Friday, 25 January 2013
Lightsabers, lensflares and lies
So then you probably all heard the "news", JJ Abrams is to direct Star Wars VII. Yes, that means he's now in charge of both Star Wars and Star Trek the two biggest SF franchises in the world with the word 'Star' in the titles to confuse the pop culture illiterati!
Now some of you, who liked his Star Trek reboot, will be applauding this decision. Other who clung on with limpet-like tenacity to Lost until the bitter end will be no doubt in actual raptures.
Others however who still grieve for fallen Vulcan and a 'vandalised' continuity will be weeping, while others less invested in Star Trek but not buying the 'JJ is God' line, are merrily making the already tired crack about lens flares on lightsabers and muttering about how one man should not be in charge of two geek sacred cows.
But the more astute among you will have noticed I put the term news in quotation marks. Well done! If you are among this third band, know this - our numbers may be small but we alone shall live to see Star Wars VII without dying of whiplash beforehand from making panicked knee-jerk reactions to every goddamn rumour that's going to be splashed all over the internet between now and then.
And yes folks, that's all this "news" is so far - rumour.
But looking at the internet, that's not the impression you get. It appears to be set in stone, an absolute fact, and wars are already raging between fans on whether this is great and terrible news. Personally, I must confess, this whole thing has filled me with sadness... BECAUSE JUST LAST WEEK WE HAD THE SAME BULLSHIT OVER SOME COMPLETE LIES THAT ZACK SYNDER WAS DIRECTING A STAR WARS MOVIE!
Honestly! Are you all ruddy goldfish???
Now then, you'd think that after the Synder-meltdown we might treat the next time tidbit of Star Wars gossip a little more cautiously but no...
Here's what actually happened - The Wrap, a site I'm not going to link to as they already generated enough hits from this, ran 'an exclusive' story announcing that Abrams IS directing the next Star Wars. And they had this on the lofty authority of 'an insider'. In other words, this is no official announcement from Disney or Abrams or even bloody Yoda, just some anonymous dude, no doubt standing moodily in shadows and living out his old X-Files Deep Throat fantasies.
Pretty sharpish Variety picks up the story. However what exactly have they picked up? They report, and I use the term loosely, that the House of Mouse is closing talks with Abrams to direct. No source given and the rest of the article is biographic fluff filched off IMDB. Again I point out, there is no source mentioned at all for this and note that the "news" has changed from Abrams will direct to being close to signing a deal to direct. Bet-hedging to avoid egg on face? Well, in an "article" whose only new information is referring to Disney as "the House of Mouse" I ruddy think so!
Other movie and geek sites all join the rumour gangbang, citing The Wrap story and claiming that because they are all repeating it this somehow confirms it as true. However none of them have actually confirmed jackshit - several also wheel out some unnamed source, some backing up the original 'will direct' line, but others "confirming" the Variety 'close to signing' variant. Apparently getting the helm of the new Star Wars movie works like Candyman - say it three times and it happens!
Now an unnamed source I just invented, I mean, spoke to, who's close to all these news outlets told me -
"The Wrap noticed all the hits that Synder tosh got the other week and hence decided to run an anonymous rumour as an 'exclusive'. Of course anyone who knows or cares about journalism knows that you can't really have 'an exclusive' from an anonymous source with no evidence whatsoever but what the hell! The rest of us just hopped on the bandwagon as there's a lot of money to be made from those stupid Ewok fuckers... They'll buy into any old bullshit and in the meantime our traffic goes through the roof and we can up the advertising rates!"
See how easy it is folks! With a little imagination and no scruples whatsoever anything could be an unnamed source - that lamp, that sock, that venal desire to get as many hits as possible by any means possible!
Now then, it may well transpire that the rumour is true - although I find it a tad suspicious that there's no official announcement now the news has leaked - but my central point remains valid no matter who ends up directing. And that is that between now and the release of Star Wars VII, there's going to be an awful lot of this kind of thing. All manner of bullshitters and losers are going to be reporting "exclusives" from various Drop Dead Freds who are "close to the production" about the script, the casting, the technical crew, and probably even who's doing the catering. And my advice is, before you take to the internet spouting off on whether each of these revelations is A VERY GOOD THING or A VERY BAD THING, do have a look to see if it's actually true and not just a pile of steam bantha turds cooked up by some coke-addled tosswit.
Believe me folks, a little fact checking and and a lot less frothing will save you a massive amount of stress over the next two years.
Nevermind the Force - may the Facts be with you!