Thursday, March 16, 2006

Star Wars: The Ruining


Ok, take a breath. ..... Word is out via the BBC, that Star Wars, the soon to be TV series, will produce at least 100 episodes. Oh goody, goody gumdrops. The fairytale I loved as a child is finally crossing that fine line from mythic "Joseph Campbell" spiritual journey, to mouth breathing mediocre, weekly Sci-Fi.

I don't hate Sci-Fi, Science Fiction is a proud Genre with many great works. Unfortunately, Sci-Fi fans aren't the most discriminating folks and they pretty much take whatever they can get. So nobody's out there weeding out the good from the bad, and what we get becomes at most B-grade filler. For every good book, show or movie, there is a vast dunghill of craptastic, pseudo intellectual, Twilight Zone rip-offs (most of which were rip-offs anyway!) The same folks rabidly support Farscape and Stargate SG1 with exactly the same fervor (I'll leave it to you, which one is cool and which one sucks.)

Sadly, it seems that the modern Star Wars fan is just a well versed in the continuity free books, games and toys as they are in the three films that first sparked their passion. Sometimes I think the message of the Jedi, the profound message of the peaceful human spirit over technology, has gotten lost amongst the alien creatures, cool space ships and bleeping droids, that run amok in the peripheral of Star Wars films. Jedi has become the imaginary religion of the internally driven genre junkie, a Space Buddhism to oppose Star Trek's Protestant militia "Star Fleet." Will a weekly show push Star War further towards the mundane?

The BBC reports:

The TV series spin-off of the Stars Wars film franchise will run to at least 100 episodes, according to producer Rick McCallum. The series will be set between episodes three and four of the film saga. It would cover the 20 years in the life of Luke Skywalker growing up that remains a mystery to most film-goers. McCallum said there would be "a whole bunch of new characters" and the series would be "much more dramatic and darker".

What mystery? He wasn't doing anything! He lived on a backwater world. What's going to happen on this show? How many times can he go to Tashi Station to pick up some power converters? Think about it, a hundred episodes about an indoor farm in the middle of a vast desert? Are they going to mess with Luke's back story, so he'll no longer be that bored and stranded, starlusting innocent, that we met so long ago? I don't know what they could write about, but I'm sure it will involve sewing a hell of a lot of Sandpeople and Jaw Waw costumes!

What angers Old Skoolers the most about these continued addendums? It's not the sterile diologue, lack of character development or heavy handed use of computer effects; it's the dilution of the original work, which newer works seem designed to contradict even as they syphon off what little credibility is left from the classic source.

Will the original movies survive the inane background plots and teen angst that is sure to come as the "Crazy, Old Wizard" (Lucas, not Guinness) milks the green from this "Smallville-ization" of the Teen of Tatooine? I'm sure the royal triology will survive, and one day emerge as the seminal works of this vast commercial enterprise, but in the meantime, we'll have at least another decade of this crap to wade through. Read the whole story HERE!


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