Friday, December 18, 2015

Star Wars Yadda Yadda

I was the perfect age when the last ones came out. And that, right there, ought to tell you where this is going.

My first Star Wars experience was one night, when I couldn't sleep, I went into my mom's room and she was watching Return of the Jedi. It was the Jabba palace seen, and Jabba the Hutt became a revelation to me. I'd never encountered such a non-human life form as the Hutt, since most aliens I knew, watching Star Trek TNG, were all humanoid.

Actually I don't recall when I saw the other two. I had definitely seen them by middle school age, though. And that's when the Lucas-modified versions came out. Beyond this the only connection I had was the loosely-inspired Star Tours ride at Disneyland.

Standing in line at Stonestown's cinema, in San Francisco, with a crowd of other people, waiting to see the new, enhanced, Star Wars was very cool. It was my first fandom, I suppose - that feeling of belonging to an in-crowd. Again, my mom was with me. We went and saw it, and I was  a bit confused. I liked the movie, but there were parts that didn't quite seem right, as I recalled.

Then the new movies came out, the prequels. And boy did Jar Jar Binks suck. And the other crap. All of Phantom Menace, really. But I was, by now, a Star Wars Fan, and so I dutifully collected trading cards, saved allowances for action figures, read books of trivia, even looking up collectibles. I liked the Star Wars universe, and spent much of my time just before high school in my room, creating, of all things, costumes based on the fantastic creatures, for what would be in my mind an incredible parade of Star Wars creatures. (I should mention that around this time I ran Bay to Breakers, San Francisco's freak-flag flying footrace replete with nudity, garish outfits, and floats - one of which I distinctly remember, was of Jabba the Hutt.)

As the Prequels played out I was increasingly disappointed, and visited the theaters dutifully.

When the DVDs were released I made sure to buy the copy of Star Wars that had the original theatrical version - not the one I had seen in theaters as a young kid. It was added to the CGI version as a "Bonus Feature". Like most, I am still waiting for them to get their proper, un-messed with due. Perhaps with the buzz generated by Disney - but I somehow sort of doubt it.

So I'm not excited about the new movie. I'm sure it'll be good. It seems like it's not disappointing people. But, having been burned, over and over, I'm sort of done with the whole thing. When I went off to high school I left Star Wars very much behind. I've never bother to buy Empire or Revenge on DVD. If the price is ever right, I guess I will. It's not a priority. Likewise, I will probably go see this movie in theaters, but not for some time. Maybe in January.

As for Disney's control of the franchise, they are the masters of getting people excited about stuff, so I'll give them kudos for the civilization-scale frenzy they've created. They know how to get it done - although with a built in fandom like Star Wars it is sort of like shooting fish in a barrel (even if the fish are suspicious from the last time they got barreled up). Disney will continue to rule the media galaxy, a parallel which I find particularly amusing.

1 comment:

ganymeder said...

I understand your skepticism, but I really did enjoy the new Star Wars. There's definitely a lot of familiar things happening, but they also had enough of the original characters as well as introducing and focusing on new ones that I was happy. ☺