Friday, November 02, 2012

George Lucas Succumbs to the Dark Side (or Retirement)

The Monkey Buddha Archives

Star Wars: A New Hope came out right around the year I was born.

Some of my earliest memories as a kid were Star Wars related.
I remember watching The Empire Strikes Back at my grandmom's for the 1st time, on a small black & white TV with a grainy picture. When the Wampa snow monster comes out of nowhere & it pounces on Luke, it scared the crap out of me.

 Between me & my brothers, we had tons of Star Wars toys. Even though we accumulated a massive collection of other toy lines, too, vintage SW toys are the only ones I'd bother to keep. What's crazy to me is that my young nephews & cousins kids are all into it now. At my parents house there's a bin full of (non-vintage) figures they play with all the time, from when we were young. It's continuing to stay relevant, inspiring a whole new generation of kids.

As I've gotten older, I've also grown to appreciate the Star Wars films as technical achievements, & also being a modern mythological saga. There are layers of meaning and cultural allusions that are like an almanac of archetypes & metaphors from the span of human history, including our future history!

I never shied away from my admiration of the movies & have always been a true fan. However, like everything else in the world, they have flaws, some of which are really major. I've been an unforgiving critic of George Lucas's decisions on plenty of aspects of the films' production.

For the record, the 2 biggest travesties in the series (for now) are the following-

• The Prequels: 
At the end of Episode III, when Vader has his Frankenstein moment: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

• The Originals: 
At the end of Return of the Jedi, old Anakin's ghost was replaced with Hayden Christenson's ghost. This edit makes absolutely no sense, it is horrible & completely indefensible.

Despite plenty to criticize, the Star Wars movies are works of genius that will be remembered for as long as our civilization endures. They have inspired me my whole life, and informed my cultural, spiritual, and creative understanding.

Now- the imaginative Star Wars universe, that I & so many others have come to know so well, is entering an unexpected new phase.

At first I thought it was an Onion article, but I eventually realized that it was true:


Like I stated before, Lucas's directing & editing abilities have room for improvement. Perhaps Disney's vast resource of talent can use the rich material George Lucas has created to continue and expand the Star Wars Universe.

The Avengers movie was one of (if not THE) greatest superhero movies ever, even to my ultra-critical eye. If Disney can produce Marvel films of that caliber, I think the Star Wars franchise will be okay.

Think Progress: 

On a very positive final note, Lucas won't be hoarding the mountain of money he'll be making:

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