It seems that some media outlets and some fans are trying to blame The Rise of Skywalker’s mixed results on fans, and here the “whiny” Original Trilogy fans, also members of the “Fandom Menace”, all the fans who loudly complained about the treatment of Original Trilogy characters in the sequels. They prevented the other fans from enjoying the “new” Star Wars, and in the end convinced Lucasfilm to try to appease the old fanbase with The Rise of Skywalker.
But is that so? I disagree. Why? Click through for a discussion, a discussion about fandom and why blaming certain parts of fandom is dishonest and trying to deflect from the actual issues. This essay is not 100% spoiler-free, so if you haven’t seen The Rise of Skywalker you may want to return here once you did! Everyone else: click through for the world’s best piece of Harry Potter fanfiction ever! Yes, we are going to read some Harry Potter fanfiction! Written by me. And I am the bestest writer evar! Trust me! 😀
This will be somewhat lengthy, but I encourage you to read the best Harry Potter fanfiction ever! Please! All will unfold to you while you read the new adventures of Harry and his best friends!
So here we are, people like Scott Mendelson from Forbes and some Star Wars fans are trying to convince us that ultimately fans destroyed Star Wars, and here all the whiny fans, the fans who complained, who protested against the treatment of the characters, who protested against The Last Jedi.
I disagree. Why?
In my opinion the only people to blame for anything here are the creative people at Lucasfilm and ultimately Kathleen Kennedy and Bob Iger who have final say.
They decided to make a weird hybrid movie series, a movie series that tried to be all things at once, it wanted to bank on nostalgia by getting most of the Original Trilogy characters back, but it also wanted to gain a new fanbase by introducing a host of new characters. So Lucasfilm always had quite a few balls to juggle here, trying to please everyone is not easy. And now those who tried to enjoy the “new” accuse those who mostly wanted to see their old heroes back to have ruined everything.
Let’s have a thought experiment! Let’s assume JK Rowling writes a Harry Potter sequel book series, for this I ignore the theater play, it’s merely hypothetical. The book series is marketed as the triumphant return of Harry Potter, Ron and Hermione! New characters are announced as well, but the series is advertised as the sequel to the original books and Harry’s, Ron’s and Hermione’s return is loudly announced! And this is the plot of the Harry Potter sequel series:
Harry Potter is missing. Molly McMuggel is the new hero and main character. A new evil wizard called Mortdevol has arisen, he has assembled new Death Eaters who terrorize the Magic World. It appears nothing was ever really accomplished with Voldemort’s defeat. And the worst of it, Albus Weasley, the son of Ron and Hermione, is the leader of the new Death Eaters. We eventually find out that Harry Potter had become the new Hogwarts headmaster when one night he tried to kill Albus in his sleep, because Harry felt the presence of super evil in him and was so shocked he reacted out of instinct. Albus lashed out against Harry in return, destroying the Gryffindor Wing of Hogwarts in the process. Harry left his magic wand behind and disappeared while Albus became a Death Eater, terror now reigns the magic world as Mortdevol and his Death Eaters wage a war agains all the other magic users. As a result of this Ron Weasley and Hermione got a divorce and Ron now roams the land as a wandering wizard. Selling chocolate frogs as a side business.
In his travels he happens upon Molly McMuggel, the extremely talented female wizard that never learned a single spell at school, she just knows them, like that. She never attended Hogwarts, she has Muggel parents, but she can perform magic like almost no other. And she even only uses some old twig as a magic wand! It seems going to wizard school and learning magic and spells for years and years is not really necessary after all. He takes her on, since he feels she’s special and could be of great help against fighting Mortdevol.
So Molly McMuggel and Ron finally manage to find a clue about Harry’s whereabouts. Ron doesn’t have the means to go to Harry’s location, so reluctantly he plans to return to Hermione’s resistance cell, the last few magic users who try to defeat Mortdevol. On their way to Hermione they stay one night at a tavern where the proprietor happens to have Harry Potter’s old wand, left behind all those years ago at Hogwarts! How? Why? Who cares. It is not explained, because it’s a story for another time! The propietor, an old friend of Ron, gives Molly Harry’s old wand. She touches it and sees visions from Harry’s past. It scares her a bit but she accepts the wand eventually. She also hears voices when she first touches the wand… Dumbledore speaks to her from beyond and tells Molly that these are her first steps! Is Molly not a McMuggel after all? But maybe Dumbledore had a daughter we don’t know about?
So Ron and Molly continue on their way to Hermione’s base as they happen upon some Death Eaters. And their leader, Albus, Ron’s son is with them.
Ron approaches Albus, tries to convince him to join his family again, that he and Hermione still love him. But Albus stabs him with a magic dagger and kills him. The Death Eaters then take Molly prisoner, who fights valiantly but is eventually overpowered.
