Messing with the original ‘Tomb Raider’ or ‘Wrinkle in Time’ is punishable by death! Or so the trolls say

Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune

Vader: Hi, could the Ghostbusters please settle down? Members of the “Black Panther” disinformation league? Please? Thank you. Welcome to the International Delegation of the Independent Order of Trolls, or IDIOTs. And yes, we’re aware of the controversy surrounding that acronym.

As you know, resistance to change is our mission. And denial of the filmmakers’ right to interpret characters and stories the way they see fit is the mission behind the mission.

Reboots, franchises, adventurous film versions of famous books deviating in ANY WAY from the OBJECTIVELY CORRECT depiction of characters we grew up with – those don’t fly in our no-fly zone. As our trademarked logo says: “We’re sick of all of it. And all of you.”

Let’s start with the fake Bill Murray in the front row, the one with the Proton Pack Projector.

Ghostbuster: Thanks, Darth. Long before I started trashing the all-female “Ghostbusters” reboot on my website,, I knew I was not alone. It’s great to see all of you here today. Oh, and I finally saw the movie I’d been demonizing for years, even before production started. Happy to say the female “Ghostbusters” wasn’t much. I mean, sure, Kate McKinnon, very funny, and there were a few jokes that –

Vader: Let’s leave the equivocating to the critics, OK? And let’s state it for the record: Though we respect the right for a female reboot of “Ghostbusters” to exist … we really don’t. Next, here’s someone from the Resistance against the most recent “Star Wars” chapter.

Stormtrooper, struggling with notes and helmet: Thanks, Darth. Our goal is simple: We want to stop all future “Star Wars” movies from even coming out. I’m not sure I could even take another blow to my psyche like “The Last Jedi” delivered. Enough with the diversity! I believe Warren’s next with a “Wrinkle in Time” report.

Warren, carrying a protest sign saying “MESS WITH MY MEMORIES OF THE BOOK AND YOU’RE DEAD”: Thank you. Where to start with “A Wrinkle in Time”? This one takes some dangerous liberties with a book I love, and that’s bad enough for me. Director Ava DuVernay’s take on the Madeleine L’Engle novel, with all those faces of color on screen affirming their right to exist in a Disney movie … well, it’s not why I go the movies. It’s why I STAY HOME. I didn’t even want to come here today. I’m scared.

Vader: We thank you for your courage, Warren. See you at the “Ocean’s Eleven” female reboot blowback strategy session. Now, a special guest to wrap things up before lunch.

Bearded man: Thanks, Darth. I’m P.K. Smirk, and I go by the handle of the Dismissable Loser on YouTube. When “Tomb Raider” announced its casting last year, I took one look at Alicia Vikander. Then I did a complete re-watch of the Angelina Jolie “Tomb Raider” movies. When I wrote about Vikander’s breasts in relation to the original 1996 video game’s breasts, the response I got … well, it stunned me. I was stunned. I remain stunned. Other trolls online questioning ME! Calling me out for being “a pig.” I’ll say it again: For the new “Tomb Raider” to succeed AS A MOVIE, the breasts have to look a certain way because the movie’s based on a REAL VIDEO GAME. It’s about REALISM, people.

Vader: With you there, Dismissable! Also, I like what that guy in Philadelphia wrote about Alicia Vikander’s “lack of curves” and how they’re “not exactly empowering for women.” This is what good criticism can do: body-shame an actress in a way that isn’t sleazy in the least.

After lunch we’ll meet back here at 1:30 to discuss “inclusion riders” and why they’re bad. Thanks to all the IDIOTs in attendance. And may the Force be with you, as long as it’s like the one in the first trilogy.