Look, this hurts me just as much as it hurts you. Hopefully you find this on a week where there isn’t a new Star Wars movie coming out and you aren’t so completely blown out on reading/hearing/thinking about Star Wars that the two words combined make your soul temporarily leave your body, only to awaken with a lot of blood in your mouth you are pretty sure isn’t yours. That or you have unblocked the phrase on Twitter and this is now viewable.
With the topic being blasted into our faces left and right, it was hard to not do some thinking about the whole thing and contribute to the over-saturation. So…you’re welcome.
Having grown up a Star Wars fan, to the point of only avoiding getting the shit kicked out of me for it in high school because I went to an all boys Catholic school and no one was looking to flex hard enough to send me sprawling down a series of staircases whilst clutching my saxophone case, I thought it would be a good idea to rewatch all of the movies in preparation for Rise of Skywalker. Turns out I only had time to make it through the prequels. And I BARELY pulled that off.
Those movies have aged like an avocado with a bite taken out of it.
I find it very hard to accept the thought process that the new trilogy has ruined Star Wars when we were subjected to this psychological torture 20 years ago. Okay…look: my dude was trying to explain some things that led into the original trilogy, but he was also trying to make kids movies, so when he gets deep in the weeds with explaining political machinations, you end up with a bunch of droids stepping in dog shit in the background to get a laugh. So the only way to really appreciate it is to be six-years-old. Which is when most of us became fans. When I meet people in their 20s or 30s who proudly tell me they have never seen a Star Wars movie (go fuck yourself…just kidding…but, seriously, go fuck yourself), I tell them they should temper their expectations if they plan on starting.
My earliest memories of Star Wars are watching them on a VHS tape that was clearly recorded off of Prism because they hadn’t really gone wild with the home media yet. And it was magic to me. I can’t imagine it would have anything close to the same impact on me now. “So…wait…he’s a moisture farmer? I’m going to need you to walk me through THIS process.”
But, you know what? That’s fine! If what you are watching/reading/etc. isn’t doing it for you, find something new. There is plenty out there. I advocate that we don’t let the things we grew up with completely define us.
Here’s an example: A week after The Force Awakens came out, my friend and I went to the movies to go see The Hateful Eight. Before we even made it into the building, a VERY agitated man, smoking so hard he was burning a hole in reality, stopped us to ask if we were going to see The Force Awakens. There was a true, unspoken connection between us when we both answered, “no” with as little life behind the word as possible. This was a conversation we were not in the mood to have, but we were sure as shit about to have it. “DON’T! It ruined Star Wars for me. It’s just so…” Now, I don’t really remember everything else he said. If you ask me now, I would probably swear he told us it ruined his life, but that may have just been the way it felt from his reaction. In unison, once again, we said, “okay.” And went on with our lives. I mean…we already saw it. A week ago. And we were fine with it. It was fine. It was enjoyable and that was all I am really asking from a giant blockbuster these days. But so many little girls and boys saw that movie and loved it. As it should be! But this guy was outside of a movie theater looking and acting like he just got word his dad found his weed stash and was on his way down to beat the fuck out of him with the corpse of his favorite Gam-Gam.
It’s okay to be disappointed. Maybe it’s time to move on. If you are outside of a movie theater shaking your fist at the great Boss Nass in the sky, probably don’t rush out to see the next one opening weekend. Hate watching isn’t going to change anything. Outside of not paying any more for it, there is little to be done. You don’t own it. Disney does. They paid the world’s most famous greaser-wannabe upwards of like $7bil to make more of these things. And as long as they are getting everyone’s money, they aren’t stopping. “You want more Star Wars?! We will give you so much Star Wars, you’re gonna shit yourself!” Their investment in it is the biggest push to get more of something people hold sacred since we didn’t have to try to find porn in the woods anymore because it’s now on our phones. Trying to insist that there is a particular thing that Star Wars should be is likely to lead to the worst of all outcomes: a series of brutal bland rehashings of things we’ve already seen before. “Yay. More of…this.”
But, hey…that’s just me. My favorite movies this year were a murder mystery, a tale of two guys stuck at a light house for an undetermined amount of time, and a family game of hide and seek with a soupçon of satanism. My NEED for Star Wars is pretty minimal. I’m fine to step aside and let my nephews be the target audience now. That being said, I have a ticket to see Rise of Skywalker. I said I wasn’t going to go opening night, but anxiety about having the movie spoiled for me or just have people incessantly ask me if I’ve seen it yet threw me into a blind rage. No advance ticket purchase was spared my fury!
So I’m going to go and let the Skywalker chapter of my life allegedly close. If asked, I will tell people how I feel about it and if they too have seen it, I will discuss. And likely frustrate the fuck out of them in the process. And when my nephews see it, I will ask them if they liked it. They will tell me it was awesome and I will say, “Yeah, it was awesome.” and high five them. Then one of them will try to punch me in the nuts and run away. Little Star Wars loving fuckers.