As the release of the new Star Wars movie gets closer, I keep hearing people getting more and more excited but I’m not one of them. I really don’t care. I don’t need more movies. I don’t care about the animated shows. I have no interest in what J.J. Abrams is doing, I have no confidence in Disney and honestly, I don’t particularly want to be disappointed as I am almost certain I will.
So while I am a lifelong Star Wars fan, here’s why I really don’t care about the prospect of more Star Wars movies.
I honestly didn’t react much to either of the trailers. Oh yes, in the first one it was great to watch a few seconds of the Millenium Falcon, but otherwise, I had zero reaction to the rest of the trailer. I’ve seen “reaction videos” online where someone will be crying or cheering for the trailer, I don’t understand any of that. Here’s the trailer in question:
I heard someone say on a podcast that for us old fogeys, the original trilogy were our movies and we were very disappointed with the the prequels, they just weren’t our movies, but now, these are our movies again. How do they know? I have no reason to think that these are going to be any better than the prequels, in fact, now that George Lucas isn’t directly involved, they very well could be worse. Yes, following the prequels, that might be hard to comprehend, I remember going to the theater to see Phantom Menace and walking out horribly disappointed. It had virtually nothing to do with the original trilogy, it didn’t look the same, it didn’t feel the same and as the movies kept coming out, it got worse and worse. As far as I’m concerned, Star Wars ended in 1983. Nothing that’s come afterwards, especially nothing that’s come out since the prequels started, is Star Wars. It’s just poor fanfic.
The problem is that when Lucas made the first trilogy, he spent a long time working out the mythology behind the story. He worked with Joseph Campbell to make it believable and consistent. He followed the mythology of the hero’s journey. Since then though, nobody has cared about what goes on behind the scenes. It’s a movie. The details don’t matter. I think that’s why I feel so disconnected from the modern Star Wars universe.
The second trailer was worse than the first, it still doesn’t tell us anything about the story and the bit that everyone talks about, with the appearance of Harrison Ford, color me unimpressed. Geez, he looks ancient. Besides, as much as people talk about that stupid BB8 droid, I find it absolutely idiotic. It’s a totally pointless piece of junk. That’s one thing that attracted me to the Star Wars universe initially, that it had a feeling of age, where the technology felt more or less realistic, where it looked like it had been well-used and relatively well thought out. A head on a ball rolling around as comedy relief doesn’t feel like that, it feels like Jar Jar Binks, even if it is a real physical prop.
See, the more I look at what J.J. Abrams is doing makes me very, very nervous. It feels like they’re just trying to throw things at the screen to see what sticks. Oh look! It’s the original actors making cameos! Oh look! The ships look a little like the old ones! Oh look! We’re going to give some sly winks to old fans! The problem is, none of that actually matters. What made the original movies so great was the story. It was the mythology. It wasn’t the flashy effects. It wasn’t pandering to the audience.
I guess the same is true of the new Star Trek movies that come out. I just don’t care. As far as I’m concerned, Star Trek ended in 1969 and everything since is something else. I’ve been terribly disappointed in everything new because it just doesn’t feel like TOS. They don’t make new TV series that feel like TOS anymore. They don’t make new movies that feel like the original Star Wars either. Since it’s that old-school feel that I want, I figure it’s all going to suck and experience has shown that I’m almost certain to be right.
The original Star Wars is the movie I’ve watched most in my life, I’ve literally seen it over 400 times, I know every word by heart, I don’t really need any more Star Wars movies. I have the complete set of three. I’m happy with what I have. No other versions have ever made me feel like that first trilogy has. If the new movies can manage it, good on them. If not, I haven’t lost anything because I’m not expecting anything. I cannot be disappointed by The Force Awakens because I have zero expectations that it will be good. I’m willing to be surprised, I’m just not expecting that I will be.
Prove me wrong, J.J. Abrams.