Albus is fascinated by Molly. She can do magic like almost no other but never went to a wizard school? So he tries to forcefully probe her mind to find out more about her, it’s like torture! But he finds out that Molly can block him. Albus needs to report this to Mortdevol immediately! This girl is mysterious and special! So he leaves her. But this is when Molly manages to escape, she simply tells the Death Eater guards to let her go, her magic powers are strong! She makes her way to Hermione’s resistance cell. And here Hermione gives Molly a ship, so she can sail to Harry’s island. Ron Weasley’s death is hardly remarked upon and there is not even a funeral, no time for that. Why does Hermione not go to Harry? She’s his oldest friend, after all? Not explained!
Molly arrives at Harry’s island in the ocean. She wants to return his magic wand, because the Magic World, Hermione, his best friends, need his help, Mortdevol is winning.
But as Harry takes back his wand, he throws it away. He wants nothing do to with magic anymore. Harry has become a grumpy hermit and feels he has completely failed, that magic itself is actually to blame, that magic should be abolished, see what it does to people, all the death and suffering! Molly tries to convince him to join the fight. But no. He won’t have it.
Later that night, as Molly sits near her campfire she suddenly sees a vision of Albus Weasley, and he doesn’t wear a shirt, for some reason or another. She’s angry with him for 3 seconds but is then too distracted by his shirtless appearance. Molly learns from Albus that Harry Potter tried to kill him all those years ago, and that Ron was never a good father (no details are mentioned). He wants Molly to join him, together they can take down Mortdevol for good! And then they can rule the magic world as king and queen!
This is when Harry Potter happens upon Molly. He realizes she has some magic bond with Albus, and gets angry. Molly lashes out against him in return and eventually Harry tells Molly the story of that fateful night, when he had a moment of weakness because he was scared, he saw super evil in Albus and saw all the suffering that would cause, like Voldemort all those years ago all over again, so for a split second he wanted to kill Albus. He cannot fight Mortdevol anymore, magic is bad, it causes all kinds of problems. Wizards needs to stop using magic!
So Molly leaves on her own, she is convinced she can turn Albus and defeat Mortdevol!
Molly happens to find Albus, but Albus is not joining her, no, he’s bringing her to Mortdevol!
Mortdevol senses something in Molly… a danger. Mortdevol wants Albus to kill Molly. But Albus, who finds Molly oh so pretty (and she is a real looker!) instead turns on Mortdevol. He kills Mortdevol with a surprise magic spell! Molly is so happy… the danger is over! Albus is good again… but… no… Albus turns to Molly, offers his hand to her and asks her to let the past die, Death Eaters, Wizards, all poppycock, she shall become his queen and together they shall rule the Wizarding World like no one else before!
Molly is shocked and Albus and her begin to duel. Molly, the very talented person that she is, manages to defeat Albus and knocks him out. But she doesn’t kill him for some reason, she leaves him behind to return to Hermione with the bad news.
But Harry Potter had a change of heart after all! He leaves his island and makes his way to his friends, as Albus and his Death Eaters surround Hermione’s base camp, they were on the heels of Molly and found the camp through her!
Harry has a brief chat with Hermione, and then decides to face off Albus Weasley and his Death Eaters all on his own. So he steps out.
Albus is furious and orders his Death Eaters to obliterate Harry! After 20 seconds of colorful magic spells illuminating the landscape Harry still stands there, unfazed. Furious, Albus approaches Harry and tries to kill him. But Harry makes jokes, easily dodges all of Albus’ spells. Hermione finally realizes Harry is trying to create a diversion!!! Why Harry didn’t tell her he would do that, who knows, so Hermione, Molly and all the rest finally make their escape, while Harry keeps trolling Albus, diverting him.
Eventually Albus manages to push his magic dagger into Harry’s chest. But nothing happens! It is then we find out that Harry wasn’t really there! He was a magic illusion! A construct! Harry is still on his island, sweating profusely, because this magic trick is very, very difficult to pull off. Actually, it’s so difficult, it’s downright dangerous to perform it! And it’s too much for Harry. He dies from using too much magic. He’s gone! But Hermione’s small resistance cell could escape!
A year passes. Albus is now the new evil ruler of the Wizarding World. Molly, Hermione and the few last members of the wizard resistance prepare a final, desperate strike to remove Albus from power when suddenly the entire Wizarding World receives a message from Voldemort! It is revealed that Voldemort was not dead after all. He resides on some magic island and his message is that in a few hours his Super Death Eaters will come over the land and kill all remaining resistance. Voldemort shall rule. He had one super secret final horcrux Harry, Ron and Hermione never managed to track down!
Albus is confused and finds a magical artifact that leads him to Voldemort. There he learns that Mortdevol was never real to begin with, Mortdevol was a ruse, a puppet, some fool manipulated by Voldemort and directly controlled by him through magic!!! The shock! And Voldemort still wants Molly dead. So he once more tasks Albus with killing her!
But Albus secretly loves Molly because she is the prettiest girl. And actually, Molly secretly harbors feelings for Albus as well, because… no one knows. Their magic bond was never cut off in that one year since they first met. So they were in sporadic contact.
