In a galaxy not nearly as far enough away or as long ago as we’d like, there comes another round of edits to the Star Wars films.
The only thing worse than the fact that George Lucus has, once again decided to fuck with the movies that made him famous, is that once again, a million nerds are going to drop a ton of cash buying these shitty re-re-re-re edits for the umpteenth time. I will not be one of them.
And really, George, changing it so that the ewoks blink? Or that Vader now gives another Big No, thus duplicating one fo the more tired cliche’s in movie history? That’s the best you can come up with?
Part of this outrage is academic. We, the former fans, have to concede that legally, yes the Star Wars films are his movies and he can do with them as he sees fit. But they aren’t entirely his movies any more.
Once a work of fiction enters the public sphere it becomes a shared property, a conversation between the creative team who produced it and the community of enthusiasts who make it live with their devotion (be it criticism, critique or appreciation). Lucus has repeatedly broken this implicit contract with his own fans by altering the text in mid conversation. This makes having a meaningful conversation about the topic all the more difficult, since it factionalizes the participants needlessly into subgroups. We can no longer discuss the text without preface to which edition we refer to, and for the older fans out there, our preferred text is slowly disappearing under subsequent layers of changes made, not out of creative desire but out of an obsessive’s compulsion to control the conversation about his work.
I’m one of the increasingly large number of now former fans who has grown tired of Star Wars. Perhaps I’ve finally grown up and seen the films for what they really are: not very good attempts to ape an outmoded form of story telling that is, ultimately best left forgotten. Whatever entertainment value they ever had has long since been wrung from them . Now they are just the remnants of an aging film maker’s attempt at justifying a childish fantasy that has become one of the more embarrassing examples of public intellectual masturbation.
He can demand that we watch but we don’t have to comply. The Force isn’t strong with this one. Not any longer.