I happen to think that 1977 was a pretty good year. The first segment of the Roots miniseries aired, The Toronto Blu-Jays played their first ever baseball game, Fleetwood Mac released Rumors, and we celebrated the first of the many anniversaries of my dramatic and violent exit from the womb. Another occurrence that changed the world (and had nothing to do with vaginal tearing…yet) was the release of the first of George Lucas’ epic space movies called Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. I remember seeing its majesty for the first time at my friend’s fifth birthday party on Betamax (that’s what we used to watch movies on during the first format war and long before they invented those shiny disk things). I was immediately enthralled. Never had I seen a story told with such fervor. Never had I witnessed such dazzling special effects. Never had I heard a space cowboy fling one-liners about with such reckless “Quite frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn” abandon. Never had I experienced a giant, walking, growling, shag carpet? I was completely smitten by Lucas’ story of the underdog fighting the good fight and perhaps getting a little royal action on the side too.
In the thirty-three years since that time we’ve been subjected to six more theatrical releases (nine if you count the re-released originals), some animated series, the greatest Christmas special ever conceived, video games, and so much merchandise that we could melt it all down and house the population of a large American city in a tasty, lead-laden plastic dome. What’s become abundantly clear to me about the man who started it all, the man who gave us this world in which to imagine, the man who could buy each and every one of us here if he so chose, is that he should never, ever touch anything to do with the franchise ever again.
Sit back and retire, man. You’ve lost it. Just leave it to the people you pay and the fan base created by your earlier works to do it for you. I’d rather watch Seth MacFarlane take a whiskey and burrito fueled dump all over the original trilogy than have to sit through Not-So-Charming Potato Christensen or that awful Clone Wars movie again. Keep paying people to make excellent video games like Knights of the Old Republic or even The Force Unleashed but please, I beg of you, stop writing the story. Have you seen some of the videos and tributes the fans are doing these days? They’re magnificent! Start hiring these guys immediately. Only a week ago I ran into this little gem made by the same gentleman who brought us Iron Baby and, I have to say that it’s pretty terrible when I felt more of a connection and got far more enjoyment out of this charming little 1:05 animation than the entire 133 minutes of The Phantom Menace.
Check out the “making of” video as well:
See? Did you see that? It was actually endearing and enjoyable. You really can feel the love and devotion that was put into this little clip. I was totally invested in little AT-AT’s need to pass a stubborn Jabba. I believed that his mission to eradicate the squirrel population was necessary and righteous. I was even frightened that the giant baby was going to eat poor AT-AT like a space worm. That, my dear George, is how you tell a story and engage your audience.
By the way, I’m absolutely convinced that Jar-Jar fucking Binks was only created to pave the way for Michael Bay and his racially insensitive robots. Thanks, dick.