A Curmudgeon lifestyle means ignoring big social events until a few weeks later when more favorable terms arise. I just watched Star Wars. No lines. No crowds. Cheap tickets. Just me and the kids and overpriced popcorn in a half empty theater.
The drawback is a perpetual timeshift with everyone else. I’m writing about Star Wars when (almost) everyone else has forgotten about it. Which is my point; it wasn’t bad but it’s forgettable. I can’t stop myself. Bitching must ensue. (Warning: Spoilers ahead.):
- Overall it wasn’t bad. Nor was it great. It was mathematically mediocre, just like the countless movies J. J. Abrams, Disney’s Corporate Overlords, and associated vat grown entities excrete annually onto the silver screen. After dozens of superheroes and a seventh Star Wars rehash I’m worried. What did Hollywood do with all the interesting people? Are they chained in a basement somewhere? They made a workmanlike chunk of market tested tapioca. I yearn for more. Star Wars has devolved to the spaghetti western of our time.
- Speaking of “carefully mediocre”: It was a sad reminder that the first Star Wars was unusual and creative.
- Must we admit that 1977 had creativity (space based fighting monk ninjas with magic swords) but 2015 is a mental dead zone? “The same magic sword but now it’s red.” Really? Disney (or whomever is milking this cow) is reduced to a new sword analogue in every episode; now it’s green, now it’s a two sided staff, now it’s nunchucks. Is that all we’ve got?
- The sameness was intentional and I suppose if I were autistic and needed patterns to feel safe I’d like it. I’m not and I don’t. Must I “witness the power of the the third consecutive big spherical object of menace with a planet killing superbeam and a small vulnerable weak spot”? I suspect a lot of people did like it. Maybe people like to repeat a mantra?
- Speaking of mindless repetition: Are people in a galaxy far far away really really stupid?
- By the time you’ve blown up the third death star even the death star manufacturing trade association would give up.
- Hannibal attacked Rome in 218 BC with elephants. History remembers him as an epic bad ass because elephants were the death star of the ancient world. If it was a bad idea and Hannibal had frozen three fleets of elephants in the Alps he’d be on a Cracked list instead a historic bad ass.
- Speaking of stupidity: How am I supposed to be afraid of bad guys who are borderline retarded? Modern movie makers can’t even imagine a true villain. The current Darth Vader analogue (Kylo Ren) breaks shit when he gets bad news. This is to bad ass as a hamster is to a cobra. Compare this snivelling freak to the original 1977 Darth Vader. My good pal Darth had style! This is how a proper bad guy should operate:
- Darth never drew his magic light sabre sword of nastiness until he was about to kill someone. This is bad ass 101 and it’s universal. In Dune a drawn crysknife cannot be sheathed until it draws blood. Everyone knows this.
- Speaking of killing, when Obi Wan was mucking around Darth’s military base super bad ass Darth sensed him and sought calmly and intelligently to find his quarry. He didn’t start by kicking over the coffee pot in the stormtrooper breakroom. He went alone because super bad asses roll like that. He found and killed Obi. Did I mention Darth was evil?
- Kylo Ren periodically goes ape and smashes someone’s workstation. We don’t even put up with this level of bullshit on a football team. If Darth saw such misuse of an elegant weapon of a more civilized age he’d pound some humility into the little shit. More likely he’d kill him. What’s the point of evil if you lack control? Hollywood needs to grok the difference between a totalitarian monster and a thug carjacking a Honda.
- Speaking of failed role models: Princess Leia and Indiana Jones had a space divorce and spawned an idiot son who’s both a fuck up and menace to civilization? The whole world at the fingertips of well paid writers with all the cocaine they need came up with a twentieth century broken home? Harrison Ford and Carrie Fischer looked like two sad old boring has beens discussing which one should drive junior to Band camp. Happily ever after could have worked. Solo pumped and dumped her could have worked. Leia shoved Solo out an airlock in a pre-menstral fit would have worked. But “junior hasn’t done well in school so he’s a Sith” was pathetic.
- Speaking of Pathetic:
- Han Solo, in 30+/- years, has accomplished absolutely nothing. He started out as a harried vaguely unsuccessful smuggler hired by a desert freak and a clueless farmboy. Three decades later he has managed to develop as a man and a human being into a smuggler who’s still on the run from his debts. In the meantime he lost his ship (!) and had a crappy semi-resolved entanglement with Leia. Perhaps he has a drinking problem? Maybe he and the Wookie are co-dependent losers?
- Carrie Fisher, has aged poorly and looked like the kind of harridan who’d come to a homeowner’s meeting to bitch about your mailbox color. She sounded like Hillary Clinton discussing NFTA agreements. If this is all that the rebels / freedom fighters can come up with maybe they deserve to lose.
- The fact that Harrison Ford looks hunky and Carrie Fisher looks like a dishrag is proof that life is unfair. I’m sorry Mrs. Fisher. As a man who’s ageing to look like Keith Richard’s ashtray I can sympathise. Perhaps Harrison Ford has a deal with Satan?
- Speaking of people who have learned nothing: Luke, the chosen one, has skipped town yet everyone still pines for him? For literally decades they’ve prayed their saviour will Yoda up and save them. Except Yoda was chillin’ in a swamp when the world needed him. That’s what we call a hint. The dude’s got a cell phone. If he wanted to help the rebels he’d call. In the meantime leave the man alone. Maybe he’s studying cool Jedi arts. Maybe he’s writing Sparkly Vampire fan fiction. That’s his business. He wasn’t supposed to shoulder the whole universe and if “save us Luke” is all you’ve got since 1977 you’re not trying.
- Which is really what it all boils down to isn’t it? They’re not trying. The first story, even if it was only a space adventure, tried to be a complete story arc. It wasn’t Beowulf or Hamlet but it gave it a shot and it was different. Not a rehash of Star Trek. Now, like much of America, it’s locked in time and cannot grow. We’re going to have decades of Disneyfied Star Wars until they blend in with James Bond and Pokemon and Power Rangers and all of the other things that repeat the same tune forever. Back in 1977 I wanted to see good and evil continue their epic struggle. Over time it has become a snippy teenager stabbing an old man doing a cameo appearance. Weak!
Darth, I miss ya.