Thursday, March 8, 2012

Star Wars Needs To "Die"

17 comments

*Note: This is in no way written out of anger, frustration, etc. I am simply stating what I think would be best for the future of Star Wars. I am cool, calm, and collected. Keep that in mind when reading this. This is simply my opinion. You are free to agree and disagree as much as you please*


*Note 2: Please read the entire thing before making a judgement about this topic.*


I love Star Wars. I truly do. They are quite possibly my 6 favorite movies of all time. And I love the Star Wars prequels. Yes, they’re massively flawed, but they are my childhood and I actually prefer the prequels to the original trilogy. I love the Clone Wars. I think aside from a few missteps here and there, it is by far the greatest animated series on television, if not one of the most cinematic shows on television period.

With that said, I believe that Star Wars needs to die....at least for a while.

Today’s world is so bogged down with emotional Star Wars baggage, and has been for over 30 years, that the original magic of the film has been ripped to shreds to almost non-existence. Yes, it is still magical to watch those films, but you will never get the feeling you got in 1977 ever again. The love and magic that made these films continues to get bogged down with countless revised versions, EU novels, countless tv shows, toys, fanboys, etc. Star Wars has been on a downward slope for years, and I think it’s time to put it out of its misery before it suffers anymore.

In my opinion, there are 6 movies. The Clone Wars movie doesn't count in my eyes-it was an experiment, a ploy for money, and nothing more than a tv pilot. And I hope it always remains those 6. I hope that the rumored Boba Fett movie never happens and I hope Episodes 7-9 never happen. The Star Wars name has already become a name that has gone from award winning story telling to a "franchise" that is pretty much floating on it's on merchandising life-boat. Any “additions” to the “Star Wars movie” family would not be a Star Wars movie in my eyes. It will be simply a movie with Star Wars in the title.

Don't get me wrong, I love Star Wars, flaws and all. Even the rare bad episodes of Clone Wars, I love them to a certain degree because even though it's terrible, it's still Star Wars, and I will always have that love for it until I die. But to see anymore things come out like the Boba Fett movie simply trying to sell itself to the general audience simply because it has "Star Wars" slapped on to it really hurts. I don't care if the Boba Fett movie is better than all of the other movies. It is not a Star Wars movie. It may take place in the Star Wars Universe, but it is in no way a Star Wars movie. The Star Wars saga is the story of Anakin and Luke Skywalker, and that's it. Anything that branches off of that is nothing more than glorified EU. Star Wars has already been bastardized enough by having turned from art into a product. I don't want to see it happen anymore.

I am going to mention this because I KNOW it's going to come up. Yes, Lucas has a big part in this. But I'm not looking at it from his point of view or his involvement in the saga. The general population of today simply views Star Wars as something completely different than the population of 1977. The magic has been lost. Seeing any other movies or anything like that will only be taking away the little specialness the 6 films have left.

That's what the Clone Wars Movie did. It was thrown in theaters because it has the Star Wars title on it, with Warner Bros thinking they would pull in alot of money, victimizing the name. And what hurts twice as much is that it failed miserably. As much as I love The Clone Wars, when that movie came out, it was a wreck. Not just financially, but watching it hurt, and hearing the criticism hurt. It was terrible. And everyone knew it. It was when people realized "Ok, this is now just for the money". And it was. If they had premiered that movie on Cartoon Network, not only would it have been received much better because not only are expectations not nearly as high, and not only because it is a tv movie playing on tv as opposed to a theater where you have to pay 10 bucks per person, but it wouldn't seem like such a desperate ploy.

That's why I repeat what I said in a post earlier. No more Star Wars. I don't care who's doing it, Star Wars needs to go away for a while. It's become nothing more than a franchise on a money life-support, and it is emotionally painful to see something so magical being used like that, no matter how good it is. Like I said, that Boba Fett movie (should it ever happen) could be the best movie of the year, yet I will not be seeing it, nor will I even recognize it as a Star Wars film. Not because it wasn't by George Lucas. Not because it didn't have to do with the Skywalkers. But because it really is nothing more than a product hoping to lure people in with nothing more than a title, and I'll be damned if something I love so much that has already been victimized for the majority of it's life will end up a hollow money-making husk. Star Wars is already on it's death bed. I don't want to see it die like this and turn into a zombie puppet.

