RANT: Is Star Wars Over Yet? Can it Be? Please?

I’m done with Star Wars. There I said it. I’m sick of it. I’m sick of the (well deserved) vitriol aimed at George Lucas. I’m sick of the petty geek squabbles over Han shooting first or Jabba being inserted into New Hope. I’m sick of seeing Yoda, Chewbacca, et al on geek-chic t-shirts and memorabilia. I’m sick of Star Wars some how being ‘cool’. And I’m sick to death of Star Wars references – both in pop culture and out on the streets.

Full disclosure: I am a Star Wars fan (or used to be, not sure where I lie now). However, it’s so ubiquitous now that it’s getting to be pretty annoying. Am I the only one is put off by the ‘coolness’ of Star Wars? Real fans should be fuming about this. Star Wars is being co-opted by the mainstream and being repackaged as “cute” and “vintage”. Shirts and handbags have Yoda or R2D2 on them. Running shoes now come in Storm Trooper editions. Yet most of these items are being worn by people who have barely seen the films, let alone have the slightest clue what a Rancor is. Star Wars is no longer about the films. It’s a kind of pop culture shorthand for showing that you’re hip to some of the more geekier things in life. And it’s a pretty lame shorthand if you ask me. It’s poseur geek, not authentic geek.

One of the reasons, I think, that Star Wars is still so prevalent in the popular conscience is due to constant references to it from other pop culture. Mel Brooks started it all off with Space Balls. TV shows such as The Simpsons then South Park sprinkled in references here and there. Family Guy then took it to the most obnoxiously obvious conclusion with a full on Family Guy version of Star Wars. All these things helped broaden the appeal of Star Wars, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The problem now is that everyone makes Star Wars references. Instead of being a cool nod to geekier viewers, it’s now clichéd and obvious (I don’t watch it, but I bet The Big Bang Theory gets a lot of mileage out of cute Star Wars jokes). Star Wars is, for lack of a better word, lame now.

Some of the blame for this can be leveled at George Lucas. It’s been seven years since Episode III, but Lucas keeps dragging the franchise back into the spotlight (probably because he has no other ideas) – from the long rumoured live-action TV show to the continuing Clone Wars cartoon series, and all the merchandise that goes along with it. However, a good amount of the blame lies at the feet of the fans. No matter how much fans bitch and moan about Lucas ruining Star Wars, they are the first ones in line to see anything Star Wars related. They then take to their blogs and immediately complain about Lucas being “all about the money” (when wasn’t Star Wars all about the money?) and sullying the good name of the Star Wars franchise. If you don’t like it, then don’t go see it! If Lucas stops making obscene amounts of cash from milking the franchise, maybe he’ll move on. The fans are enablers, and Lucas and them are engaged in a vicious cycle. Don’t you think it’s time to end it?

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