Millions of people whose lives, dreams, and hopes were changed by a simple story based on Biblical principals …
Would you call that epic?
Yeah … so would I.
But – (yes, there’s always a “but”) –
In steps Disney and JJ Abrams. … …. ……. …………
Setting aside the uber (I love the word “uber”) long dissertation on why JJ Abrams should be removed from reality, existence, Hollywood, and any other quantum microcosm upon which he has wreaked his havoc – for those who have watched this franchise from their early childhood into adulthood know one thing: Star Wars rules.
Setting aside the fact that Disney has developed an incredible reputation for doing things to movies/stories which … frankly … should NEVER be done (and for the weak of heart, I will refrain from describing these grotesque acts of mutilation), those who hear those first few notes of the epic saga and can feel their hearts flutter with childlike anticipation know one thing: Star Wars rules.
But, for the past ten years or so, Hollywood has taken the opportunity to prove that it will continue to destroy the tens of thousands of year old tradition of storytelling – and the trailers for Star Wars, The Force Awakens, have already verified this.
No – this is NOT some “geekdom” attack on the small details spouted by some flatulent idiot who has no grasp of reality and just enjoying a movie for what it is … this is defiance of what Hollywood is doing to OUR stories … OUR movies – and for a unique few – OUR HOPES AND DREAMS.
Many people do not understand that as Star Wars reached a high point of popularity during the 80’s, television was quickly taking over as babysitters, divorces were rapidly increasing, single-parent families were exponentially increasing and life was changing – but not for the better. Abuse in the household was on the rise, depression was increasing and soon – suicide and murder rates even among children began to increase. Most people who lived their lives during that era watched the world change, saw the rise … and fall … of cyberspace, space flight (exploding space shuttles anyone?), rock and roll become rap, identities lost to gender manipulation by the masses, and an era of believing that we could reach the stars … but for some mysterious reason: didn’t.
The toy industry boomed. The best toys on the market: Star Wars (along with G.I. Joe and Transformers, among others). The only real [space/future] “heroes” of the silver screen had become people like Luke Skywalker, E.T./Elliot, and a soon to come barrage of other space-bound heroes which … by the way … gave a boost to the comic industry as people began to dream and hope once more.
So … with all that said – would anyone who grew up with all of this find themselves waiting with baited breath, on the edge of their seats, to see how the story ends?
Beyond question – yes.
However, this isn’t like watching the transformers industry be killed by Michael Bay, Star Trek be slaughtered by JJ Abrams, or the other travesties such as the Hulk, the Avengers, Spiderman, Batman, Superman … and on … and on … and on. Star Wars has a different meaning – much in the way that Star Trek had to people. It’s not fantastical magic or super powers that defy physics and reality – it’s a simplistic concept of good and evil pitted in an eternal struggle, following along with the hero on his/her journey (the traditional Joseph Campbell hero), filled with Biblical references, pointing to something that the WHOLE OF THE WORLD is looking for: Salvation.
Star Wars is the journey of not one person – but an entire section of the galaxy looking for some form of peace, prosperity, freedom, and the right to live. It’s the dream of hope, the willingness to fight for one’s beliefs … except with the option that it can actually come true (which has become a rarity in what we call reality), and the belief that humans can reach a place in their existence with technology and hard work where not just one – but tens of thousands will continue to the good fight – no matter the odds.
The end of this trilogy actually means something to some people. Not Hollywood, special effects, or music (although it all looks VERY cool). The story itself – the satisfaction of fulfilling a childhood dream that the side of good will persevere, is what some people are truly waiting for. Because, if good cannot persevere – then what are we even doing here? If reality is cheating us out of that dream – then we need something to help keep going – to keep believing.
This brings us back to the Force Awakens. Sure – it looks like JJ Abrams has been circumvented and the music and some of the technology will retain that glorious aspect … the small details … that made it special. But, like all things touched by Abrams, Disney, and Hollywood in general – we have (just … for example) a random new stormtrooper: Finn (played by John Boyega). And, why not? After all – Luke’s daughter and son have gone on opposite sides and seeing them pitted against one another as they both master the force would be the ultimate in follow through with the story that the Skywalkers will bring balance to the force. Wait … what?
Boyega, straight out of Nigeria (or so it has been posted, forgive me if this is incorrect), is a black-colored gentleman playing the role of the “force sensitive” who will awaken his powers and help inspire Luke. Why? Because – his daughter, played by Billie Lourd, is a woman, and women just aren’t cool enough to wield the force … or, um … isn’t that sexist? Well … putting that aside, some folks have been shocked that Boyega is black. Who cares? Yay for him- the role of a lifetime. But, the problem is not his color … it’s that he’s random. He’s not a part of the primary story ( Was he thrown in for affirmative action? It’s surprising that no one has raised cain over this – it’s very disappointing. Multicultural movies should serve to uplift ALL people and help all people to believe that together, the whole will be greater than the sum … not just fill spots to sell you something and ultimately destroying that opportunity).
