Friday, December 18, 2015

Death Star for Cutie

In case anyone wants to know and I really don't why you wouldn't, the answer to the question on everyone's
lips is:
No, I will not be seeing STAR WARS-THE FORCE AWAKENS.

Well, at least not for awhile. There isn't any film I feel the need to see upon opening. That desire passed a long time ago in a cinema far, far away.
(I thought I'd get that out of the way early. It's apparently required.) Eventually I'll get around to seeing this rebooting of the Jedi saga, but honestly, I have about as much enthusiasm for it as I did for the previous trilogy of prequels known to geeks everywhere as "those things we don't talk about any longer". All three of those messterpieces were viewed within the confines of a second-run discount theater as this new model undoubtedly will. The reason is simple: If it's any good at all, it will last. There is no expiration date, is there?

If I seem indifferent to the whole megillah, then guilty as charged. The time for STAR WARS in my life has passed me by. I would have to say that RETURN OF THE JEDI pretty much sealed the deal for me and it wasn't just the Ewoks. I watched the prequels only because I wanted to be a completist, something else I no longer feel obliged to be  Now I don't begrudge anyone's excitement over SW: TFA and won't piss on their parade. The time has come for a new generation of fans, especially those who have felt cheated in the last couple of decades. Sure, I'll poke fun at the franchise itself and its fans here, there and everywhere. It's what I do. Realize that I understand their reverence for this subject and its ramifications. Whatever fills the ever-increasing void that continues to develop on an almost daily basis, please soak in it. The avalanche of hype leading up to the release of this film has been unprecedented, but all signs point to something that will actually live up to its build-up and that, my nerdy brethren and sistren, is a rare bird indeed.

 Don't think I haven't gotten a few pangs of nostalgia from all this. The trailers have been chock-a-block with memories of what was and could have been, now fulfilled for those who took the first journey and those who about to their trip into hyperspace which is, as we all know, "ain't like dustin' crops, boy." Sure, I've felt it. But I haven't given in to the tractor beam.

I suppose some of my resistance stems from the George Lucas backlash and, as witnessed above, I don't live in a glass house myself. (Who the hell does? It sucks in the summertime.) George has done his reputation much good since the 1980s what with all the re-releasing and re-tinkering of his magnum opus as well his Moe., Larry and Curly origin tales known as Chapter 1, 2 and 3. He changed the game around at his discretion, bringing in story developments like (gasp!) midi-chrlorians to explain away the Force. What? It's not a mystical power that binds all lifeforms together in the galaxy? That's absurd! You might as well say Moses didn't part the Red Sea. Check your facts, sir! Perhaps the greatest crime George Lucas ever committed against geekdom was in his redo of the original movie, the one I still have difficulty calling A NEW HOPE . He made Greedo shoot first and not Han Solo. Revisionist history has destroyed childhood memories around the globe. When this version reached the public it was as if millions of voices cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. That is, until they all hopped on line and vented their fury toward Lucas as though he was the second coming of Darth Vader himself in chat rooms and forums up and down the internet superhighway. There is a painful documentary called THE PEOPLE VS GEORGE LUCAS  which tore George a new one and never stopped from opening credits to closing. I agree with many of the accusations these fanatics have leveled against him, but they kept piling on to the point of becoming an ugly angry mob, light sabers taking the place of torches in their hands.

Yeah, poor little billionaire George. Suddenly, he's the underdog here? In a manner of speaking, yes, he is. Go ahead. Blame Lucas for messing with the originals, the prequels, Jar Jar Binks, for Yoda's sake. But remember, all would not have been possible at all without him.  STAR WARS is his creation and he had every right to do whatever he wanted to do with it...and he did. He didn't know when to stop.  Finally, he sold his company Lucasfilm to The Walt Disney Company which some would say is his greatest crime. But in doing so, he has relinquished the reins to others  and for the first time, new and abundant stories will expand his universe far beyond even his own imagination. He also gave away half the money he received from Disney to charity, making him a candidate for sainthood in my eyes. So when his name appears in the credits, give George Lucas his due. He should be applauded with the same respect that is given his creation. Hallelujah.

Some day, I'll see THE FORCE AWAKENS. Perhaps it will be my birthday movie this next year. I'm sure it'll still be playing by the end of January. For the rest of you, go forth and enjoy your movie. This is your time.

And may the For.... Nope, not gonna say it. But you go ahead.     
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