BHS Blogress Report: 2019, Week 16 – I Just Want to Enjoy the Damned Movie

Week 16 – I Just Want to Enjoy the Damn Movie
Still fighting off the last of my illness, so I haven’t been able to do much, but the next item on my list is Shattered Skies Chapter 44. It’s closer to being done than anything else at the moment.
The first teaser trailer for Star Wars Episode IX came out this weekend, along with the reveal of its title: The Rise of Skywalker. I’m excited to see how this thing ends, but my excitement is dampened considerably by the re-ignition of Star Wars Discourse, because even a year and a half later, a small but very loud and intensely irritating group of people (“fans” seems to be giving them too much credit) are still bitching about The Last Jedi. It’s not enough that they hate the movie, it’s not enough that they harass the people who made the movie, they have to turn it into a goddamn dog whistle in an attempt to get everybody else to hate it too.
Now, it’s not like I have much of an emotional stake in whether Star Wars is good or not. I didn’t grow up on the movies like many other people my age did… I watched them and I loved them, sure, but I always wanted to serve aboard the Enterprise as a kid, not be a Jedi Knight. Star Wars has never been a religious experience to me. I went to the midnight premieres of both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi because they were momentous cultural events, not because my fandom demanded it… I’ll do the same for The Rise of Skywalker in December, if I possibly can. I’m not trying to be hipster-y or put on airs of ironic detachment, I’m just setting the stage.
Quite frankly, I just want to enjoy the damn movie. I don’t care about “respecting the franchise” or “staying true to Lucas’s vision”. I don’t care if the new trilogy has plot inconsistencies from movie to movie, or if it clashes with the EU material, old or new. My measure of what makes a good Star Wars movie is how well it absorbs me in the moment… if it can present a coherent story and let me escape reality for two hours, it’s done its job. Star Wars is many things: a landmark in the history of film, a cultural juggernaut, a cornerstone of many peoples’ childhoods. Star Wars is not about creating art, and it hasn’t been since the 80s, if not even before that. It’s a franchise that for the vast majority of its life span has existed primarily to sell toys and to entertain children and teenagers, in that order. This is not news, people. George Lucas is not some holy, shining beacon of artistic integrity, he never has been. If you’re upset about Disney trying to make money off the franchise’s fans, it’s time to face reality: Lucas did the same thing for 30 years, just on a smaller and marginally less corporate scale.
When Rise of Skywalker comes out, I expect to be entertained. I expect lightsaber fights, space battles, fantastic John Williams music, pseudo-profound philosophy, and a few good gags and one-liners. If it’s anything more than that, if it manages to have a meaningful message or two, that’s fantastic! Good for the cast and crew, they’ve worked hard for most of a decade on what has to have been a tremendously stressful series of projects. I’ll be a bit disappointed if the daring, innovative stuff from The Last Jedi gets retconned due to the aforementioned loud and irritating people, but Disney is primarily in the business of pleasing crowds, not challenging the masses. That’s par for the course for them.
TFA got made and I enjoyed it. TLJ got made and I enjoyed it. Both films did their jobs. All I can ask of TRoS is that it does the same; if it does, I’ll be satisfied. If you want to scream your lungs out at me for that… well, please don’t do it here. I’m not interested in discourse, I just want to watch the silly space fantasy and be happy for a while.
  • Tasakeru Book IV: Twilight’s Dreaming, Chapter 9: In progress
  • Tasakeru Patreon: 6 Patrons
  • Twitch Follower Count: 34 followers
  • Book II Appendix: On hold
  • Shattered Skies: The Morning Lights, Chapter 44: 0.25 pages done
  • Shattered Skies: Viluy’s Database Chapter 3: On hold
  • Uravity Falls Chapter 3: On hold

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