And through that bond Albus tracks down Molly. And then Albus drops the bombshell. Molly is not a McMuggel after all! McMuggel was her parent’s assumed name, actually, her father is the son of Voldemort, but he refused to become Voldemort’s heir and ran away with his wife and very young Molly. All the super duper magic tricks she can perform without ever attending school? No coincidence! She’s the literal grandchild of Lord Voldemort! She’s the direct offspring of the most evil person ever! She has the power!
Albus and Molly fight. Back in the new base camp Hermione senses that Albus and Molly are fighting. She reaches out to him and calls out his name “Albus!!!!”. But since Hermione is already 60 years old, very, very, very old indeed, this magic trick is too much for her and she too dies. Hermione is dead. But Albus, visibly shaken by his mother calling out to him and her death, gets distraced and Molly manages to stab him with his own magic dagger! Albus is dying.
Molly instantly regrets it and heals him through her magic. A new trick she picked up along the way. Not explained.
She leaves Albus behind and makes her way to Harry Potter’s old island. She wants to become a hermit too now, now that she knows that she’s Voldemort’s offspring and potentially dangerous.
Meanwhile Albus sees a vision of Ron, his father. And Ron still loves him. And while this second encounter is basically the same as before, when Ron was killed, Albus is now good again. He has renounced Voldemort. Just like that.
On Harry’s island Molly wants to throw away Harry’s wand, she’s been using all this time, when Harry appears as a magic ghost and tells her that everyone always knew she was not a McMuggel but a Voldemort, they simply never bothered to tell her, but that you are what you want to be, and not defined by your family. Molly’s spirits return and she wants to destroy Voldemort for good!
She took Albus’ magic artifact before and finds Voldemort’s lair, Hermione’s resistance follows her. And finally Molly confronts Voldemort! But Voldemort, who wanted her killed twice before now reveals that he doesn’t want Molly dead after all. What a surprise! No, she is destined to become his heir instead! Queen Voldemort! He’s too old for this and Molly must kill him, so that his spirit and those of all other evil wizards can live on through her.
But Molly refuses. And in a very convenient moment Albus also arrives on the scene. He sensed where Molly is and followed her. Together they want to defeat Voldemort. But Voldemort simply laughs and begins sucking the life power out of them, this strenghtens his weak body and he becomes the Voldemort of old again. Molly and Albus are seemingly defeated. But Albus rises from the ground, still defiant, but Voldemort hurls him into a pit, never to be seen again.
Molly meanwhile hears the voices of Dumbledore, Harry Potter and all the other great wizards who came before her. They infuse her with power!!!!
So she stands up, but Voldemort now hurls his dark energy at her, trying to obliterate her for good. Molly easily deflects it with Harry’s old wand. It’s not enough, but then she sees Albus’ wand, she pulls it towards her, double magic wand now!!! This is too much for Voldemort, he keeps hurling dark energy at her, even though it has apparently no effect on Molly and in turn damages Voldemort. But more and more and more… until Voldemort explodes.
But Molly, still weak from getting her life force drained, collapses as well. And dies. Albus is not dead however! He crawls out of the bottomless pit (he’s a wizard, after all), sees dead Molly, takes her in his arms, embraces her lovingly and brings her back to life with the all new power of magic healing, a trick he never performed before, he just knows how to do it.
Molly opens her eyes. Sees Albus and smiles at him… “Albus”, she says… and kisses him tenderly, because she loves him, even though he killed his father and once forcefully probed her with magic which came close to torture. But Albus gave up all of his remaining life energy and dies.
Meanwhile Hermione’s remaining resistance fought the Death Eaters, it was a desperate fight but as soon as Voldemort dies, all the Death Eaters die as well.
Molly finally travels to Privet Drive, the place Harry Potter hated when he grew up, he was so happy when he could finally leave that place and go to Hogwarts! There she puts his old magic wand in the cupboard under the stairs, a fitting resting place for his wand, she thinks, because Molly got her own wand now. An old neighbor happens upon Molly. “Who are you?” the neighbor asks, “no one has lived here for ages” she elaborates.
Molly looks at the woman. In the distance we see the magic apparations of Harry and Hermione (Ron didn’t have time to appear as well, apparently), they smile at her, lovingly. And then Molly gives her reply. “I am Molly… Molly Potter!”
Now imagine the reaction of all the Harry Potter fans in the world who wanted nothing but to read the new adventures of Harry, Ron and Hermione with some added new characters, as it was advertised as well.
The sales for the books eventually tank, especially book 3 is critically panned and now the new fans, the fans of Molly and Albus are angry. They blame the old Harry Potter fans for ruining everything! Why did they have to complain especially about book 2 so much, when Harry died from using magic after hardly having a part in the story at all! But JK Rowling still wrote all the books.
Meanwhile a new Harry Potter theme park opened! But it only features Molly and Albus.
This is where we are now.
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