I have always been a Star Wars fan. The first time I walked down the toy isle at the local Zellers and saw a Yoda action figure I was hooked. I grew up as a small child watching The Droids and Ewok cartoon shows then as I aged I watched the Ewok movies. I was enthralled by this universe that George Lucas created.
"Duh dah da dadda duh, dut duh da. Star Wars trilogy on video!"
I still remember that commercial! I was so excited to see the actual Star Wars films.
Soon after I walked myself into the local drug store and rented Star Wars: A New Hope.
The next night I rented both, "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi".
I never knew that a film series could be so good.
I soon owned many copies of each film. Special editions, the originals, VHS to DVD.
I read everything I could get my hands on that was Star Wars related. I soon found out that the original trilogy was just part of a larger story. Episode 4,5 and 6 were the middle trilogy. George Lucas had written a much longer story from day one. He had decided that it was much too lengthy for one film. He separated them into three trilogies. The classic episodes, 4 to 6 told the story of young Luke Skywalker and his journey into defeating the dark side of the evil glactic empire, as well as coming to grips with his father, Anakin, who turned so many years previous, from being a faithful Jedi knight to becoming the evil Sith, Darth Vader. Lucas planned a prequel trilogy to tell the story of how Anakin Skywalker turned to the dark side. Lastly he had a sequel trilogy plan telling the stories of Luke and his children. It was a generational saga, like a space version of "East of Eden."
In the 90's I wondered if these films would ever be made. It was years since "Return of the Jedi" was released and there was no talk about the prequels or sequels.
Then they announced Episode 1 was being filmed. This was what I was waiting for all those long years, to get the rest of the story. I started collecting everything I could with "Star Wars Episoide 1: The Phantom Menace" written on it: Every Pepsi can, McDonald's toy, poster, or magazine I could get my hands on.
I didn't get to camp out and see it opening day. But I saw it opening week and I was blown away. Lucas had done it again! Another masterpiece. I remember taking a friend with me to the cinema who had never seen the originals. He sat there awe-stuck. He went home and watched the originals that weekend and concluded that Episode 1 was the best of them all.
Lucas released episodes 2 and 3 with similar effect. Though Hayden Christensen was a disappointment as Anakin, the rest of the cast and the fantastic story made up for his lack of acting skills.
I finally was able to see how Darth Vader came to be, how the Jedi and the Republic were destroyed as well as being introduced to a whole slew of new characters, each as deep and fascinating as those introduced in the original trilogy.
With the prequels came the cartoon shows and more novels and comic books. I lapped it all up.
Then in 2012 the bottom fell out! George Lucas sold Star Wars to Mickey Mouse!
"What! Where are my sequels? I have been waiting twenty years to see the rest of the story unfold."
George had already started pre-production on episode 7. Then his girlfriend had a baby. George is an old guy and he knew that jumping fully into bring the last chapters of his saga to completion was going to take a lot of time and energy, so he decided to pass it off to Disney and stay at home with his young family.
Originally the plan was for him to stay on as advisor of all things Star Wars. "Would this character say this or do that?" "If we take the story this way would it line up with your saga?" etc. Disney originally told him they were making the films based on his scripts.
Well none of that ended up happening. They threw his scripts, plots and many of his characters into the garbage. They made it clear they didn't want him to advise them on anything.
They wrote a whole new story and called it, "The Force Awakens"
"What! When did the force go to sleep?"
They hired over-blown and over-rated J.J Abrams, the creator of "Felicity" and "Alias" to direct and co-write the script.
So they want Star Wars to be pretentious and whiney like everything J.J has ever done?
They are trusting the creator and writer of "Lost" to keep the continuity of Star Wars intact? Great idea because Lost had no continuity. He made a mess of his television shows, he will make a mess of the Star Wars canon.
Great! Fantastic! False fans celebrated everywhere. You see, many people disliked Lucas' directing on episodes 1 through 3. They felt he focused more on the special effects than on the characters. That's all fine and dandy to have that opinion, I suppose, seeing as George Lucas only directed episode 4 in the original trilogy, leaving "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return Of The Jedi" in the capable hands of others, who did extraordinary jobs. Whatever criticism faux fans of Lucus could be remedied by allowing others to direct his stories, not butcher the saga by writing a new story when the originals are not yet finished.
Disney doesn't even have the bravery to label this new travesty, Episode 7, because it's not. It's not the film, not the beginning of the trilogy we have been waiting for since we all watched, "A New Hope", all those years ago.
I have never felt so sick about a studios' decision in all my life. Some nights I lay awake thinking about it.
Am I surprised? No.
When Walt Disney started his studio he had a standard for the art in his cartoons. All the cartoonists had to conform to Walt's style. That is what Disney does to everything: They take something original and creative and change it to fit their mold. Not improve, it but rather, "Mickey Mouse" it.
I went to Disney World a couple of years ago and saw a Goofy stuffed toy with Darth Vader garb and a Mickey Mouse Yoda. That is what they are doing to Star Wars, making it "Mickey Mouse" instead of the epic saga we have had thus far. They are not only watering down the story but replacing it with a cheesy cartoon version of itself.
I am reminded of a scene from Chris Farley's, "Tommy Boy". He was trying to sell his brake pads to an automotive parts dealer. The owner insisted that he wanted a guarantee on the box, that it made him feel all warm and toasty inside.
Chris Farely's character, Tommy explains why his competitors put a guarantee on the box "Because they know all they sold ya was a guaranteed piece of sh**. That's all it is, isn't it? Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will. I got spare time. But for now, for your customer's sake, for your daughter's sake, ya might wanna think about buying a quality product from me."
I hope the new Star Wars film flops. But it won't, because the Star Wars name represents something. All the fans of the past films expect something. The continuation of the space opera that George Lucas wrote in the 1970's; of the generational saga that has been presented so far; the sci-fi fantasy that has left audiences in awe. The public sees the title Star Wars as a guarantee of these things.
The fans won't get any of those things. They will get what Tommy Boy described so "elegantly". Or how I would put it, Mickey Mouse dressed up as Darth Vader.