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Thursday
October 17th, 2019

earl watt mugL&T Publisher Earl Watt

 

I was 6 years old when I stood in line in front of Otasco to see “Star Wars.”

Only a few of you will remember that Otasco was the last store on the end of Southgate Mall, and then we had to walk across the street to get to the Southgate Twin. That’s how long the line was to see this movie, and like all children in 1977, I was mesmerized by what I saw on the screen and relived those moments over and over as my brother and I collected the toys over the next few years.

We didn’t have the Internet to tell us what fools we were for falling for the commercialism of Hollywood or how creator George Lucas should have written the film.

Fans can be a real pain, sometimes, and the Star Wars saga is the best example.

After the original three films were released from 1977 to 1983, many of us considered ourselves to be big fans. It’s one of those love-it-or-hate-it scenarios.

It would be 16 years before another Star Wars movie was released, when Lucas decided to tell the beginning of the story. After all, the first three films were episodes four, five and six.

Where was one, two and three?

People again lined up to watch Episode 1 — The Phantom Menace, and again, I was one of them. This time I was the father taking my 9-year-old son.

I enjoyed the film.

But those who consider themselves purist fans were torn. Yes, George Lucas created this movie, but it relied heavily on CGI, and Jar Jar Binks was just too much for some.

The acting of the boy who would be Darth Vader was heavily criticized, and the expectations of many were shared online on Star Wars fan sites.

That’s just not how I go to the movies. I’ve never gone expecting a movie to be what I imagined it to be.

I have yet to write a movie, and many of these “fans” haven’t, either.

For me, watching a movie is more like getting on a roller coaster. There’s going to be some ups, some downs, maybe even a flip or two. Just enjoy the ride.

I wouldn’t make a god movie critic because I enjoy most movies I see. There’s an occasional dud, but it’s rare. Going to the movie is a fun experience of its own.

Lucas went on to create the rest of the introductory trilogy, giving us two more episodes to lead us to the original three, and now we had six movies connected.

Each time, the fan base had feedback, and many times is was negative.

The deaths of Qui-Gon Jinn, Darth Maul, General Grievous and Count Dooku, the secret love affair of Anakin and Amidala, the Gunguns, the rise of Palpatine and his overacting (yes, there was overacting), and the absolute blindness and inability of the Jedi Order were all ridiculed. That and much, much more by the so-called fans.

When asked if Lucas would make any more Star Wars films, he said, “Why would I make any more, when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?”

Lucas sold Star Wars to Disney for $4 billion, and they have continued the saga with episodes seven, eight, and the upcoming release of nine this Christmas season.

There have been some standalone films as well, “Rogue One,” and “Solo.” More are planned.

I love the movies, every one of them, and I can’t wait for the final chapter in the newest trilogy.

What I could use less of is the criticism from the fans about what they believe the movie should be.

The reason George Lucas created Star Wars was his inability to obtain the rights to create a Flash Gordon movie.

What did he do? 

He created something of his own, something that has entertained billions and continues to do so.

It was his imagination and his story.

If a fan doesn’t like that, they can make their own film like Lucas did.

I love Star Wars for what it is, not what I think it should be. The worst part of Star Wars — the fans.

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