In 1977, George Lucas did something incredible. He turned an idea many thought would fall flat on itself and made Star Wars not only one of the best films in the history of film, but created some of the biggest changes in the industry.
Nobody had seen anything like it before, namely the special effects. Sure, there was cheese to some elements of it, but apparently it did not matter. People lined up, and kept lining up, to see it over and over again. And now 30 years later, Star Wars is still around. But it’s nothing like it used to be. George Lucas has pimped out his film series to make it.
Sure, we’ll be seeing plenty of television action within a few years. But after a dismal release of The Clone Wars, the quality of the shows is up in the air. The Clone Wars, though, has really proved to be the final stake in the heart of Star Wars.
A majority of Star Wars fans, those hardcore ones, were staying as far away from the movie as possible. Even fanboys were skeptical about this. Sure, the movie is suppose to be geared more towards kids, but Lucas seems to have made this more of a mockery to ensure new Star Wars figures are put on shelves.
The Star Wars universe was once a proud and quality-filled one. There was depth, emotion and a real connection to it. Its phrases entered our pop culture lexicon. And yes, the toys were always a big part of it, but it didn’t seem that the movies were made to produce new toys.
Perhaps we all should have seen the desecration coming. Ewoks defeating the Empire was a bit odd, after all. But the time between Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace was so long, people were just too excited to see anything.
The reaction was mixed. People hated the rejuvenation, others liked it. I personally didn’t mind the prequels. They aren’t anywhere near as good as the originals, but I just couldn’t see how people could have hated them so much.
Now I do. And I wonder, would the George Lucas in 1977 accept the thinking of the 2008 Lucas? I doubt it. I think he may have pulled out a blaster and shot him. Who would have ever though R2-D2 would ever be referred to as “Artooie,” or Anakin Skywalker as “Sky Guy”?
And it seems 2008 Lucas intentionally brought down the quality of The Clone Wars. When the character Ziro the Hutt was going through development, Lucas insisted that the already cross-dressing Hutt not only speak English, but sound like Truman Capote, according to director Dave Filoni. I could probably write an entire article about the horrors of Ziro, but I can probably leave Ziro as the representative of how beaten down the Star Wars franchise has become.
Congratulations Jar Jar Binks, you’ve been released. And rest in peace, Star Wars. Unless the upcoming The Force Unleashed video game works some magic, you may be officially dead.