Star Wars: The Last Jedi Controversy Is Beneath Us All

9.5
  • Science Fiction
2017-12-15
star wars the last jedi rey
Rey in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. (c) Lucasfilm

The Last Jed i is fine, although The Last Jedi controversy is not. I don't mean to say it’s an especially good movie mind you, but it’s the same neighborhood of bad as the stuff we’ve been content to venerate for years. All of the things we seem to hate about this film in particular, we ourselves willed into existence. We keep resuscitating juvenile schlock until we can no longer recognize it. Stories must end. It’s an integral part of good storytelling.

Are all of these characters, locations and plot points in the service of a succinct satisfying resolution? Or is my time being wasted? In order to procure that sweet nostalgic sentiment; that triumphant fanfare, May The Force Be With You, the sound of two lightsabers clashing, you forfeit the prospect of a gratifying conclusion. Star Wars fathered the modern blockbuster at the expense of intimate stories. And now the creation has returned to devour its maker. Despite their best efforts, Kathleen Kennedy and company can’t sustain this Frankenstein’s monster of a franchise. Retread, fans are outraged. Do something different, fans are even more outraged. End the whole thing all together? Well ya can’t hock C-3PO butt plugs without a Star Wars film to advertise that year.

I take great pleasure in The Last Jedi controversy. Adults with mortgages brawling online and at dinner parties across America about the merits of a children’s film. Our allergy to uncomfortable thoughts has reached a fever pitch so high my local news station in all sincerity ran a story about how the newest Star Wars movie has fans divided. Do you really think this is about a tenth-rate space movie? Like the brute in the schoolyard that pummels the asthmatic boy because he hasn’t the gall to raise a hand to his abusive father. When society condemns us for critiquing ideas by fortifying them behind an impenetrable wall of vapid social graces, we take it out on our entertainment, on innocuous things that can’t fight back.

Each and every one of us should be utterly ashamed for letting it get this far. To submit so willingly to a life of commercial servitude. For shame. In man’s finest technological age, we traipse about spewing violent nonsense, effectively undoing all of the marvelous epistemological achievements of the many great thinkers before us, human beings that delivered our comfortable age by no small price. Watch your favorite movies. But next time you even contemplate feeling anything more than distracted or annoyed by them, remember they're just movies. Care about something else instead.

 

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