Tuesday, June 6, 2017

For Love of Luke

There sure are a lot of articles lately written by people bragging about how they "finally" watched all the Star Wars movies.

Like they want a medal now for having avoided this franchise for fortysome years, and now that Disney has its claws in it, they decided to go and binge-watch eight movies to the point of vomiting.

To find these articles if you are so inclined, just Google "I finally watched Star Wars" or some such nonsense.

I love Star Wars.  I love the original Star Wars.  The prequels were rubbish. The Force Awakens was a typical Disney rip-off. Disney is known for taking someone else's story and tweaking it to fit their own tired and blah formula, and now that they are running out of other people's stories (it seems J.K. Rowling has not sold them her rights yet), they have to redesign their own movies. Beauty and the Beast in live action with Emma Stone was, sadly, not worth the time or space it took to watch it, and frankly an insult to the original.

But I digress.

Rogue One was good, but only because I thought it was fun to see a.) completely different characters in the Star Wars universe, and b.) not another regurgitation of the original screenplay (I'm looking at you, The Force Awakens).

What is even more amusing besides these people begging for a pat on the back for having watched the Star Wars movies and then feeling the need to offer their opinions and comments (ranging from "They were SO AWESOME, ESPECIALLY THE NEW ONES!" to "I don't understand what all the fuss is about, this is a subpar storyline"), are the comments in the comment sections after the articles. 

People get PISSED OFF when Star Wars is criticized. 

We are talking fighting words here, and a blood bath is about to broil.

So now I'm going to post my own opinions and comments about the Star Wars movies. Let the blood bath commence. I'm ready for any and all stones to be thrown.

The thing I've found about Star Wars is that it has something for everyone, and no one is right, no one is wrong, and whatever a person gleans from the story is their own business (and enjoyment).

Sort of like God. I'm not about to hold such a high opinion of myself that I feel I can presume to judge other people's relationship with God.  I sure don't want some other doofus analyzing my relationship with God. Your relationship with God, (or chocolate, or the Force, or whatever) if you have one, is your business.  Just don't make it mine.

I didn't care for the Star Wars prequels but, hey, if someone else loved them, great.  I liked Padme's costumes and hairdos. It was fun to see Yoda act like a badass.  The movies had redeeming qualities.

Because I'm a purist, I liked the three original movies and I can live the rest of my life peacefully and happily never watching another "new" Star Wars movie again, much to the horror and chagrin of California Guy who is a die-hard Star Wars fan. I've been ripped a new one for being a purist by a friend's husband with his comment being that everything needs to be changed, modified, evolved because that's the nature of the world we now live in (or something like that, I don't know. I wasn't listening very hard).

I like old stuff, what can I say?  New does not always mean improved.  And in my opinion in the case of Star Wars, new is definitely not improved. It's just regurgitated Disney crap.

I have my reasons for loving Star Wars, and it's not the amazing universe, or the Force, or my God this is science-fiction-fantasy-space-opera AT ITS FINEST, or whatever else the reasons for liking Star Wars.  Something about special effects, and in the 70's no one had ever seen such amazingness before. Everyone has their thing.

Mine is and always will be, as with any story, the characters.  If I can't care about or love at least one character in a story I won't like the story.  This was the problem with The Force Awakens.  I couldn't care less about anyone because the movie didn't set them up in any endearing way. Even Han acted kind of cheesy.

In the original movies, my favorite characters are Luke, Yoda, and Leia, with Darth Vader, Han Solo and Chewy coming in second, and okay, there wasn't really anyone I didn't like.  Luke is my favorite.  I'm not a space opera/science fiction fan in general. I don't go out of my way to read or watch sci-fi. But Star Wars spoke to me as a child and I never even saw the movies until I was about sixteen. I saw the Ewok movie as a child and my brother had the novel adaptations, so I read those. I'd seen fragments of the movies but never all three together in order. When my brother discovered this he made me sit down at sixteen and watch all three of them all the way through with the insistence that no sister of his will go through life never having seen Star Wars.

And a love was born.

It's all because of Luke.  I have the biggest crush on him (not had, have).  I have a life-sized cardboard cutout of him in my living room. I bought it in college and it has moved four times with me. Luke was probably my first crush ever, even before Micky Dolenz, Bryan Adams, and Ray Liotta. Also, the crush is on Luke, not Mark Hamill. I don't fangirl out on Mark Hamill. It's all about Luke.

Luke has always been my favorite character, and let me tell you, I got lambasted by yet another person for having the nerve to say that Luke was my favorite character.  I was told in no uncertain terms that this was absolutely impossible, it was a travesty that I thought this, because the hero of the story is Han Solo, and everyone should love him best.

See? People get passionate about this. I mean, this guy was really mad at me.

Han's cool, but Luke did the most growing up.  We start with a whining, sniveling farm boy with patience and control issues. He screws up constantly. He gets angry and pissy. He runs off half-cocked, not listening to anyone to save the day only to ruin the day. He gets his hand chopped off. He loses his lightsaber. He nearly goes Dark Side.

By the end of the story he's learned patience, he's harnessed the Force, he saves his father from a fate worse than death, and he helps save the universe.  Good for you, Luke, you deserve a cookie.

I don't get mad at other people when they say Luke sucks. That doesn't mean I'm not passionate about Star Wars for not defending it. It just means I want Luke all to myself. The less people like Luke, the more Luke there is for me.

Luke remains frozen in time and my mind and heart as this adorable farm boy turned Jedi master/hero (now that being a hero is no longer something he craves), and I just shudder to find out what Disney has in store for him (after all, they weren't kind to Han). I have been shamed and chastised for my opinions on The Force Awakens and my reluctance to watch any of the other movies, but this should be my choice without people telling me I'm not a real Star Wars fan or that I need to let go.

Bring me another character I love as much as the originals and sure, I'll let go and happily watch the new movies. I really did get a kick out of Jyn Erso after all.

Everyone should be allowed to like or not like Star Wars for their own reasons. It's everyone's own personal choice to make. We can go ahead and write about it, but we don't have to be smug about our choices, and we definitely don't have to get all superior when talking about how our opinions are better than anyone else's.

I will continue to love Luke and believe that he lived happily ever after after Return of the Jedi (and eventually found me in the universe somewhere - screw you, Mara Jade). If this is what makes me happy about Star Wars, then so be it. If someone else likes Jar-Jar, well, I don't judge. If someone doesn't like Star Wars at all, well, that's their choice too.

And I definitely am not going to go around applauding people for posting all over the Internet that "I finally watched Star Wars because I've been so cool as to ignore it for the last forty years and now I'm an expert and here's what I think and you should believe!" 

My heart belongs to Luke. Luke belongs in Star Wars. Future films without Luke are just not worth watching for me.

I won't apologize for that.

You all do what you think is right.



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