Monday, August 25, 2014

The 3 Types of Star Wars Fans

StevieB returns with a post on a subject I rarely give the attention it deserves: Star Wars!

I once got a piece of advice to write what I’m passionate about. Something that’s always been near and dear to my heart has been Star Wars. If you’re still reading, I know what you’re thinking. “Another one of those crazy Star Wars guys.” Well you may be right but ever since I can remember I’ve been in love with the Galaxy Far Far Away and I hope to share some of that love with you. It seems, to me, that I’m an experiment here in the Flashback Universe Blog. Hopefully I won’t need my targeting computer to shoot the torpedo into that small little exhaust port that is your Star Wars fandom.

For my first blog post, I want to define the three major Star Wars fans as I see them and where I fall amongst the ups and downs of Star Wars Fandom. So, we have the prequel era fans. This is, generally, the younger audience. By younger I mean people in their 20’s. Episode 1 came out in 1999. I was 13. I would make an

Original Trilogy Purist completely Nerd rage by saying that this episode was my favorite; but more on them later. I know what you’re thinking:

I understand that he’s not the most interesting character in Star Wars but you cannot deny the fact that kids love him. George Lucas has always said that Star Wars has always been for kids; and my 5 year old daughter found this character to be very entertaining. As a 13 year old, I loved the city of Theed on Naboo along with the amazing light saber sequence at the end that I still hold as being one of the best duels in the saga.

I won’t break down the other two as much, but Episode 3, the only Star Wars movie to be PG-13, really helped bring up the lackluster Episode 2 (my least favorite of the six). The Anakin and Obi Wan duel at the end of Revenge of the Sith was very brutal and emotional. Very entertaining. The infamous Darth Vader “NOOOOOOOOOOO!” excluded.

The prequel era fans also tend to find the Original Trilogy rather boring. But there are some people who love both. This is what I like to call the “Everything Star Wars” fan. No matter what comes out, they eat it up. The Clone Wars animated show (Which is actually very good and currently streaming on Netflix. I highly recommend it), the comic books, novels, and even the video games. This is the kind of fan that when asked what trilogy they prefer they generally just exclaim, all of them! This is the heart and soul of Star Wars fandom. There is no anger towards George Lucas for “ruining their child hood” or complete avoidance of the original trilogy because the graphics are terrible. I am a little bias here because this is the category I find myself in. But I do like to engage in the occasional argument of which is better, Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi? *cough Empire *cough.

Not so much the “who shot First” argument. Han is a bad ass to me. No Matter what.

So I want you all to know that I debated hard what order to put this in. I was going to save the “everything fan” for last but it just didn’t seem to flow. So, last but not least there’s the Original Trilogy purest. These are the people that didn’t want their beloved Star Wars to be altered at all from the way they vividly remember them from child hood. The fact that George added a Dewback to the background on Tatooine meant their child hood was just raped! I recently watched The People VS George Lucas...

...also on Netflix, and I was astounded by the amount of people that felt like they were owed something because the original Trilogy was altered. This is the group I understand the least. I get it, you grew up with these movies like I did with the altered movies and the new trilogy. But if changes were made to Episode 1 and rereleased I really don’t think I would lose my mind over it. I can guarantee I wouldn’t scream out that my child hood is now ruined. Even when the altered DVDs came out, they came with unaltered versions as well. But that wasn’t good enough, people wanted unaltered Blu Rays along with the new even more altered high def versions released on the same format. At what point is enough, enough? That being said, the current rumor is that Disney is working hard to transform the unaltered into high def for a blu ray release. So, they may actually get their wish.

Now you know where I fall in this grouping that I’ve been judging Star Wars fans for years, where do you fall? With the amp towards Episode 7 I’d like to post some new and interesting things that pop out of the interwebs. Is that something you’d like to read about? I hope you enjoyed reading this as much I did writing it and remember, the Force will be with you, always.

Sorry about the Jar Jar pic.


MattComix said...

I'm an original trilogy man who didn't mind *some* of the alterations (mainly background shots like the ones in Cloud City.) ..stuff like Greedo shooting first just felt gratuitous.

and I also really enjoyed Return Of the Jedi and I think Empire gets put up on a touch too high a pedestal with critics and fandom.

With ROTJ you have Luke completing his journey from boy to man and the good guys pulling out of all the crap they went though in Empire which I think is basically the point of it. After Empire I WANTED to see the good guys win! To be fair I usually do anyway but still.

Timon said...

This was an entertaining read. Thanks for posting! BTW, I'm a 'Number 2' kind of Star Wars fan.

Unknown said...

I'm a purist, but I do like some of the new content. The Clone Wars CGI cartoon is surprisingly good, and of course the Genndy Tartakovsky cartoons were better than any of the prequels.

