Over 30,000 Star Wars fans are currently calling on Disney and Lucasfilm to erase The Last Jedi from history, by removing it from the official lineage of films. Disgruntled viewers say the latest installment, which has generated controversy amidst die-hard fans, is an "abomination" and a "travesty" to the entire franchise.
Georgia-state resident Henry Walsh launched the appeal this week, claiming the sequel had "wiped out three decades of lore" and ignored "over 260 novels" detailing its intricate back-story.
"It completely destroyed the legacy of Luke Skywalker and the Jedi," he argues, "it destroyed the very reasons most of us – as fans – liked Star Wars. [But] this can be fixed," he adds, "just as you wiped out 30 years of stories, we ask you to wipe out one more, the Last Jedi."
"Remove it from canon, push back Episode IX and re-make Episode VIII properly to redeem Luke Skywalker's legacy, integrity, and character."
"We stuck by you when you did things that hurt us before," the Change.org petition states, "so we ask you now, please don't let this film stand." It concludes with a heartfelt prayer: "Don't do this to us. Don't take something so many of us loved so much and destroy it like this. Let us keep our heroes."
The Last Jedi ends with the death of Luke Skywalker, a decision taken by director Rian Johnson so that the next chapter can focus on a new batch of characters.
"I had huge hesitance," he told Entertainment Weekly in response to the backlash, "I was terrified. It was a growing sense of dread when I realized this was going to make sense in that chapter."
Responding to the fans who feel betrayed, Johnson said: "It hurts when you’re expecting something specific and you don’t get it from something that you love."
"It always hurts, so I don’t take it personally if a fan reacts negatively and lashes out [at] me on Twitter. That’s fine. It’s my job to be there for that."
Walsh says Star Wars has "long been a story about two things, the Jedi and Luke Skywalker" and that problems first arose in The Force Awakens. He said fans were excited to see how their heroes' lives had turned out in Episode VII but ended up seeing "the death of Han Solo" and "less than a minute of Luke Skywalker."