Today, the Star Wars saga has been released on Blu-Ray amidst a sea of controversy over yet another round of changes, courtesy of George Lucas, that range from practical and useful to maddeningly stupid. The whole thing put me in this really weird mood about Star Wars. I really, really want to not care, but I also don’t find myself getting angry or defensive about it. Over the next month or so, I’m going to be revisiting the series, thanks to the magic of Blu-Ray, and every week, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the movies as I watch them. I’ll be watching in the order that I saw the movies in, not in chronological order in terms of the continuity of the series. I honestly don’t know what tone or setup these articles are going to take, because it’s largely based on what will happen when I start watching the movies again. You will also see some other articles from Flixist writers on several different Star Wars topics. I also encourage you to share your thoughts in the community blogs. I might throw you some leftover Comic Con swag for your efforts. Trust me, we’ve got LOTS. If you write up a Star Wars Retrospective blog, you’ll probably get stuff.
That’s all going to begin next week. For now, I’m going to give you some of the background that brought me from fever-sick kid watching the OT to the dude writing about it now.
I used to be a massive Star Wars fan, you see. It was one of my earliest, most important movie experiences, as I write about in my Movie that Changed Me. I read basically every Star Wars book in lieu of actually paying attention to school reading from grade four to eleven. I could give you the genealogy of 90% of characters, easily, going from 10,000 years before the Republic to the decades after the fall of the Empire. I knew all the various Imperial and Rebel/New Republic races and fighters and major players. When Mon Mothma informs us in Return of the Jedi that many Bothans had died to bring the Rebellion the plans for the new Death Star, I could tell you which Bothans, what a Bothan is, where they live, and at least half a dozen notable Bothans throughout the history of the series/Expanded Universe.
Then, one day, I just stopped.
For years, damn close to a decade now, I didn’t really care about Star Wars any more. I stopped reading the Expanded Universe books, I stopped reading the comics. Full stop, I didn’t care. I think I wound up buying Empire Strikes Back on DVD back in college and never watched it. This went on for years. Something Star Wars would pop up onto my radar, I’d regard it with some mix of bemusement and contempt, then ignore it. The video game universe offered the closest thing I’d get to getting back into the series with Knights of the Old Republic and the first Force Unleashed. Not the second one. That game was a withered asshole.
I can’t tell you exactly why I just stopped being interested. Maybe it’s inherently a childish franchise, like Lucas likes to say. Maybe it was just all the built up cynicism from all of the digital “enhancements.” Maybe it was just some kind of groupthink in action. The overwhelmingly popular notion that Star Wars isn’t cool anymore made me think it’s not cool anymore. I’m honestly not sure. I’m hoping that this series will actually help me come to terms with it all. That sounds weird, but Star Wars was as large a part of my life as a fictional universe could be. It makes no sense to me that I’d just abandon it overnight.
So that’s the place I’m at at the outset of this undertaking. I could go into a lot more detail, but I think you guys get the idea. I’m coming at this from the perspective of specifically remembering the moments I loved Star Wars, hated it, and wound up in a weird place between indifference and a vague academic interest. This was something I worshipped, and now it means basically nothing to me. That’s weird, for me. With some luck, I hope to process some of that as this series moves along. And, and the end of the day, I hope you enjoy reading it!