Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Star Wars... Damn It

George Lucas got his hooks in me early. I have very few precise memories of childhood, but several vague ones involving Star Wars. I seem to remember seeing the first one with my dad and my uncle and having my mind blown. I specifically remember waiting in line to see Empire Strikes Back, and debating with my friends whether or not Vader was Luke's father. (I'm pretty sure I had decided that he wasn't by the time Return of the Jedi came out).

I was even an apologist for the first prequel for maybe the first couple nights after I saw it, although part of that might have been that I had already booked a second screening with a lot of folks for the night of the rehearsal dinner of my wedding, and I didn't want to admit that it was a letdown, so it wouldn't taint that event. Didn't last, though... within a few weeks I was admitting what most of us already knew: Episode I was pretty bad.

I hadn't learned my lesson entirely, though. I still bought Episode I on DVD. I went to see Episode II, despite misgivings... and it was worse. The Anakin/Padme romance remains one of the more painful things I've ever sat through in a theater. Then there was Episode III. I swore I wasn't going to see it. Then a bunch of folks starting talking about how it was great, how it was so much better than the other two prequels, how it was better than Return of the Jedi.

They were wrong. It blew. Just like the other prequels.

But then there were the Clone Wars cartoons by Tartakovsky, which were amazing. The spinoff comics from Dark Horse have generally been pretty damned good. So I sort of came to a place where anything Lucas was heavily involved in, I'd write off, but anything where he was on the outskirts, I'd still give it a shot. I was kind of excited about the Clone Wars movie/TV show coming, but I've seen in several interviews that Lucas has been heavily involved. In my mind, I'd already written it off.

And then the damn marketing machine kicked in again. And it has a supreme power over me. I bought Soul Calibur IV, and though I'd been mildly interested in Force Unleashed already, being able to play The Apprentice has made me actually anxious to buy the game. Today the Clone Wars soundtrack came out, and the hooks are still in me enough that all I had to do was take a bit of a listen and decide to buy it, and I really like it so far.

I've been eyeing the Star Wars miniatures and the Star Wars role-playing game, and I have several ideas for campaigns. Never mind that I don't have time for another RPG, but I think it's more than likely that I'll be buying some of that stuff in the very near future.

And I find myself thinking I want to see Clone Wars in the theaters. I'm almost certain it's going to disappoint. I'm going to watch the reviews pretty closely, and if it doesn't get a glowing reaction from a majority, I'm going to try and resist, because even a moderately positive reaction probably just means apologists being kind to it, but damn it... I want to see the damn thing in theaters now.

Curse you, Lucas! Why did you have to stink up the franchise? Clearly nothing can fully deter me from loving it, so I wish it could actually be good most of the time, instead of on rare occasions.


Nick said...


This is pretty much what I feel about Star Wars as a franchise now. Especially the fact that there has already BEEN an animated Clone Wars story told. They're not just doing a Star Wars story, but rehashing the same one again. Ugh.

By the way, what's the word on Comic Pants being hacked?

GrayPumpkin said...

Yeah, Randy I feel they same as you, I know better and yet I want to see this damn Clone Wars thing.
But can I let Lucas burn me yet again?
I onetime wonder if he knows what made Star Wars so great or if it was just a fluke somehow.
The signs were there in Return of the Jedi.

Dad said...

I feel like my relationship with George Lucas' films at this point is similar to that of a battered spouse to their abuser--I keep making excuses that he isn't really the way everyone perceives him and that I know he can change. Like a victim of abuse, I keep giving him more chances. He struck out three times with the prequels and I'm still contemplating seeing this new animated movie. I may have to check into a shelter the night of the premier just to save what little dignity I have left.