I am done with Star Wars… Another day, another cookie-cutter sci-fi product shoved in my face. The upcoming Star Wars’ movie The Last Jedi isn’t even out until the end of the year, but already fans are creaming themselves over snippets of trailers showing barely anything. You would think that with the immense exposure Star Wars receives the product would be absolute perfection. You would be dead wrong though. Star Wars is in fact the weakest mainstream movie franchise in cinematic history. Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, 007, they all beat Star Wars to a bloody pulp. Why the fandom then? The more I suffer from Star Wars overkill, the more I realise the success of these dull films is based in the psychology of its marketing, rather than the movies themselves.
I have never been a Star Wars fan. I missed the bandwagon. As a child, sure I played light sabers with my friends, but I never obsessed over it. Last year, in build up for the reboot film The Force Awakens, free-to-air television broadcast every single Star Wars movie from the first one in 1977 to the latest sequel in 2005. I thought I would give it a go, as I barely remembered any of them. I came up with an experiment as I watched A New Hope. I would watch it without any preconceptions to do with the Star Wars franchise. I would ignore all the other movies, the TV series, the books, the toys, and the video games and watch it as if I had never even heard of a ‘Jedi’ before. That is when I realised something. A New Hope is perhaps one of the worst movies I have ever seen in my life. The acting was hokey, the characters were dull, the story was a mess and it ended so suddenly I felt robbed of the two hours I gave up to view it. The bore fest gave me an epiphany. Did I actually enjoy any of the Star Wars movies or had I been swept up in the sci-fi fandom, along with the rest of the world?
The success of Star Wars does not come from the thing that actually birthed it, the movies! Nerd’s love of Star Wars is like your primary school crush. You can’t get this girl out of your head. You picture spending the rest of your life with her. She seems funny, charismatic, enchanting and beautiful. The idea of posting pictures of her face all over your room is not far out of the question, as is the thought of tattooing her name on your tuck-shop lady tricep. One day you step back though and you suddenly realise that she is in fact the most boring person on the face of the planet and the only reason you liked her in the first place was because she had nice hair. You never even talked to her, so why the obsession? In a similar way you can point to many things in Star Wars and ask whether or not they were really cool to begin with? Is Boba Fett a notorious bad ass or is he the most boring, overrated character in film history? Are the Star Wars movies unique or did they rip off countless stories before it? Is each sequel a brand new chapter, or are they the exact same storyline rehashed in a new costume? The answer to each of these questions is, yes. But I can already hear fan boys bitching around the world, coming up with desperate excuses.
I would be alright with people enjoying what they enjoy. If people want to get obsessed over a children’s story, then fine, go ahead. What I take issue with however is the absolute arrogance of Star Wars fans. If you don’t line up in full costume like a virgin to every Star Wars premiere suddenly YOU’RE the ‘uncool’ ones. Political commentator Katherine Timpf recently came out as a ‘Star Wars’ virgin, revealing that she has never partaken in a viewing of the franchise. This destroyed nerd culture’s world as the idea of someone not conforming to their love of a shallow product broke them in half. ‘How in the hell could you have NEVER seen a Star Wars movie?’ could be heard echoing through the very fabric of time. How could Timpf even possibly justify her Star Wars ineptitude? ‘Sorry, guys… I guess I was too busy being successful and attractive.” Perfect.
Admit it. No one REALLY loves Star Wars for the movies or the story telling. In fact, if you cut through all the bullshit, you can see that basically all the Star Wars movies have mixed reviews. If you get rid of the nostalgia, the old movies are dated as hell. The millennial sequels are absolute trash as even Star Wars fans can agree that The Phantom Menace is an absolute abortion. The re-boot The Force Awakens was criticised for completely ripping off A New Hope and Rogue One was mediocre. The films are dripping wet with borrowed ideas and cringy stereotypes. I will admit that there are some effective ideas within the Star Wars universe, but none of them are executed properly. George Lucas has made his millions by giving you a ‘cool, sci-fi kit’, which you then had to build up in your own mind. You do not love Star Wars. You love the IDEA of Star Wars.
Happy Easter everyone!