Why Star Wars isn’t Dead to me Yet

I am a die hard Star Wars fan, and like the kind of love I have for my wife, we may have our differences and even drag out fights, but I still love her and have no intentions of leaving her. Aww mushy I know, but I just equated my marital relationship to Star Wars, so I likely get the couch tonight. Anyways… after John’s removal from the Jedi Order I almost wondered if I too had lost my devotion to Star Wars. Nope.

One of my daily reads is a webcomic called GU Comics which also offers some daily punditry into the world of console and computer gaming. Today’s strip struck me as funny so I thought I would start off by sharing it with you.

So in the bigger picture the story said that LucasArts did not want to release Force Unleashed to PC because of the variety of system configurations. Hardcore gaming rigs will be able to give you the same experience as the XBox 360 or PS3 versions, but low end machines would give a watered down experience that they are not willing to offer up.

This brought to light something I struggle with as a die hard Star Wars fan (we never ended up with a catchy name like Trekkies or Trekkers do…just Star Wars Fan – Warsie never caught on). The admittance that they are not willing to offer up a version that will potentially be sub par visually for some players (due to their machines) makes me wonder about some of the shortcomings of the Star Wars franchise.

Where was this Exec when they made the CG Clone Wars movie? (I have hope that the series as a whole will be half decent)

I have already forgiven Lucas for Jarjar. Even back in the day Lucas tried to make Star Wars more kid friendly. He almost had to after Empire. Like that soft baby talk you offer up to a child after scarring the pants of them with some loud profanity. (Daddy didn’t mean that… have an Ewok) That movie made me grow up a lot when I was a kid. Little too serious for my 8 year old head to wrap around let alone emotionally grasp. Jedi brought that back around with lighter humour and a bittersweet happy ending that wasn’t too candy coated. People die, the heroes win. But Jedi had its own campy cute Ewoks that made the 11year old in me fall in love and forget about my grade 2 teacher or Karen’s pigtails.

Careless and meaningless crushes were over. This had meaning.

The kid in me came forward with much zeal when the prequels were annouced. My true love had returned. Lucas tried to recycle the success of the kid friendly Ewoks in Episode One and performed an epic fail. He then spent two more movies trying to fix it. Jarjar served his purpose (easily manipulated political pawn) and then faded into obscurity. I like Jarjar after episode 1 was over.

So like the comic above, it might seem that Lucas goes out of his way to upset his fanbase, and I don’t honestly think anyone really believes that. But it’s hard not to think it sometimes.. or all the time. I do agree that Lucas needs to get off the throne every now and then and visit with his people. Sitting that long gives you bedsores. Its just not healthy.

Lucas is a great storyteller. The overall plot of Star Wars is an epic tale. Some people like the backstory being told in dropped statements (I fought alongside your father in the Clone Wars) while others enjoy seeing exactly what these Clone Wars were all about. I don’t need every detail spelled out for me in a movie, but I did enjoy the prequels.

But he needs to admit he is not a great Director.

The kid friendly approach is grating on my nerves, but I keep hoping to get past it. And I hope that Lucas does too. I know Lucas is a creator, and that means he wants to be a part of every aspect of his creation, but he is not God and has to know when to leave some work for his disciples.

He needs to let Timothy Zahn take over as his lead writer, let his very gifted staff at ILM do effects, and for the love of God, he cannot direct. He can have a big old fashioned southern barbeque and share his vision with his followers. Tell the tale. Let the message be told by your followers.

Then we will have to find something else about Star Wars to complain about.

And with all that griping I still love them. I can’t look at Star Wars in any incarnation (the Star Wars Transformer toys just don’t exist to me.. shuddap) and not feel that tainted blind devotion. I can defend most of Star Wars and admit it when there is no defense at all (medichlorians? You got me.)

But it will always have a special place in my heart.

May the Force be with you… always.

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27 thoughts on “Why Star Wars isn’t Dead to me Yet

  1. You know what ! I hate to post so many times in different post, on this website, I but i really love this website more everytime I vist !!!

    Amazing article, I wish a news was this good…

    But I just realize why Star Wars fans hate JarJar, because i actually didn;t mind him. Back in the days, i forgot how serious star wars supposed to be as an epic… and with new ones is more like a disney or childish version of it….

    Man I really gota respect you guys for having amazing article
    Now question: Do I have a life ? :p

  2. It is stated that Lucas is a great storyteller. I disagree. After spending far too much time of my limited life figuring out exactly what was so wrong with the Prequels, I (and many others) agree that Lucas has some “great IDEAS,” but he in no way is a great storyteller.

    What Lucas is excellent at is the broad strokes. He innately knows what elements from history and pop-culture will strike a chord in audiences.

