Marvel fires Chuck Wendig to salve alt-reich

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Re: Marvel fires Chuck Wendig to salve alt-reich

Post by Darth Winter » 2018-11-01 02:11am

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Re: Marvel fires Chuck Wendig to salve alt-reich

Post by PhoenixKnig » 2018-11-01 02:12am

Darth Winter wrote:
2018-11-01 02:11am
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You might need to have that checked
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Re: Marvel fires Chuck Wendig to salve alt-reich

Post by Darth Winter » 2018-11-01 08:50am

PhoenixKnig wrote:
2018-11-01 02:12am
Darth Winter wrote:
2018-11-01 02:11am
Duble
You might need to have that checked
Shitty internet on my work sometimes make duble messeges. Because I can't delite dubles I edit them that way. Next time I'll post from home.

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Re: Marvel fires Chuck Wendig to salve alt-reich

Post by madd0ct0r » 2018-11-01 08:57am

Darth Winter wrote:
2018-11-01 02:10am
madd0ct0r wrote:
2018-10-31 02:13pm
Darth. how many gay characters are too many for you in a work of science-fiction?
Need as much as you need to the story. If we talk about Aftermach -- two. ISB agent and his ex.

Hmm, I'm not sure you're interested in this enough to warrant me going through the book doing a full relationship map, but this person suggests 133 characters are mentioned in the book: https://www.listchallenges.com/star-war ... characters
Most of the names I've checked appear on the wiki too, so it probably a good ballpark: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Sinjir_Rath_Velus

Let's take the UK as a typical example: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulation ... ityuk/2016

2% of the total population confirmed, rising to 4% in the 16-24 bracket. This makes sense as quite a few of my very elederly relatives went to their death still in the closet. It's not something they could admit that late on I guess, or they didn't see any reason to, or they fear harrasment from other people or they live in Northern Ireland. The young and confident have less (but not none) issues with coming out. Russia, of course, has no gay people and needed to create them! .


at 2% of 133, you'd have exactly 2.66 gay characters. at 4% you'd have 5 characters. Given the complete lack of openly gay characters in the few thousand existing characters in SW, you can argue there's quite a lot of slack to increase that higher. If they are unuaully uncommon in some books, it's standas to reason they might be more common in others. It's like rolling a hundred D20s and counting the number of natural 20s. You'd expect 5, but 10 would not be that rare.

Now there's an argument you could make here that the droids and aliens should be removed from that 133 population, although I'm not sure quite how SW has historically looked at alien genders and droids are more about philia and pragma then eros (although if cp30 and r2d2 aren't presneted as a prissy/butch couple I'll eat my chipboards).

Now, even if a character is gay, should it matter to the story? No. I'm bi, but after 8 years of marriage, it's not something that makes a difference outside of watching Thor. It'll appear in the novel only if the relationship matters. Trooper 11354's annual fumble at the catina probably isn't going to matter, but if you are looking for blackmail/leverage finding details on someone's lover would be. Is Aftermath the kind of story where that happens?
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Re: Marvel fires Chuck Wendig to salve alt-reich

Post by Darth Winter » 2018-11-01 05:24pm

madd0ct0r wrote:
2018-11-01 08:57am
Darth Winter wrote:
2018-11-01 02:10am
madd0ct0r wrote:
2018-10-31 02:13pm
Darth. how many gay characters are too many for you in a work of science-fiction?
Need as much as you need to the story. If we talk about Aftermach -- two. ISB agent and his ex.

Hmm, I'm not sure you're interested in this enough to warrant me going through the book doing a full relationship map, but this person suggests 133 characters are mentioned in the book: https://www.listchallenges.com/star-war ... characters
Most of the names I've checked appear on the wiki too, so it probably a good ballpark: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Sinjir_Rath_Velus

Let's take the UK as a typical example: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulation ... ityuk/2016

2% of the total population confirmed, rising to 4% in the 16-24 bracket. This makes sense as quite a few of my very elederly relatives went to their death still in the closet. It's not something they could admit that late on I guess, or they didn't see any reason to, or they fear harrasment from other people or they live in Northern Ireland. The young and confident have less (but not none) issues with coming out. Russia, of course, has no gay people and needed to create them! .
It is funny you remember Tatu. In 90's-early 2000's gay theme was popular in our show buisness. You know Tatu, but you probably do not know Shura:

Image

Boris Moiseev:

Image

Sergey Penkin:

Image

And a lot of not so famos artists, who use open gay image on the stage. Open gay image was something new and fresh and people like it. But like any fashion this fashon ends. Like "bullet time" effect in post-matrix movies e.t.c. Now on the west came this fashion because of the legalization of same-sex marriage. OK. Popular topic. Good for one-time-read books. But for a franchise that has to exist for years, excessive flirting with short-term trends is disastrous.

