Tuesday, April 23, 2013


I came up with the loose idea for this post a long, long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away, ha) but never got around to it. I just never thought it was relevant enough to spend as much time as I needed to on it. With all that's happened lately and especially with the most recent development, I figured it was about time to get to it. Also, no one at this boring office job of mine cares what I do as long as it looks like I'm working.

It's bound to be a long, winding, reflective and somewhat silly post, but it's my blog. I can do that. It's what you've come to expect from me.

We're going to talk about STAR WARS and we're going to talk about how if you've never seen any of the movies before, it's too late for you. You can't start now. You missed it. Don't even bother.

STAR WARS came out in the spring of 1977, EMPIRE STRIKES BACK came out in 1980 and RETURN OF THE JEDI followed in 1983. I was too young to catch the first two, but I was 3-years-old when JEDI came out and it was the first movie I ever saw in the theater. It was terrifying. I hid under a stack of coats during the previews and the scroll, but once the Rancor Monster came out, I did too. I watched wide-eyed and enthralled the rest of the way.

After that, STAR WARS kind of became my life. There was no Internet and I didn't have an iPad—hell we didn't even have a Nintendo yet. I was cruelly forced to use my imagination, creativity and hundreds of toys—mostly STAR WARS—to fill my days. I did just that. Every single day. Sometimes they'd fight with my other action figures, but STAR WARS always won. That's just how it went.

When the prequels were announced, I followed it as closely as I could. The Internet was in its infancy, so I was reduced to newspaper clips and driving my 1979 Ford Granada to Barnes & Noble to check out Entertainment Weekly. When the release date came around, I camped out in the parking lot of Century 16 in SLC along with hundreds (literally hundreds) of other people to get tickets for the first showing.

I saw Episode I three times the first day it came out. I skipped out on seeing Vanilla Ice with Earth Crisis to see a movie for a third time in a 24 hour span. It was mostly because I was pretty sure Earth Crisis wasn't actually coming and something like this would happen anyway.

The more I watched EPISODE I, the more I convinced myself that I loved it and it was a great addition to the story. It's not. It's actually really, really bad. It was on TV a few weeks ago and I watched it for a bit and remembered just how awful it is. I got less excited for EPISODE II, which let down my already-lowered expectations and EPISODE III was just awful.

All three of those movies have scenes that are individually great, I'll admit that, but they're few and far between and sandwiched between another 110 minutes of absolute garbage.

If they're your first foray into the STAR WARS universe, and you were kind of young when they came out, I can see how they might be okay. But for someone that had been building the mythology in his head for 15 years like I had, they were just a total letdown. Each one was worse than the one that came before it.

It's almost pointless to get into an argument about them now. You either like them or you don't. I won't try to defend them and I won't listen to a defense of them. If you love the prequels, great. I thought they were fucking awful and the fact that George Lucas keeps tinkering with the originals, making them closer to the prequels is even worse.

This isn't going to devolve into some weird rant against George Lucas or anything. That's what the rest of the Internet is for. You can find feature length movies on the subject. I'm not interested in that, nor do I need to add to it.

Basically what all of that amounts to is that the prequels made it impossible for me to care about STAR WARS in a passionate way ever again.

A few weeks ago, the topic of STAR WARS came up and a friend of mine said she'd never seen any of them. That was echoed by a few more friends, too. I was kind of stunned, but also a little bit relieved.

"I think you're better off having never seen them," I said.

"Really? Everyone else tells me that I have to watch them."

"Nope. If they weren't a part of your childhood, you can't start them now. They'll just be too silly to process."

This is a statement that I stand behind 100%.

If you've never seen any of the STAR WARS movies, you shouldn't watch them. That time has come and gone, my friend. The story is still great and the mythology of STAR WARS, EMPIRE and JEDI is still great fun, but they haven't aged well.

They were too much a product of their time. The special effects and action sequences pale in comparison to what have become the standard and it'll just look like a low budget fan film. Which, really when you break it down, is exactly what George Lucas made in the mid-70s.

Had you seen them when you were younger, you would have understood literally thousands of pop culture jokes made throughout the 90s, but those are all in the past, too. I still read and see things—current things—with STAR WARS jokes in them and most of them aren't funny anymore. It just kind of depresses me. Just let it go.

However, I'll still laugh at any and all STAR WARS jokes before I laugh at a single LORD OF THE RINGS joke.

This seems like a good breaking point. For now.

In Part II, we'll talk about the Disney acquisition, JJ Abrams and the future of STAR WARS.

In Part III, we'll look at the actual future of the STAR WARS universe, why I'm totally fine with JJ Abrams at the helm and how if you're already sick of STAR WARS, it's only going to get worse from here on out.

But what do you think? If someone has never seen STAR WARS, should they try to catch up or just let it go?

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