Star Wars critics don’t represent us all

The average Star Wars fan strikes back.

The Star Wars franchise has been increasingly subjected to scrutiny and held up to high standards. This marks a departure from what Star Wars originally aimed at, which was creating a crazy new space adventure.

Anything was possible in the first Star Wars, and fans didn’t know what to expect. This is exactly what “The Rise of Skywalker” delivers on. In spite of shouting from “true” Star Wars fans and critics who are only pleased by movies that match up with their political agenda, the end to the third Star Wars trilogy is just a good movie.

These fans who see their opinion on Star Wars as higher and nobler than the opinions of others are discovering an amazing new truth: The rest of the world doesn’t care what they think. They’ve read every Star Wars comic, graphic novel and legend and played every Star Wars game. They think they have the Force, and it’s telling them to criticize every detail of every new piece of Star Wars media.

But the numbers show us that fans still show up to watch the movies. These “real” fans were not alive when the first Star Wars came out. They are millennials and Gen Z-ers who do not understand what Star Wars is actually about. The original movies were just that: movies. They did not draw from legends, years of fan expectations or any other factors. They came right out of George Lucas’ weird head and people enjoyed them.

I’ve been told myself that I’m “not a real Star Wars fan” because I don’t know enough about the Star Wars universe. I have not dedicated my life to learning excessive amounts from other fans who think that their fan fictions should be canon.

But Star Wars was a huge part of my life growing up. My mother and her brothers were kids when the first Star Wars came and they saw it over and over in theaters. I remember being excitedly introduced to Star Wars as soon as I was old enough and then watching the prequels and enjoying them more than I thought I would.

I remember always having toy lightsabers around to duel with. I remember going to “Revenge of the Sith” as a little kid and being horrified when Anakin burned up in an ultra-gruesome way. I remember shooting other second graders with an invisible blaster that only existed because of the sounds I made. I remember my uncle taking me to see “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and loving every second of it. It was all part of the Star Wars culture in my life. So anyone who says I am not a Star Wars fan needs to take a closer look at themselves and ask what a Star Wars fan really is.

There is a growing disconnect between movie critics and public opinion. As internet culture grows, the possibility for every person to become a critic grows. This means that the critics feel threatened. They have responded by setting an impossibly high standard for movies.

At the end of an epic, interconnected, long-term franchise of Marvel movies, the whole thing was labeled as “not cinema.” This whole idea has backfired. Now my message to movie critics is: We don’t care what you think anymore. You told me that “The Rise of Skywalker” is the worst Star Wars movie ever before I went and saw it, and that is just not true. Critics don’t represent real fans anymore, and neither do the fake fans who know so much about the parts of Star Wars that don’t actually matter. The real fan base is voting with its feet, and they love the new Star Wars media.

In this Star Wars section of the culture wars, critics and fake fans will try to silence those who love “The Rise of Skywalker.” But money talks, and Disney, which has become a huge money grab, would not continue to make the movies if they didn’t earn piles of money.

So you “true” Star Wars fans can keep your opinions to yourselves. Talk to each other about how the lightsaber duels in “The Rise of Skywalker” weren’t good enough, how it wasn’t in the “spirit” of the original films, or it was too different from Star Wars legends.

The rest of us are sick of being told our opinions don’t matter and don’t want to hear yours anymore. And you critics who are never satisfied should change the way you look at films quickly or risk becoming completely irrelevant. Yes, you should have high standards but in the democracy of the free market you are supposed to represent the moviegoers, and in reviews of Star Wars you are only representing yourselves anymore.

— By Chase Kimball, Provo

Time for a tax status, competition review

As a concerned taxpayer in a year when the legislature is looking at tax reform, I think they should look at IHC and their tax status.

I see they compete with the private sector who’s paying taxes in numerous health-related businesses, but they take the windfall, or surplus, of revenue to our neighboring state of Nevada and spend millions of dollars to sponsor the Raiders professional football team.

These dollars should be spent in Utah by the different governmental entities. Competition in business is good, but taxes and the regulations should be the same, not allow one entity to have an unfair advantage, and to create a monopoly. It is obvious to me that the nonprofit corporation has become very profitable and should pay its fair share of taxes.

— By Richard A. Johnson, former Utah County commissioner