Recently I had the opportunity to chat with J.J. No not the one you’re thinking of. I am speaking, of course, about J.J. Goodman. He is the Director of Operations for Thathashtagshow.com (THTS) overseeing a stable of writers and serving as a contributing chief editor and lead Star Wars writer (among other duties). He also oversees that Star Wars Fanatics Facebook group which currently has over 47 thousand members.
We discussed how click-bait affects the geek community of websites and pages. THTS is putting up stories all the time including breaking news. Goodman stated that “Generally for our stories, we look to see what other outlets are reporting and see which of the more legitimate sites are reporting on the same topics. To set ourselves apart we try to put a unique spin on our stories.
We also spoke of how he handles accusations of being a click-bait site. In the realms of geekdom there are so many rumors that fly around about a new movie coming out, story lines involving our favorite characters, new TV shows, and tons more. Some times the flow of information is so much that it is hard to decipher between what is real and what just wants you there so they can have numbers. “As with any piece of journalism, regardless of the medium, you want to give your article a title that will catch a reader’s eye and draw them in. The obvious goal is not only to get your story out there, but for people to read it. Personally, I try my hardest to ensure that the substance of my article ties directly to the title.” says Goodman.
We then moved to my favorite subject: “Star Wars”. Goodman has been a “Star Wars” fan since his parents to him to see the original pre- “A New Hope” in theaters in 1977. Since he grew up, like me, with the original trilogy and then during the dark time and even in 2005 when it seemed that the movies were over I asked if he had ever lost his fandom. His response was “No, never. I’m a fan of the franchise, not just the films. I read a lot of the old Expanded Universe works, favorites being Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy and Michael Stackpole’s “Rogue Squadron” series. I always held out hope feature films would come back in some way or another, too.”
He thinks that the franchise is on the right track since the Disney acquisition and counts “Rogue One” as among his top three “Star Wars” films and has enjoyed most of the “new expanded universe” canon. He also stated “Lucasfilm bringing back The Clone Wars was also a welcome surprise and the Mandalorian is one of the best franchise entries of all time, let alone the Disney era.”
As you may or may not know there is a billboard campaign happeneing to try and get Lucasfilm to make movies/shows based on the legends. There has however been several of the aspects of legends that have been incorporated (Thrawn, clone Emperor) into the movies and shows. Goodman’s opinion was “Let’s be honest – no matter what Disney/Lucasfilm do with existing Star Wars characters/content at this point (canon or old EU) there are going to be those fans who aren’t satisfied. Personally, I would love to see some elements of the Old Republic on film. Revan, for instance, is such an incredibly complex character that could warrant his own trilogy.”
I concluded the chat with a personal favorite question of mine, “Do you have a favorite piece of Star Wars memorabilia if so what is it and why so significant to you?” His reply, “I’d have to say I have two. One is my collection of original Star Wars action figures from my childhood. It’s a great reminder of the awe and wonder Star Wars instilled in me as child that I’ve carried with me since. The other is my autographed copy of Timothy Zahn’s ‘Thrawn: Treason’ book that I acquired when I finally got to meet him at SDCC last year. As a Star Wars fan and writer, that was a special moment for me.”