Friday, April 6, 2012


It finally happened.

It happened for many others a long time ago, but not for me.

But now? I’m sad that it has.

Star Wars has gone sour for me.

You have to understand... I’d been a little kid when the original Star Wars movie (now known as Episode IV - A New Hope) came out in 1977. I’d been just as entranced and obsessed as the next kid (or adult.) I’ve followed it all the way through... speculating with the best of ‘em. I knew a lot of the obscure info, backstories of characters and the like.

When word came that the first three parts would be coming circa twenty years later, ecstatic is not a strong enough word. To give you some idea of my elation, I said to Doodles one night (and I meant it): Star Wars is a gift from god. Doodles jumped on it with a half-laugh and replied, Okay, THAT’s the overstatement of the year. A beat later, though, she eked out: Althooough, technically everything is, so THAT might be an understatement! Such had been the depth of our devotion. With the precepts of The Force so etched into our psyches, we probably literally shivered with anticipation.

And then, Episode I did arrive. And much of the world wishes it hadn’t. Me? I liked it. A lot. I’m not going to begin to debate any of it with anyone. But I will say that Queen Amidala rocked my world. Color me whatever shade of misguided, stupid or ridiculous you want, but I enjoyed the story. I never would have guessed at those events as an “origin” of what I knew to be so. It didn’t match any of my ideas and that helped quite a bit in my enjoyment. Yes, yes, yes, the ‘Midi-chlorians’ were a little weird, but I accepted them. I even liked Jar-Jar. Before you throw rocks at me, tell me, just tell me he’s not any more or less annoying than C-3PO. [And personally, I think most of us who are now adults have forgotten - Star Wars is for kids.]

As time went on and the next two parts came to light...I liked those, too. Sure, I had my qualms such as a certain actor’s lack of ability and the degeneration of the feisty Amidala into a whining and helpless creature... sure, sure... it has its down moments. But on the whole, it had been okay. Anything that didn’t sit right with me I could look the other way in favor of what had all been amazing otherwise. And even though those bits were somewhat troublesome, they never made me entirely scoff. In other words, I learned to accept them as part of the triumphant saga, Lucas just told us a different tale than I (and most) might have expected.

I liked (most) of the ‘Special Edition’ revisions as well, respecting Lucas’s desire to make it more like the original vision in his head now that he could.
I even clamored for more in the form of The Clone Wars TV show. Having found a new favorite character in Ahsoka Tano, I eagerly watched the Empire slowly take its hold. But it’s precisely this series that pushed it too far. No, not the rampant Star Wars merchandise... not even the Tauntaun-innards sleeping bag nor the Lego Video Games (which allowed such things as Luke to use Lightning!) made me wince. But a slew of “WHAT IN THE UNIVERSE?”s that arose during the show came along. And one of them had been the final blow that turned off the tractor beam hold Star Wars had on me.

The parts that raised my eyebrows?

An entire episode in which The Force had been embodied by guy on a distant asteroid/planet who had a daughter (Light Side) and son (Dark Side) and... yeah, it got horrifically silly. My friend who is so Star Wars obsessed he had a Jedi robe made for himself told me the only way he could let it into his perception is thus: It’s a bad fan made (as in not a good/serious/knowledgeable fan as well as poorly done) episode that somehow got on the air. I laughed. I used his idea in order to wash it clean. But then other episodes took turns way beyond hyperspace of acceptable - Obi Wan Kenobi physically altering his body to look like a bounty hunter to infiltrate... yada yada.... Um, okay, I’m supposed to believe that a way to ACTUALLY change his body’s structure and morph into this other guy (with a chip in his throat to give him the other guy’s voice even) exists within the universe of Star Wars! This isn’t a simple matter like “why don’t double-edged lightsabers exist in IV, V & VI?” [That has an explanation, for the record!] But body morphing for ONE ‘job’ only, never to be heard from before or again? Just no. It’s preposterous and doesn’t belong in the least.

But what stopped my thrusters dead?

When a coven of witches unleashed zombies of their exalted dead warriors. WHAT THE?? As you might know from this post, I cannot, will not, abide zombies. I, personally, am just done with them. And I certainly don’t want them in the Star Wars Universe!

Strike number three, I’m out.

No, I don’t suddenly hate it entirely or something of that sort. But sadly it’s kicked down a notch. I’ll never be able to stop revering the good parts. Yet as for wanting any more to do with anything new that comes out (such as the live action series in the works) I will pay it no mind.

I never would have thought that I could sour on such a legend.

1 comment:

Anon said...

Welcome to the club.

It was sometime during the last seven years that it soured for me, such that I didn't even want to get the Blu-Rays. I had NEVER missed out on an opportunity to get the latest version of each Star Wars movie that had come out, but I did this time. I finally realized that each time a new edition with new effects comes have to give more money to the people who did that.

Which isn't to say that the changes in and of themselves bother me--in fact, if I could be SURE that no more changes would be made to the Blu-Rays, I probably WOULD get them (at least the original trilogy), but because I'm not so sure, I'm holding out. (Although I may still see the original trilogy in theaters whenever it comes out again.) The changes themselves don't bother me, except for Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker's ghost in Return of the Jedi, even though others are unnecessary and even bad.

The point is the movies themselves, and I still like the original series (and yes, The Empire Strikes Back is the best), but now I see why people didn't like the prequels. You're entitled to your opinion, but my opinion is that what you liked in Episode I was what it was GOING for, not what it actually accomplished (my opinion is that Episode I is all over the place such that without it being telegraphed to us either in the movie--or worse, outside of the movie, and that includes the original trilogy--we wouldn't know).

Episode II had the potential to be much better, but failed more obviously, and so I think it's the worst of the prequels. As for Episode III, up to a point I think it's actually pretty okay--yes, it follows on the heels of the first two, and yes, even taking that into consideration it could have been better, but it wasn't BAD and it certainly was better than the first two....

...until Anakin/Vader Force choked Padme....

After that it's all downhill--everything after that is either nonsense or obvious exposition setting it up for Episode IV.

But the changes and the existence of bad prequels doesn't erase the fact that the original trilogy are still there for anyone who likes it. I'm just waiting until I can be sure of NO MORE CHANGES before I spend more money on it.