People expect that I will comment on the latest Star Wars film: Episode III Revenge of the Sith.
Sigh. Haven't I wasted enough lifespan criticizing anti-civilization drivel? Why is this particular swill so popular?
I believe there was always an inherent market for really creative and bold SF, held back by stodgy studios and the ill repute caused by all those really BAD 1950s monster movies. The true pioneer was Gene Rodenberry, who managed to persuade TV mavens to invest in what must have seemed a totally weird concept. Visionary and unprecedented!
The stage was ready for somebody to do the same in motion pictures... and reap the rewards. The first guy to get this break was a kid named G. Lucas... and he has been making huge, lavish toy commercials based on that bit of luck ever since. It could have been anybody. And knowing who was around then, it could have been worse, I guess. The original Star Wars did rock, in its silly way.
Still one ought to think back now and then. Way back when, Thomas Edison said to the early film industry he helped create: “I believe, as I have always believed, that you control the most powerful instrument in the world for good or evil. Remember that you are servants of the public and never let a desire for money or power prevent you from giving to the public the best work of which you are capable. It is not the quantity of riches that count; it is the quality that produces happiness, where that is possible. I wish you a prosperous, useful, and honourable future.”
Now for some laughs. A fan wrote:
"In your Star Wars article you said - "Next movie will surely have a Chicano low rider caricature help Obi-Wan make his escape with the twins."
"Well, you were pretty close; it was Yoda he helped out, instead. Art imitates jokes!"
Stefan Jones sent this about seeing the new SITH flick: "My manager surprised everyone on the development team with free tickets to _Revenge_. All of my testing was on automatic today, so why not? Wonderful eye candy of course. But . . . God. The dialog and acting and characterization were hideously, egregiously, graceful-as-a-engine block-tumbling-down-a-spiral-staircase AWFUL. Anakin / Darth and "Padme" in particular. The only actor who earned his pay was the guy playing the slimy Chancellor / Emperor. Virtually no humor beyond a few moments of slapstick early on."
"Now, there's something particularly revealing about the ending, in which (no surprise) things get set up for episode 4. It's really portentous and full of gravity . . . an admission, I think, that this tedious pre-trilogy was a heap of stink and the REAL fun and genuine adventure begins with the first, innocently goofy entry. Never see this again, I will."
Hrm. With so many bad reports, what to do? Despite my longstanding criticism of the Lucasian zeitgeist, and its lengthy, high-budget toy commercials, I never kept my kids from playing with Lego X-Wings and such When Episodes I & II came around I was very mild mannered. I urged people to go to a half price matinee after waiting 2 weeks... but otherwise enjoy the crap because it's GORGEOUS crap. Lucas subsidizes 10% of the best artists on the planet.
This time tho... I just can't do it. The point that no one seems to raise re Star Wars is that only two out of six have happy endings.
Sure, that CAN be okay. Everyone agrees that the one Lucas did NOT write - The Empire Strikes Back - was by far the best. Its downer ending was magnificent, brave, hopeful elegiacal. But episodes I,II, and III? You know in advance that every decent and brave and heroic act will be futile, futile futile futile futile futile futile futile futile!
Gah! It's like he wants us to not only worship a nazi mass murderer, but also evil green oven mitts... while losing all hope. feh.
(I don't have any love for the New Yorker editors. The guy who wrote the article obviously likes good SF, but those New York postmodernist editorial smofs always lop off all the favorable contrasts in order to give an impression that this garbage represents the whole field.)
And of course, take a look at Star Wars on Trial and my own series about this idiocy: Star Wars: The Dark Side: Mythology and Ingratitude
Oh, want some subliminal clues? Try STAR WARS backwards? RAW RATS Now try the initials of the new film: SWIII ROTS. Squint a little at RAW RATS SWIII ROTS and just say it out loud! What can this clue mean?
Here is my eerie-romantic-horror tale interpretation. The George Lucas who brought us Indiana Jones and Eps IV & V is still in there! Shouting for help! Like Anekin trapped inside Vader... Ah symbolism....
Soon, I resume with Majority Rule....