    What Lucas DOES NOT know is how to assemble those elements into a successful story. Sure, he can outline it sort of. But all it takes is to look at his filmmaking history to see that any successful (financially AND creatively) project that has his name attached was essentially written or “fixed” by qualified writers.

    THX was interesting, but still is pretty much a cult thing. Graffiti, and Star Wars were fixed by Huyck and Katz before they were filmable. ESB and ROTJ were expertly written by Kasdan. The Indiana Jones series was written and directed by others and everything else that has the Lucas name attached (except the Star Wars Prequels) was written and executed by others.

    Lucas CAN NOT write a story. He is bad at it and admits to that fact. The Prequels blew huge chunks because of Lucas’s poor skills and his bullheadedness toward working with Mr. Darabont or any other “union” member (all because of his dispute with Universal over the cuts made on Graffiti.)

    Lucas gets to do whatever he wants because he has the money to do it. He is the quintessential independent filmmaker, the position that everyone aspires to. Lucas can pay for whatever he wants and can get any studio to distribute it under his terms. But he squanders that privilege by not trusting the contributions and honest critiques of others.

    Lucas is NOT a great storyteller by any stretch, but he has the right IDEAS. If he would learn and accept his own limitations and allow others who know how to do their jobs to do them, then there is little doubt that most projects with the Lucasfilm stamp would be given positive praise. But instead, the only praise comes from Lucas apologists who have some bizarre reason to excuse the poor filmmaking in order to justify their continued fandom.

    Lucasfilm could have a flawless record, but for reasons unknown, it’s very creator has little interest in creating great products, but instead gives priority to his ego, quality bedamned.

    Of course as a Forbes List Billionaire, he doesn’t have to give a sh**. But for the fans who gave him that much money, it is disappointing to be let down so egregiously.

    Lucas is NOT a great filmmaker. He could be, but he chooses not to be. Perhaps there is a lesson in there for all aspiring filmmakers who will leave their mark on the world. Or maybe the next filmmaker who finds himself in Lucas’s position will squander the success in the same way. That’s a choice for everyone to make everyday… will we do the right thing, or just do things to please ourselves? We know what Lucas chose. What will children learn from his example? And does he care?

  3. I’ve said it once and I’ve said it again. The only reason that Star Wars is still alive today is because of the EU novels and Timothy Zahn.

    I’d give my left nut to see a Thrawn trilogy with …maybe Ridley Scott or maybe Wolfgang Peterson, or Peter Jackson as director.

    However, put George Lucas in as thedriector and…

    You see what I did there?

    Shoot, I’d love for Spielberg to direct too but GL is such a control freak…That’s what I’ve gleaned from the last 10 years in the SW universe. Baron Papanooida is the Phantom Menace.

  4. I realy liked your insight with the whole “let the disciples do the work” and stuff because that is true, George Lucas should just be the guy that the “disciples” send the fax to to get his aproval on. and the fact that TFU is made like that is one of reasons it’s probably gunna be so frikin good.

  5. better then johns “why star wars is dead to me” post which made me want to punch the computer (ill always love star wars)

    awsome post rodney

    and i see someone brought up the force unleashed and…lol holy shit that game fucking rules (sorry..had to say it…someone brought it up)

  6. @Doug Douglas… no… It did not. You chose to take two unrelated statements and make them conflict chronologically for the point of your joke.

    @Tobor. I don’t like someone other than the director choosing to change a movie for their benefit. Like it or not, its not the fan’s movie. It belongs to George, he can do with it as he pleases.

    @Treadstone. Dude? There is a book?????

    I will be right back.

  7. Ok so I broke my rule and spoiled the Force Unleashed game by reading the book. upon finishing i had a tingling sensation run up my back and goosebumps on my arm. The story told in the TFU is not good. its not great. its phenominal. It takes all that we know and love in star wars and blends it together beautifully. i am ecstatic about seeing it play out before my eyes next week when the game releases. if this was to be made into a movie i think i would piss my pants in glee. infact it has the potential of being so good that i would forgive the godawful prequels. i think someone should start a petition to get this flick made. it really deserves it.

  8. Star Wars has never been dead to me. I wasn’t thrilled with the prequels but I admire Lucas for giving the back story of Star Wars to a new generation. Revenge of The Sith was a decent film and I was able to forgive Lucas for the first two. Now I find myself VERY excited for The Force Unleashed video game. (I actually pre-ordered) a copy. I haven’t pre-ordered anything Star Wars since the original (unaltered non-anamorphic letterbox) trilogy was released on DVD in 2006.(I skipped the 2004 SE trilogy set) I read the graphic novel for The Force Unleashed and started listening to the audio book. I think the story is excellent and I hope that if another live action Star Wars is made it will be The Force Unleashed. This would be a treat on the big screen! I still have yet to see The Clone Wars animated film. I will wait for a DVD release. After John’s review I felt I would be better off waiting it out.

