Dear Walt Disney Co. (I assume the Walt Disney Co. owns this creative property, as it owns every other),
I am a lifelong lover of America. I grew up in this fandom. I read the more than 260 associated books, listened to the John Philip Sousa score and eagerly awaited each year’s new installment of this thrilling saga.
To me, and millions of other fans, America has long been a story about two things: a grand experiment in self-government and the conviction that, over time, we were becoming less racist.
In 2016, after almost 250 years where we followed that great and heroic adventure, you decided to strike big chunks from that narrative. You took everyone we actually liked — Carrie Fisher, Prince — and introduced the character of President Trump. This was a bold and dramatic move, and we were worried but assumed you had a plan.
2017 was a travesty. It completely destroyed the legacy of so many characters we’ve come to know and love. Please, Disney, strike it from the canon so we can start over.
Hillary Clinton had been set up for years as the next obvious villain in the saga, with lots of nuances and a complex backstory, but the end of 2016 left her powerless and largely sidelined from the plot. Instead, she was replaced with a cartoon character, the basic details of whose story — tax returns? — we still don’t know. He announced his arrival in the capital by putting his name in big letters on a fancy old building and sending out Sean Spicer to insist that there had been a much larger crowd to greet him than there was.
We’ve also backed ourselves into a corner with the Resistance plot line. People literally and with straight faces knitted and wore a pink garment called a “Pussy Hat.” What?
So many other choices were just tone-deaf and wrong. I don’t want to think about George H. W. Bush grabbing women’s posteriors while he jokes about “David Cop-a-Feel.” And yet this was something that 2017 forced me to do. Was it really necessary that Harvey Weinstein not only prey on every woman in Hollywood for generations but also hire an entire army of spies? Matt Lauer being a creep we could have dealt with, but having a door-locking button on his desk just felt over the top. Was it necessary for literally every man I’ve ever looked up to to turn out to be problematic?
Equally hard to believe was the president’s decision to fire FBI Director James B. Comey, and what seems to be building to an even more problematic decision to ignore the results of the Mueller probe. Neil M. Gorsuch should never have been appointed to the Supreme Court, and the unexpected choice to have Mitt Romney emerge as a voice of conscience is something I’m still not sure about.
After a big introduction, Anthony Scaramucci was wasted on a story line that went nowhere. And don’t get me started on the other plots that have been introduced, then forgotten. Puerto Rico? In canon, it has been without power for months, and it’s unrealistic that we would just go about our business as if nothing were wrong.
Also, white supremacist rallies felt very out of place in 2017, a year that is supposed to be after 1963.
By the time Alabama nominated ex-judge Roy Moore as its candidate for the U.S. Senate, the man in the seat next to me groaned aloud and said, “What the hell is this?” He spoke for all of us. Did you really expect us to believe that the same Grand Old Party that gave us Lincoln and Eisenhower was willing to embrace Stephen K. Bannon’s preferred candidate (a character whose backstory made no sense!), a man with no regard for law, who praised the times of slavery and who had been credibly accused of preying on teenagers? I don’t know what was more unrealistic: that the outcome of this election was so close or that a Democrat won it.
This doesn’t feel like the America I’m used to. I don’t like not knowing who is good, who is bad and who is beyond redemption, like an old coupon. I would prefer an America that, at its core, was still telling the same story.
The music was good, though. I liked the music.
I understand that there’s a certain artistic merit to this approach, and I don’t want to discount it at all. Maybe our heroes are the real villains. Maybe our mistake was having heroes at all.
But still, I want those heroes back. Wipe 2017 from canon. Let’s start over and tell this story right.
A Disappointed Fan
P.S. Also, I did not like when Luke Skywalker drank that milk from the sea cow one bit.