Aaron R. Davis
I think I’ve written here before in some fashion or other about my relationship with Star Wars fans. To recap, briefly: I tend to despise them. They make liking Star Wars very difficult, sometimes embarrassing and I hate the way they’ve turned on George Lucas for handling his own universe the way he sees fit, instead of the way they think he should.
This week was yet another exercise in the irrational hatred of George Lucas that poisons so much of the Internet.
British director Mel Smith, who made The Tall Guy (excellent) and Bean (execrable), remarked to a reporter that George Lucas was buying up film rights for dead actors “in the hope of using computer trickery to put them all together in a movie, so you’d have Orson Welles and Barbara Stanwyck appear alongside today’s stars.”
Now, I don’t know if this was merely a joke taken out of context. It’s certainly not an original complaint; I remember hearing Roger Ebert making a similar worry nearly 20 years ago, stating that one day they’d take the heads off of actors in old movies and replace them with more current stars.
It’s also possible that Smith — who directed The Radioland Murders, which Lucas wrote and produced — was making some kind of spiteful commentary about the man himself, or his propensity for special editioning, or his faith in computer effects, or all three.
Either way, it’s not really a serious statement, is it?
Well, if you’re an Internet crybaby who’s still angry at George Lucas for what you think he did to your childhood, it’s a serious statement. An incredibly serious statement.
And those crybabies ran with it. They didn’t bother trying to verify if it was actually true — or, most likely, even bothering to read the interview with Smith, instead just focusing on the one quote pulled out for movie news websites to use to savage George Lucas some more.
This thing had gone almost immediately from an off-the-cuff remark to a full blown pretend rumor starring one of the Internet’s favorite villains. And it was proof, actual fourth hand proof, that George Lucas was once again worse than Adolf Hitler. After all, at least Hitler stars in all of those allegedly funny YouTube videos.
This embarrassing spectacle became so loud (er, in a virtual sense) that Lucasfilm actually had to issue a denial. Apparently this is the sort of Extremely Important Internet News that needs to be dignified with an official denial. Because the Internet — an engine for the dissemination of information — has made it easier to be less informed than ever, Lucasfilm had to embarrass itself by addressing this “rumor” in order to once again placate the fandamentalists who are so damn angry.
Look, guys, I get it, alright?
You’re pissed off.
You’re pissed off that the Prequels didn’t capture the innocent magic of your childhood because, inconveniently, you’d spent 16 years growing up (sort of) between Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace.
You’re pissed off that George Lucas didn’t make the Prequels soon enough for you to still be a children when you saw them.
You’re pissed off that George spent the intervening years making movies that weren’t Star Wars.
You’re pissed off about Jar Jar Binks and nine-year-old Darth Vader and Hayden Christensen and the mere existence of CGI.
You’re pissed off that you don’t like The Clone Wars.
You’re pissed off about Special Editions and Han shooting first.
You’re pissed off about Shia LaBeouf and prairie dogs and aliens and things that could never be Steven Spielberg’s fault because George Lucas is the source of all frustrating sadness in the world.
You’re pissed off that Boba Fett is a character who did nothing but stand around and look kind of cool for a movie and a third before going out like a punk, instead of dying the epic screen death his barely-any-screen-time character supposedly deserved.
You’re pissed off, for nearly three embarrassing decades, that George Lucas used Ewoks instead of Wookies, because you labor under the misguided and frankly imbecilic belief that he would have somehow merchandised the shit out of Wookies less than Ewoks. Yes, you in the Star Wars shirt with the shitload of Star Wars action figures, plushes, posters, comic books, Expanded Universe novels and PEZ dispensers: you’re upset about the naked commercialism of Ewoks.
You are all just so damn angry and resentful and spiteful simply because, in 1977, George Lucas did you the incredible favor of creating a fictional universe that you love and wish you could live inside. You wish it so badly that every time he does something that deviates the tiniest amount from how you think this universe should be ordered, you cry like a little bitch about how your childhood is now empty and meaningless.
And you know what? If seeing Darth Vader as a nine-year-old somehow ruins your entire childhood, then it was empty and meaningless. You should have gone out and played more and spent less time imagining the origins of a movie villain.
Like I said, I get it. Alright? I get it.
You don’t need to complain to me anymore about your ridiculous hang-ups, because I totally understand where your stupid, stupid neuroses are coming from.
But even so, this was just embarrassing. You guys really hate George Lucas so much that Mel Smith’s remark makes you all run, cradling your injured anuses, straight to your blogs and message boards to cry and sob and righteously heave about what new imagined injustice George Lucas has visited upon your precious feelings, without even taking a second to think “Wait, that’s stupid, maybe I should see if that’s remotely true.”
You so badly want to believe that George Lucas is the most evil person alive that you’ll hear something this profoundly dumb and simply believe it because you want your negative opinion and your simmering, smarmy fanboy rage validated so terribly.
Someone could say that George Lucas was working with private contractors to bring an asteroid into orbit so he could film more realistic outer space scenery, but there’s a danger that the asteroid could fall to the planet’s surface and wipe out all life on Earth, and you’d swallow it whole and be up all night raging to the Internet that George Lucas has to be stopped. “See? George Lucas is mankind’s worst monster! Han shot first! Han shot first!”
Maybe, back in the seventies, George just shouldn’t have bothered.
But then, you’d probably find something else to be ridiculous about.
Aaron R. Davis lives in a cave at the bottom of the ocean with his eyes shut tight and his fingers in his ears. You can contact him at email@example.com.