It Wasn’t My Star Wars!
I must admit I was shocked at several of the turning points in the story that I never saw coming. I mean, really, that whole thing about the parents?
And, I did not want HER to like HIM at all! And yet, there was a growing attraction there I never saw coming. Really! Can’t she see his dark side will always win out over his good side?
And, abandoning the training as a Jedi to save your friends? That can never turn out well.
I wanted to scream at the screen! I wanted to rant and rave in protest. This is NOT how I would have written the story. In fact, I had written MY version of the movie in the months and months since the previous movie and I would never have done this. A different director from the first movie had taken this train down a dark and dank tunnel and taken the wrong track!
As the final scene played out I sat stunned in the darkened theater as everyone slowly shuffled out. I would now have to wait for more answers to questions I never knew I had asked. And never have answers to questions I had asked for a long time since the previous movie.
How could George Lucas do this to me?
I walked out into the hot summer day in May, 1980 realizing I would have to wait THREE years to find out if Vader was really Luke’s father. And, to see if Han was rescued. And, to find out if Leia and Han would really be in love instead of Leia and Luke.
As I got behind the wheel of my car and started the engine, turning the AC on high to cool down the angry flush reddening my face I smiled. Yes, it had been nothing like what I had expected. But, it had been a GREAT movie! It had been a rousing story! It had shocked me. Made me laugh. Made me cry. And, I had not seen a single beat of the story coming.
The world had changed. Again. In 1977 the world changed forever when that huge spaceship screamed across the screen in an endless crawl at the beginning of Star Wars: A New Hope. It changed again in 1980 when George Lucas upped his game. Never before had a movie producer dared to leave his audience dangling with a cliff hanger that would not be finished for three years.
Would his gamble pay off? I would say that it has.
And so, I sat in the theater at the end of The Last Jedi and had the same feelings. This was NOT the story I would have told. This is not how I saw Luke’s journey ending. This is not what I wanted to see happen with Snoke or Leia or Rey.
BUT, it was a great movie. And great movies work when they tell great stories. Stories that do not serve the fans expectations, but still serve the fans. Faithfully. Fully. And, true to the characters in the story.
I know there has been quite a bit of uproar over Rian Johnson’s new movie. But, my friends, it is nothing like the uproar in 1980 when The Empire Strikes Back came out. The revelations in the movie were earth shattering and totally unexpected. I screamed “NO” when Vader told Luke he was his father. And yet, history shows that the best and greatest of all of the movies is “Empire”. Why? Because the story was king and the fan’s were not; but we, the fans were served well.
Now, let’s sit back and think of the power of this Story and see if JJ is brave enough to follow through. Can he takes us even further into a future Star Wars universe that will move us beyond Luke and Leia and Han?
It happened with a similar trio. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. The original series was cancelled but not forgotten. It was brought back to life in an animated series, then a movie series. Then there was the Next Generation which many consider the best series of the franchise. Followed by the very different Deep Space Nine and Voyager. Then, the franchise broke the mold again with Enterprise. And guess who took up the reigns to break the new rules? JJ Abrams taking us into the “Kelvin” timeline. And now, Discovery. Where will it all end? Hopefully, it won’t. It’s all based on the ideas that swirled in Gene Roddenberry’s head.
The United Federation of Planets and its “universe” is much bigger than the bridge of the original Enterprise. I have lived through all of the iterations. And, I can tell you that the same trepidation inundated me every time a “NEW” direction was revealed for the series. But, the franchise continues better than ever.
So, if you are a disappointed fan with The Last Jedi, be patient. Take a deep breath and enjoy the diversity, the diversion, the breaking of the mold that still leaves us in the Star Wars universe. There’s so much room for change. After all, it all took place in a galaxy far, far away. Long, long ago. We have ages of story to explore!
To the writers and produces and directors of Star Wars: Go for it!
Posted on December 23, 2017, in Breaking News, My Writing and tagged Han Solo, J. J. Abrams, kirk, Leia, Luke Skywalker, McCoy, Rey, Rian Johnson, Spock, Spoke, Star Trek, Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, The Last Jedi. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.