In recent years, I have LOATHED Star Wars. Crappy CGI, prequels that disappointed, 8 billion characters all of which beat the imagination out of you with their crappy Decipher fueled origins. But no longer.
What triggered this change of heart to appreciating “my” Star Wars again?
When the originals came out in the limited editions in 2006 (aka the Special Editions plus the laserdisc transfers that are the un-jacked up ones), I said “No more George Lucas, you jerk!” and that was that. However I have recently had a child. I was looking at my Star Wars DVDs and have decided to eBay them. I don’t want her tiny eyes assaulted by truly fecal CGI. Plus, models just look more “real”. Anyhow, I heard how crappy the transfers were, how they had thick black bars on em, how the surround sound was 2.0…bitch bitch bitch.
So I finally picked up Return of the Jedi at the comic shop, which was the only one widescreen and used. Trade meant it cost me a buck, and that included a back of Japanese bubblegum. So I pop it in to see how bad the transfer is, and to rip it apart if need be from my crotchety old fan perspective.
OH MY GOODNESS. As I watched, I realized: THIS is why I love Star Wars! This is MY Star Wars! Not crappy musical numbers, not lame CGI characters or an overdeveloped Boba Fett! The REAL DEAL! I can’t describe to you what a wave of relief it was to see these editions again – and to remember WHY I like SW in the first place! So now I exist in a happy, prequel-less world where Jar Jar can’t hurt me, and where I can use my imagination to make up anything about background characters, where Greedo can fly a Y-Wing like back in the day when I was a kid, and the characters names are Hammerhead, Squidhead, Walrusman, and not Ponda Baba or Momaw Nadon.
In short, I’m moving back to 1983, and Star Wars is comin’ with me. Modern era be darned.
EDIT: Bonus feature as a follow up to another forum’s discussion.
I had another thought after I mulled it over –
• I like things that “look real”. Ironically enough, watching that dated old footage from the early 80’s utterly convinces me that what is on screen is real and happening. Now here’s a KEY difference to point out – for my experience of the movies (which is only validated by me, since it’s MY experience), things have to look more real. Whether it is by memory, nostalgia, or actual ILM model work does not matter. The key is, I enjoy things when they look a certain way, and the origins of that enjoyment do not matter one whit, it’s that I enjoy them. As fans sometimes we try to take some logical attack plan to show people “Hey, your opinions are invalid” – which mercifully has not happened here.
• You know what largely tried to kill Star Wars for me? George Lucas. Not in the way you think – not by the prequels or the 90’s blundering of the Special Editions. No, what ALMOST KILLED my love for Star Wars was…
I bought into the lie that George has begun to tell us. That the trilogy is “not our own”…that they are “his to do with as he pleases.” This is a lie. Now the films, the rights, the merchandising, all his from a business standpoint.
But here’s the deal: You cannot give an experience to the whole world, and claim you OWN that experience, changeable at will. In my pastoral care and counseling class, we learned as a person or as a parent one cannot logically say to another human “Well, my intentions were perfect, you just misinterpreted what I did in the past, and your thoughts on the matter are invalid.”
My experiences of the trilogy ARE valid George. And you gave these movies to the whole world for 20 years of love, and then when you jack around with em you think we’ll just say “Hey, thanks. My childhood was missing something. Let’s go back and CGI in some more guests at my birthday party when I was 5, and that’ll be the way we remember it now. The old way didn’t happen.”
Once you can stop letting Lucas tell you that you liking his old movies is not “what you are supposed to do”, SW becomes a lot more fun again.