Star Wars’ — their story continues in a way that I couldn’t be more excited about and cannot wait for people to see.”
Former Star Wars writer Chuck Wendig attacked Star Wars fans as “white supremacists” in June 2018.
Wendig would eventually lose his Star Wars gig after the threatened violence against supporters of Donald Trump.
Fellow Star Wars author Paul Kemp described Star Wars fans as “detestable.”
He wrote on Twitter, ““Since I follow mostly political/policy/journalism folks, I’m late to the various fandom controversies. Caught wind of the latest in Star Wars fandom. Let me share some brief comments.”
Kemp continued, “There are probably some followers of this feed who use the term “forced diversity,” “SJW,” or “politically correct,” or whatnot. If you’re one of them, unfollow me. I don’t merely disagree with you.”
He then added, “If you’re one of them, unfollow me. I don’t merely disagree with you; I find you contemptible, a detestable human being with whom I don’t want to have even indirect contact.”
Kemp concluded, “Run back to your fellow neckbears/incels or whoever is you hang out with. Just stay clear of me. Thanks And f*** you.”
What do you make of Favreau’s comments? Do you think we are seeing a course reversal on how Lucasfilm creatives and employees deal with Star Wars fans?