Also bouth Tatu girls now have husbands and kids :D
madd0ct0r wrote:
2018-11-01 08:57am
at 2% of 133, you'd have exactly 2.66 gay characters. at 4% you'd have 5 characters. Given the complete lack of openly gay characters in the few thousand existing characters in SW, you can argue there's quite a lot of slack to increase that higher. If they are unuaully uncommon in some books, it's standas to reason they might be more common in others. It's like rolling a hundred D20s and counting the number of natural 20s. You'd expect 5, but 10 would not be that rare.

Now there's an argument you could make here that the droids and aliens should be removed from that 133 population, although I'm not sure quite how SW has historically looked at alien genders and droids are more about philia and pragma then eros (although if cp30 and r2d2 aren't presneted as a prissy/butch couple I'll eat my chipboards).
Don't confuse averages with reality. The population is heterogeneous. In some regions dominated by some species in some dominated by others. There is no joke about the average temperature in the hospital in your contry?
madd0ct0r wrote:
2018-11-01 08:57am
Now, even if a character is gay, should it matter to the story? No. I'm bi, but after 8 years of marriage, it's not something that makes a difference outside of watching Thor. It'll appear in the novel only if the relationship matters. Trooper 11354's annual fumble at the catina probably isn't going to matter, but if you are looking for blackmail/leverage finding details on someone's lover would be. Is Aftermath the kind of story where that happens?
Don't get what you mean. Complitly.

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Re: Marvel fires Chuck Wendig to salve alt-reich

Post by madd0ct0r » 2018-11-02 08:10am

Darth Winter wrote:
2018-11-01 05:24pm
Don't confuse averages with reality. The population is heterogeneous. In some regions dominated by some species in some dominated by others.
And so this means, if we treat SW like reality, in some places in star wars you will have a lot of gay characters yes?

There are two threads to this argument.
1) is if we pretend SW is a real place that is similar to our world and that humans in SW are similar to humans on earth, then we can expect there to be gay people just like on earth. You might argue that the population is heterogenous to avoid the average applying. I can use the same argument to prove that there must also be areas/locations where there are more then average number of gay people. You agree with this.

2) If we examine SW as a work of fiction with a social-historical context, then you are arguing the number of gay characters is artificial, and added by Wendig because of his political decisions. You disagree with that decision. I do not disagree with that decision.

For me, the decision does not matter. A gay character is not a distraction. My social context has a number of LGBT people/couples in it, and I honestly had to sit down and think about how many when writing this post because it's not something I actually notice. It simply isn't important. It's like when an American pointed out me that cast of Red Dwarf was two black and two white guys. I genuinely hadn't noticed. I HAD noticed the scouse vs plummy accents, because that was much more important in the social context of the UK.

I guess gays are a hot topic in Russia right now, so you notice them a lot more when they appear in a story.


2b) As a fictional story created by author decisions and defaults, there is an argument that by spending words on introducing gay relationships, Wendig is not spending words on starships and gunfights. This was why I asked is Aftermath the kind of story where the details of a relationship are important (for blackmail or leverage in spy thiller perhaps).
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Re: Marvel fires Chuck Wendig to salve alt-reich

Post by bilateralrope » 2018-11-02 03:40pm

madd0ct0r wrote:
2018-11-02 08:10am
there is an argument that by spending words on introducing gay relationships, Wendig is not spending words on starships and gunfights.
An argument that ignores that introducing a heterosexual relationship takes a very similar number of words.

Plus it assumes that books come with very strict word limits. Which sounds like a very interesting topic to hear about if this assumption is true.

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Re: Marvel fires Chuck Wendig to salve alt-reich

Post by madd0ct0r » 2018-11-02 04:15pm

bilateralrope wrote:
2018-11-02 03:40pm
madd0ct0r wrote:
2018-11-02 08:10am
there is an argument that by spending words on introducing gay relationships, Wendig is not spending words on starships and gunfights.
An argument that ignores that introducing a heterosexual relationship takes a very similar number of words.

