Like the rest of you, I heard the news today about 4pm central time that rocked my news feed. I had been debating on starting to write again, but really wanted to wait for something important or to rile me up to make me write something that made me think… and rant.
Than this came along: “Disney Buys Lucasfilm for $4 Billion”
That didn’t phase me until I read: “Episode 7 due out in 2015″
I remember the Marvel buyout. How everyone freaked out (including me) but y’know… Over the past few years, Marvel hasn’t lost their identity. As a matter of fact, the movies have been pretty good, and I’m still reading. Like the video suggests, Disney has let them keep their identity, so I am hoping that they do the same with Star Wars. My brother sent me a text that is sums up everything:
Hope For The Best, Prepare For The Worst
Yup. That’s about it…allow me to elaborate
WHY I LOVE STAR WARS
You see… Star Wars is life for me. It’s important and I love it. I’m not just a fan, I love it. I’m not a cos-player, I don’t own every toy or collectible that came out. I do not believe these are things that are needed to show my love for these films. My best childhood memory is watching Empire during a matinee and then my parent’s saying “stay seated” as the movie started over again. I remember waiting the three year wait to see what happened to Han, and instead of cowboys and indians, the kids outside played “Rescue Han from carbonite” as we all debated and schemed how the Alliance would save him. Then I remember the day, sometime after 3:30 in the afternoon (Laverne and Shirley was on) when the movie trailer hit the airwaves. My brother and I jumped and screamed for joy on the bed as we watched our little black and white television set in my parent’s room. I remember that wait more than any of them. It was important and it was also the last great thing of my childhood because after ROTJ, Star Wars only lived in my heart for many years. There were no VCR’s (we couldn’t afford one) and as I got older, my mother sold my toys in garage sales. But it lived on you see… in my heart.
It sounds silly to you I guess. I do not expect most people to understand. But I was a kid, living in a rural town which he hated and saw something that lifted me up and made me happy, I cannot put it into words. I have written about Star Wars so many times I have NEVER gotten it right. These movies shaped me. They made me a better person. They taught me to always save the princess (even if she didn’t think she needed it) to always stand up for myself no matter the odds, the Jedi way taught me more about being a good person than years of Catholic education, and here I am… Still looking to the stars. Still trying to take my shot. Still believing that one person can make a difference. I do not apologize for that. So while some may think it’s just a movie, and I am over reacting. Fine. You do not know what it means to me. You can’t ever know, and I am not saying you don’t have a right to not like SW, I’m saying that you can’t possibly hold it in the regard that I do. It is sacred to me. Sacred. I will demonstrate.
1) I don’t give two flying shits about Disney buying Lucasfilm. There. I said it. I don’t. They can make all the movies they want. Despite my momentary lapse in anger when I saw that Disney bought Lucasfilm (I’ll tell you why later)I was worried about Episode 7 and the rest of SW. But then I remembered my Star Wars.
My Star Wars is not tainted with Special Edition effects and bonus scenes. My Star Wars does not have Gungans and people who are starving on a lush green planet due to a blockade by the weakest droid soldiers in the system (I think Samsung made them). No… My Star Wars is pure. It is a farmboy and a scoundrel, a wookie and a crazy old wizard. It is a strong heroine who is strong for the sake of being awesome, not for political or gender reasons. It is a classic storytale in a future setting. It is perfect. It is the reason a kid in Kenedy Texas decides to race down the slope of the playground and skid with shorts on catching gravel in his knees and only then deduces it is because he did not use the force enough. It is my brother and I drawing on pieces of butcher paper in the back of my grandmother’s diner when we are about six or seven years old. It is when my siblings and I meet at the Star Wars museum for the first time when we are adults and embrace at the front of the door. No… you can make your movies. You can change them. You can sell them. But you cannot take my Star Wars away from me. My Star Wars is perfect and lives in the memory of my mind.
