It’s here, after all the hype and Disney corporate take over, the movie of the millennium, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is finally here. So why is this child of the 70’s original ultimate fantasy thriller, self-proclaimed Disnoid, comic-con cosplaying attendee, bullied for an affinity towards Star Trek geek-girl not so thrilled?
Maybe it’s the idea of a letdown once again, by a George Lucas-inspired fantasy gone horribly wrong . Or it might be the combination of both the new in vogue everything on The Big Bang Theory must be awesome minions and the painful prequels of Star Wars that scared me from believing this one will be different.
Somehow a formula of life circumstances has made it so that this latest installation of the possible largest blockbuster of all time full of a sci-fi fantasy geek’s wet dream, has barely interested me. Other than the fact I have invested so much time in the past to the genre, that I have to see it out of pure allegiance to my geekhood.
The Let Down…..
Do we even need an explanation of the prequel let down? Like all true fans, I went to see Episode 4 in the theaters when it was re-released in 1997, to get jazzed about the new movies in production. It was perfect, I got that warm fuzzy feeling all over again seeing Luke Skywalker staring out dewy-eyed at the rising moons, questioning his fate, with new affinity and understanding after 20 years, appreciating the Hero’s Journey, and remembering my first crush. It was Christmas for a 6-year-old me all over again.
Little did I know, 2 years later, The Phantom Menace with all anticipation of Christmas for that inner child, would turn out to be that moment when you realize Santa is not just fake, but his beard isn’t real, he’s full of stuffing, gets annoyingly drunk, and hits on your Mom at the Christmas party. It was so bad, that I fell asleep, only to be woken up by the painful ear piercing banter of Jar Jar Binks. Dreams crushed, the ultimate let down.
Still a glimmer of hope, maybe Episode 2 would redeem the series. Lucas got geek-girl eye-candy Hayden Christensen to play Anakin Skywalker. My Bae from Higher Ground and an episode of Forever Knight, (my fellow geek-girls understand), so maybe it would work. Other than seeing Hayden shirtless, I am pretty sure watching that movie sucked some life out of my soul. And yes, Hayden was in Episode 3, he got “dark” and interesting, but it was too little too late, dreams of redemption crushed.
The New Age of Geekdom….
Don’t get me wrong, Star Wars was super cool in the 70’s, especially as kids on the cusp of the electronic age it gave us a platform to imagine the impossible. Everyone loved the movies, even though the cheese was spread on a little thick in Episode 6, we could get past the Ewoks knowing that the end justified the means, and good prevailed over evil. For those of us that got that titillating jolt towards science fiction/fantasy, we found new stories, movies, comic books, and tv shows to dive into.
The dive was not a pleasant one for a teenage girl in the 80’s. By the time I was in high school if a peer found out about my secret passion, it was a reminder of ridicule or a confused look of disgust, this often made me deny my love for hobbits, lightsabers, colorful cape adorning cartoon characters, and anything only nerdy pimply faced boys would care about.
But now, now you aren’t cool if you don’t geek out. Now you can pay hundreds of dollars to meet the celebrities that played characters that you were once embarrassed to admit you adored. The bigger the fan the cooler you are, you might even be featured for that basement full of action figures on you local TV station.
Aw geez, let’s face it, I’ve been burned, girls of my generation weren’t supposed to carry the torch for Luke Skywalker, and all things sci-fi fantasy, we liked Duran Duran and Tom Cruise, so how am I supposed to get excited? I guess I have to dig deep back to my inner child and forget about all the years between being tormented for my lust for Luke, and now embrace my middle-aged geek-girl, that missed out on being cool through her formative years because she secretly loved Spock. After all, Stars Wars for me was the one that started it all.
May The Force not wreck you,
Robin L. Stockmar M. Ed.
Technology Integration Specialist