Plus it assumes that books come with very strict word limits. Which sounds like a very interesting topic to hear about if this assumption is true.
Dude. When im setting a rhetorical pitfall trap you dont need to point it out!

Book length is one of those things. Its not super strict. Nanowrimo is on my mind. Mass market novels have certain minimum and maximum page counts to suit publisher equipment. You can fiddle with font size a little to get it to fit a sensible number of printer sheets, and you need a certain thickness to meet consumer expectations in the shop. Over that thickness some will reject it as "tldr" and the profit margin drops cos materials, shipping weight snd storage volume so the publisher will pressure editor to cut word count.

That's aside from aesthetics of good focused writing which tends to frown on uneven pacing.
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Re: Marvel fires Chuck Wendig to salve alt-reich

Post by Master Six » 2018-11-02 06:44pm

madd0ct0r wrote:
2018-11-02 08:10am
There are two threads to this argument.
1) is if we pretend SW is a real place that is similar to our world and that humans in SW are similar to humans on earth, then we can expect there to be gay people just like on earth. You might argue that the population is heterogenous to avoid the average applying. I can use the same argument to prove that there must also be areas/locations where there are more then average number of gay people. You agree with this.

2) If we examine SW as a work of fiction with a social-historical context, then you are arguing the number of gay characters is artificial, and added by Wendig because of his political decisions. You disagree with that decision. I do not disagree with that decision.

For me, the decision does not matter. A gay character is not a distraction. My social context has a number of LGBT people/couples in it, and I honestly had to sit down and think about how many when writing this post because it's not something I actually notice. It simply isn't important. It's like when an American pointed out me that cast of Red Dwarf was two black and two white guys. I genuinely hadn't noticed. I HAD noticed the scouse vs plummy accents, because that was much more important in the social context of the UK.

I guess gays are a hot topic in Russia right now, so you notice them a lot more when they appear in a story.


2b) As a fictional story created by author decisions and defaults, there is an argument that by spending words on introducing gay relationships, Wendig is not spending words on starships and gunfights. This was why I asked is Aftermath the kind of story where the details of a relationship are important (for blackmail or leverage in spy thiller perhaps).
I tend to agree with your analysis.

A gay character is not a distraction in and of itself. If you picked any random character and asked me to determine their sexuality without any specific evidence, I would assume they were straight as a default; however, any given literary universe will have gay characters in it. It's a matter of whether their sexual preferences are announced or not.

I have a problem with "announcing" a character's sexuality when it has no bearing whatsoever on the character's storyline, because to me it betrays a political motivation that probably doesn't belong in the work. But I would apply that standard to a straight character in a similar situation as well, because it's also irrelevant to the story and distracts from more important things (be it battles or exploration or whatever). If sexuality is relevant, discuss it at whatever lengths you wish -- as a straight man I might not have a particular interest in reading the juicy details of a gay man's sex life, but characters are more than just who they sleep with. A gay person has to go through the same thing with a heterosexual character, so it's hardly unreasonable for them to expect at least some gay characters to be given focus from time to time.
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Re: Marvel fires Chuck Wendig to salve alt-reich

Post by Vympel » 2018-11-07 04:05am

Galvatron wrote:
2018-10-16 10:08pm
I used to agree with a lot of what he said, but I think he went full unhinged alt-right around the same time Kathleen Kennedy's contract got extended. Now every video is some rant about "get woke, go broke" and how awesome it is whenever an "SJW" gets fired for making angry internet posts about Trump.
This is a very common feature of the TLJ/Disney-hater set on youtube. Many of them are either totally unprincipled grifters looking to monetise nerd rage or out to indoctrinate angry young men into the alt-right - or both. Like, there's a twitter account called (no surprises here) @LastJediAwful who constantly harasses Pablo Hidalgo on twitter. You can track his degeneration in real time - he's gotten progressively more insane, starting out with tweeting pedestrian criticisms of TLJ to (quite recently) bullshit about the feminist agenda and SJWs and cultural marxism and alt-right "NPC" rhetoric - I have no doubt that's because he's been radicalised by youtube grifters whose entire schtick is "oh hey isn't what they did to Luke Skywalker awful and I can't believe that the Resistance fleet was running out of fuel and ... just by the way ... KATHLEEN KENNEDY WOMEN ARE INFERIOR AND CULTURAL MARXISM MUST BE STOPPED".
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Re: Marvel fires Chuck Wendig to salve alt-reich

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-11-08 04:06pm

Yes.

