TPM is So Not...
The advent of Attack of the Clones has not sparked the expected resurgence
of interest in Star Wars fiction. Instead, there is almost a denial that
the movie ever happened, or at least the parts the slash fans don't like.
We all knew Anakin and Amidala were going to end up together. We rather expected some element of forbiddenness in their love as well, just because George Lucas is well, George Lucas. What we got though, was a rather confusing jumble of "it's forbidden, but not *that* forbidden, as long it doesn't involve commitment or anything serious, then it's really forbidden, bad Anakin." The posters said "A Jedi shall not know fear. Nor anger. Nor hate. Nor love," and really, I was rather looking forward to a universe where romantic love was placed at the same level as fear, anger, and hate. I would have been more intrigued by that, but we didn't get it. We just got confused.
This mishandling of Jedi morals, producing an apparent conflict between the "Earth values" that George Lucas likes to place so much emphasis on and the values that the Jedi Order seems to be promoting, throws a metaphorical fork into Q/O stories, then. Either we deny the movie ever happened (for those in denial about Qui-Gon's death already, it's not hard to do) and invent our own version of that period of time, or we make the Q/O love a strange, romantically-commitmentless-although-professionally-deeply-involved thing, or we have them defy Jedi tradition and love in spite of everything.
Personally, I'd like to see either of the last two options, but unfortunately, most people tend to go the route of the first, and throw out pretty much whatever they don't like about AOTC.
I'm a canon junkie; I like it when writers play with what's already there and make the slash fit in around it. I want to see semi-non-con with Obi/Jango ("Boba! Leave the room! I have, uh, 'business' with the Jedi..."). I want to see the Dooku/Qui-Gon relationship explored to the fullest degrees of interesting (Oh, so *that's* why Dooku left the Jedi Order!). I want to see Obi/Dex...yes, I do want to see Obi/Dex. I would like to see more Obi-Wan/Anakin slash (I know! So depraved!) I even want Qui/Obi slash -- and not Qui-Gon Lives, but explorations of how they could have loved each other (or even just had sex with each other) in the Lucasverse.
I want this universe to be able to tell all the slashy stories it wants to tell -- all the little hidden scenes and missing moments. We've explored TPM down to the roots -- I think there's even a Q/O PWP set in the Gungan city.
There's no reason why the same thing cannot happen with AOTC. If we, as TPM slash fans, decide that it's time to, well, not "move on," but widen our horizons -- if we begin telling not the same Q/O stories (we all know them, the slave!Obi stories, the HeDidn'tDie!stories, the Sith!Obi or Qui stories, the endless retellings of The Touch scene) and start to tell our stories, Q/O or not, with the background that AOTC gives us, with the wider, deeper understanding we get of the SW universe (especially the Jedi Order and Coruscant), then we will not be just "TPM" fandom. We don't need a divide, conscious or not, between "TPM" fandom and "AOTC" fandom. They should be one fandom, as the Original Trilogy is one fandom.
Those who dislike non-Q/O pairings should not make their displeasure at them so obvious and should learn to be tolerant, while those who do like them should encourage those who write them.
There's a strong fear among Q/O fans that they will one day find themselves inundated with non-Q/O stories against their will, that Q/O will be no longer the only OTP in the fandom. I think it's been long enough after AOTC to say that there is no likelihood that such a thing would happen -- but what would be so bad if it did? It's better than no SW slash at all, right?
Fans of TPM and AOTC, write. We need you, because TPM is so not...just TPM anymore.