Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Seeing what awakens when the new Star Wars film finally arrives in theaters

As the day grows closer for the official theatrical release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it's pretty much impossible to ignore this imminent pop culture arrival anywhere you look.

Whether it's TV,magazines or internet chatter, the renewed interest and active energy of fans is one power source that just about all media loves feeding on as well as feeding to us. Considering the increasing bad news that the real world offers more and more often these days, it's no wonder that folks would find a galaxy far,far away to be a safer place.

I do think that having a new yet familiar cultural phenomenon like this could be the best thing for all of us right about now. Star Wars has the cache of being a franchise that people of all ages and backgrounds know so well that getting back into the realm of the Jedi and the ways of the Force is not daunting, even if you haven't seen the much despised prequels:

Speaking of the prequels, there are still a good number of fans out there that feel betrayed by them and are reluctant to join in with the frenzy surrounding The Force Awakens.

 I really can't blame them, especially since I found those movies to be complete and utter cinematic messes too, yet that doesn't mean that we should give up on the whole series there. Look, any long running film franchise is bound to have a couple of clunkers there(ask any horror fan) and Star Wars is no exception to that rule.

Yes, Jar Jar Binks is the worst(second only to Hayden Christensen's balsa wood level of acting) but on the other hand, not everyone liked the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi either. At the very least, those unnecessary prequels do give us a chance to take some joy in hate-watching them:

 Having a fresh new chapter of Star Wars is a prime opportunity to look back at the original trilogy and see what made it so great.

 Much like The Force Awakens, the first set of films were a blend of old and new, combining classic story telling tropes with new technology that created a modern mythology into which audiences eagerly tapped into.

I was one of those early fans and I admit that at first, I had no interest in this Star Wars movie that everyone was talking about. However, when my parents took me and my brother to see the first film, we were all enchanted by this amazing world and it's cluster of characters such as the timidly intelligent C-3PO, Han Solo and his Wookie co-pilot Chewbacca, the brave and bold Princess Leia and the ultimate Big Bad, Darth Vader.

Vader was a favorite of my father's and to this day, I still have one of the Star Wars themed gifts that I gave, him a ceramic mug shaped like the Sith Lord's helmet that I came upon in a thrift store. Part of my love for villains comes from my dad, who also enjoyed Jabba the Hutt as well, and I'm sure that we were not the only ones that made the Star Wars saga a family affair:

With The Force Awakens, that comforting bond of cinematic wonder is back to unite both old and new generations, friends and family, into a shared experience that could help us to not only take a little shelter from the real world storm but to reassess our attitudes about life as well. We could start with attitudes about fandom, for one. In order to survive , such a powerful force needs to be inclusive, which means getting over some of the seemingly set in stone stereotypes about who is "supposed" to be a fan and who isn't.

Why should it matter when you got interested in Star Wars or how, the important thing is that you like and/or love the series and want to share that joy with others. To those geek gatekeepers out there ready to pounce, you are  so not the fans that this or any other series are looking for.

Being overly particular about who you deem to be "worthy' of sharing your fan space  with is not what any hero you admire would do. Unless your goal is to be an out and out minion of small mindedness, I think you know what side of the Force is the right one to be on.

A new Star Wars should be a time of celebration and I truly believe that it will be, yet it would be a true achievement for pop culture if all fans were accepted without question. May the Force be with us, with popcorn and light sabers at the ready:


Thaddeus said...

So I'm a hilariously miscast member of your audience here: I have avoided every single trailer for tFA and I despise the prequels. In fact, I wasn't going to see tFA at all until my whole family decided to go.

I can't have great hopes for what's to come - partly from being badly burned before, and also because JJ Abrams' works can be so senseless that I hate myself for having to sit through them.

But the truth is that you're right that fans have to be at peace with each other - now more than ever, since we have real issues to deal with, and real "villains" out there who are willing to kill and brutalize whoever they need to in order to get what they. I can't go as far as you do and suggest we take our worried off out minds with these movies, but we surely shouldn't use them as yet another source of divisive anger - that way lies the dark side, right?

You're right that there's no need to sit on the sidelines and be some kind of Scrooge figure booing everything.

lady t said...

Thanks, Thaddeus- I probably won't seeing TFA until after the holiday season but from the reviews that I've read, it looks as if the movie is a promise fulfilled. Hope you and your folks enjoy it:)