I remember, less than a year ago, when I was roundly attacked and condemned on this board for pointing out that a lot of the attacks on TLJ/the Sequels/Kennedy/Rey were founded in Alt. Reichism and misogyny.

And sure, not everyone who criticizes the movie is a neo-fascist... but there is simply no denying that the online hate campaign is very heavily influenced by the Alt. Reich/Gamergate/Trumper crowd. And that even those who aren't motivated simply by bigotry can end up repeating the bigots' talking points, because they have inundated the conversation about the films with those talking points.

Its worth remembering that the entire reason that Alt. Reich was created (and the reason I call it that) is to disguise white nationalism as something more palatable to the mainstream. Literally, by the admission of the well-known white nationalist who claims to have coined the term "Alt. Right":

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alt-right ... s:_2008-13
Spencer later stated that he wanted to create a movement distinct from the explicit white power image of neo-Nazi and KKK groups, noting that their approach to white nationalism was "a total nonstarter. No one outside a hardcore coterie would identify with it."
This is what these fuckers do: they prey on peoples' anger and resentment to sucker them in, and coopt other peoples' groups and cultures into their seething cesspit of hate. They are a God Damn cultural cancer.
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Re: Marvel fires Chuck Wendig to salve alt-reich

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-11-08 05:49pm

I meeeeean. It's not like TLJ was an *awesome* movie. It was mostly just... okay. Compared to other SW movies, it certainly doesn't come out the best of the bunch, to say the least.

But did it deserve the excessive backlash it got? Not really, no. -Some- backlash would have been one thing; it's always going to happen with such a large, and might I add rather picky, fan community. But as far as trying to hound individuals and blasting anybody who might be in any way responsible for the film's shortcomings... no.
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Re: Marvel fires Chuck Wendig to salve alt-reich

Post by bilateralrope » 2018-11-08 05:55pm

A large amount of that backlash was from russian bots fanning the flames.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi abuse blamed on Russian trolls and 'political agendas'
Report finds half of negative comments aimed at Rian Johnson’s movie came from Twitter bots or trolls, indicating fan backlash was overstated
More than half of the hostile responses to The Last Jedi, episode eight of the Star Wars saga, were politically motivated trolling or the result of non-human bot activity, according to an academic paper published by a US digital media expert.

Morten Bay, a research fellow at the University of Southern California (USC), analysed Twitter activity about the film and concluded that more than 50% of posts are by “bots, trolls/sockpuppets or political activists using the debate to propagate political messages supporting extreme rightwing causes and the discrimination of gender, race or sexuality. A number of these users appear to be Russian trolls.”

The supposed fan hostility to The Last Jedi is a well-known phenomenon, with actors such as Kelly Marie Tran experiencing extreme levels of abuse, and campaigns cropping up to lower the film’s rating on critics’ aggregators and fund a remake. However, Bay’s research indicates that not only are negative comments on social media about the film in a minority, but the “anti-Jedi” campaign has been designed to serve a wider political purpose. “The study finds evidence of deliberate, organised political influence measures disguised as fan arguments,” Bay writes. The likely objective of these measures is increasing media coverage of the fandom conflict, thereby adding to and further propagating a narrative of widespread discord and dysfunction in American society.”

Bay analysed the 960-plus accounts which had tweets aimed directly at Last Jedi director Rian Johnson for the seven months after the film opened on 13 December 2017. He found that 21.9% of users – less than a quarter – expressed a negative opinion of the film. After stripping out bots/trolls and users who had what he describes as “clear political agendas”, that figure dropped to 10.5%. Bay concluded that real fan hostility to the film is much less than has previously been reported.

Of this negative group, Bay established that 50.9% were “likely politically motivated or not even human”. This included 5% of posts by bots, 16% by trolls or sockpuppets (of which half appeared to be Russian trolls), and close to 30% by users with political agendas.

