11:22 AM CDT, November 2, 2012
[Because I'd like to talk about basically anything but politics for a second...]
Disney paid $4 billion for “Star Wars,” and my first reaction was to drop the stupid RedEye column I was writing and finally start work on my space opera, “Planets Conflagration.”
(The basic plot is there’s an evil galactic dictator, a young rogue using a mysterious power, and a bunch of racist-caricature aliens eating fried chicken and driving spaceships poorly.)
I might as well, right? After all, despite what my good friend and resident RedEye geek Elliott Serrano might want to believe, the “Star Wars” series is 2/3 total dreck.
That’s right, I said it.
The “first” three movies, meaning episodes I-III are unwatchable on basically every level. I won’t rehash every criticism ever made of the latter day “Star Wars,” but I can throw out the basic ones everyone more or less shares: Hayden Christensen’s sniveling, Jar Jar Binks, the writing, the acting, the overreliance on cartoonish CGI effects that already look dated and silly, midi-chlorians, that idiot kid who played Anakin in “Phantom Menace,” Darth Vader screaming “Noooo!” at the sky, convoluted plot lines involving trade embargoes, and really terrible allusions to Bush-era political speechwriting.
Meanwhile, though I loved the original films when I was younger, I can now see as an adult that they also include some pretty terrible, cringe-worthy blocks of filmmaking. “A New Hope,” in particular, has not aged well.
Yeah! That’s right! I said it! Everyone knows it’s true.
Anyway, my only point is that I kind of agree with Serrano that there’s no reason to believe Disney can’t improve on the mess that was 2/3 of the “Star Wars” franchise, and even if they do suck, who cares? “Star Wars” isn’t a film series so much as a multi-billion dollar marketing and merchandising machine that simply needs the pretense of story—what my late grandfather called “cowboys and Indians in space”—to keep churning out the plastic garbage that keeps the fanboys masturbating.
(Incidentally, “Keeping the Fanboys Masturbating” is going to be the title of my next memoir.)
Which is all to say, hey, Disney, get at me. Just take me to lunch. I’ve got some great ideas for the next “Star Wars” movie that I can just adapt straight from “Planets Conflagration.” I've got this awesome character: Bisby Jinks, the jive-talking robot. His catchphrase is, "Hey, turkey! Hit the hyper-drive!"
The T-shirt practically sells itself.
Copyright © 2014 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC