Ever since George Lucas divested himself of his long-ago-galaxy to the Sith Lords of Disney, many people have asked me what I think of the entire enterprise.
Believe me, I have tried to work myself up over it…but I’ve finally realized why I can’t work up any bile or pleasure over this four billion dollar turn of events…
I simply don’t care about Star Wars anymore.
Back when it was all new and fresh…back when my universe was less than half its present size…Star Wars formed part of my geeky awakening. It was that inimitable late 1970s/early 1980s era, when my father took me to the theatre to see Superman and The Empire Strikes Back…when cable-tv delivered everything from A New Hope to the day-glo 1960’s adventures of Captain Kirk & the Enterprise…when public broadcasting introduced me to an eccentric time traveler in a battered British police box…
My god, it was such an amazing time to be a child. I even remember watching the Star Wars Christmas Special live on CBS!
My enjoyment of Star Wars evolved to a new level in 1991, with the introduction of the novels…which carried me through fantastic adventures from late high school and all through university. Adventures that developed cherished characters in ways that took my breath away.
But then the “revised” films were re-released…then the prequels…then the Clone Wars…and the enjoyment transformed into disappointment. It became a long slog through too much CGI, too little solid scripting…too many battle scenes, not enough emotion, drama, humour…and little in the way of competent acting. It became more and more commercial, more and more childish, instead of child-like…and more and more about people who thought that Jar-Jar Binks was the height of artistic achievement.
Frankly, Star Wars doesn’t thrill anymore. It doesn’t inspire, it doesn’t impress. It feels…underwhelming. At times, it’s almost embarrassing…like a drunk relative, who doesn’t realize the party is over.
Even the novels took a turn for the worse, as a constant bleakness & cynicism took hold. They are trapped in a continual feedback loop of Sith reconquest & empire that should have played itself out long ago. A very dry cow seems to have been milked to its emaciated bones.
Star Wars doesn’t speak to me anymore. It’s as finished in my consciousness as it must be in Lucas’ life & pocket book. It’s taken me a long time to reach this point, but it’s been bleeding obvious for quite some time: Star Wars is now a stagnant, over-used universe that doesn’t seem to know when to quit. It’s run out of fresh ideas, it’s run out of charm and inspiration…and it doesn’t much matter anymore. When Star Wars fans get together, it’s always about looking back with melancholy to a better time…and that time will never be replicated. Just look at The Big Bang Theory: Sheldon spends hours building a classic Death Star out of Lego…not something from any of the tiresome Episodes I, II, or III. Nothing from the post 1997-era inspires such iconic, warm devotion.
Goodbye, Star Wars. I’ve entered hyperspace with you for the last time. I will cherish my memories of visits to the cinema, buying action figures, and playing out lightsabre duels in the backyard. But there is nothing in the current incarnation that compares to that golden era — the wonder & epic adventure that once blazed across our screens…and our imaginations. We’re done, Star Wars…and our paths have permanently diverged.
Thankfully, I still have Doctor Who and Star Trek…