I don’t think I should have to explain it at this point, because if you’re reading this now, you’ve likely known for a while that I’m a huge Star Wars fan. I have been for pretty much my entire life, collecting for a couple decades, and generally being a super nerd for all things Star Wars. In all that time, I’ve come to encounter a great many other fans out there, and the variety of them is nothing short of astounding. Yet there is one ‘sect’ of fans who I doubt I’ll ever understand; a group of people who seem Hell-bent on hating every aspect of the very thing they claim to love.
It’s a concept that’s long eluded me. Since the Special Editions of the Star Wars trilogy were originally released in the latter part of the 90s, this special sect have been claiming that George Lucas ruined their childhoods. It’s a motto they’ve stuck with through every iteration of the movies (DVD and Blu-Ray releases), and even throughout the Prequels. I’ve long contended, however, that’s there really only one legitimate reason to make such a claim:
If I come off mean throughout today’s post…well, good. I’m not trying to play nice about this, as it really is a ridiculous idea for people to espouse. For perspective, I went to my girlfriend, a normal person (i.e. someone who’s not a nerd), about this idea and it totally blew her mind. The whole idea about these changes ruining a person’s childhood eluded her and made absolutely zero sense.
The reality is, aside from a generally shitty childhood to begin with, NOTHING that happens in your adult years can actually ruin it. Stay with me here, because the science is kinda tricky: your childhood already happened and your nostalgia is still intact. The mere fact that when you watch something new and think to yourself, “this isn’t what I originally saw,” proves that your nostalgia is completely whole and untouched. The only thing that’s changed, is you became a butt-hurt adult. [Note: I’m using more of a GENERIC “YOU” than speaking to someone specific]
I get it. I actually do. It is tough to see a that impacted you in profound ways be changed and adjusted as the years go by. It’s even harder when the original versions you fell in love with are no longer readily available on the latest media platform. But to go beyond this idea, and sincerely believe your past self is impacted by these changes, is going over the top. Nothing can take away the feelings you had when you first saw Star Wars, nor the way changes it may have had on your life.
As a life-long fan I’ve seen a number of changes come to the Star Wars Saga I originally watched. Hell, the Expanded Universe, which served as my ONLY means of new Star Wars tales for nearly two decades, was wiped clean and replaced! But even though they don’t “count” anymore from a technical standpoint, doesn’t take away the enjoyment I got out of them, or the messages I took from them at the time I read them.
Fundamentally speaking, Star Wars is the same now as it was back in 1977. The driving themes and mythology behind the story remains the same. It’s still a story about good versus evil, fighting back against injustice, and discovering what makes a person special. Seeing an extra dewback or two in the background, or a new musical number, doesn’t change these things. Sure, it’s not the same presentation you remember, but it still gets the point across for newer generations to continue to enjoy.
I’ve long held to the idea that Star Wars is Star Wars, and whatever version you prefer is totally up to the individual fan. As such, it’s really sucky to lambast and criticize fans for liking a different version than you. If you’re going to go to war over a version of Star Wars, and put someone down because of it, perhaps it’s time to find a new hobby. Star Wars isn’t an exclusive property for nerds who believe in a ‘true’ version; it’s for everyone to enjoy on whatever level they do.
Okay, I suppose that’s enough ranting for this week. As promised, I managed to get in this brand spanking new comic this week, though I’m liking the idea of these “redux” Focal Point articles. I won’t abuse them, however, and keep my butt in gear for new comics. In Cinelinx news, we had a BLAST at PAX the other weekend, met up with some cool people, and generally got more word out about our awesome Card Game. We’ve got more coming for that soon too, so stay tuned for all those updates.
Until next time folks!