The Last Jedi’s director, Rian Johnson, retweeted the paper, writing “what the top-line describes is consistent with my experience online”. He added: “And just to be totally clear: this is not about fans liking or not liking the movie – I’ve had tons of great talks with great fans online and off who liked and disliked stuff. That’s what fandom is all about. This is specifically about a virulent strain of online harassment.”

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Re: Marvel fires Chuck Wendig to salve alt-reich

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-11-08 06:02pm

Yup. The Kremlin wants as many Americans as possible at each other's throats, and has actively fueled racial tensions to that end.

That said, I don't think its all so organized as that- there are also just a lot of random trolls who just hate the films because they "changed" Star Wars, or who just get off on being assholes.


TLJ, I would say, is a mix of really good and really awkward scenes stitched together, but it benefits considerably in my opinion from repeat viewings. On its own, I'd call it overall a pretty good film. It does fit rather awkwardly with the rest of the ST/the Star Wars saga, although let's be honest, Force Awakens was hardly some great work of art that Johnson ruined. Unfortunately, with Abrams coming back, TLJ is likely to be left as the odd man out, and will probably always feel a bit disconnected from the rest of the franchise.

The backlash is completely disproportionate, though, and while attacking the latest film is pretty much the unofficial hobby of the Star Wars fandom and has been literally since Empire debuted, I do think that the shear scale and intensity of it was to a considerable extent fueled by the worst kind of politics. Take the average movie goer, and a lot of them enjoyed the film. Sure, you could point to declining box office numbers compared to TFA, but you could also point to the fact that every middle film in a Star Wars trilogy has had substantially lower box office returns than the first. By that logic, Empire Strikes Back was a failure. But you won't hear a lot of fans saying that.
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Re: Marvel fires Chuck Wendig to salve alt-reich

Post by Civil War Man » 2018-11-09 09:20am

I think it's also important to distinguish when the criticism is coming from. Back when it was released, the people who criticized the movie did it for a wide variety of reasons, from the "OMG SJW" crowd to just not being entertained by it. These days, though, it's mostly only the trolls and hardcore fans still obsessing over TLJ, because everyone who didn't like it for simple aesthetic reasons have long since moved on with their lives.

Same can probably be said for Solo. Perhaps even more so, since the cultural impact it had was almost laughably insubstantial when you consider how influential Star Wars as a whole has been.

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Re: Marvel fires Chuck Wendig to salve alt-reich

Post by Master Six » 2018-11-09 11:41am

I think for the most part the crowd that despises TLJ (myself included) just doesn't care about Star Wars anymore. They've lost hope for a positive direction going forward (similar to Trek) AND they may not like having a certain political message being forced on them, especially in the ham-handed-but-thinks-it's-being-clever fashion of TLJ. Constantly hating on the film just takes too much time. Sending threats and bigoted slurs at the people involved is unacceptable. I'm unclear on their standards and controls in that study -- "political agendas + bots" is an odd grouping. I'm also not sure how they're determining that the comment is just there to push an agenda -- politicians and pundits watch movies too, and political messages can be a salient point in the discussion. However, I'd agree that a lot of the angry posts sre trolling or the work of someone with little to say and a lot of time on their hands.

Let's just be clear that people complaining about an agenda are not all bigots, nor are they conjuring things out of thin air. There's no use whinging about hiring writers or actors having strong political viewpoints of any types. But if they screw up an established character or setting that I like with their particular agenda (left, right, whatever), they deserve to get chewed out for it. If they, as actors or crew, dismiss all criticisms as just hatefulness, the fans are going to be angry and stick it to them. You don't have to look far to find people complaining about this who aren't bigots or alt-right.
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Re: Marvel fires Chuck Wendig to salve alt-reich

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-11-09 04:55pm

^That is one issue I did have with TLJ: the fairly obvious messaging. While there's arguably some messaging as far back as the OT, and certainly there are some morals to be drawn from the PT (most notably something of an anti-slavery message in TPM) TLJ got pretty blatant. Canto Bight is probably the biggest example, but there's DJ's whole both-sides-ism as well. It's not a big deal (to me personally) but it did glare a bit, like that was the only reason they threw in that sequence. Rich people oppressing the poor? Uh, yeah? Turns out that happens in Star Wars too? So we get a PSA on how Our Heroes (TM) try to make things better, only they pretty much completely suck at their jobs? I don't know. If they wanted to send a message, they could've done a far better job of it.
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Re: Marvel fires Chuck Wendig to salve alt-reich

Post by Darth Winter » 2018-11-15 04:45am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-11-08 06:02pm
Yup. The Kremlin wants as many Americans as possible at each other's throats, and has actively fueled racial tensions to that end.
Me and the rest of the Russians from things like this are becoming more Patriotic. Although Red Alert 2 and movies like Hunter Killer in this case the real Champions.

