Saturday, September 17, 2016
Waning Enthusiasm for (Almost) All Things Star Wars
I've realized that my excitement and enthusiasm for most things Star Wars related has dropped essentially to zero. I no longer feel like the movie "ruined" Han and Leia FOR ME, anyway. Because for me, that's just not what happened. Did they ruin them as far as the canon movies goes? Uh... it sure looks like it. Not just them, but Luke, too. I don't think I'll ever stop thinking of them the way I had always thought of them.
It's hard not to think about how nine months ago today, I was beyond excited to see this new movie. I couldn't believe how lucky we were to get another one. And then I left the theater feeling basically.... gutted. They basically did all the worst possible things I could've imagined. I mean, sure, maybe it would've been worse if Han and Leia split up the day after ROTJ and never saw each other again (would it have been worse though? I'm not sure) or possibly if Leia was the one to murder Han herself because he had become horribly abusive and deserved it. Ok, yeah, that would've been worse. But they had given us CLOSE to the worst possible outcome. Split up, miserable, only having had one kid who turned out to be pure evil, quite possibly due to Han's crappy parenting, no other kids to carry on their legacy, and their own kid straight up murders Han Solo, the most beloved movie character in the history of cinema (maybe second next to Chewbacca) without ever having any sort of reconciliation with Leia. Or his son. To top it off, this moment that I guess maybe could've had some real emotional impact just seemed sort of hollow because we were not really given any context to this relationship at all. Was Han really a disappointment? How long has it even been since those two saw each other, or since Han was with Leia? I realize that the answers to some of those questions were at least narrowed down somewhat now that we have some books, but at the time the movie came out we had no idea if it had been two months or twenty years since Ben Solo turned and Han and Leia fell apart. It was only months later that we at least had it somewhat narrowed down to something less than six, but that doesn't help a whole lot.
Did anyone feel like all of that made for a better movie? Or a more emotionally engaging one? Because for me, it not only felt like punching me in the face, but it also mostly just left me confused with all those aforementioned unanswered questions. I realize that apparently the intent was to make room for the new characters. The thing is, they forgot to give us good reasons to care about the new characters. Don't get me wrong, I do love Rey, although I think that has as much if not more to do with Daisy Ridley just being perfect in that role than Rey being a hugely compelling character yet. The ridiculous amount of unanswered questions about her along with it being more than slightly remarkable how well adjusted she is given her background are at least somewhat outshined by Daisy's on-screen presence and charisma. How much would you have loved to have gotten to see more of her going back and forth with Harrison Ford? I don't think a lot of young actresses could've pulled that off, but sorry, nope, we won't get that because Han is dead now. Anyway, I got away from my point, which was that they wanted us to focus more on these new characters, but in talking to more than one person after seeing this movie, a lot of us found it impossible to really absorb anything that happened in the final fifteen to twenty minutes of the movie because all we kept thinking about was, "I can't believe Han Solo is dead." Which isn't a great thing since arguably the most important part of the movie, Rey's duel with Kylo, happened in that final fifteen minutes.
The more time that passes from this movie, the more and more deflated I am realizing I have become as a result of it. I bought the blu ray in April, mostly for the behind the scenes stuff. Except I haven't actually watched it yet. Not just the movie, but any of it. I became even more deflated when I heard about some of the comments made on the behind the scenes stuff about Han and Leia, and didn't really want to have anything to do with it anymore. And now that I see that apparently it is going to be playing on Starz for those of us in the US, I was reminded of how much I just don't want to see it anymore. I don't even want to flip to the channel. For someone like myself who was just such a huge Star Wars fan, it really just makes me sad that I have lost the ability to be excited about it.
Last year I was actively avoiding spoilers so as not to ruin the movie for me. Now, it's not even active avoidance about Rogue One or Episode 8 or anything else, it is downright indifference. I've seen some articles linked saying things about Episode 8 or whatever. My level of indifference is almost appalling. I can't even bring myself to care. I've heard a few things about what may happen in the next one, and really they could tell me absolutely anything at this point and I wouldn't even have a reaction. It's like they have taken away my ability to care. They could tell me that Justin Bieber was going to be in the next one playing a Jedi and Rey's love interest who also sings to her something from his new album, and I'd probably just be like... eh, whatever. Ok, ok, maybe that might finally spark some rage, but hopefully you get my point. They made all my worst fears come true with the last movie, so I only expect them moving forward to do things that would upset me or make me mad. It's like a protective mechanism has kicked in, and they can't upset me with anything they do if I've stopped caring about it.
Even the trailers for Rogue One have been amazingly underwhelming to me. I'm not sure if I'd have felt different about it a year ago, but right now I'm just like... meh. I mean, as I was typing that I stopped and wondered, wait, is that coming out THIS year? I had to go check. Yes, it does. I'm sure I'll go see it, but I feel no need to be first in line or wait two hours before the theater opens to get good seats or anything like that. The first time I saw that trailer on the big screen in May I had really almost no reaction to it. That compared to every single time I saw the trailer for TFA there were at minimum goosebumps, but also occasionally tears. (I actually just had a flashback as I wrote that to "Chewie, we're home." and STILL got goosebumps so I guess I'm not completely dead inside.)
I don't know what the point of all this was except that it feels as though this movie ruined by ability to be excited about anything further Star Wars related. I know you guys have said that there has been some great new material in the books, and I absolutely believe you. It's just that I don't know how I can enjoy any of it knowing how it all turns out. The same could possibly be said about the old EU, but among the bad stuff at least there was a lot of good stuff. At least Han and Leia were still together and had one good kid, plus a granddaughter. I'm actually glad that there are other people out there who are still excited about it and want to see what happens next and have enjoyed a lot of the new stuff. I wish I could be among you. This is not an attempt to try and convince anyone that they should be sad or not excited about any of it. Just had a lot of this on my mind lately and wanted to get it out there, especially since the blog has been so dead/quiet and it makes me wonder if others are feeling the same way, or if so many have disappeared just because they felt the same way!
At least I'll never stop loving Han and Leia, because JJ doesn't get to be the one to tell us what happened to them just because they paid him to do it.