Monday, March 27, 2023

Everyone Needs To Stop Talking About ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’

The article you are about to read will not change anything. You might agree with it—I hope you agree with it—but that will only mean we are in this losing battle together. As a writer on the internet, every precedent ever established instructs me to tell you otherwise. To promise you this article matters. To swear and curse until we dissenters are heard. But as an honest human, I cannot promise you any of that. Because it’d be a lie.

Instead then, this article’s aim is to carve a very small space in the internet where reason and sanity reign. Where an article is not written with the goal of your clicks (though, the clicks would be nice) or trying to sell you something; I’m not, unlike the majority of other internet writers, even trying to sell you on myself. Think of the intention here like wearing a pair of Bose noise-cancelling headphones—no music playing, just a buffer between your senses and the outside world currently running an aural assault on them.

To strip away another pretense, this article’s premise could describe or investigate a subject you find more important than mine. Here is where I will promise you something: Whatever ongoing story you think this should be about probably renders as more significant. (That is unless you’re focused on whatever meme-generating comment the Donald Trump administration has made; then your idea is dumber than mine.) As you’ve undoubtedly read the headline, you know this argument revolves around Star Wars because that’s the latest event to piss me off. And I mean really piss me off. Imagine my anguished cries somewhere between Luke Skywalker’s heart aching yelps discovering Darth Vader is his father and Anakin Skywalker whining, as he amusingly rolls into lava at the end of Episode III, like a little bitch.

We’re somewhere on that spectrum, anyways. Because Disney and Lucasfilm decided you, me, and every operating pair of eyeballs wants to know every last detail about Star Wars: The Last Jedi. I should rephrase: Disney, Lucasfilm, and the entire media industrial complex needs to tell you everything that happens in The Last Jedi before you see The Last Jedi. If someone were to leak who The Last Jedi was (that person probably being George Lucas), every blogger would run it through the content mill with outrageous headlines, and earn boatloads of clicks because we all prefer to live in a world without surprises. Even about a fake war of stars involving a fake (angst-y) family who can use fake force powers.

But why? It’s barely June and I’m burned out by Star Wars. Disney and Lucasfilm are running an old-school marketing approach for The Last Jedi similar to the promotion of The Force Awakens. Months of teasing information and nostalgic interviews with the original cast and slowly introducing us to the new one. Giant glossy magazine features and testimonials from celebrity superfans invited on set like Kevin Smith. Selling limited-edition toys in rounds and partnering with Saturday Night Live for parody screen testing of actors. All fun and warranted as we welcomed Star Wars back into our lives.

But Star Wars the franchise is already part of our lives. We know and love Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, and BB-8. So why is everyone so eager to continue shoving Star Wars down our throats? A week doesn’t pass without Vulture or Birth.Movies.Death or Variety or Buzzfeed or whoever teasing or speculating on another The Last Jedi rumor. That giant Vanity Fair feature included a “definitive preview,” introductions to the new new characters, portraits and photoshoot from Annie Liebovitz, four different magazine covers, and David Kamp, who wrote the story, hosting a Reddit AMA. Secrets and more teasers of Luke Skywalker’s green lightsaber maybe returning and what’s up with Snoke and how did killing his father affect Kylo Ren were revealed.

Again…why? Can’t we watch the movie and figure all this out on our own? Do we require this level of belittling spoonfeeding?

Perhaps I’ve grown too accustomed to our new media way of doing things. For example, I love the Fast and Furious franchise because I like fast cars, stunts that don’t obey the laws of physics, and Vin Diesel grumbling sermons on “family.” But if I had to constantly hear about Fast and Furious plot details, possible teases regarding Brian, and see headlines like “You Won’t Believe The Surprising Turn The Rock’s Character Makes In ‘Fate of The Furious’” six months prior to the movie, I’d swear it off….okay, no I wouldn’t. But know that, like, I’d be really, really upset. Man, I’m probably coming across real pathetic right now.

Okay, here’s what I’m saying. We’re not dumb, Star Wars. I know the country’s actions might suggest otherwise right now, but we’re not a nation of Luddite dunces who need perpetual stimulations of mass-marketing to remain interested in your product. I promise I’ll see your dumb movie. Please, oh please just shut up until at least October. Then shove whatever garbage you want into my eyeballs about how fresh and revelatory your new movie will be. I promise I’ll let you.

But I know this argument is ultimately futile. These are not the articles you’re looking for. The Sith Lords in charge of Star Wars will meticulously maintain our glazed interest in The Last Jedi throughout the year. They will win and I will lose. Please just don’t make me pretend The Force Awakens is a good movie anymore. I’d rather join the Dark Side.



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