I had tweeted a reply to the Ginger Prince regarding Star Wars: The Force Awakens the other day. And I realized a couple of things. (If you don’t follow him, @TGP73 is a great gentleman fan of the Star Wars world and a HUGE Admiral Ackbar Fan.)
The first thing I realized was I’m just not excited for this film. On paper, I should be. It’s Star Wars. It has Original Trilogy characters. There’s space battles and droids. Yup. Sounds like Star Wars. I’ve been a Star Wars fan since I was a kid. This should be a perfect match.
But, I just don’t feel it. I don’t think it is anything with the film, it’s me. Looking at the trailer, I have to say it looks like the Star Wars Universe. One of my initial concerns was it was going to veer stylistically. But, it looks like JJ has held that course, unlike Star Trek.
So what could it be?
It’s almost feels like years of Star Wars saturation have led to some apathy to anything new Star Wars. These days you can’t go anywhere without seeing a Star Wars logo on something. Food, clothing, jewlery, etc… While this should be a heyday for a Star Wars fan, all of these items take away from the overall feel of any of them being special.
From the time when Return of the Jedi came out until The Phantom Menace, Star Wars merchandise was fairly uncommon. When a new book or collectible would come out it was a big deal. I remember watching QVC just to see what their offerings were when they would have Star Wars events.
You also had to go out of your way to find things. You might have to special order the book or coffee mug from a catalog to get something special. You really felt like you had something special that not everybody else had. Compare this to now, when every store has the same items and you can find anything you want with the Star Wars brand without leaving Amazon.
Now, this is the part where you expect my Prequel hate. I don’t have any. Could some of the acting been better? Sure. Do I think they ruined the series? Nope. All the Prequel films did was expand the universe for me.
Speaking of expanding universes, that might be part of my issue. For the folks reading this that aren’t Star Wars deep aficionados, “Expanded Universe” is the name given to everything outside the films that is considered official. But don’t worry about that too much, because the Disney led direction has wiped most of it from the official time line.
Novels, Comics, video games, etc.. These are things that a number of us spent years studying like they were ancient texts filled with knowledge of a lost culture. Now, they aren’t part of the story any more.
Maybe this is part of my apathy. I think the lesson here is that Star Wars is a living thing. It’s growing and ever changing. It is like having a super cool friend in school and then growing apart as your interests take you in different way. You may still like some of the same things, but other things you do not share the same opinions on. While you can still be friends and hang out occasionally, your perception of them has been altered.
I think the other big thing for me is there is the lack of a pause. With the prequel, there was an obvious gap in new Star Wars for some time. We weren’t even really sure they would ever get made. So the ramp up seemed gradual and natural. Tiny tidbits of information came here and there during pre-production, but we didn’t know much. Even the toys were released very close to the films release. Even some of the earliest figures were a bit of Red Herring, like Sneak Preview Mace Windu. He was barely in the film, but we clamored for his action figure without knowing that.
Since the time of the prequels, it seems to me that Star Wars mar
keting has been on medium to high heat, instead of low. And now it’s being brought to full frothy boil. And maybe that much heat has just been too much for me. It’s like years of exposure and the next new Star Wars thing have calloused me to the new films.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m hoping they will be good just like everybody else. And hopefully, when I’m in the the theater seat and the crawl starts, I’ll get goosebumps and feel like a 6 year old again.