Just saw The Incredibles 2, a fantastic movie, and can’t help but think of how much better the Star Wars universe would be now if The Force Awakens had been directed by Brad Bird like George Lucas wanted. As strange as that may sound, it’s not as ludicrous as this …
There is a petition going around on the internet, supposedly enhanced by the idea that the signatories will pitch in their own money, attempting to get Disney to let them—the signatories—remake Star Wars – The Last Jedi.
Leaving aside the absurdity of Disney (or any studio) allowing that to happen for any amount of money, can you imagine just how bad that movie would be?!? Probably not. I’m not sure the human mind is capable of conceiving such a disaster.
It all stems from the fact that there are a lot of Star Wars fans who didn’t like The Last Jedi. Having many years to practice being unhinged, they have decided that they not only don’t like it, it was awful, terrible, horrible, and everyone associated with it except Mark Hamill should be taken out and shot—preferably in a non-vital organ so that their deaths will be slow and painful.
OK, I get not liking the movie. There are a lot of movies I haven’t liked. And, truthfully, The Last Jedi is my least favorite of the 10 Star Wars theatrically-released movies so far. But I have only ever walked out of one movie in my life (Star Trek 10—The Search for a Plot) and that was because the projector broke and they gave us all our money back.
Now, don’t get the idea that I am just a casual fan of Star Wars. I have movies I-VII (plus Rogue One) on DVD & Blu-Ray, I have read about 75% of the novels, have hundreds of the comic books, and am frequently seen in Star Wars T-shirts. I do well at Star Wars trivia, I’ve seen Rebels and most of Clone Wars, I have the Lego Millennium Falcon, I had a dog named Obi … and you get the point. It would not be a stretch to say I love Star Wars.
But I wasn’t crazy about The Last Jedi. I thought it had a lot of great moments, but—for me—they added up to an unsatisfying whole. So, while it’s been out on disk for a while now, I still haven’t bought a copy. Don’t know if I will (but it’s probable). Part of me is thinking maybe TLJ will be rescued by Episode IX*, but then I remember that IX is being directed by JJ Abrams, who is notorious for bringing projects to an unsatisfying conclusion (see Lost, or, well, everything else he’s made). So counting on Abrams to bring it all home is like that moment when your favorite team sends in that reliever who seems as likely to blow the 8 run lead as to hold it.
Having established my bona fides as a Star Wars fan, and expressed my own displeasure with TLJ, what I don’t understand are those people who hate TLJ. I mean, absolutely hate it. Some of them are so clearly unhinged as to declare that a movie (A MOVIE!!) has now ruined their childhood, but even some of the moderately hinged ones appear to be frothing at the mouth as they type out screeds against a film that is apparently the worst thing they have ever seen. (I would say that they are typing these words from their parents’ basement, but that may not be true. They may well be typing them from their law office, their comfortable summer bungalow, or even the RV behind their parents’ house where they sometimes attempt to bring chicks who they have met at the local comic book store.**)
Seriously, how do you let a movie ruin your life? Even if IX is worse than VIII, I will still happily—joyfully even—watch I-VI plus Rogue and Solo. I will even continue to play Star Wars Trivial Pursuit with my family because I have one edition that covers episodes IV-VI and another that covers I-VI (the only movies I will ever think of as true canon) and while I’ll watch the other four (and probably five, once IX is out), it’s not going to diminish my life in any way if they aren’t as enjoyable as the first six. Even if Rian Johnson’s planned trilogy*** doesn’t come up to snuff, and even if those miscreants responsible for Game of Porn make a Star Wars trilogy as abominable as their TV show, it won’t diminish the fact that I will still love I-VI.
Now, back to my opening statement: this remake the dreamers think they can persuade Disney to let them do, would just be awful because—trite though it may have become—too many cooks do spoil the broth. Would everyone who contributes to the cause be allowed a vote on whether Poe’s X-wing gets blown up or not, or whether Kylo and Rey get together? If not, why not? Will the person who started the crowd-fund be the director, or have a say in the hiring of one, or is there a committee in charge? Who selects them? And why would I think they would be any better at telling a story than Abrams, Johnson or that guy on the corner who thinks he’s directing a movie when he waves at traffic?
In short, as many faults as I personally found in TLJ, I am confident that this proposed remake would be infinitely worse.
* Some of you may not remember, but way back in 1980 there were people (a minority, but they existed) who claimed that Empire Strikes Back had ruined the saga because Han was frozen and the rebellion was losing and, surely, Darth Vader had just lied to Luke.
** This is, of course, said in jest as there are [almost] no chicks at comic book stores.
*** I’m not as down on this idea as some fans are. As I understand it, Johnson’s planned trilogy will be set somewhere else in the Star Wars universe, or, at least, not concern the Skywalker family. It could be that, given his own story to tell and not having to fit it into some committee’s paint-by-numbers plan, it will be better that TLJ because it will be solely his. Plus, I look at Rogue One and Solo and a clear takeaway for me is that the movies are better the less JJ Abrams has to do with them.