Of course I was spoiled growing up. We didn’t just have The Muppet Show (and Fraggle Rock!) on TV- we knew the name of the man who brought the Muppets to life; Jim Henson. We even knew that the man who voiced “Miss Piggy”, Frank Oz, guest-starred in one of the biggest sequels of all time, as a little green alien called “Yoda”.
Oh, and that sequel? We all knew whose baby it was. George Lucas. His film-school buddy Steven Spielberg was the mastermind behind E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jaws, and the classic-styled anthology show Amazing Stories. (Just to name a few.)
So. As an adult, you have a problem with a movie that you loved as a child. I see on social media that this is a common grievance. I don’t need to name a film. There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of motion pictures that don’t stand up to the intense scrutiny and overthinking of 2017.
It’s not them. It’s you. You are the problem.
I’ll begin with a contemporary example: any current superhero movie. Marvel, DC, independent degeneracy like Deadpool and Kick-Ass; it’s all the same. Permit me to make another assumption- you got all worked-up over seeing the latest hero flick, and you left the theater three hours later feeling empty and disappointed, without knowing why.
When crafting a fictional universe, where does one begin? The introductory story, the characters, or the world itself?
From the back cover
Today, the general process involves cribbing from whatever made the most money previously, and changing just enough to keep from getting called a plagiarist. Actually, that’s not completely true; your average latter-day Hollywood mogul couldn’t care less about charges of appropriation. Cash comes first, imagination and progress later.
As the venerable Star Wars imprint slowly transforms into an empowerment series for little girls who wear costumes and bitter old fanboys, one of my favorite aspects is being scrubbed from the narrative:
Weird, stupid aliens.
He attempts to eat that dead Woodring monster.
I’ll never comprehend the segregationist nature of the “Star Wars fan”. Watching the fandom dismiss George Lucas, the creator of everything they care about, has been like observing a schism of zealots. Since general audiences weren’t born in the 80s, when ripoffs of Star Wars abounded, they gladly accepted a ripoff from J.J. Abrams. Continue reading →