[LINKS AND IMBEDDED VIDEO PROBABLY CONTAIN SWEARING]
I can’t watch Star Wars anymore. I do not like it. That is a massive admission for me. As a cinema manager, film maker and a film lecturer I am often asked why I like film so much, and that wonderful trilogy was always the answer.
For three decades I have, at various points, collected the stickers, purchased the toys, played the board games, the computer games, the card games. I quoted the films and used them as a source of strength and comfort when life became hard. I even proposed to my future bride with a line from Star Wars.
“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side … and you, are a good blaster, and I want you at my side for the rest of my life”
So what went wrong?
Of course the new films did not help, but I feel Simon Pegg summed up our feelings on that subject in Spaced.
I also hated the tinkering. The added special effects and the whole Greedo shooting first fiasco.
Filmmaker Kevin Smith used humour to point out the racism and the injustice of Star Wars. Just how many innocent plumbers and catering assistants died on the Death Star?
But what actually killed my passion for Star Wars was fandom.
The first time I noticed this was the last time I watched the trilogy. It was in Blu-Ray with surround sound, which was an amazing experience, but I did not get immersed as much as normal.
The reason for this is that I kept seeing and hearing the many parodies and satires, rather than watching the films.
Family Guy is a big culprit, but it is Vaders loss of villainy that has been the most damaging. Freddie (Nightmare on Elm Street) should not Rap and Darth Vader should not dance to M.C. Hammer.
All of these videos are funny and were never meant to be taken seriously. I laugh at them and share them, as I am doing now.
But it all seems like sunshine and giggles until you come to watch the original source material and realise that you can no longer see past the fandom.
As Danny says in Withnail and I –
“If you’re hanging on to a rising balloon, you’re presented with a difficult decision – let go before it’s too late or hang on and keep getting higher, posing the question: how long can you keep a grip on the rope? They’re selling hippie wigs in Woolworths, man.”
Star Wars has become a joke to me, and I am letting go of the rope.