Like I said, it can be the best film of the year, but I will not be seeing it and view it as insulting. I fall into that category of people who view it as a ploy. I'm not going to let it affect my love of Star Wars, simply because I will not be considering it as Star Wars. That's why I get so offended when people say "They should make a movie of the Old Republic". "They should make a movie of the Yuuzhan Vong". It would simply be made for a small group of fanboys and is literally nothing more than a grab for money, no matter how good it is. The Star Wars saga is the 6 films. That's it.

Granted, I would not be against seeing another Clone Wars screening (much like the Savage Opress arc) as long as they don't try to sell it as a "Star Wars Movie"

When people heard that George Lucas would be making a prequel trilogy and telling the back-story to Star Wars, the entire world went nuts with excitement. However, when Phantom Menace came out, it received mainly negative reviews. Half the reason Phantom Menace failed the way it did was because it failed to meet expectations. Granted, the other half of why it failed is because it was poorly done, but that’s another topic for another time. When people hear “Star Wars”, they expect the best, and if not the best, then at least something that will give them that feeling they got in the theater in 1977. Unfortunately, the feeling is never going to happen again, and because of that, Star Wars is doomed to failure. Even on episodes of The Clone Wars, people expect the very best when they hear the main theme and see the opening logo. However, every now and then a “bad” episode airs, and people are flat-out angry. Yes, it is just an animated TV show, a “kid’s show” if you will, but when Star Wars fails to meet expectations, the audience is not only hurt and saddened by it, but also feels betrayed and let down to a certain extent. The audience puts their all into it and invests everything into what they’re viewing, and unfortunately, they do not always get back what they put in.

Another nail in the Star Wars coffin is the EU. In the late 80’s and early 90’s, there was no Star Wars. After “Return of the Jedi, that was it. Yes, there were two animated shows, but both were obviously intended for young children, and both were cancelled quite quickly. When Timothy Zahn wrote “Heir to the Empire” in 1991, it was (at the time) considered “official canon” and was intended to be the “official continuation” of the Trilogy because there was nothing else out there, and to this day, that particular trilogy (dubbed the Thrawn Trilogy) is considered as the Holy Grail of Star Wars Expanded Universe. But the problem is, so many comics and novels and video games have come out, people have kept that mindset that anything that comes out of Star Wars is official canon, no matter it’s source. There is now a “canon ladder” that sorts various books, novels, and games into 5 or 6 levels of canon, and I believe that is absurd. In my opinion, everything can be considered canon, until a higher power says otherwise, and at that point, it is no longer canon and just a story meant to be enjoyed. There is so much EU out there that clearly, something is obviously going to contradict something else. However, fans have clinged on to the idea that if it came first, it’s canon-no matter how silly the first story is and how “official”, the second story is. A frequent problem with The Clone Wars is that it “destroys continuity”. No, it destroys YOUR IDEA of continuity. People fail to realize that The Clone Wars is one of the few exceptions outside of the movies that is 100% canon. This has obviously caused a great rift in fandom, and many people are clouded by years of pointless knowledge that some random author made up, and would rather take the word of that author over the word of George Lucas-the creator of Star Wars, when it comes to a character’s origin, species, etc. It has prevented people from viewing something great as great, and instead will throw the entire thing out the window because something didn’t match up with a novel from 1996 or a comic from 2003 that sold maybe 6,000 copies total. For example, I attempted to show someone the “Nightsisters Trilogy” of The Clone Wars (which is by far one of the best produced stories of the show), and out of the hour long trilogy, the person stopped watching once they learned Asajj Ventress was actually from Dathomir instead of Rattatak (About 10 minutes or so into it), and this person refused to watch anymore, proceeding to talk about how George Lucas is messing up canon with this show.

