Friday, January 30, 2009
It's always sad when a relationship comes to an end. Times shared are lost; memories once sweet become bitter; bits of your life with that other person conjure both a nostalgia and a sadness. Sometimes, you see the other person and you just don't know if you should say hi, or pretend you don't see them, and you want to be adult, but you are hurt and you consider actually accusing them and then wondering if you should forgive them. I am going through that right now.
I recently broke up with George Lucas. We've had an active relationship since I was six years old and my dad took me to the Cine Capri Theater in Phoenix (then the largest movie theater in Arizona, now torn down and replaced with an office building) to see that new spaceship movie Star Wars. It was my first time in a movie theater, so I wasn't really sure what to expect. The lights dimmed, a bunch of words rolled up the screen, and then it happened. The Imperial Star Destroyer took forever to pass overhead. It was beautiful, and every molded, sculpted, honest to god modelwork detail burned its way into my head and at that moment Dan was born- the Dan who today practices geek the way most people practice their religion.
Of course The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi followed, and though there were those damn Ewoks, this was a monumental mythology, timeless, and nothing to do with Earth, but rather some Galaxy far, far away. This was an epic that made Tolkien look like a poser. It sponsored countless hours of running around the acre of land I grew up on with a piece of aluminum pipe pinched off at one end as my mighty lightsaber. My collection of toys grew from my set of Star Wars figures. I sent in little blue proofs of purchase and got Boba Fett in the mail. I still have that Boba Fett.
Years went by. Eventually, my dear George Lucas told me he was going to give me more. He made a whole new trilogy. I know a lot of people who told me I should break it off then. People who didn't care for midi-chlorians or Gunguns, or anguished cries of "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!"
You know what? I was good. Maybe I should he seen it sooner. Maybe it should have paid more attention to things like remastered originals and Hayden Christensen. I was an apologist though-- George may not have done it like I would have, but my kids loved the new trilogy- it did for them what the original did for me, and there were some pretty cool lightsaber fights. Nope- I just didn't notice he was drifting away.
Then, she appeared.
She wasn't timeless or mythological. She was straight American early 21st Century. Not from a Galaxy far, far away. She was from Nickelodeon. She was iCarly, Hannah Montana, Zoey 101- she was Miley Cyrus with a lightsaber. Along with her she brought funny battle droids and cute little baby hutts and some cross dressing hutts too. But I was willing to try. I watched.
About 10 minutes. This was all the imagery from Star Wars, but patronizing down to what Hollywood seems to think teenagers and kids are like, and what parents allowing such crap to be devoured by their children would support. Lame PSA after-school-special type life lessons mixed in with cutesey nicknames and slapstick. More than that, it was rewriting what Lucas allowed Genndy Tartakovsky to do in his far FAR superior version of the same story which inspired awe and cheering, and not cliches and cookie cutter story telling.
So, it's over. Maybe too late, maybe I gave him more time than I should have, but George and I are done. I will always have my movies (non-remastered) and I have my Boba Fett, but as of now, this relationship is over. Someone else can be Lucas' b*tch because I just can't do it anymore. He gave me some of the best times of my life, but I am just not willing to stay in this abusive relationship.
What kind of a world is this where Battlestar Galactica has become cooler than Star Wars?