Tickets purchased, expectations lowered. Sigh. The Rise of Skywalker is currently hovering at a 53 on Metacritic.
And, submitted for your approval, a rare and wonderfully insightful thought plucked from the Internet. (Birth. Movies. Death., specifically.)
I couldn’t agree more.
If you go back and look at George Lucas’ “Star Wars” from in the context of 1977, it fits right into the canon of New Hollywood greats. But while his contemporaries were pulling from the French New Wave or Italian neorealisim, George Lucas cribbed influences from Kurosawa, Flash Gordon, John Ford, Joseph Campbell. It felt personal, in its own strange way, driven by the point of view of one auteur. As timeless as it seemed, it felt current and relevant to the outside world; its not hard to draw a comparison to the Vietnam war watching Star Wars, fresh on the minds of every American in the late 70s. It took risks, even when it was traveling in cliches and archetypes, and went on to inspire multiple generations of creativity.
But somewhere along the way, Star Wars became just another risk averse IP in our increasingly IP-driven world. As its universe expanded, it ironically put on a cap on the possibilities of what “Star Wars” could mean. It is now Star Wars as product, “market-researched, audience-tested, vetted, modified, revetted and remodified until they’re ready for consumption” as Martin Scorsese recently put it. Where once Star Wars drew on the outside world, its now merely about itself and its finite number of themes and ideas. The films that once showed audiences things they’d never seen before is now just another franchise built to deliver exactly what we remember, forever and ever, until we’re all dead.