2) I am mad at George Lucas for selling. I know I know. Some of you are saying “Good, he won’t have anything to do with them.” But let me tell you something. You can be mad at George all you want, at least they were his. They were his to make and his to destroy. Now… they aren’t. This makes me mad and sad. Let me explain.
George invented this. He invested in it when no one believed in him. He became stinking rich. THIS is the ultimate American success story. America has lost it’s gumption. We lost our heroes. No one invents anything anymore. If you write a comic for Marvel, guess what… Marvel owns it. If a musician is not careful and signs a contract, their music becomes property of the label, if you invent something at your work, it becomes their intellectual property. That’s the whole reason Iron Man was written. It was an inventor in a corporate world. It’s all about keeping his invention and not surrendering it. George invented (and abused) his own creation. But it was his to do so.
Was George hurting for money? Nope. Were they foreclosing Skywalker Ranch? Nope. He just got rid of it. He says he wants to go and make his own movies now. I hope he does. I hope he takes his 4 billion dollars and makes those little movies that only 4 billion can make. But am I mad that someone would take his invention and give up? Yes. Yes I am.
3) I hate Mash ups and Memes and wish people would stop posting them. If you are doing this… I cannot stop you but let me tell you why I hate it. Remember that thing I said about Star Wars being sacred to me? I meant it. I revere it. I love it. I love collecting black and white photos of the set, and concept art for my walls, I love reading the extended universe and playing the video games. I love the pure Star Wars canon. What I hate is everything that cheapens it.
Spurs fans who wear “Obi Wan Ginobli” Tshirts, Star Wars M&M characters, Darth Vader helmets with Mickey Mouse ears, memes that have Yoda marrying an ewok and producing a mogwai… This is not Star Wars. This is a cheap ploy to sell a shirt or product or even worse, to get a cheap laugh off of facebook. There is no redeemable value in this other than someone thinks it’s “cute” or “funny”.
I realize though, that I am a small minority. People will continue to shit on the genre I love and also claim to be a fan, but in reality posting something like this does not pay homage to Star Wars, it does not revere it. It cheapens it, it makes it something that others can toy and scar. It lets the mainstream grab a better hold on it eat it and shit it out. Then… we get things like Star Wars dancing video games and Pluto Kenobi.
4) I weep for the younger generation. There I said it. I’m sorry to those that see nothing wrong with this. I guess it is age. (so what, the name of the podcast is old man and bitter girl, so get used to it) It’s not because I think I am cooler than you (I am) it is because you will never “get” what I’m trying to say. Even if you do.
I am sad that kids will never get to see it like I did. I have a memory that cannot be taken away. I’m sorry they have to put up with bonus scenes and Han being honorable. I am sorry they will not have that anxious feeling of driving an hour and a half just to get to the nearest theater. I am sorry they will not have that awesome feeling of the greatest Christmas ever opening that original Falcon. They will have to make do with their Harry Potter books and their Pokeman. That’s fine, but for me, there was only one love that opened into others, that paved the way. They will not have that, and that is a little sad.
Star Wars is for the kids. It isn’t for sad old men like me. It did inspire me to create, to write stories, to write for pop culture websites, to get into punk rock, to become a musician, and even to make this podcast. I hope that it does the same for new generations. This is why, if any money grubbing soul feasting corporation will steal it, I am glad it is Disney, who will do whatever it has to to make a profit, (which hopefully means keeping it in the same spirit) I can only hope for the best, and pray for the worst.
I will never be that guy who claims Lucas ruined my childhood. I had an awesome childhood thanks to these movies. I am not the guy who hates things because I liked them first. I am the one who hates things who become ruined because the mainstream latches on to them and changes them. Every year, I deal with it happening. I see as comic conventions get worse every year (Dallas’ comic con last spring was crap and last weeks Wizard World Austin was the most expensive waste of money ever) Shows like “Arrow” are made and shoved down our throat, and great creators are pushed aside so Wizard World can put out “The Situations” comic book. THIS is what bugs me. We let it happen.
