I had another article planned for this week. It’ll still get here, but I’m pushing it to next week because there’s a very important topic I want to discuss.
Those of us who are true, true Saga fans are being beaten down left and right. Our morale is weak anyway due to Disney not taking the Marvel/Pixar “hands-off” approach we had hoped for and instead gutting Star Wars and Lucasfilm like a boned fish (Disney, I grew up with you, but you’re making it really really hard to say anything nice about you right now). But with the sale, the haters have come out of the woodwork anew. That’s why I wrote the post that landed me this column in the first place.
With all this hatred and ignorance, it seems that many of us are starting to bend. Many of us are being beaten down by the storm that we’re devolving.
We’re becoming apologists.
Well, no, I’m sorry. I’m not going to apologize. I have nothing to apologize for. Neither does George Lucas or the cast and crew of any of the Star Wars films.
Am I willing to concede that I-III aren’t perfect? Well, it is the truth. Nothing IS perfect, after all. But…screw it. I won’t concede. In my eyes, they ARE perfect. Or as near to as can be achieved. I might be persuaded to concede that point if everyone else concedes that IV-VI weren’t perfect either, and for all the same reasons. In fact, I’ll go into much more detail on that in a month’s time (stay tuned).
People who love I-III and the Saga as a whole may very well have their own problems with them. But by giving the rabid haters an inch, we’re allowing them to take a mile and still be the dominant thought process. History is written by the winners. It doesn’t matter that all the films were box office smashes. It doesn’t matter that all the films had as many good reviews as bad ones. It doesn’t matter that a new generation grew up loving all of Star Wars. By conceding in any of these points, even if we can see where they’re coming from, we’re allowing the “OT = Perfect, PT = Garbage” fallacy to live on and become validated. And as I and many others have pointed out for the last fourteen years or so, all the complaints are shaky at best and come down entirely to personal tastes.
I will say again and again, to all the armchair critics, pretentious auteur-wannabies, hipsters, cynics, trolls, and executives: All of the Star Wars films are good movies. I’m even done with “if you find X a bad thing then they’re all bad” line. No, they’re good, well-made movies. You don’t have to like them, hell there are plenty of objectively good movies I can’t stand because they’re not my style. But you can’t deny the hard work that went into all six Star Wars films, nor the fact that they all continue to succeed in striking a chord with their intended audiences. Anyone who does is either completely ignorant or lying through their teeth, and nobody will ever be able to convince me otherwise. Those of you who praise IV-VI for their direction, cinematography, effects, and performance should see the same caliber in I-III because it’s there. If your “trained eyes” can’t see it, then you are blinded by something I can’t begin to imagine and nothing I say will make you see what’s in front of your face, so I’ll no longer waste my breath. You know what to look for, so you find it. It’s there, I swear.
And before you start calling me a hypocrite, I never ever state something is a fact without empirical proof, either from what the movies are saying or what Lucas and the cast and crew have said in the myriad of books, interviews, and making-of documentaries. Any time I present a debatable interpretation, I do try to label it as such. I’m also stressing that I’m not trying to force anyone to think exactly as I think, merely to intelligently examine the material before putting someone else down for liking it.
I love Star Wars. There is no such thing as an “Original Trilogy.” There is no such thing as a “Prequel Trilogy.” There is no such thing as “Special Editions” or “Expanded Universe” or “Clone Wars.” There is simply the Star Wars Saga. And I love the Star Wars Saga truly, deeply, unabashedly.
No apologies. Not now, not ever.