Thursday, February 24, 2005

MovieBob stops ignoring the Bantha in the room

I've put this off long enough.

What I have here is a blog about movies. There are certain things you just HAVE to do on a movie blog. One of those things is, when this time of year (end of winter) rolls about, you turn your attention to "the big stuff coming this summer." It's one of those trends that's not worth bucking. Everyone is doing it because, really, Hollywood makes darn sure there's not much else for us to do.

So I'm sitting here, trying to organize my thoughts about the upcoming Summer Slate and find a thread around which to build a posting that doesn't read like every other blog posting on the same topic. To jog my memory, I start running through the "upcoming" lists around the web, and the expected stuff starts to jump out at me: "War of The Worlds" is coming. "Fantastic Four" is coming... and not looking one ounce better, sadly. "Batman Begins," "Sin City" and "Hitchhikers Guide" are all coming. All good so far, right?

And then, as if waking from a dream, two words come to my mind: "Star Wars."

And then it hits me like a ton of bricks: I had completely forgotten that this was even coming out.

I should offer you some context in which to better understand what a shocking/englightening moment this was for me: I have a full-size reprint of an original "Star Wars" theatrical poster hanging on the wall opposite my bed, positioned as such that it's one of the first things I see when I wake up each morning. Next to that, both volumes of the "Star Wars Infinities" comic collections are sitting atop one of my bookstacks. A DVD set of the original SW trilogy (pre-not-so-special-edition "fixes" versions, thank you) holds a prominent place on the "frequently-watched" section of the DVD shelf.

I had "Empire Strikes Back" bedsheets when I was a kid. I watched the originals to the point of memorization. When I got my first working copy of Adobe Premier, the first thing I did was make a half-dozen short films of myself and friends weilding lightsabers. I'm a "Star Wars" fan in the truest, bluest, child-of-the-80s sense of the word.

And I had completely forgotten that a new "Star Wars" movie was among the big Summer releases this year."

And not just any "Star Wars" movie. "Star Wars - Episode III: Revenge of The Sith."

As in "the one where we'll see the birth of Darth Vader." As in "the one where we see the Republic fall, the Empire rise, and the end of the Jedi."


And I'd completely forgotten about it.

And I didn't have to look far or even wonder too long about why this act of forgetfulness was able to occur. The answer was staring me in the face, and indeed has been doing so for well over two years now:

I just don't care anymore.

You've all heard this before, not from me but from others like me, so lets not dwell on a story we're all overly-familiar with. In brief: Waited in line for "Phantom Menace," went into about 6th months of denial, eventually admitted to myself that it sucked, held out hope for "Attack of The Clones," immediately recognized that it was better but still sucked, now awaiting #3 in the same way one awaits a funeral (i.e. wanting it to arrive and get over with so you can begin trying to let the good memories eclipse the bad.) By now it's a story as archetypal as "boy meets girl."

And it's not just me.

And it's not just the Geek Community.

The magazines and film sites are beginning to trickle out their "Summer Preview" stuff, and patterns are beginning to emerge: "Will The Fantastic Four be the nadir for Marvel characters as movies?" is a hot topic, as is "Do we really need another Batman movie?" (answer: YES.) "Will Hitchhiker's Guide appeal to non-fans?" You get the idea.

But, while it is getting obligatory covers and mentions, another pattern is becoming strikingly clear: "Star Wars - Episode III: Revenge of The Sith," the final question-answering installment of the former keystone franchise of all cinematic scifi/fantasy, the film "we've waited over 20 years to see"... doesn't really rate that much of a mention. Theaters have massive advertising up for "Robots" unknown bionic heroes but not yet even a single image of C-3PO. "Star Wars," once as a collective franchise a member of the pantheon of "above criticism classics" like "Godfather," "2001," "Citizen Kane" and "Psycho" has been reduced back to "just another big movie coming out," and as far as "anticipated blockbusters" of the coming summer go Obi-Wan vs. Anakin in "RoTS" seems to be registering currently as barely more noteworthy than Jamie Foxx vs. A Killer Airplane in "Stealth."

There's a growingly-common analogy out there that compares Star Wars fans experiencing the meltdown of the franchise to battered wives. It's allegedly hillarious, dontcha know, because "all those geeks never get laid, so it's clever to compare their fandom to a relationship to highlight that fact." But nonetheless, there's a grain of truth to it. Being a SW fan right now is painful, and each day brings new bruises. By now, many have moved on or at looking at it as just another movie. Others, like myself, have worked tirelessly to recondition our minds to be able to easily seperate "real" SW (unedited originals) from the prequels and special editions. Others, though, are still working themselves raw trying to remain in denial about how far the thing has fallen, and these are the poor fellows who come off like abuse-victims.

But I want to know what you think. Hit that comment button below and tell me if you've had a similar experience it not being able to even remember it's still coming, if you don't care or if you think I'm crazy and want to tell me off on the whole thing.

Let's hear it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Personally, I'm not a huge Star Wars fan. yeah, I was one of those kids with the big glow in the dark batons who beat the hell out of their siblings mercilessly while spewing things like, "Luuuuke, I am your faaatherrrr" and touting the virtues of indulging in one's hate, but I'm really not a 'fan'. As we both know, I didn't feel quite the same level of dissapointment over the badness that was Episodes 1 and 2 that you experienced, so it doesn't surprise me at all that I am utterly apathetic about Episode 3. I think I was giddy for a minute when I saw the initial teaser for it, but that had more to do with the rush I'd gotten playing Knights of the Old Republic evil-style. I promptly shuffled it away in the back of head in the "Meh" section.

For my part, what I'm really looking forward to this year is Hitchhiker's Guide and the Willy Wonka remake. I have my fears about both of them (are they doing just the first book in the guide 'trilogy' or trying to cover the whole mess in one film? Is it going to have a British feel, or American, ie will his name still be Ford Prefect? do we really need to remake Willy Wonka? it was near perfect to begin with), but I can't wait to see them, as that's where my 'fandom' lies.