  9. For some reason I just find it very easy to pretend the prequels are not part of the series and view the original trilogy by itself, my love and admiration undampened.

    In fact, I think many people, including myself, would admit that the prequels made us appreciate Return of the Jedi much more, which was once looked upon as “that one where Han Solo is a buffoon, there’s a muppet parade and Ewoks bring down the Galactic Empire”. I still have some issues with the film but the heart is still there, characters we care about are there, and good dialogue is there.

    But i don’t really get into this ‘dead franchise’ thing because it means very little to me. If you still love it, personally, then its alive and well………..in you (cue emotional music, Yoda’s theme perhaps);)

  10. well phantom and the clones were terrible but yu have to admit guys that the return of the sith was really awesome. that thing about the pc game really sucks but i wouldn’t buy it or play it anyway…

  11. I see STAR WARS as THE ROLLING STONES..sure they haven’t had any hit songs in awhile but I still love them. Just because the new stuff isn’t as good doesn’t change what they used to be. Seeing Paint it Black preformed live is like seeing Empire on the big screen in its entirely-

  12. When I was young and watched Star Wars, at 6, 7 years old, I loved the overall story, the robots, lightsabers and spaceships (and even the Ewoks). As an adult viewing them now, I appreciate the snappy Leai and Solo banter, the texture and atmosphere of that lived-in universe which has a realism all its own, and Luke’s mythic journey.

    So the real question about the prequels is whether these new younger fans will look back on them in ten or twenty years and remember them as fondly as my generation does the originals.

  13. Dead to me. Sad to admit that the new trilogy has honestly dampened my enthusiasm for original trilogy. The last time that I sat and watched those movies all the way through was before Phantom Menace came out. You do the math.

  14. Well said, I have way too many memories to ever let go. Kinda like the ex girlfriend who gave you your first blow job, you may not love her anymore but you will always remember her for giving it you first and first time was realllllly good. The preqeuls were not as bad as people make them out to be, name any movie since 1998 that had special effects that were that good? The explosion in the asteroid field from Jango Fetts mine? Darth Maul? Pod Racers? Order 66?
    Revenge of the Sith is easily top 2, maybe top 3 of all the movies.
    Cynical fanboy adults sure are quick to critisize when things are made specifically for 40yr old nerds. Dude, let the kids of this generation enjoy them like we didn when we were kids. Do you hear kids complaining about the wooden action, jake lloyd and Jar Jar? Its time to view Star Wars with different fanboy glasses. Know that our time is past and we are one with the force like Qui Gon and Obi Wan. Let the young padawans see the magic with their own eyes without us making them cynical at 10 yrs old

  15. I am actually torn with this one, on one side I think George is a moron cause he really did screw up the prequels ( boy are they bad) and on the other hand he was able to lure my son who is now 6 to starwars ( if you recall some of John’s post about Star Trek and how it failed to get new fans) George avoided this by bringing new fans who buy the toys, lets face it the old fans are gonna go see the movies but won’t buy the toys like we use to.

    As far as the cartoons I love them both versions the CGI movie and the cartoon because unlike the prequels that are live action with cartoon dialogue the cartoons are cartoons with cartoon dialogue so it fits better when I watch them.

  16. It is dead to me unfortunately.

    With each of the original three Star Wars films, as Luke learned about the Force and the Jedi, it seemed there was always something new added to the mythos so that it was an ever-expanding concept that grew and changed with each film, even Return of the Jedi, which was an early example of the symptomatic disease that caused Lucas to revisit his own past work for inspiration.

    After three mostly solid films with the original trilogy, maybe he’d simply reached that saturation point with the Force that there wasn’t anything new to add. And so with the prequels, Lucas largely failed to introduce anything new conceptually beyond the blink and you miss it midichlorian revelation.

    Instead of new ideas, we witnessed a parade of lightsaber duels and pseudo-philosophical discussions on the Force, all of which were nothing more than a remix of the same by now tired tropes and plots from the previous films — only with the added benefit of worse dialogue and stiffer performances from less interesting and believable characters.

    Plus, it can be argued the world of the Jedis actually shrank, since the prequels revealed to me nothing so much as trigger-happy policeman with lightsabers instead of guns who rarely seemed to actually use the true power of the Force.

    So yeah, it is dead. For now at least.

  17. nah i gave up on star wars a while ago…..they kept on putting out crap that was so distant from ther books…..all the games suck so i was like forget star wars….i moved on….i think most have.

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