And if russian interfeatence is true (I do not belive in it. We can't be that good) raiting of Putin became 93% like in 2014. Russian People not foget this:
Image
and approve of retaliation.

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Re: Marvel fires Chuck Wendig to salve alt-reich

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-11-15 01:10pm

America's hands are not clean. Does that justify an endless cycle of retaliation that could ultimately lead to WW3? At some point, somebody's got to stop it.

In any case, I am increasingly uninterested in whether America or Russia is worse, or who started it. That's just deflection tactics, Whataboutism. At this point, while they still disagree on some points, on many issues and in many ways Trump and Putin are parts of the same machine. I hold both governments partially responsible for the actions of the other.
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Re: Marvel fires Chuck Wendig to salve alt-reich

Post by Darth Winter » 2018-11-15 03:35pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-11-15 01:10pm
I hold both governments partially responsible for the actions of the other.
Russian goverment responsible for actions of U.S. goverment that led to destruction of Yugoslavia, Iraq & Lybia? Maybe you right. If USSR still exist USA never would have dared it.

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Re: Marvel fires Chuck Wendig to salve alt-reich

Post by Formless » 2018-11-15 04:17pm

bilateralrope wrote:
2018-11-08 05:55pm
A large amount of that backlash was from russian bots fanning the flames. [snip bullshit]

Oh fuck, why am I not surprised to see someone post this horseshit here? The author of the study in question specifically refuted this misreading of his work by the press over on Cnet. I quote in full:
CNet wrote:No, half of The Last Jedi haters were not Russian trolls
Commentary: Numerous reports say The Last Jedi negativity was influenced by Russian bots and trolls, but the reality is far different.

If you've spent any time online, you've no doubt heard the news: Research shows that a huge majority of fan hostility toward the oft-maligned The Last Jedi was the work of Russian bots and trolls.

In this day and age, embroiled as we are in the "culture wars", it's tempting to take this news at face value. To scream voicelessly into the social media void.

But when you break down the numbers and look deeper, the reality is stunningly different: Star Wars does not have a Russian troll problem and the fan backlash is far more complex than the reports might have you believe.

If you're not up to speed, a prepublication research paper, written by Morten Bay at the University of Southern California, analyzed the sentiment toward The Last Jedi by studying tweets directed at Rian Johnson between the release of the film on Dec. 13, 2017 and July 20, 2018.

Bay is a research fellow at the Center for the Digital Future at USC and has previously written on social media policy in the Trump era, Russian bots, fake news, journalism in social media and social media ethics. He is also a Star Wars fan.

It's safe to say The Last Jedi is one of the most divisive films of the past 12 months. The discourse has been vitriolic -- harassment campaigns saw Kelly Marie Tran, who plays Rose Tico, leave social media and one group of fans petitioned to remake The Last Jedi altogether.

Research like this can be important in highlighting some of the issues with the politicization of social media and pop culture -- and how they may be used to influence political discourse. However, though the goals are noble, the research is not definitive -- a fact that seems to have been lost in the media firestorm it set off.

So, instead, let's dig deeper on the research.

One in 10

Bay's paper stated that "50.9% of those tweeting negatively" about The Last Jedi were likely to be politically motivated or not even human. This was the major takeaway for a panoply of media outlets that then stated most of the negative sentiment directed at The Last Jedi came from Russian trolls.

But that is not the truth -- or at least, it distorts the truth.

Bay collected 1,273 tweets using Twitter's Advanced Search function, all of which were tweeted to Rian Johnson's account (@rianjohnson) over a seven-month period, post-release.

After "cleaning" the dataset, Bay finished with 967 tweets. He then "manually" determined whether a tweet was negative, positive or neutral. Ultimately, deciding the sentiment of any particular tweet was left up to Bay. To separate the negative tweets out even more, Bay would search the accounts with high activity for terms such as "Trump" or "SJW" to determine their political stance.

