Continued from yesterday.
I sat in the darkened theater in 1999, surrounded by other Star Wars fans (and their loved ones they dragged to the opening showing), and watched my beloved sci-fi/fantasy universe crumble. In a word, this latest movie, The Phantom Menace, the first prequel to the original story, absolutely SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKED.
At the end of the movie, I sat there among a few hundred folks, and thought, Oh my God. That was awful.
But a woman in the seat right in front of me exclaimed in happiness, “It was just like the first movies!” This exactly opposite reaction from someone threw me off a few moments. How could anyone like that crap? How could they liken it to the first movies?
I went back and watched the movie again a week later, in hopes that maybe I just missed things, or wasn’t in the right frame of mind the first time I saw it. Nope. It still SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKED.
I’ve seen bits and pieces of it again since the theatrical release (I’ve not rented it or in any way paid money or wasted otherwise useful time on it) and I still totally hate the movie. I went to see the prequel-sequel movies Attack of the Clones (2002) and Revenge of the Sith (2005) totally out of a sense of completion rather than out of a desire to see the rest of the story. The story didn’t get any better. George Lucas can’t and shouldn’t be allowed to write a script. He’s got great ideas for a story, but his scripting is atrocious.
By this time in my life, I had two children – sons whom I expect to grow up into fine geeks like myself. My 8 year old is currently all into Star Wars, but unfortunately for me, the Star Wars story has progressed further than I’m up on, and in directions I’m no longer interested in following.
The story for Star Wars has gotten so damnably complicated with the prequel trilogy and the Clone Wars storyline. Good guys are bad guys (Rebel Alliance – Separatists), bad guys are good guys (stormtroopers – clone troopers), plots are backwards (Darth Vader returns to being Anakin Skywalker – Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader), and the story is riddled with plot holes and canon inconsistency. George Lucas has thoroughly muddied up the Star Wars saga between the generations.
Right now, for my sons, the story of Star Wars comes from The Clone Wars. The characters and plots they know come from that one animated movie, which is based on and takes place between Episodes II and III. It’s very strange to say this, but this mixing up of the saga story has really put a generational gap in the series.
I’ve learned most of the names and characters and technology and mythology of the latest incarnations of the Star Wars tale, but they aren’t mine. Contemporary Star Wars is not my Nostalgic Star Wars. There is a strong boundary between the SW I grew up loving and playing and the version my kids are growing up loving and playing. To make it even odder, I have a great repulsion for the most recent SW compared to the great reverence for the old SW.
So, I guess my relationship with Star Wars can be summed up as “love/hate.” But I had to write all the above and previous before I could actually come to see this as it is.