Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Why I Hate Star Wars

Okay, I'll confess to a bit of click bait with this title, because I don't hate Star Wars.  The fact is, I want to love it!  But in my professional opinion, there is definitely a great disturbance in the force.  Sadly it seems, most eager fanboys/girls are too weak minded to see the Jedi mind tricks being used on us. 

"...omg omg omg look it's an X-Wing!!"
"...Look, it's Han Solo.... *squeeeeeee*!!"
"...I feel like I'm 8 years old again!!"
 *le sigh*

In the interest of full disclosure, I really enjoy my sci-fi (shocking, I know).  Since I was a wee little nerdling, I have loved things filled with imagination, and creativity and always look for something exciting and different and maybe even inspiring.  That's just how my brain works.  So long ago, it was easy for me to jump on the Star Wars bantha wagon with everyone else, collecting way too many toys and action figures and cards and bed sheets and toothbrushes and mugs and props and.... you get the idea.

What made Star Wars fun for me, was that it was new and different.  George Lucas invented a universe of great characters, places, and an exciting mythology that helped us easily forget about the real world.  And once that template was created, it opened up millions of possibilities.

But with such a vast universe to choose from, can all the stories be great?  I think the Prequels clearly answered that question.   There are definitely plenty of trash compactors trying to crush the life out of you in a galaxy far, far away.

"Oh Deeesher, you're just a hater and jaded by the prequels too much...!"
Untrue, my young Padawan.  There are a few aspects about the Prequels I liked!  I think Lucas could have created a great series from them, but sadly he had too many Yes-men blindly loving everything he did *COUGH*rickmccallum*COUGH*

When Lucas first began writing The Star Wars in 1974, the script went through many re-writes until he fine tuned it into something epic for the 1977 release.  During filming and editing, he was constantly being pushed, and everything was on a budget and producers were wheezing menacingly down his neck through a thick dark breath mask.

Then in 1999, when it came time for the prequels, Lucas quite literally owned the galaxy.  He essentially became Emperor and could do what he wanted at his own leisurely pace.  He had producers throwing millions of dollars at him saying we can make this bigger and put more and MORE AND MORE things on the screen so it will look like the most amazing thing ever made!  But they forgot to put any heart and soul into it.  Nobody ever said to George, they have a bad feeling about this.  Nobody ever seemed to suggest that he was going to... The Dark Side.

And now, many years later, after so many painful memories of the Prequels.... there has been an awakening.

Suddenly, Lucas the Hutt sold the entire franchise to Disney.  And honestly, this didn't bother me.  No, really.  I was okay with that, because I know Disney movies can be fun!  Between the original Pirates of the Caribbean, and more recently the Marvel movies, like Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, or Captain America.  And going back even further to Tron, The Black Hole, and Dragonslayer.  Disney might give Star Wars the breath of life it needed. 

But that was before the dark times...

Many years before the Disney deal, Lucasfilm officially announced there would never be another Star Wars movie.  So at that time, the Expanded Universe featured in the books and comics were officially canon.  In those days, many die-hard fans knew exactly what happened to Luke, Leia, Han, and even their children.

But with the announcement of a new movie, Disney suddenly created a new fate for those characters, and wiped out the EU stories... all of them.  So every one in the Expanded Universe suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.  I'll miss you most of all Mara Jade!

Then they said the new movie would be based on an outline originally conceived by Lucas himself.  Again, I had very mixed feelings about this.  But I was curious and open minded.

But their journey to the dark side was complete when they hired a director... J.J. Abrams.

There are so many great directors in the world.  But I honestly don't think Abrams is one of them.  And for the record, I'm not just talking about the lens flares.  I'm mostly talking about shaky cams during action sequences.  I'm talking about the bland color palettes he often uses.  I'm talking about how he can't seem to properly light a scene.  I'm talking about how many apologies he has made for his directing in the past, (such as gratuitous shot of Alice Eve in bra and panties, lens flares, trying to keep Khan storyline a secret etc).  I'm also talking about how one nerdy fanboy shouldn't oversee Star Wars AND Star Trek.  I wrote about it here if you're interested in reading about that kind of thing. 

But the one thing that makes me feel Sith to my stomach, is how nauseatingly obsessed everyone has become!  Sure Star Wars was popular after it's original release, but that was a more civilized age.  Some people rolled their eyes at my fanboy-ism, and that was okay!  But now, it seems every 30 seconds, there is another Star Wars reference somewhere.  From every commercial on TV/YouTube, every constant fan theory, meme, viral video and salivating fanboy/girl telling everyone how this is the most awesome movie in the world, before they've even seen it... how can I escape to a galaxy far, far away, if the real world is covered in Star Wars?  How can I continue liking something, when everyone is shoving it down my throat and telling me how great it is?  I feel as if I'm drowning in Star Wars. 

And therein lies the basis of my hate.

1.  Re-hashing old characters that should remain young and epic in our memories.
2.  Deleting unique Expanded Universe characters and stories we loved.
3.  Hiring a sub-par director.
4.  Cramming more and MORE AND MORE Star Wars in our face so we can't breathe.
5.  Millions of overly obsessed fans gulping down every drop like it's blue milk meth.
...it feels more like a painful obligation.  It's suddenly stopped being fun and unique.

But there is good in it.... I have felt it.

There is so much potential in this modern mythology, I'm always eager to see something new from this franchise.  We have such a huge galaxy to explore, and I can't understand why everyone is so focused on the same characters ad nauseam.

Like what you might ask?  Perfect examples are here:

Or, how about this:

Holy crap that looks freakin' AWESOME!!!  I want to know more!  I want to learn about these characters and this story!  If you didn't know, this was the BioWare game, Kights of the Republic.  You get a lot of unique interesting stories and characters, all taking place hundreds of years before Luke Skywalker was ever born.

And if you do love the original trilogy and want to relive those moments, listen to the radio show.  Hearing so much new and impressive details recreated through only sound, really makes me smiles:

And for the record, I wasn't a fan of the animation on Clone Wars the series, but the stories just got better and better!  It's all available on Netflix now, and I highly recommend watching.  It gives you depth and detail to the characters and events that Lucas could never show in the Prequels, with some fantastic action!

But honestly, if you need Star Wars to feel like you're 8 years old again... you're doing something wrong.  I have had many of those moments in the last few years watching some movies and television shows.  Specifically, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers, The Flash, Doctor Who, Iron Man, Captain America, Tron Legacy, Ant-Man, Spider-man (the first two Tobey Maguire versions), Ash vs. Evil Dead... well, maybe not that last one so much.  But still VERY FREAKIN' COOL!!

So I'm sorry if I'm the one rolling my eyes by your seemingly single-minded over-obsession.  I was there many years ago, but I've moved on with my life.  I'll watch the new movie, but I'm keeping an open mind.  And for those of you that think I can't be objective, I say HA! to you, because I expected Joss Whedon to fail at making Avengers!  I was pleasantly surprised and I wrote all about it here.  But it's never easy to love something that makes me feel like I'm being brainwashed to enjoy it.

Now let's all take a moment and study other important aspects of this franchise....

*le sigh*

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