Remember how George Lucas sent storm troopers door-to-door to ensure everyone witnessed the wonder of Jar Jar Binks in the prequels? That was, of course, after he made us all buy the remastered versions of the original trilogy on DVD, thereby permanently destroying the joy and wonder of childhood forever.
No. Wait. My mistake. All the howling and gnashing of teeth that has followed yesterday’s announcement is just another manifestation of the weird entitlement felt by Star Wars fans. The same moaning has accompanied Lucas’s every move since Episode I: The Phantom Menace was released in 1999. The anger of the nerds was further stoked by the director’s meddling with the original trilogy, making CGI tweaks and changing whole scenes – plenty of younger Star Wars watchers will never know that Han shot first.
It’s appropriate that Disney have snapped up Star Wars, though. Star Wars is a kids' film and the rabid fan boys and girls that still pore over it as adults are indulging in nostalgia. For all the conferences devoted to its themes and academic texts such as Camille Paglia’s paean to the beauty of Revenge Of The Sith, Star Wars is a silly but sometimes sensational space adventure. That so many people seem to think Lucas owes them something beyond those hours of entertainment is ridiculous.
Adults harping on about Star Wars today are as annoying as people who constantly herald the spirit of punk, upset that the touchstones of their youth aren’t the same any more. Lego Star Wars and the animated Clone Wars series have got new generations hooked on the franchise and they’ll no doubt love the new films regardless. For fans frustrated about the future of Star Wars, perhaps it’s time to follow George Lucas’s lead and begin to step away.
Star Wars is now modern folklore. Children become aware of Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker before they’ve seen a frame of the films. Vader is a marketing man for Volkswagen and Yoda yells slogans for Vodafone. There’s very little Disney can do to make Star Wars worse and when the next film rolls around in 2015, it’ll be trying to capture the imagination of the kids who love Clone Wars, not that of the dads still droning on about 1977.