I’m not the only one who will be skipping the latest entry to the Star Wars Empire.
Lots of people, especially those who actually stood in lines two blocks long for three hours to see the ACTUAL (and I am shamelessly and intentionally using this number) Star Wars Episode One, are not even going to bother with STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS. And it’s not because it’s an animated film (OK, OK, a film whose images are entirely computer generated is not “animated” in the classic sense). It’s not because we’re not interested in what happened during the Clone Wars. It’s not because it seems like Lucas is out to make yet another buck by dragging into the Empire a generation birthed with TOY STORY, MONSTER’S INC. and SHREK.
It’s because there’s nothing there any more.
The first SW was born into a recession, the Energy Crisis and America’s waning world influence. I went to see Luke, Leia, Han and Chewy because I wanted to escape – sheesh, I was barely nineteen and I wanted out of the world of Gray and into a world where everything was black and white: good guys over here (cheer for them), bad guys over there (boo for them). They were people with whom I could connect. They had heart. They had purpose. They made me FEEL that there was hope.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a founding member of Human Actors Only. I fell in love with Woody and Buzz and Mike Wazowski and Donkey. Those characters made me feel, too. But I felt nothing about young Anakin Skywalker except that he was painfully cute and was tugging so hard on my heartstrings that instead of making me weep because I felt his pain, he made me weep because HE was such a pain. When we got to the false Episode One, Star Wars had lost its heart and was just some movie that someone did about some characters that were vaguely related to the REAL Star Wars Episode One. Vacant and lifeless.
What about the argument that Star Wars will inspire hordes of people to read “real SF”, that’s something, isn’t it?
*(insert the alphabetic representation that Opus used to make for a raspberry sound)*
About all youngsters watching this newest branch of the Star Wars Empire will do is run out and buy the PSP game, play it for a week then move on. Few of those kids bother to read Star Wars novels let alone check out DUNE or even ON BASILISK STATION (though it’s easily available from Baen’s free online library).
So what am I saying? *harrumph* In plain language: Lucas’ latest offering is purposeless and proves only that Star Wars is DEAD. It no longer serves the purpose it was intended to serve: escape from a dreary real world of gray choices and gray people in gray situations.
Excuse me while I go watch PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN.