Brow Beat

The Campaign to Remake The Last Jedi, Explained

With exactly as much seriousness as it deserves.

A scene from The Last Jedi with question marks written on it.
Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Lucasfilm Ltd.

The internet is a gift to attention-grabbing stunts and petulant manbabies. Those two elements converged earlier this week in the form of the Remake The Last Jedi campaign, a very serious fundraiser meant to somehow convince Disney to do-over a film that became the No. 1 movie of last year and enjoys a 91 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Below, we answer some frequently asked questions about the latest debacle embarrassing the Star Wars fandom.

Who’s behind the remake effort?

An individual or a group that’s channeling the imagination-capturing heroism of Luke, Leia, Han, Rey, and Finn by … staying anonymous.

What do they want?

Another version of The Last Jedi—one that, according to the campaign’s Twitter account, isn’t “juvenile,” “unconscionable,” or “blasphemy.” The remaker(s) don’t have a storyline or even a protagonist in mind—they’re just certain that their fantasy version will be better than the movie that already exists. Per their plan, the remakers “will be consulting with Star Wars fans directly throughout the writing of the remake …  to make a version of TLJ that is as close to universally accepted as possible.” They do acknowledge the impossibility of pleasing everyone, so they might have to prepare for a potential Remake the Remake of The Last Jedi campaign, and the Remake the Remake of the Remake of The Last Jedi campaign, and so on. Because that’s how fandom works!

You said it’s a fundraiser?

Yeah, but not with, like, real money. At the time of writing, the campaign has “pledges” exceeding $90 million, but its website is only collecting email addresses and a set dollar amount—not any credit card numbers. The remakers claim to have producers who can “cover the budget” and that the pledges are only to “have your voice heard.” But don’t think the remakers wholly lack self-awareness! They did realize the need to clarify about the campaign: “This isn’t a joke.”

Are there any celebrities involved in this that I might care about?

The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson—who has dealt with a lot of blowback from the minority of Star Wars fans angry that their galaxy no longer demographically resembles, well, Hollywood boardrooms in the 1970s—has given the campaign his ironic blessing.

Seth Rogen got into a back and forth with the remakers, too. Well, it was less a conversation and more Rogen asking, “How did you get investors without a script or stars or director or legal ability to make this movie?” and the remakers replying that the popularity of their campaign would get them a mutually life-changing meeting with Disney.

So these remakers are definitely racist and/or sexist, just like all the other loving fans that have been harassing Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Kelly Marie Tran, right?

The remakers go out of their way to say that their objection to The Last Jedi is with its narrative elements, like how Rey and Finn and Rose are not Xerox copies of Luke Skywalker, who they deem to be not only an “archetypal hero” but basically the only kind of hero that the Star Wars universe should have. In short, they hate change and variation and newness—i.e., the qualities that a franchise needs to stay relevant. Whether you want to give the remakers the benefit of the doubt on the race and gender stuff is up to you, but I don’t think naïveté is a virtue here.

Should I be more worried or amused about this?

Probably amused! This is a wild swing of a stunt, and from its conception it was destined to be an unmitigated failure. If you feel like exposing yourself to some dank fanboy possessiveness, the hyperbolic outrage on the remakers’ Twitter account, primitive video, and 2006-era website are pretty hilarious. But it’s been funnier to see social media users brainstorm their own TLJ sequel ideas—many involve a romance between Finn and Poe—as well as story concepts for other franchises.

Any reason I should waste any more time thinking about these losers?

Sadly, yes. The inability of certain fans to embrace new types of stories and characters—and their loud and vicious trolling of both artists and fellow fans—has poisoned many pockets of the internet. It’s also gross that the remakers see themselves as the heroic rebels in all this: “Welcome to the Rebellion,” reads their website, while the video includes a title card, with a desperation recalling Leias in the first film, declaring, “If fans really want to save Star Wars, this is your only chance.” Branching out to other pop culture phenomena might have helped them reach a realization that’s long overdue: They’re the villains in their own story.

Read more in Slate about Star Wars.