If there’s a force more likely to have fans of any particular franchise—especially one you’re personally involved in working on and propagating—beating down your door in horde-like formations, it’s dismissal. People will put up with outright insults before they’ll accept the perception that the stuff they care about just doesn’t matter, something that Lucasfilm executive Matt Martin, who serves as Story Group Creative Executive for the Disney-owned company, learned on social media last week after trying to remind fans of Star Wars that “it’s all fake anyway.”
Martin was trying to make a wider point about the nature of “canon” in the Star Wars universe, arguing that if you, say, have a lot of love for that one short story where the guy pulling the lever on the Death Star’s superlaser (“Master Chief Gunnery Officer Tenn Graneet”) intentionally hesitates so that Luke Skywalker can blow the big ugly space orb up, you can go ahead and still accept it as canon—no matter what Disney might say about Legends or Expanded Universes or whatever. This actually extremely apt point was then ignored by a number of vocal detractors, because, again, Martin called Star Wars “fake,” and we can’t be having with that.
Among other statements that the more irate population of Martin’s Twitter mentions ignored—as though cloaked with the same device that hid the TIE-Phantom from the video game Rebel Assault II (non-canonical)—were his assertion that canon does actually matter, for the people telling the story, since it’s their job to keep things straight.
To be fair, “Star Wars fan mad at Star Wars” is pretty “mynock bites man” as far as entertainment reporting goes. The wider conversation of the meaning of canon is interesting, though, if not necessarily new—Grant Morrison delved into very similar material (with a much more grandiose name) when he started floating his Hypertime concept of D.C. Comics canon more than two decades ago. In any case, it’s a good reminder of the dangers of perceived dismissal to the nerdy hordes, even when your actual point is literally “Think what you want, it’s all actually cool with us.”