There are some things that are so sacred that should only be talked about in hushed tones. Things so precious they can only be approached with reverence. I’m talking of course about Star Wars.
That is my four-year-old self speaking. I’m older than all the Star Wars movies minus one, but Star Wars has basically been an institution since my beginning. I don’t remember them coming out, but I do remember is that they played often on TV, and such events seemed at the time to be just about the most important things that had ever happened, not just to me, but to the entire human race, on par with the big bang or the invention of peanut butter.
Later on Star Wars would be the first movie I realized had a plot. Before that time, like most children, I mostly enjoyed movies for their visual spectacle, which I hoped would be people shooting at each other or hitting each other with swords. Star Wars did not disappoint.
But it also had a plot. Not really a great plot, but one that was easily identifiable, especially to a child. And so watching Luke “use the force” became not just a fun way to pass the time, but it meant something. It meant something grand. What, I was never quite sure.
This was just barely before VHS tapes allowed fans to sit and watch the movies over and over dressed as their favorite characters. I never did that, thank goodness. I may have been a little geek in the making, but could never swallow my pride enough to put on Luke’s jacket.
George Lucas did not take his creation all that seriously. (Which I might insert, is a good thing. I’m looking at you, L. Ron Hubbard.) At some point, his company needed some funds, and so ran to his old cash cow, Star Wars, writing prequels to the original series.
To us fans, this was something amazing and bizarre. We thought to ourselves, could you do that? It was like somebody randomly building another Eiffel Tower, right next to the first. Who would think this was a good idea? Of course, all of us fans thought this was a great idea, and flocked to see that movie in droves. We soon realized, however, that George Lucas did not watch his original creations as much as we did. He left plot holes the size of icebergs in the prequels. And I haven’t even mentioned Jar Jar Binks.
And so I’m approaching this new Star Wars movie with some trepidation. I’m no longer as attached to the brand as religiously as I once was, nor do I wait breathlessly for new movies to come out anymore. I don’t know if and when I will see it. And a part of me doesn’t want to know what happens to Luke, Leia and Han. Sometimes it’s nice to have heroes ride off into the sunset and stay there. I want to preserve my childhood just a little longer.
But I might be a little excited. Just a little bit.
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