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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Salem's Shameful Sci-Fi Secret

I'm going to be upfront here. I don't like Star Wars.

Let that sink in. I'm a big Doctor Who fan (obviously, if you've been keeping up with me here). I love Star Trek. Especially Deep Space 9. I've been reading Marvel, DC, and a few of the indie companies for decades now. I even keep up with the lore behind Transformers (not the Bay films, pls). But Star Wars has never really resonated with me for some reason.

I remember, as a kid, seeing the films on television around Christmas or Thanksgiving, depending on what part of the world I was living in at the time. I'd seen, through bits and pieces, but probably never the whole way through, the entire original trilogy, albeit not in the proper viewing order either due to never actually having sat down to watch them and whatever various bits got cut out for commercial breaks. I got a bit swept up in the Episode 1 hype. I mean, being a nerd, I was supposed to be excited, right? Star Wars, in the theaters, for the first time in my lifetime. I didn't camp out waiting in line or anything (I hate queueing. Avoid it at all costs), but I visited some friends who did on opening night. And when my friends and I went to go see it, we threw popcorn up in the air and cheered appropriately when a giant spaceship flew across the screens for the first time. I pity the usher who had to clean up after that showing.

The hype died shortly after seeing Episode 1, of course. Didn't end up seeing either of the latter films in the prequel trilogy until much, much later. I still don't think I've seen Attack of the Clones the entire way through, due to falling asleep pretty much every time I attempted. I've probably seen the RedLetter Media Plinkett reviews more than I've seen the actual movies. For the record, they're right. Lucas is a maniac that needs to be reigned in sharply.

Only.. I think I might like Star Wars. A little, at least. I clearly know that I'm not fond of the aspects of it that are Sword & Sorcery In Space. I can't stand the Jedi Order. They strike me as hypocritical, repressive, overly judgmental, and prone to propaganda at least as much, if not more, than Palpatine during his power play. I've never been fond of stoic warrior monks at the best of times, and when they have a council with executive power in government, that just rubs me the wrong way. I have a feeling that I'd need fitting for a cybernetic arm regularly if I lived in the Star Wars universe for very long. Temptation to mouth off to a Jedi would just be too much for me.

And I won't even get into my theory about how movies 2-5 could have been avoided if Obi-Wan hadn't been such a dumbass right now.

So I recently sat down and watched the Classic Trilogy and, worryingly, I could clearly identify things that I enjoyed. Mos Eisley. Jabba's Palace. The Millenium Falcon. The Cloud City of Bespin. Lando Calrission. Boba “What Exactly Did I Do To Justify All This Fan-Worship” Fett. The bounty hunters on Vader's ship. And the lynch-pin of all of these elements: puckish rogue Han Solo.

I realize that while I dislike a majority of Star Wars, what I'd really like is a series of films about Han Solo. The world of smugglers and bounty hunters, alien crime lords and blockade runner ships. I want a movie where Han didn't so much shoot first, but didn't even give Greedo the chance to fire. Given my relative unfamiliarity with the Star Wars canon, I'm open to suggestion if anyone's got a good recommendation on any Solo-centric stories, visual or print, I might enjoy.

In the meantime, I made a physical concession to the series.  

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