Hey – before you throw a fit – Star Wars HAS been multi-cultural … even multi-lifeform… al … and has traditionally had black characters like Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams), played by very sexy, cool, and powerful men. There’s no discrimination going on. So – I could care less if Finn is black – what I DO care about is that there is a story to complete … and Abrams LOVES throwing random crud into his movies for popularity – but he does so at the risk of hurting the story. Of course, George Lucas was there to consult – but what did Disney say to his story ideas:
Of course, they did. This is the fundamental problem with new directors and producers that see dollar signs – and forget what made the story great to begin with.
Of course, we could go on about why Luke’s Daughter, a techno-wiz with a soccer ball robot sidekick (that is covered in targets and BEGS to be drop-kicked … which is very distracting), is insufficient to take on the role that the story cast for her … but that can be explained by … um … HEY – at least it’s not a 9 year old Anakin Skywalker having a love affair with a 16 year old Padame … er, um … ARGH! The problems have been mounting … and they’re going to get worse!
But – those are just small examples of a thousand things in the trailers that have already been throwing this story into disarray (like Finn saying: “I was raised for one thing only…” – NO YOU WEREN’T … YOU’RE NOT A CLONE … you’re just someone who was recruited into the stormtrooper force when they started running out of clones!!). There are plenty of other examples (Like the aardvark mask worn by Kylo Ren, Luke’s son, which is REALLY … REALLY distracting … or the Lightsaber with a saber hilt and sword … defeating the purpose of form follows function, which all sabers are based upon … or the fact that Kylo Ren is not only a nutball using the force to scramble peoples’ brains because he’s bored, but talking to his dead grandfather who is … as we know … a blue light that apparently won’t take two seconds to show up to his grandson and say … “Whoa … dude, hold on … I think you might have misinterpreted this whole ‘using the force to dominate the universe’ thing…”).
We could examine the complications behind the way they’re handling Princess Leia and her soon to be departed character … or Han Solo’s capture and the transformation of a weak and whiny Luke Skywalker into a MASSIVELY whiny Skywalker who [insert Golem voice] … ‘wants to save his friends,’ ‘but you don’t have any friends’, ‘Han is my friend,’ ‘Han is captured,’ Leia’s my friend,’ ‘Leia is dead’, ‘FINE … I’ll go live by MYSELF on a planet like Obi Wan did … but not to watch over anyone or be in exile … but because life’s just not fair, the force sucks … and poo on everyone!’
THREE LETTERS PEOPLE … “WTF”?!?!?!?!?!?!
Sigh. Sure … there will be so many cool things that happen in the movie that there will be an overabundance of exasperating moments to overwhelm and fill with joy, adventure, and some resemblance of hope. Well.. that is if you’ve caught on to the fact that Disney is going to SPAN this on and on and on until they squeeze every dime out of every human being in existence … spending NOT A SINGLE PENNY … on building a real lightsaber (okay … there was a little “geekiness”). But, the point is the same … hope will not be in the story any longer … just ways to try and make things ‘cool’ to make money. Even George Lucas’ son expressed that his father has now had doubts about selling the franchise.
Thanks, George …. thanks. Hope that regret and billion dollars don’t overwhelm you …
But – we’re not children anymore. Sadly, the push in movies to see number 2 and number 3 and so on … has become more than annoying and borderlines on subliminal abusiveness. The abandonment of story line for a cool, flashy scene, that whips by in non-viewable speeds, in 3-D, across the movie screen is no longer something that can substitute one’s desire for the very thing the story is supposed to bring –
Of course … there are sheep. The sheep will see the movie in the theaters, no matter what. And, for those of you reading this who hate me already (as I have already begun the slam on a movie not even yet in theaters) – you will see – you will see! And, many of you, will ignore the bad and just accept the movie for what it is, paying uber amounts of money for a WAY overpriced ticket by the cinemas and Hollywood that spend less on their labor staff (cheating the little guys – and frankly hurting the economy when movies are an industry that could really boost the economy), and more on their ignorant millionaire/billionaires looking for the next big way to rake people over the coals.
And, whilst I may be but one person – it starts with one. If Star Wars teaches us nothing else – it teaches us that one person can make a difference, good or bad, for the whole of the Universe. It won’t be with Jedi powers or cool flying ships or even rockin’ light sabers. The difference will be made by not funding Hollywood’s ‘screw-you’ machine (in the hopes that they’ll eventually actually listen and movies can be awesome once again – like the original Star Wars movies … which were done for very cheap). The difference will be made by not contributing to the marketing campaign from Disney, like the Star Wars island they’re building right now.
Yes … star wars island. *sigh*. Star Wars is NOT a thing. It’s not just a franchise. But, I digress. I suppose … if you do not comprehend what it means to live in a world where our future is already laid out to be an apocalypse and the idea of hope has been severely crushed …
If you do not have a faith or religion that teaches you that hope is sometimes – what you need to keep going when life becomes a duldrum of never-ending labor, lies from authority figures, and manipulations –
If you cannot hear those first few notes of that epic, Star Wars theme, and feel the adrenaline rush and see what could be … what really could be … not even for ourselves, but for our children’s, children’s, children ….
Then I suppose you cannot understand – or see – what I can. And, even if I stand alone in the eternally grey skies just outside of this realm, in that place between wake and dreams – then so be it.
The light side of the force is NOT easy. I know, I wrote about it.
But, if you do understand …. and you do know … then the choice is yours.
And the journey – has already begun …