- Brian Borg
Positivity and the Billboards
It certainly has been a while! I hope everyone is staying healthy out there and all your refrigerators are well stocked. Given the current situation in the world, I’d say it was about time another of these positivity articles showed up!
Today I wanted to set my scopes on the Expanded Universe billboards which just hit the streets of San Francisco. Yes, these are the very messages that were crowd funded by many fans back in October last year. Not only did these fans manage to pull the funds together for these messages more quickly than the previous effort in 2016, but they funded TWO billboard messages that were put up even closer to Lucasfilm Headquarters than the first!
Impressive. Most impressive.
It is certainly unfortunate then that all of this is going on in the world today, even more so with the billboards just coming out now. This means they are set to be up for the next four weeks when this crisis is expected to be at its zenith in the United States.
Talk about poor timing!
Our target audience with these billboards was to be Lucasfilm’s employees at Lucasfilm Headquarters. Obviously with the situation on the ground in San Francisco, it is not likely many of their employees will be seeing these messages….well, at least not in person.
What’s that flashing?
Oh, right, the positivity part of the article is about to hit. Brace yourself!
If nobody is running around and almost everyone is stuck at home, what are they doing instead for the next month?
Well, if they are like those of you reading this article, they are sitting at computers on the internet or will be doing so at some point over the next few weeks!
Do you know what happened with the first billboard message back in 2016?
Media coverage. LOTS of media coverage.
From Bleeding Cool to Yahoo. From Comcibook.com to The Guardian. Far more media coverage than any of us on that billboard team ever expected occurred and almost all of it was via internet-based articles that circulated for quite some time after the billboard’s four-week up time had expired.
This current situation may have, in a round about way, increased our potential audience far more than we could have ever expected or hoped for.
So, while it is true our original target audience will most likely never see our billboards in person, they will have a very good chance of seeing them online at some point in the future!
But will those employees take the messages we have all tried to send to them well?
It is my belief that most of them will. Why? Because these billboards are going to be up during the four-year anniversary of the original billboard effort. Part of the point of doing this was to demonstrate that even after all this time, Star Wars Legends fans are still here and we are still patiently waiting for the day we start seeing new Legends stories published for the Legends timeline.
Plus, one of the messages was done with humor in mind. Everyone needs a bit of humor in their lives right now as nothing heals better!
What’s that? Bacta? Kolto? Okay, well ALMOST nothing heals better.
It should also be mentioned that over the past few years the very people who organized this effort have been invited by Lucasfilm themselves to attend Star Wars Celebration. We know that we are not the favorites of some in Lucasfilm, whether that be due to misconceptions still lingering from the early days of the Expanded Universe Movement or otherwise, but we also know that we have many friends and allies within Lucasfilm as well.
The messages will be seen. Of that, we at Twin Suns Foundation have little doubt. But, under these conditions, it is up to the messengers to make sure these messages are seen in the right light.
ALL WINGS REPORT IN!
So what did I mean by “it is up to the messengers” to make sure these messages are seen in the right light?
Back in 2016 an unfortunately high number of media outlets neglected to read the information we had made available about the billboard and why it was done. Many “copy and pasted” the original story put out there which indicated that these messages were from entitled angry fans and demanded an end to the new canon storyline immediately. In some ways it was hilarious how obviously false those claims were, but our voices at that time were not loud enough to get past the crowd effectively.
Things are different now. Today’s environment, virus or no, is far more friendly towards our message. The organization behind it has been doing nothing but creating good will in the Star Wars community for years. Our donors have made sure we have been able to bring new books to kids in hospitals, schools, libraries and more. (By the way, we have a fundraiser going on right now. Check it out at www.twin-suns.net/donate!)
We have proven we are no “entitled angry fans” just passionate ones who simply wish to make a difference and help a large part of the community get their wishes conveyed to the right people.
We have done what we can to make sure our message is harder to misinterpret.
Now It is up to all of us who wish to see the original Star Wars Expanded Universe timeline continued to spread the word about these billboards and to do so in a way that conveys no ill will towards our fellow fans of the new canon.
We must all make it clear we all do not wish an end to that new story, but we do wish a continuation of the old. If someone insists on making an argument out of these messages, try to share the message with someone else.
We will never convince everyone. What we can do by spreading the word about this desire of ours is to convince the right people.
You are all now effectively ambassadors for the Expanded Universe Movement. It is up to you to make sure these messages succeed as much as possible, just as it was up to you to make sure the messages were fully funded.
And just like when they were funded, it is my belief that with all of us working together to spread these messages everywhere, we can convince the right people that it is now time to continue the original Expanded Universe! Thank you for taking the time to read this article! Be sure to check out the rest of the articles here as there have been some awesome pieces done by others in the community! And remember, if you have an idea for an article you think would work well, email your idea to contact@TheExpandedUniverse.com
Stay safe everyone, and may The Force be with us all!
Twin Suns Foundation