Great Expectations

I realized something a week or two ago that kind of made me stop in my tracks.  As Episode VII approaches and with more news coming out every week, people are getting increasingly excited.  We have the camps that think the movie should stick strongly to the Thrawn trilogy (doubt that will happen), fans that believe it should be a whole fresh take on Star Wars (this is where I stand), and others who think we should pull in the old heroes to create a common thread in order to hand off the baton to a new generation of characters and create a new Star Wars storyline (I see some of the appeal in that).

What’s interesting about this is that the news of Disney and Episode VII came out on October 30th, almost a month ago, and already we are forming little factions organized around what we want to see in the new trilogy.  As 2015 continues to grow closer, there will be more and more opinions and expectations on how the movie and trilogy should be.

This is exactly the problem.  It’s hard to get excited about a movie as big as this one in our world without forming some sort of expectation on how it should be and I believe that was one of the major problems with the prequels.  People were SO excited and SO happy to be getting more Star Wars movies that the expectations kept getting raised higher and higher.  People were looking for that same feeling they had during the Original Trilogy; they wanted the Star Wars they knew, and it was hard for them to accept Star Wars as it had become.  George Lucas had changed as a director, whether you want to say that he turned into a sell-out or if you want to say he lost touch, whatever you want to say – he had a different vision of how the new prequels should be.

Things will not stay the same, nor should we expect the past to repeat itself.  I know this is easier said than done, but the last thing we should do is create a mental picture in our head of how we will be leaving the movie theater in 2015.  I’m sure so many people went into TPM imagining leaving the theater with a scenario like this:

“Wow, what about that movie, huh?  Wasn’t it amazing?”

“Yeah, dude, I’m so glad Star Wars is back in my life.”

Both their pairs of eyes are glazed over with happiness and warm, fuzzy feelings emit from their soul, creating a glow around them that can be seen for miles.

And then it didn’t happen and instead of accepting that a movie is, after all, just a movie, they decide to hate the prequels, blame George Lucas for ever thinking a Goofy-like character named Jar Jar was a good idea, and lament about how Star Wars has gone downhill for the next 13 years…until they hear the news on October 30th, 2012.  Then they stand up tall and think “Now, here is the chance for Star Wars to be redeemed once more!”  And the cycle repeats itself.

Because no matter what, no matter how awesome this movie is, it will not match all of our expectations.  We didn’t expect the Original Trilogy and that’s why no Star Wars trilogy will ever come close.  When you don’t have pre-conceived notions of how a movie should be, you have the ability to have a transformative experience.

It’s hard…how do you go into this new trilogy where so much of the universe has become your best friend, and try to stay realistic about it?  I’m not saying I don’t want to get excited.  Quite the opposite, I’m super excited!  But I don’t want to have overwhelming feelings of disappointment, so I’m going to try to have realistic expectations.

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2 thoughts on “Great Expectations

  1. When I saw Episode I I was quite disappointed as I had waited since I was a eight to see a new Star Wars movie and it was not what “I” wanted. This disappointment was somewhat relieved as I looked around the theatre and saw kids who were my age when I first saw Star Wars amazed at what they had just experienced. I think I realised at that time that I didn’t own Star Wars and it wasn’t made for the adult me but for the eight year old who still exists in all of us.

    • I agree, Mark – good point! I felt that way once when I went to a kids movie and was also disappointed until I, too, noticed a young boy soaking in every minute of it.
      Some of me feels bad for George Lucas. When he announced he was retiring in January and asked if he would make more Star Wars films, he said “Why would I make any more when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?” I feel for him, honestly I do. He’s just trying to make a movie that he wants to make (and by golly, he should be allowed to, since he gave us the whole universe) and instead the fans look at Star Wars as a treasured museum piece that should never be touched. I just feel bad for him and, in a weird way, a bit of pity. We don’t own Star Wars, though without us, he wouldn’t be a billionaire. But we also need to keep some of it in perspective.
      And hey – you get another movie coming out in 2015 so maybe the adult part of you will be happy with this new one. I just heard that David Fincher is now in the running to be the director (taking this news with a grain of salt since there are so many rumors) and I think that would bring a whole new different, and maybe more adult, take on Star Wars.

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