To understand the nerd rage over the changes, imagine this: You buy a copy of Casablanca, but while watching it you find out that the ending has been changed. Rick shoots Victor and runs off with Ilsa while quoting Kanye West lyrics. Also for some reason, there's now a mime following Rick around for the entire film.

This is crazy, so you try to find the original version that everyone has been treating as historical literature for decades. No dice. All of the original versions have been pulled from the shelves and replaced with the Dead Victor version.

If Casablanca doesn't work for you, substitute another film that's been around for years and inspired generations. Then remove the key bits that inspired people and watch them get upset.

I'm not going to stomp around and scream about it, but I don't own a copy of Star Wars aside from an old VHS that I tossed out years ago when I switched to DVD. I won't give money for Episodes 4-6 unless they release the real ones.

StarWars7 said...

Well, if we must talk about it, in my opinion what I was most disappointed by in the prequels was Hayden Christensen performance as Anakin.

Generally, I've concluded that the full beauty of Star Wars is located in the Expanded Universe (book, some video games) and not in the films.

Jim Shelley said...

By the time Return of the Jedi came out, I was in my first year of college dealing with the changes in world view that come with such things. As a result the charm of the series was mostly lost on me at that point (and the ewoks didn't help much)

I'll always remember how much I enjoyed the first movie but I've never been as big a fan as some of my peers. I've always been a bit of the mind that because kids can experience the original trilogy all in one blast now days on dvd and movie channels, younger people are more inclined to be enamored with the series than people in my age group. I think my peers (age wise) are more likely to be greater fans of James Bond or Planet of the Apes than Star Wars.

Unknown said...

@MattComix I agree that there are some changes that just didn’t need to be there. Also, with all these changes being made, why wasn’t some stuff fixed? I know I’m about to sound like that nitpicky fan but things like when Luke runs out of the Wampa cave in Empire. You can clearly hear his light saber turn off but is shown as still on. I’m just saying, if you’re going to go crazy with the changes, fix some of the messed up stuff. I think it’s the introduction of Luke’s Jedi Training and Yoda that I personally prefer Empire over Jedi. Although, I do hold both of them in pretty high regard. Thanks for commenting!

@Timon I appreciate the kind words. I should have some more out soon. Number 2’s rule! Wait….

@Brian Cribb I LOVED the Genndy Tartakovsky cartoons! I remember I was working my first job at a sports bar and I would schedule my dinner break around these and sit in the theatre room they built and watch them. It was Awesome! I guess for me, it would have to be the Back to the Future Trilogy. To be honest, I’m not sure how I would feel. I think it would have to depend on the specific changes. I personally don’t think that any changes that were made really affected the overall story and feel. Accept for maybe throwing Hayden in at the end of Jedi with the DVD release during the bonfire scene. That was kind of weird. Are you aware that the original cuts actually did come out on DVD? After the trilogy pack came out they released the movies individually that included both the altered version and the original version. It was a port of the laser disc. Thanks for commenting!

@StarWars7 I will say that Episode 2 was my least favorite generally due to Hayden’s acting. I could totally get behind his internal struggle with his mother and his fall to the Darkside, but the love scenes: Brutal. There’s a lot of gold out there in the expanded Universe. I’ve always like the Old Republic games and stories. Hopefully they keep them around and don’t fall into this “Legends” business. Thanks for your response!

@Jim Shelley The Ewoks were the Jar Jar of that generation. Lol. I’ve always felt like Star Wars sits with everyone a little. Some people may not be into as much as others but it’s at least appreciated by most. The thing to me that makes it the saga so unique is that it defies generation gaps. There are not many things out there that parents and children can enjoy equally. Star Wars, to me, is very unique in that way. Thanks for your comment!

MattComix said...

@StevieB. I agree, like in the first movie (New Hope) when the laser effect for Obi-Wan's lightsaber blinks out in the middle of his fight with Vader. Still not fixed even on the Blu-Ray release nor were portions where the blade which is supposed to be blue is shown as being white. Yet having a cartoon dance number in Jabba's palace for ROTJ was deemed absolutely and creatively necessary?

I loved the training stuff with Luke and Yoda so I felt seeing Jedi Luke in ROTJ was the culmination of that. He'd come a long way from the farm boy looking out at the twin sunsets.

cash_gorman said...

My chief problem with the altering of past movies like Lucas did with the original trilogy is part of the reason that I don't like colorizing old b&w movies, or changing dialogue in reprints.

While I don't begrudge making changes for new editions that correct spelling errors, typos, etc, I generally think that when someone buys a reprint (and I consider dvds, blu-rays in that category), it should be as close to the original product as possible with the change in formatting.

I understand the marketing reasoning, but there's also the historical accuracy and preservation of the past considerations. For personal reasons, you are sacrificing historical and scholarly integrity and value. The new releases are no longer true representations of the original experience and purposely so.


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