From the Archives: Even Bad Star Wars is Better than No Star Wars

From the Archives: Even Bad Star Wars is Better than No Star Wars

In the interest of getting “hard” copies of my work under one roof, I plan to spend the next few weeks posting the entire archive of my film journalism here on ScullyVision. With due respect to the many publications I’ve written for, the internet remains quite temporary, and I’d hate to see any of my work disappear for digital reasons. As such, this gargantuan project must begin! I don’t want to do it. I hate doing it. But it needs to be done. Please note that my opinions, like everyone’s, have changed a LOT since I started, so many of these reviews will only represent a snapshot in time. Objectivity has absolutely no place in film criticism, at least not how I do it. 

Without further ado, I present to you: FROM THE ARCHIVES.
Originally posted on Cinema76.

image1-10By this time next week it’s safe to assume that most people who are reading this will have seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens. How surreal that it is finally here. I feel like I’ve been waiting forever, yet I also feel like it was just yesterday that I was standing in a huge line to get seats for Revenge of the Sith. Soon we will know whether or not the wait was worth it. We will know whether or not the absence of George Lucas’ meddling was really the right choice. We will know whether or not all of our collective excitement and speculation was worth it. It’s insane to think about the raw passion that exists for a movie that isn’t even out yet, but it’s this very passion that makes Star Wars culture so magnetic – so essential. The Force Awakens could be a masterpiece. It could be utter garbage. Heck, it could commit the biggest sin a movie of this caliber could commit – it could be … decent. Yet, as much hope and faith as I have in the upcoming film, the quality doesn’t matter to me that much because in terms of entertainment value, I’ve already gotten infinitely more than my money’s worth.

Star Wars has been a part of my life since I first taped the original trilogy off of TNT when I was about 8 years old. I’ve never been a “super fan” but it is as much a part of me as it is for anyone else my age, plus or minus, say, 30 years. Even if you’ve never even seen a Star Wars movie your blood is rich with the midi-chlorians of the vast legacy. It’s unavoidable. The Star Wars galaxy is so far reaching that its Henson-approved tendrils are tied up in just about every aspect of pop-culture, from references in popular TV shows, to the very concept of film merchandising. If you’ve ever bought a movie tie-in action figure, you can thank Star Wars. If you’ve ever made a finger gun go “pew pew!” you can thank Star Wars. If you’ve ever watched Harrison Ford do anything ever … Star Wars. For what it’s worth, Star Wars is as American as apple pie, and unlike a lot of American culture, it has united the world.

Star Wars has had its ups and downs over the years, and fans have been nothing if not responsive. And while there is an alarming amount of hive-mind mentality (it took Clerkssaying it for everyone to agree that Empire is the best – also, we all loved the prequels … until we decided not to), there is also a brother and sisterhood that unites us all. Together we seek the answers as to where the prequels went wrong. Together we hunt for lost copies of the Star Wars Christmas Special. Millions of us have come to the consensus that Han shot first, George Lucas be damned. And not a single person out there doesn’t groan and smile when they are given their yearly greeting of “May the 4th be with you.”

I receive entertainment value culled from Star Wars every day of my life. It seems impossible, but it’s so insanely commonplace, and I bet that if you look around you’ll notice it in your life too.

And that’s my point. Star Wars is forever, and starting this week, new pieces of Star Wars culture will become a regular thing. Good, bad, I don’t care. Keep it coming. If it’s good, we will sing its graces together. If it’s bad, we will happily bicker about it for decades. There will be new characters to dress up as, new lines to quote, new gadgets to fantasize about. New fan-fiction. New toys. If Disney’s plan succeeds, the franchise will outlive its original stars. God willing, it will outlive all of us. Star Wars has become is own version of The Force, embodying both the light and dark side. It’s more powerful than any of us could have imagined, and it’s only going to grow stronger as the Star Wars universe expands for many years to come. And for that, we should all be thankful.

Star Wars is a powerful force indeed. My father has it. I have it. My sister has it. And anyone who wishes to jump aboard can have that power too.

May The Force be with you.

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