Archive - May 19, 2005

The Last Star Wars Column (For A Few Days At Least)

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You may have heard there's a movie coming out today.

Before I go on, I have to say, if it's Thursday, and you're reading this, and you've already seen the movie, you may as well just stop right now and move on to Narbonic or Kos or whatever else you people read on Thursdays instead of working. There's no point. You either caught a free preview screening, in which case you're off the hook (hell, I'd have gone to see a free preview), or you caught a midnight showing, in which case you're beyond hope (new OR old). We don't need to have this conversation. Because you're already tired and cranky from being up until two in the morning, and your neck's all chafed from your Bail Organa doily and my grumpy ranting will not improve your mood.

By now, you know whether you're going or not. All I can ask, all I -dare- ask, is that you be honest with yourself and us about why you're going, and whether it's a good enough reason. And that I can still help you with. Because I can think of all kinds of bad reasons to see Revenge of the Sith, and I'm astonishingly good at listing things.

"Because I have to.": No. It's a movie. There's no actual geas upon you - 28 years of pop culture is powerful, but not so powerful that it negates free will. If you go see it, you, me, and everyone else knows it's because you want to. You may not know why you want to. You may not want to ADMIT why you want to, but if you say you've GOT TO, that you are helpless to resist the lure of the ticket booth, then you're full of shit and should be treated accordingly.

"Because I want to know/see how it ends": This doesn't actually require seeing the movie, you know. What the hell is Lucas going to tell us that we haven't seen or heard about already? We've seen all the designs in the toy aisle. We know who's gonna live and who's gonna die. There are no surprises in store. And what is with those designs, anyway? The first two prequels were bad enough, with the whole "everything from the first trilogy, only slightly cruder" thing they had going, but now I'm supposed to believe that the X-Wing's predecessor was some six-winged asterisk with a cockpit stuck to the front? That the development of aerospace in the Old Republic was a process of gradually reducing the number of wings and seeing if the ship would still fly?

"To see if they kill off Jar-Jar": If he does, he's a pandering whore, and when he doesn't, you'll just be disappointed.

"Because Hayden Christiansen is dreamy.": You are so on the wrong website it's a wonder you're still on the Internet at all.

"Because I saw in the news it's really an allegory for our current political times...": Oh, just fuck off already. If you're such a nerdy liberal that you'd enjoy having your viewpoint validated by space aliens with ray guns, then frankly, I was sick of your sorry ass during the third seaoson of Babylon 5. Maybe if you got your jollies when your political view was expressed by actual real politicians, we'd be better off all around.

And for that matter, if someone actually gets their "Tyranny Is Bad" epiphany from a tauntaunfucking STAR WARS MOVIE, we don't need you on our team. Because all it'll take to switch you back and stop payment on your check to MoveOn is one "Tyranny Is Good" episode of Blue Collar TV*. And then we're back to square one, and there ain't gonna be any more Star Wars movies for you to get political ideas from.

I read a good review!: If there's one thing we all should have learned since 1977, it's that nobody, and I mean NOBODY, can be objective about Star Wars. At all. There isn't a critic on the planet who can fairly evaluate this fucking movie. Myself included. The actual film is just the whitehead on the zit on the ass of a 300 pound guy in a Slave Leia costume in a line in front of our collective wrong theater. There's too much cultural context to ignore, there's too much to even account for. I mean, I'm still trying to get the fucking ink out of my lungs from the front page, full-color, over-printed issue of the paper today, all thanks to Star Wars.

So go. Or don't go. Whatever floats yer yoda. But don't think it's important. It's just another "summer" action blockbuster with crap acting and tons of CGI effects, not, as we'd be led to believe, the filling of a void you've had in your soul since you were seven years old. It's just, you know. Titanic, but in space.

*This joke should ideally read "Dennis MIller on CNBC", but cha-cha got cancelled, so I had to go for the obvious target. I could have said "24", but I try not to piss off more than one rabid fanbase a day.