I hope that Disney does not take the bait. I hope that things still stay cool. I am the sucker who will still keep buying the ticket no matter what, so I guess they win anyway.
They win. You win. They all fucking win.
Hope for the best, expect the worst.
Get off my lawn.
Dude… Screw the Avengers movie. It’s the most wonderful day of the year. Yup… Star Wars Day. The day true fans (and tag along hipsters) share in the joy of the holy trilogy and all it’s glorious-add ons. Star Wars is more than a movie. It teaches the universal lessons of good versus evil, it changed the way films are made, and gave us a reason to love America, theater seating and John Williams.
May 4th was adopted by fans the past few years as Star Wars Day (May the 4th be with you… get it). I knew I had to address it now before every lame on my social networking site decided to post SW memes, mash ups, and other horrid abominations of the movies that shaped my youth….
So without further ado, here are 5 things you can do on Star Wars Day if you really are a fan.
#1: Watch a Star Wars movie (padawan technique):
This is a no brainer. Seriously. And while my favorite is Empire Strikes Back… it doesn’t matter which one you want. Honestly I would rather see the worst prequel over Hunger Games any day. This is awesome because unlike your stupid friends on FB who are going to jump on the bandwagon of the movies you love and act like they saw Empire in the movies like you did when they aren’t old enough to remember owning cassette tapes… you can do this at home, in the privacy of your abode, not calling attention to yourself and how trendy you are. That isn’t the jedi way.
#2 Watch the trilogy (Council Material):
This is the next step in what I call the “Humble Homage”. Setting aside a night to watch the 3 classics, it’s sort of like your first kiss only that girl left you… Star Wars doesn’t. 6 plus hours of cinema greatness might be too much for some. But not for most. In 2010 I ran a 6 movie marathon and gave out jedi certificates to anyone who could watch them all, only 2 survived the trial.
#3 Talk like Yoda all day (padawan technique):
If you want to be more vocal about your love of the greatest movies of all time, might I suggest talking like the coolest dude of them all. Yoda talk is more difficult than you think. There is a science behind it. Yoda makes words plural the way we normally do and conjugates his verbs the same way. The difference is in the order of the words. Our English structure is subject- verb- object order while Yoda’s seems to like object-subject- verb order. So while you say “The OMBG PODCAST is the coolest around” Wise Yoda would say “Coolest around OMBG podcast is”. And honestly who wants to argue with that? Talking like Yoda all day can be tough, you will often slip out of character, but some young girl from hot topic with a “I love nerds” button may think you’re cute enough to take a twitter pic with her, so you may come out on top… unlike the advanced challenge in number 4.
#4 Talk like Jar Jar Binks (Council Material):
This is obviously more difficult. Jar Jar is Gungan. Gungan dialect is way more difficult for you Offworlders to understand. While the majority of people who choose to just hate on “The Binks” for what he is, many are not paying attention to the care that went into Gungan dialect. Like most things in the SW universe, there is great care and detail. Gungan dialect uses different examples of fundamental language rules as well as phonetic rules mixed in, “The Binks” often changes his speech pattern to fit the situation. For instance, as he assimilates with others his speech changes. He uses “I” 4 times, “my” 5 times, and “meesa” 24 times in a 33 word count. The same word basically means the same thing but he uses “I” and “my” without any rhyme or reason as the movie goes on. ”meesa” being an example of one of the more dominant (and annoying concepts) of the language. Meesa Weesa and Yousa mean “me, we, and you” it can be stand alone or meant to include a verb: “Weesa no like the Naboo” Meaning We don’t like the Naboo” (duh). Of course compounding plays a big role too. Jar Jar for example was exiled due to the “nocomebackie law”… 3 guesses what that means.
