Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Nearly four decades later, we’re still stuck with ‘Star Wars’ It could be worse; we could have an aging ‘Bandit’

I wasn’t amongst the people who felt compelled to watch Monday night’s football game between the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles.

For one thing, I have never thought much of football. For another, the half-time presentation of the film trailer for the upcoming “Star Wars” sequel wasn’t enough to overcome my personal apathy for “Monday Night Football.”

ALTHOUGH I DO wonder if my apathy for the “Star Wars” franchise is even more intense than that of professional football (whose cheerleaders look downright trampy compared to the ladies who dance on behalf of college football squads).

So I’m not amongst the people who felt compelled to watch the game so they could see the trailer for what ought to be referred to as Star Wars VII – put the roman numerals on it to make it feel like a Super Bowl-type event.

I did check out the trailer on Tuesday just out of curiosity, and couldn’t help but notice how old Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher looked.

Particularly since I’m old enough to have seen the original “Star Wars” when it came out in movie theaters.

I REMEMBER THINKING it was a cute film. A few moments worth seeing. The scene in the cantina with all sorts of living creatures from across the galaxy was amusing enough that I suspect I’d still remember it even if “Star Wars” had flopped and never resulted in a single sequel.

I’ll admit the initial sequel (which I was in high school when it came out) was mildly amusing. But the next sequel felt more like a toy commercial – just think of all the different action figures that could now be sold, and those cutesy ewoks?

I thought they were silly then, and think that Wal-mart commercial now is tacky for showing us a modern-day day doing the ewok dance with his daughter – as a sign of how “Star Wars” has so thoroughly permeated our pop culture.

It makes me think I would have detested that dad when I was a kid. I do remember thinking the film was not as big a deal as all my junior high counterparts did when it originally came out.

BUT A LARGE part of why I have come to detest the “Star Wars” franchise is the next round of three films – which just struck me as a way for George Lucas to show off his technical skills and see how many space creatures could he digitally insert?

Almost as though the real-life acting that takes place in a “Star Wars” film doesn’t matter one bit. And forget about the writing!

It is the reason I didn’t feel compelled to see the most recent film ever – and certainly don’t think I’ll rush right out on Dec. 19 to see the newest sequel. Which strikes me as more of an attempt to leach a few moments out of the old “Star Wars” characters before they die off (Ford is now 73).

So the idea that anybody tuned in to watch Monday Night Football just to catch a film trailer? It strikes me as weak as those who watch the Super Bowl just to watch all the commercials!

BUT I’LL ALSO concede that the masses feel differently. There was something about the “Star Wars” franchise that has caught the public imagination in a way that another big hit film from 1977 did not.

After all, there may have been a couple of “Smokey and the Bandit” sequels, but I can’t envision anyone seriously thinking of dragging actor Burt Reynolds out of mothballs to make another such film today – even though I’m sure he’d jump for the chance.

Let alone the big award-winning hit film of 1977 – “Annie Hall,” which took Oscars for best film, best actress for Diane Keaton, and became the film that let director Woody Allen keep making many more films even after his public image became so creepy that the masses wish they could ignore him.


No comments: