Aaron R. Davis
Boy, those rumors about the next Star Wars movie are just out of control now, aren’t they?
Here’s one of my favorite rumors, although I think this was finally put to rest: Mara Jade is going to be in the movie somewhere.
For those of you who don’t know or, like me, don’t care anything about the officially-sanctioned fan fiction that is the Expanded Universe, Mara Jade is basically the female Han Solo. I know, I can just hear fans getting angry with me all over the place, but I’m standing by that. Here’s what I mean: in the Expanded Universe, Han Solo has somehow managed to be at every significant point in history and had some sort of run-in with every single character, and often comes across to non-EU fans as the lynchpin of an entire universe of pedantic geekery that actually seems like it can’t possibly be fun in any way. (Seriously, it’s like a bunch of sweaty neckbeards screaming about messing with continuity that only exists inside their heads when they’re not desperately trying to convince you that a guy whose big finishing move is a flailing, screaming fall into a desert vagina is a total bad ass.)
So, Mara Jade has also appeared everywhere, held every job, had a run-in with every single character in the galaxy — like Han Solo in the EU, she’s a character designed to reassure Star Wars fans that they’re cool — and the only thing you need to know about her for the purposes of this article is that she marries Luke Skywalker, because from Marvel Comics to Dark Horse Comics to the Expanded Universe, Luke Skywalker always falls in love with the same proactive bad ass redhead who used to be something different in fiction 35 years ago and is now the dullest cliché on Tumblr.
When the talk of Episode VII began, there was a lot of speculation about whether it would draw on the officially-sanctioned fan fiction and who would play Mara Jade. That was the big one: who will play Mara Jade? Well, obviously Jennifer Lawrence. Or, no, obviously Scarlett Johansson. Or, no, wait, duh, obviously Summer Glau. Well, we don’t know, but obviously someone hot and in their twenties has to play the wife of Luke Skywalker. In a movie set (and made) 30 years after Return of the Jedi. Against 62 year-old Mark Hamill.
This goes back to what I’ve been saying ever since everyone started dumping all over The Phantom Menace in 1999: Star Wars fanboys don’t tend to be cognizant of the reality of time. In much the same way a movie made when you were 25 won’t make you feel the same way a movie did when you were six, Mark Hamill can’t regress to a young man to accommodate your fantasies about River Tam Skywalker. The fact that anyone thought that would seriously happen is kind of adorable.
Oh, another rumor I’m enjoying laughing at: that the same people who hated the prequel trilogy (and still think that’s an interesting thing to talk about) will actually like this movie in any way, ostensibly just because they’re getting a lot of Harrison Ford thrown in their faces and George Lucas isn’t involved with it.
I’ve been very vocal in the past — and will probably continue to be, until I die, because prequel-haters will never be satisfied until they’ve bullied everyone into also hating the prequels or just not bothering to talk about them anymore, because no wound seethes more harshly or closes more slowly than the emotional wounds of a child-man who is reminded that he had the misfortune to age beyond 12, try as he will his whole life to stem his acknowledgment of that reality — about my disgust with fanboys who have decided that George Lucas is the source of all evil in the world. Gee, sorry the guy created the thing you’ve wasted so much money and time on over the decades and then had the audacity to tell his stories without consulting you. What a dick, right?
But yeah, this is going to be the one you all love and won’t complain about, and I promise I won’t throw it in your face that you spent years chasing down every rumor for something you were never going to like, anyway. Keep dreaming that dream.
Personally, I don’t know if I’m that interested in a Star Wars saga without George Lucas. I’m already a little annoyed that so far it looks like the adventures of token black guy, one woman, maybe Lupita Nyong’o, a bunch of white dudes and the aging cast of far too many 40 year-olds’ fantasies and not Billy Dee Williams. That’s a slap in the face. Why is Billy Dee Williams not considered an essential returning cast member for Star Wars? That’s just bullshit right there. As long as the white trinity and their pet Wookiee show up, who cares if Lando Calrissian makes a return appearance, I guess.
Hey, if I like the movies, I’ll say I like them. But I’m not going to spend the next couple of years immersing myself in rumor and false hopes only to watch everyone Crystal Skull the whole thing into nitpicky hatred after years of begging for it.
It gets old, fanboys. It really, really gets fucking old.
I know you think hating everything makes you interesting, but it doesn’t. It makes you boring and angry and difficult to be around. But yeah, keep telling yourself it’s because no one likes “real” nerds. You cling to that delusion harder than the delusion that you’re ever going to like anything new.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org