Of course I don’t mean this would be tough for the language. Jar Jar has gotten such a heated response from fan boys looking to be angry at something (other than the fact they aren’t 10 anymore) that you may be assaulted after 5 minutes of this speech pattern. I say if you’re gonna be dumb you gotta be tough. I love Star Wars, and if I feel like talking Gungan, well you’re gonna have to deal. I haven’t forgotten that Star Wars belongs to the kids just as much as me. If Jar Jar lets them feel an ounce of the love for those films I felt as a kid. The damn Gungan is all right with me.
#5 Star Wars Cosplay…. at The Avengers Screening:
This is the holy grail. I don’t cosplay. I’m too old and I don’t see the point. My looks are ogreish enough its amazing I can get girls to talk to me, I don’t want to skew those numbers with dressing up in cosplay and proving to the world I am slightly more weird than they think I already am. That being said… Cosplay done right is effin awesome. I appreciate the time and money gone into them, and I don’t mind posting pics on our blogs of dedicated cosplay fans. But here is your challenge Cosplay dudes… go to the Avengers screening in your 501st gear. Deathmarch your way past the line, buy some popcorn and then set anyone with a DC tshirt on fire with a flamethrower.
So if you listen to the podcast for any small amount of time, you will usually hear us refer to Star Wars at some point in our conversation. I think it is pretty fair to assume that Star Wars consumes about 85% of our talks in one way or another, whether it is through a cheeky one liner or a full out discussion about why Kit Fisto went out like a punk.
As far as I’m concerned, I’m a pretty big fan. I can go into a list of the things I’ve done for the movie, the most famous was kicking a girl out of my apartment on our third date (you know what that means wink wink) because she said the movie was a little “dumb and boring”. Yes… I gave up attractive girl meat because she dissed my movies. I don’t apologize for it. It never would have worked out. Not only that… when a girl does stupid talk.. she’s really not attractive any more.
Being a fan hasn’t always been “cool”. There weren’t any hot topics open or etsy stores where cute alterna DIY craft girls make cool sci fi crafts and date nerdy hipsters. Nope… back then we wore our velcro shoes and Chewbacca thsirts because the Han shirt was sold out and shoes with laces were just too damn expensive. As I grew older my love of the movies never died… I mean here was a story about a kid growing up in a small rural town knowing he was destined to be something greater. (sound like anyone you know?) There was space royalty, and evil black knight, crazy old wizards, beasts and magic, laser swords and laser guns. I grew up in the best time in the world. Kids today… they didn’t have to wait years to see what happened to Han… nope they can just pop in the next CD. The magic is still there though.
It’s the magic we went to see. When I heard that Houston’s Health Museum was hosting a Star Wars exhibit this summer, I knew we had to make time from our busy podcast schedule to go. So we picked a weekend (last weekend!) and went. Now I have visited pieces of this exhibit before. As a childhood fan, growing up into an employed fan and also a bit of a rock and roll writer for different media outlets has let me come across Star Wars artifacts a few times, I have traveled to stadiums, museums and even the Smithsonian in Washington DC to see actual props and costumes from my favorite movies… I got to tell you man… it NEVER gets old.
This place had a few new things I hadn’t seen before, that’s always worth the trip. Particularly… some prequel stuff. Not that I minded at all. It is cool to see life size C3P0 and then in the booth behind him, episode 1′s “naked C3P0… also battle droids, Sebulba’s podracer, Mace windu, Anakin’s, and Obi Wan’s jedi robes? Nice touch. The best things were obviously the Millennium Falcon model that was the size of a coffee table, the various older ships, life size landspeeder and of course lightsaber and blaster display.
The crew and I had a good time, gave us lots to talk about,we walked hurriedly from item to item, then when we saw everything, slowed down to soak it all in. I was very happy that pictures were allowed (they usually are for these things) and we walked away with one complaint… We really wanted to “touch” something.
At any rate, it’s good to hear when SW exhibits are making the rounds around the nation. Be on the lookout for your neck of the woods!