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As yet another Star Wars director gets thrown overboard — Colin Trevorrow was fired from directing Episode IX, adding his name to a growing list of directors who have failed to navigate the asteroid field of working for Disney/Lucasfilm — I found myself growing melancholy.
Not for Trevorrow — I’m sure he has more money than I ever will. But because being a fan of Star Wars — or of anything geek/nerd/lonely introvert-related — isn’t fun anymore.
But wait, you say. This is the most glorious time to be a geek/nerd/lonely introvert! There are so many shows and movies and, well, stuff! So much internet to discuss those things until, like, one in the morning! There’s Game of Thronesy Big Bang what have you! There’s a Star Wars movie every month almost! It’s like a golden age, like if the Leafs won not only the Stanley Cup but the Super Bowl and 649! (Is that how sport analogies work? I’m not sure.)
Yes, it’s undeniable that this is a, uh, time to be a Star Wars fan. But I’m old. I remember how things used to be. And as I sit on my porch in my rocking chair covered in C-3P0 stickers, I can tell you being a Star Wars fan used to be a lot more fun.
• The Rule of Three: Star Wars movies used to come out every three years, not every year. And we didn’t live in this constant barrage of set reports, script changes, doors slamming on Harrison Ford and the aforementioned jettisoning of the unfortunate soul who landed in the director’s chair. The Star Wars films just kind of arrived, we watched them, and then we thought about them. Maybe bought a novel or comic while we waited for the next one. Usually alone.
• The Death of Alone: This is what geeks/nerds/anime fans used to be experts in. We would spend so many hours walking down lonely streets, listening to Walkmans, thinking. Will Luke get his hand back? Is that Han’s vest Lando is wearing at the end of The Empire Strikes Back? Did the Ewoks eat dead stormtroopers? Alone in our own little worlds, these thoughts burned bright. It was nice to think by — and for —yourself.
• The Internet: Sigh. It should have been so good, this internet thing. In our fevered dreams, we thought we could share our love of things with other people. We would make friends. We would talk about Han Solo and Leia and why there were laser sounds in space. But the internet is like sticking your head in an MRI filled with buzz saws. If you’re not spoiled for details by idiots, you’re told why your opinion is wrong. Any opinion. Just breathing probably offends someone, and that someone will tell you in ALL CAPS. Just imagine if you really went out on a limb and said Return of the Jedi was maybe a tad pedestrian. They’d never find your body.
So I guess maybe I’ve outgrown Star Wars. Or it’s outgrown me. Or I should just climb onto a Hothian ice flow and drift away. Or maybe I should maybe get into another film series. Is Charlie Chaplin still putting out talkies? Maybe that’s more my speed now.
Sean Twist is a London writer.
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