And at the end of the day, people fail to realize that “Hey, it’s not real”. It is a fictional galaxy with characters that don’t exist. It is a product used to tell a story and make money. It is no different than when December comes around and Christmas is right around the corner (kids, don’t read this part). We all know Santa isn’t real, but that doesn’t mean we call out every mall-Santa we see as fakes and liars, and it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the “magic” of Christmas, even though in reality, it is just a regular day of the year and no different than any other day of the year. We all know Star Wars isn’t real, but we can still enjoy the magic of it. Unfortunately, there are two kinds of people in the world who have ruined this magic for everyone else. The first kind of person forgets that it is not real and takes it incredibly seriously and treats the backstory of a random character as legitimate history and forgets that in a fictional world, things such as histories and backstories can change to how the creator sees fit. The other kind of person is the person who knows it’s not real, knows it’s just a product, but unfortunately, see it only as that, and will not allow people to enjoy what they’re experiencing it because it doesn’t “conform” to their level of movie-making. Going back to the Santa metaphor, I know he’s not real, but I hate it when people say it out loud because it rips away the joy and magic I once had as a child. The same emotion occurs when people talk poorly about the prequel trilogy. I understand you may not like it, but those movies mean a lot to me. Let me enjoy the little magic there is left. The magic of Star Wars has been ripped away and only a little bit remains.

I am glad George Lucas is retiring. He has lived in the world of Star Wars for far too long, and as much as it pains me to say it, he is slowly starting to become delusional about it. For his sake, he needs a break, and honestly, I think the world needs a break from not only him, but from Star Wars as a whole. Society has been choked and suffocated by Star Wars in the mainstream and in pop culture for so long, that people have forgotten to come up and take a much needed breathe of fresh air to reset themselves, their minds, and their emotions. And that is why I feel Star Wars needs to go away. People just need to go back to that time of 1984-1995 where Star Wars existed, but was no long a matter of debate, no longer a major topic in the eyes of society, and was simply a magical movie series that people could sit down and enjoy for a few hours. And when I say that I want Star Wars to die, I don’t mean the equivalent of a violent public execution for “crimes against cinema” that many people wish for. In fact, I admit that the term "die" is probably a bit extreme. I just think that it is time to quietly put out the fire. It has had a good run that was unfortunately dampened by the cruel cynicism of people for many years, which has unfortunately become the status quo, causing it to exist in a world where it is no longer welcomed as it once was, and I think it would be best for not only the world, but for Star Wars as a whole if it quietly just went away for a long time and not come back for a while (if at all). And should it come back, the world will have had time to reset itself and its priorities and Star Wars may once again be welcomed in this new world...


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Editors Note:

I should note that several people are missing the point of this article. I am not damning Star Wars. I love Star Wars. It has brought me closer to my father, and I've made MANY friends due to Star Wars and I owe George Lucas so much for making this happen. I am in no way hating on Star Wars.

What I'm trying to say is that in today's world, Star Wars has become almost a joke in the majority of the public eye, and to save something I love, I simply believe that it should quietly step back into the shadows, let people get it all out of their systems, and then have it come back after a few years. I am in no way promoting "DEATH TO STAR WARS!" like many people claim I am doing. I do not WANT Star Wars to go away. It truly means a lot to me and to see something like that disappear would be incredibly tragic. I simply think that the main spark that has kept Star Wars amazing has increasingly been fizzling out, and I simply wish to take it out of the storm, give it a few years and then if the time is right, come back refreshed with a new public perspective. I would rather see Star Wars disappear and then come back strong a few years down the line, than continue going and collapse under its own weight.

I should also note that I am not saying the QUALITY of Star Wars is going down. It's not. What I'm saying is the general public response and reaction to Star Wars over time is. So instead of always wanting more and more new material, when there is a good chanceit is not going to live up to your personal expectation (whether or not it is actually good), take what Star Wars we have and enjoy it. I'm not saying Star Wars is a terrible thing. I'm simply stating that I don't think there should be any new Star Wars material in the future. Enjoy the movies. Enjoy the tv show(s). Enjoy the comics and novels, that's fine. I'm just saying it's time to simply enjoy what we have rather than simply moving on to the next thing.

17 comments:

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