May The Farce Be With You
MY WIFE, THE LOVELY AND WONDERFULLY OBSERVANT, DAWN, and I were having a discussion about our favorite movies when the “Star Wars” franchise came up. I remember seeing the first film back in 19…whatever it was. I know we had electricity, so it was sometime after World War One. It’s been a while that I know.
I enjoyed the movie, but despite all of the special effects and nifty costuming, I realized that “Star Wars” was really just a Cowboy Movie. It was a fun and rollicking Cowboy Movie to be sure, but an Oater nonetheless.
Over the years there have been a number of additional “Star Wars” movies. Dawn informed me that the plans call for a total of nine films. That’s a lot of popcorn. I don’t know if there has ever been another series of films with the same basic plot ever strung together like “Star Wars.” I know that there were a bunch of “Thin Man” flicks back in the 1930’s and 40’s and there were quite a few “Blondie and Dagwood” movies too. I think if they keep making “Indiana Jones” movies they are going to eventually end up with “Indiana Jones and the Lost Funeral Director.” I’ll bet that George Lucas outdoes them all.
After Dawn hit me with the fact about the plan for nine “Star Wars” films she then dropped that the story is not being told in any kind of sequential order. Since the initial film there have been Sequels, Prequels, and some that clearly don’t fit in anywhere time-wise. And it was planned that way. If that is true I think that it speaks to the amount of pot that was being smoked during the planning meetings.
Like I said, I enjoyed the first “Star Wars” movie. It was great fun and it looked like the Good Guys in the White Hats won, even though the main Black Hat guy escaped so he could plan the next movie.
What I don’t understand about the entire “Star Wars” film series is the slavish devotion, bordering on Puppy Love, which so many people have toward it all. To many people anything and everything “Star Wars” is the best thing since sliced bread and antibiotics. When a new episode shows up at the 137 screen Multiplex Cinema by the Mall there will be people waiting in line for days just so they can see it first. Obviously those people don’t have real lives or jobs. Personally, I’d just as soon wait a couple of weeks so I can go to the theater on a Wednesday afternoon and have room to stretch out, put my feet up, and not have to stand in line in the Men’s Room. But, hey – that’s them and their business.
What really amazes me is the amount of time, money, and occasional thought that a lot of people devote to collecting “Star Wars” merchandise – toys and stuff. I haven’t seen any figures, but I’d bet that more money has been made selling all of the miscellaneous “Star Wars” stuff than has been raked in from the actual movies.
It’s not kids who are buying all of these items. It’s the grown-ups who are spending their disposable income on “Action Figures” (Dolls), “Millennium Starfighters” (Model planes), and “Light Sabers” (Plastic Swords).
I actually know a family here in Terre Haute (That’s French for “Luke, I am your Accountant.”) who spent several hundred dollars for a pair of super fancy “Light Sabers” that they have lovingly displayed on the wall over the sofa. I was visiting them once when The Force hit them and the “Light Sabers” came down so Mom and Son could have a fencing duel in the Living Room – complete with sound effects provided by Dad who thoroughly enjoyed the show.
Some people scare me.
I admit that when I was a callow youth I owned and cherished my very own set of toy Hopalong Cassidy Six-Guns (complete with holsters and gunbelt). I wanted to wear my shootin’ irons everywhere, but I eventually knew that it was time to pack them away and move on. After all, I was starting school.
Maybe on weekends when no one else is around, George Lucas still straps on his very own “Hoppy” gunbelt and saves the Old West from the guys in the Black Hats once again.