Ever since The Clone Wars came out, I’ve considered myself an “in the middle” Star Wars fan. I’m not one of the original Star Wars fans who got to see the Original Trilogy in the theaters, nor am I the youngest who have fallen in love with Star Wars through the TV shows and, now, the release of new movies. I’m smack in the middle…one of the younger fans who grew up on the Prequels. Maybe we’re not so young now, but I always feel young when I talk to the fans who were there when it all began.
As such, when I do happen to talk to the Star Wars fans who have known a world without Star Wars, I find that there are some things I just can’t understand in terms of experiences and annoyances.
I compiled this list in my head during the past week of feelings I can’t relate to as a Star Wars fan born post-Original Trilogy.
For some reason, this is one of the strongest differences I find between myself and older fans. I’ve read articles and talked to people who were absolutely heartbroken that Lucas “scientized” the Force.
My understanding is that when you watched ANH, it gave the impression that the Force was so mystical and anyone could use if they had the proper training. It spoke to fans because they realized that they could have this power. By the end of ROTJ, fans realized it could be genetic but it was still something completely supernatural. It couldn’t be explained why someone had the Force and someone didn’t or if it always gets passed down through generations.
When TPM came out and introduced midi-chlorians as the reason for the Force, a lot of older fans were outraged. They were, and still are, upset that the Force became something you could track and measure by taking a blood sample.
I’ve never been able to relate to this. I was 12 when TPM came out and even though I had seen the OT beforehand, I never thought much about the Force. It was just there. Luke had it. Vader had it. It was implied Leia might have it. So when Qui-Gon starts telling Anakin about midi-chlorians, I thought, “Ah, okay, that makes sense,” and it became part of my Star Wars knowledge almost instantaneously. I accepted it and moved on. When people get upset about it, I almost can’t remember a time before midi-chlorians so it doesn’t get me worked up.
Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s Father
Alas, I wish I could relate to the shock everyone felt when that was revealed. But I can’t . I knew Vader was Luke’s father before I watched the movies for the first time. Even if I was never directly told, it’s such a part of our pop culture that the misquoted, “Luke, I am your father,” is almost omnipresent.
This is one of those things where I really wish I could have had that older fan experience. I wish I could be in the theater watching it for the first time and think, “Wait, what? Did I hear that right? What did he say?”
But nope. It’ll never happen like that because I was born post-1980.
Jar Jar Binks
This may come as a surprise, but I don’t hate Jar Jar. Like the midi-chlorians, since TPM came out when I was 12, Jar Jar became accepted into my Star Wars love with no issues. It wasn’t until I was older and rewatch the movies that I think he’s annoying. Yet in 1999, he was just a different alien that, in the end, helped the Jedi and Amidala obtain victory over the Trade Federation.
Even now, I can’t relate to the extreme hatred older fans have for this character. The cruelness at which fans crucify this character and George Lucas for creating him is baffling to me. I’ve read that people think he’s a Jamaican stereotype and cruelly berate Lucas in articles for it. Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not, but I don’t get it and I can’t relate to it.
The Feeling That Star Wars is Done Forever
I kind of felt like Star Wars as I knew it was over in 2005 after ROTS was released. I didn’t know where my love for Star Wars would take me. But even as it ended, there were rumors of an animated Star Wars TV show being released (keep in mind the original TCW, was an animated microseries, ended in 2005 as well). By 2008, we had a completely new Star Wars to watch, albeit a very different format, but enough to keep the spark there.
I don’t know what it feels like to feel like there is NOTHING. Sure, Star Wars continued in the form of board games, comics, and some old school video games after ROTJ, but no one thought there would be new movies, TV shows, etc. The Thrawn Trilogy wasn’t published until the early 1990s so there was a good 8-10 years where all fans had were comics and games.
Props to the older Star Wars fans. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to be in a Jakku-like planet with absolutely no knowledge that there would ever be more Star Wars movies.
Practical Sets/Effects vs. CGI
This has become a huge debate in the past few years since Abrams was brought on board for TFA. Any time he or Kathleen Kennedy was interviewed, they stressed about bringing back real sets, real costumes, real locations for the new Star Wars trilogy. It’s clear that what they were saying is practical = Original Trilogy = what most fans love and CGI = Prequel Trilogy = what most fans dislike.
I disagree. The PT is a large part of my life and I don’t think CGI is bad. What I could possibly concede on is that a) too much CGI was used, and b) the scripts were not well done in the PT. If you don’t have a good script or storyline, then the CGI is going to be more noticeable.
I loved seeing the planet of Coruscant, the ships in space, and all the interesting planets we got to see because of Lucas’ work with CGI. One of my favorite scenes is when Artoo fixes the hyperdrive on Queen Amidala’s ship. Can you imagine how crude that would look without CGI? I also loved Utapau and the scenes with Obi-Wan riding the Varactyl. That would not have been possible without CGI.
So I can’t understand where this aversion of CGI comes from. It also baffles me that KK and Abrams went to such lengths to talk up their practical sets when the movie has a lot of CGI in it. I’ve said this before, but if you are going to go in one direction or the other, go all the way. I thought Snoke was one of the most out-of-place characters/moments/scenes in TFA and I know it was due to the CGI. He might not have looked so out of place in the PT because our minds were used to the special effects.
If you’re an older fan, do you disagree with some of what I said? If you’re a younger fan than me, is there something that perhaps you can’t relate to that I’ve written about? If you are close to my age, do you agree with what I’ve written?