Lucasfilm creative exec Pablo Hidalgo has apologized for mocking popular fan YouTuber Star Wars Theory over his emotional reaction to Luke Skywalker’s appearance in The Mandalorian.
Kind of. Sort of.
I wish to clarify that my post that "emotions are not to be shared” was sarcastic self-mockery and was certainly not intended to be hurtful to anyone and I'm deeply sorry that it was. As a lifelong fan, I appreciate fans expressing how they feel – it's what being a fan is about!
— Pablo Hidalgo (@pablohidalgo) December 28, 2020
Hidalgo claims that his mockery of the YouTuber was actually self mockery, and was not intended to be hurtful.
Given Hidalgo’s long history of “fan baiting” on Twitter, many are skeptical as to whether or not this was a genuine apology or if the Lucasfilm exec is simply tweeting what Disney PR told him to.
Of course, this apology only comes after much mainstream media backlash over the comments, including a recent piece in industry trade publication Variety…
“I’d hate to believe he would join in [the teasing] as a Lucasfilm official,” Toos [Star Wars Theory] tweeted to his 101,000 followers, asking anyone with access to Hidalgo’s account to send him a screenshot of his [then privated] tweets.
That’s when he learned what Hidalgo tweeted: “emotions are not for sharing.” Toos was outraged, interpreting Hidalgo’s remarks as indeed piling on the mockery of his genuine emotions. By that point, Hidalgo had deleted the tweet, but, rather inexplicably, he also put a screenshot of it as the banner over his account; Toos took it as more trolling. “You’re telling people it’s not ok to have emotions about the work your company produces, and you make fun of them for crying?” he tweeted. “Not ok.”
For an industry respected publication like Variety to point out that this action from a Lucasfilm exec reopens the wounds inflicted to the franchise by The Last Jedi and the ensuing fan drama really says something.
Until now, Star Wars fans who’ve been critical of The Last Jedi have been shut down by the mainstream media at every opportunity. Their voices silenced, mocked, and even said to not exist at all — they’re just “Russian bots.”
The polarizing Rian Johnson film, and particularly its treatment of Luke Skywalker as a sad, bitter failed Jedi, seemed to be the “ah ha” moment when Disney lost control of the Star Wars franchise.
From The Last Jedi onward, Disney Star Wars was sent into a financial tailspin. Merchandise stopped selling. Solo bombed at the box office. The Rise of Skywalker massively underperformed. Galaxy’s Edge, a Disney theme park expansion based on the Sequel Trilogy, failed to generate positive buzz at first and was initially called a “flop” by the media.
Then along came The Mandalorian, which has been widely praised by many fans as a return to form.
And Luke Skywalker’s triumphant return as the Jedi hero many fans remember from their childhoods seemed to win back some who were disenfranchised by The Last Jedi.
But the widespread media attention given to Hidalgo’s trollish interaction with a very prominent member of the Star Wars fandom could absolutely snuff out the ember of goodwill jaded fans have toward Disney’s Star Wars right now.
Time will tell if Disney will ever be able to return Star Wars to its former glory. But it’s likely they’ll need to get their own house in order with Lucasfilm before fans will fully embrace the franchise again under Mouse rule.
[Source: Variety, Disney Star Wars is Dumb]
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