to all the Star Wars playa-hata haters out there

There’s been a popular critique of anyone who has been dissatisfied with the state of the Star Wars universe since May 19, 1999*. To paraphrase, the critique typically goes something like this: “Well, there were a bunch of 5-year-olds in front of me, and they LOVED it, so dude, just remember, the movie’s for kids. Like, lighten up and shit.” There’s a commentary by Jeff Jensen in Entertainment Weekly this week that more or less says the same thing in regards to the latest desecration of the Star Wars universe, aka Star Wars: The Clone Wars. To Mr. Jensen and everyone else who might make such an argument, I have the following rebuttal:


You know what I loved as a kid? You know what movie I stood in line for an hour with my mother and siblings for? The fucking LAND BEFORE TIME. And you know what? That movie has stayed with me ZERO. Zilch. Nada. All I remember from that piece of shit is that the mealy-mouthed dinosaurs are running from some crazy looking tyrannosaurus. And that’s it. Oh, I think the T-rexs name was Sharptooth. Or maybe Sharktooth. My eight-year-old mind couldn’t comprehend the difference between the two. Fuck, my twenty-eight-year-old mind can’t comprehend the difference, either. But you know what? I fucking ate up every moment of that movie, hook, line and sinker.

My point is not to rag on the original version of Ice Age. Rather, it is to point out that kids are stupid. I don’t mean this as a slight to kids. Kids are supposed to be stupid. They don’t know better. They are easily distracted by spectacle and loud music (which, incidentally, considering the state of the average Hollywood blockbuster today, should be indication enough that our current audience of adults is getting dumber – or, more optimistically, is being treated dumber – opening weekend by opening weekend). Kids gravitate more towards cartoons because it more closely resembles or relates to their developing worldview; they’re still trying to figure out physics and consequences, which are often murky at best in most hand-drawn animation (computer animation by design works with a perfect set of locomotion physics).

But as fantastic as Star Wars was, it was never cartoony, nor was it stupid – and I’m talking the original trilogy here, episodes 4-6. I enjoyed them as a kid, and I still enjoy them as an adult. They speak to both sides of that very wide and fuzzy line of maturity. The reason is simple: they’re good stories, told in abstract, far away lands, with fantastic characters and mythic plot lines. Anyone can follow them in any culture and at any age, because they are fundamental and universal.

So to make excuses for the Star Wars universe’s current stupidity by saying, “well, it’s designed for the youngin’s” is to insult the intelligence not of children in general but rather the inner child of every adult. It is insulting to say that, “yes, the part of you that wants to experience fabulous settings with epic stories is a pathetic, fucking moron who desperately wants to laugh at Jar-Jar’s fart joke.”

Pixar studios doesn’t seem to have a problem in creating films that speak to a wide demographic but are first and foremost squarely aimed at the children/family market. Finding Nemo, Toy Story, Monsters Inc. all play to the child in all of us without insulting anyone’s intelligence. Why doesn’t Georgey-boy take a cue from those guys and make movies in a similar vein? Oh yeah, because he once owned and subsequently sold Pixar to Steve Jobs. Way to stay in tune with the demands of the art market instead of relying on brand loyalty and merchandising.

So if you’re walking down the street, and you hear me bitch once again about Ahsaka, the ridiculous girl padawan that Annakin is paired up with in the dreadful new cartoon, be very, very careful telling me, “dude, it’s for kids.” I may just kick you in the balls and tell the yard duty you fell off the slide.

*For those who aren’t obsessively geeky like myself, that is the release date of Episode 1: The Phantom Menace – and for the record, no, I did not have to look it up on IMDB, and no, I didn’t even check. That’s how much of a dork I am.

Published in: on September 19, 2008 at 7:00 am  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I’ll thank you to never again call Littlefoot and the gang mealy-mouthed.

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