Monday, February 4, 2013

"The Expanded Universe IS THE END-ALL BE-ALL OF STAR WARS!!!!" (?)

Over the weekend, I met a man at a party who could not open his mind to the new Star Wars ventures because the creative people have said they are using a blank slate for the creation of the story, AKA ignoring the Expanded Universe. I'm not sure if it was mostly the alcohol or his personality, but he was extremely passionate and extremely loud about it all as we grilled in the snow outside in Brooklyn Saturday night (which was pretty cool to do, actually.) I told him I understand his firm stance and that he cannot be dissuaded, but I asked him if he could, just for a second, take a gander at the creative team that is being put together for the endeavor (including the producer, who might be the biggest reason I'm excited since I read this Kathleen Kennedy Hollywood Reporter profile.) I also asked him to consider the fact that the filmmakers are fans, they just happen to be filmmakers. And as far as we know, though they said they are going into it with a blank slate, they might have read some of the Expanded Universe books and take elements of them into their blank slate. Of course, I don't know these people personally and I don't know their relationship with the world outside the films. I was just suggesting the idea and asking him to consider it. He said he didn't care.

I don't recall what provoked it, but he also said, at some point while calling what's about to happen an "abomination," that you're not a real Star Wars fan if you don't follow the Expanded Universe.

Hold on a second there. I am not, in my adult life, into the Expanded Universe. I probably have not read a Star Wars novel since I read Shadows of the Empire in 1998 (by the way: Pixar should MAKE THAT.) Does that make me less of a Star Wars fan than somebody who has read all the books?

I think not.

My original interest in Star Wars was as films and the storytelling in those films. AND that's what they were originally intended to be. What has followed is due to the massive creativity the films of Star Wars ignited in not just its first generation of fans, but every generation that has followed, and, most likely, as long as humans exist and live in a media kind of age, every generation to follow. I should probably read more fiction, and I'm sure a good Star Wars book is some of the best fiction out there. The Big Bad Baseball Gypsy has read a select collection of the novels. A fellow Mets Blogger wrote one. If I choose, however, for the majority of my Star Wars fandom to be directed towards the films, that doesn't make me any less of a fan than anybody else, and it certainly doesn't make me "not a REAL fan."

I still believe the best way to tell a Star Wars story is through film, with the right creative group together, and I believe a talented creative group is being put together (including the writer of Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Lawrence Kasdan.)

As opposed to an overweight aging film director who doesn't want to work as hard as he did on the Original Star Wars, which had been the last time he had directed anything since becoming a corporate entity (which probably drained some life out of him over the years as well.)

The parallels to the story are insane...

Speaking of the most recent directing jobs of George Lucas, I have something you all should enjoy, regardless of whether you are a Star Wars fan.

On Youtube, there is a video production company called Red Letter Media. They create many different things, but they are known for their Star Wars Prequel reviews.

The character of Harry S. Plinkett, "aged, insane and hilarious," carefully, thoroughly and uproariously dissects everything that is wrong with every prequel movie. Each review is in 7-9 parts and run almost full-length feature time. Being a screenwriter and somebody who wants to make films, they are very educational as well.

They also have underlying narratives that he only eats pizza rolls and is a serial killer...

I highly recommend you watch all three reviews.

You see, the prequels were classics in bad filmmaking. They are memorable on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. They elicited the exact opposite response (from most of us) than the originals did. They are studies in what NOT to do. The only thing that can rival the majesty of IV, V and VI is the complete and utter train wreck that is I, II and III. I am almost thrilled that they exist the way they do because of the educational opportunity they now represent.

And its probably a good thing for VII, VIII and IX that Lucas screwed those up so royally.

Yes, the conditions of the times came together to create something magical from '77-'83. It will be very difficult, if nearly impossible, to solicit that same emotional reaction from us.

But I have a feeling I'm gonna have a great time in those theaters.

Here's the "Star Wars Track" of the Day.

I can't get over this photo.
Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @convertedmetfan. And for Rising Apple twitter updates, click here.

"Email me if you want a pizza roll."

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