Wednesday, December 2, 2015

I'm sick of Star Wars

I'm sick of Star Wars. Sick of it.

Look, I'm glad it's coming back. I'm glad people are excited, I love seeing the excitement on my good friend and co-worker James Wortman's face whenever something Star Wars comes up. It's fun, it's great.

Star Wars was never religion to me. I never had what I can only equate what some people have to being a religious experience because of Star Wars. I was really into it at one point. Around the time of the last major push, right before the Special Editions. I was also really into Star Trek at one point. Collected the toys, played the games... all that stuff.

Looking back, of the original three movies, only one of them is really exceptional. Empire Strikes Back is the perfect sequel on top of being a great film. A New Hope is fun, but it's heavily flawed and much of what has been built around it actually convolutes the plot quite a bit. Return of the Jedi is fun, The Ewoks never bothered me and it's a satisfying conclusion to that original trilogy. Though really, Han and Chewie NOT flying the Falcon in the finale? C'mon.

Frankly, Shadows of the Empire remains my favorite Star Wars story and I absolutely loved how they created a cross-media project, the movie without a movie. Now as an adult, I look at what Lucasfilm pulled off with Shadows and it's just insanely brilliant. If there is one thing I hope remains canon in Disney's new universe, it's Shadows (it still has not been determined where it stands).

But here's the thing about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This puppy has to deliver. It has to deliver big time. The rollout has been pretty good, the only major hiccup being the lackluster Star Wars: Battlefront - gorgeous game, real shallow, frustrating and repetitive. Oh and pay $60 for half a game and $50 for the rest! Ugh.

The marketing for the movie has been brilliant, I mean where the hell is Luke Skywalker?! The secrecy around the bigger plot moments has been pretty solid, I mean do we HAVE to watch Han and Chewie die? Are Rey and Kylo Ren the Solo twins from the expanded universe?! All these questions are neat, they help generate the excitement surrounding the movie. But it's not enough to totally rope me back in... yet.

What happened with me and Star Wars? The prequels happened, obviously. I'm not going to waste time bashing them or whatever. I can get past the tweaks to the Special Editions (Han shot first though), but I can't get past those prequels. They are just awful, awful movies. And I am proud to say I am a defender of about 85% of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

I was fully ingrained in a lot of Star Wars stuff... I  did religiously play the games - Kyle Katarn is my homeboy and I was an ace X-Wing/Tie Fighter pilot. And honestly, I  generally enjoyed most of what came out around those movies... The original Star Wars Battlefronts, Bounty Hunter, Republic Commando, etc. Yes, the prequels had their bright spots - Darth Freakin' Maul, Sam Jackson Jedi, Yoda fighting... all that was cool. But overall, my Star Wars fandom died with those movies. I never really got into the Clone Wars cartoon, mostly because it reeked of prequels. 

One of the things I honestly didn't like about the prequels and Star Wars in the early '00s was how everything starting skewing Jedi. I get it, it's the major element of the universe, the movies are about the Skywalkers... but I always gravitated to Han Solo, Dash Rendar, Boba Fett and pre-Jedi Kyle Katarn. I loved the idea that there was more out there than just The Force and the prequels really moved away from that. It does look like some of that is being brought back.

Since the awakening (get it?), I've been really enjoying the new canon via the comics from Marvel. They are some great books all around. I've only bought two figures - a Stormtrooper because I think the new armor is real sleek, and Captain Phasma because she just looks bad ass. I got Battlefront... mostly disappointed with it... but I'm not alone.  I've been playing the mobile games on and off too, (Uprising and Galaxy of Heroes) they are neat. I also have bought all 3 hardcovers of the original Marvel comics... because they are great adaptations and the remastered coloring looks great.

So I'm kind of on the fringe. Maybe I just don't want to be disappointed. Who knows. Maybe the movie will blow me away and throw me back into the cockpit of the Millenium Falcon. Maybe I'll just be indifferent. 

Either way, I know James Wortman will be the happiest boy.

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