Of the 967 tweets analyzed, 206 expressed "a negative sentiment" toward the film and its director.

Of the 206 negative comments, 61 were real people reported to have a political agenda, 11 were bots and only 33 appeared to be trolls. Of those 33, just 16 appeared to possess characteristics consistent with Russian troll accounts. In reality, less than one in 10 tweets were from Russian trolls -- nowhere near the 50 percent being widely reported.

A less exciting story

There are a few issues here. The first is that Bay's collection method relies only on tweets directed at Rian Johnson. Other accounts related to the film, such as that of Luke Skywalker -- @HamillHimself -- who has almost triple the amount of followers and assumedly a far greater reach than Johnson, were not analyzed. This significantly limits the power of the analysis.

Notably, the research did in fact catch the eye of The Last Jedi director himself, causing him to remark "what the top-line describes is consistent with my experience online." Of course, it would be consistent with his experience online, because the research paper directly used Johnson's tweets as the source of their data. It quite literally analyzed his experience online.

While it is true that half of the negative tweets (105 of the 206) were classified as politically motivated, bots, trolls or sock puppets, the reporting that ensued diluted this message and conflated all of these separate negative reactions together. This cherry-picking helps tell a story, but it muddies the waters.

None of that is to say this was Bay's intention. The 38 page research paper explains his methodology in-depth and with great clarity. He draws conclusions based on the dataset he has acquired and even states that it has "limitations" and the study is of a "less-than-comprehensive nature". In his conclusion, he remarks that the assertions made within his paper must be considered only within the "limited scope of the data set".

He knows that makes for a less exciting story.

"Having worked as a journalist for many years, I know how the game works," he explains.

Bay is "moderately disappointed in some of the major media brands" that ran articles without taking the time to get a little deeper. He understands that some of his findings were buried because they produce a less enticing lede than "Russian Troll Army invading the Star Wars galaxy."

That's just not what his research suggests.

"The suspected Russian trolls are so few that it is basically the normal amount of Russian trolls you would expect to be present in a high-profile online debate."

A hive of scum and villainy

I'm not here to tell you that the reaction to The Last Jedi did not contain a myriad of trolls, bullies or bots. It's plain for all to see that the Star Wars fandom continues to tear itself in two online, trading barbs, almost a year after The Last Jedi was released.

That conversation has fused with alt-right politics, diversity in the media and Trump-era social media discourse. A very small minority of the fandom was involved in that conversation, at least on Twitter in this one specific instance, appears to be artificially constructed.

More importantly, it is impossible to make generalized, sweeping statements about the state of the Star Wars discourse from this one particular study. It is, by Bay's own admissions, limited in the conclusions that it can draw. It is hampered by a proportionately small sample size and prone to bias. It's misleading to say "half" when not every single Star Wars "hater" was used in the dataset.

And to be clear, it's not bad research. But the real story, according to Bay, shows that "American political activists have started using the same tactics as the Russians to insert themselves into any sort of debate on social media where there's a rift that can be widened."

His work confirms the idea that pop culture debates on social media can be politicized and potentially used for strategic purposes. He also suggests that pop culture fandoms are another place to look when trying to decipher how political messaging can be propagated online.

The truth is simple: The majority of people who read about Bay's research will never go and read the study from top-to-bottom.

The information will be presented to them and ingested through second-hand osmosis. Via a tweet, via outlets trying to capture a snapshot of the research that most appeals to their audience. There's no hard analysis of the methods, no interrogation of the dataset. And that approach only serves to inflame the discourse even more.

Ultimately, it is ironic that in an era when fake news and misinformation are so rife, Bay's study found widespread appeal via a media-driven narrative that was far, far away from the truth.
Moreover, I will even go so far as to say that CNet itself shouldn't be calling the study good research on account that at the time everyone was posting about it, it hadn't yet been peer-reviewed. This is not to say that it is bad research, but that you can't make that claim until someone has gone over Bay's analysis to be sure that his manual determinations are accurate, that his math was done correctly, etc. In other words, as it was not peer reviewed at the time it was not newsworthy research. It was commented on only because it fit a political narrative, and only if you hadn't read the damn thing thoroughly. Or deliberately misrepresented it. In other words, every site that used the "half of critics" headline are goddamn liars.
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