The other day, Alexis at The Tao of D&D* trash talked Star Wars. Alexis is kind enough to inform us that any adult who appreciates Star Wars is an uncultured dolt. Joseph Campbell believed that Star Wars re-introduced modern audiences to the concept of the monomyth. Ergo, by Alexis' estimation, Joseph Campbell was an uncultured dolt. If I am an uncultured dolt for liking such a well regarded film, then at least I'm in good company.
Star Wars is an example of intellectual property with significant cultural impact. Sometimes there is conflict between the 'owner' of such a property and the people ('fans') deeply affected by that property; such has been the case with some of George Lucas' efforts to 'revise' certain details of Star Wars. (For the record, not only did Han shoot first, but Greedo didn't get off a shot at all. Those are the facts. Deal.) I am reminded of when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle killed off Sherlock Holmes; public outcry was so great, he was eventually compelled to bring Holmes back. When
does should an artist lose control of his creation?
Another intellectual property with significant cultural impact (well, impact to Our Hobby at least) is The World's Most Popular Role-Playing Game. There is occasional discord between the owning Wizards and those who cherish the game's origins. At least we have the Open Game License; the Wizards are free to take the path where My Little Pony leads them and we are free to preserve, if not enhance, what we hold dear.
Han shot first.
The Great Detective lives.
D&D is ours (except for beholders and displacer beasts and stuff).
* Alexis is like Emmanuel Goldstein in Nineteen Eighty-Four. Just as Goldstein served as the focus of the Two Minutes Hate, Alexis is a target for cathartic release. If Alexis did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.