Friday, January 7, 2011

On Star Wars

Carolyn has an interesting point when she tells me my willingness to buy the complete Star Wars saga on blu-ray is kind of insane.

It's the same movies I've seen literally hundreds of times before. The differences will be subtle and, at best, only truly appreciable if I'm willing to sit less than five feet from my television (which of course I am). It will in actuality be the sixth version of the original trilogy I have owned and the second of the prequels, not including the Phantom Menace VHS I owned because DVDs weren't very prominent in 2000. (Actually I had both the widescreen and fullscreen versions of Episode II, but that's unarguably worse for the point I'm about to make.)

And I'm still buying it. Hell, it's been available for pre-order less than a day and I've already paid for it. There was never any question. There's a question as to whether I'd buy all the 3D equipment necessary for home viewing of the 'eventual' 3D rerelease, but there's still no question I'm going to see those rereleases in theaters. Even Phantom Menace. Especially Phantom Menace; there's a goddam pod race. The question is "Why do we still give George Lucas money?"

He keeps ruining our favorite things, but really, it's like Uncle George telling you you're getting too old to play horsey with him. It's his game. He can do whatever he wants with it. And honestly, we can all shadowcast Empire Strikes Back like "Rocky Horror" by this point. We know the story. We know the finer points of Galactic representative democracy. Political theater. Watching Senator Palpatine for us is like watching Rob Lowe and the mom from "Weeds" in old episodes "The West Wing." We watch Star Wars with so much back story and extraneous running commentary in our heads that the cinematic experience, even the artistic product is obscured beyond reproach. We can never watch Star Wars just like any other movie

And why would I want to?

Star Wars is everything wonderful about my childhood, untainted by any of the sad memories. Like a beaten spouse, I can explain away all the horrible things George did to me, because deep down I know he really loves me, he just doesn't know how to show it properly.

And I will always let you back in, George. I haven't heard from you in a while. Are you alright? Do you need any money? Just 'til you get back on your feet, I mean. I know you'll pay me back.

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