I love Star Wars. I talk about Star Wars all the time. It’s my most favorite of favorite things in the world.
But it’s not my only favorite thing.
Another film series that’s in my top five is Peter Jackson’s adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s novels “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit.” Lately, though, I’ve been feeling pity for Peter Jackson, because I feel as though history is starting to repeat itself.
Let’s see, movies beloved by most? Check.
Big Break for a formerly small independant director? Check.
Sprawling fantasy world? Check.
Pushing the boundaries of special effects? Check.
Every film released so far exploding the box office? Check.
Long wait between the original films and a new set of films detailing the backstory? Well, Star Wars fans had to wait twice as long, but still check.
New films just as good as the last ones? Check.
“Fans” complaining because it didn’t match their expectations? Check.
“Fans” jumping to conclusions before the final film is even released? Check.
“Fans” complaining about overuse of CGI when it’s no more than a normal film of this type? Check, and in this case it’s really no more than what was used before.
“Fans” not even bothering to figure out why certain artistic choices were made before bashing the newer films? Check and check.
Now, granted, the griping from the geek mainstream for the Hobbit films isn’t quite as bad as that for Episodes I-III…yet. But remember, as the films were coming out, the haterbase was relatively small, and the idea that the films were “bad” didn’t really hit full mainstream until part-way between Clones and Sith, and the Hobbit films are coming out faster than the complaints can gain steam.
There’s also the difference that Return of the King had that ridiculous Oscar sweep back in 2004, where each Star Wars film after New Hope had to scrabble for the measliest of technical awards. Add to that that it’s not original; Peter Jackson is working with JRR Tolkien’s world, so naturally more people would be fair if they thought it wasn’t completely faithful (not that I agree, but it’s true enough that it’s not really Jackson’s story).
But I think that the biggest sign for me is that nobody is really talking about the Hobbit films like they did about the Rings films. They’ve become overshadowed by other popular movies. In spite of the Lucasfilm hype machine being much better with I-III initially, nobody seemed to care in the years between except for the hardcore true fans. And I ache, because I really don’t feel like having to spend my life defending yet another set of prequels whose first episode happens to be my favorite of the franchise.
Yes, I like “Unexpected Journey” best of the films released so far. It’s got Gollum and Goblins and Trolls and Dwarvish songs so how could anyone dislike that?!
So, with this correlation in mind, I want to bring it back to the reason we’re all here: Star Wars. I can’t help but think of the old graffiti during the original printing of the “Rings” novels: “Frodo Lives.” I think it’s time those of us who are fans of the Star Wars Saga, fans of Episodes I-III as much if not more than IV-VI, should have an image to prove to the world that we’re out there. I give you a slogan and logo of my own design:
So wherever you see a clear space on the internet or in the real world*, leave this there to fight the dark power and show our solidarity as fans! Just don’t forget to credit where it’s due if anyone asks.