Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Star Wars Burnout

Soooo.... The Star Wars "Saga" is coming out on Blu-Ray Disc this month; September 16th, to be precise. Back in the mid-90s, when the Trilogy (as it then was) came out on VHS and LaserDisc "one last time", I was all about getting the widescreen VHS (LaserDisc really hadn't caught on in my neck of the woods) and went to great lengths to do so. When the "Special Editions" came out in 1997, I had to get them. I even bought the DVD set, which had even further changes in late 2004, albeit at a seriously reduced price. And now? I really don't care anymore.

I suppose an explanation is in order. At first I thought the changes to the SEs were kind of cool, but then they began to gnaw at me, enough to lead me to join the forum, which was dedicated to getting the powers that be (read: George Lucas and 20th Century Fox) to release the original versions of the films on DVD with the attendant care associated with transferring such material into the digital realm. Their response was to take LaserDisc transfers from the 90s and put them on DVD. I could go into why this is insufficient, but again, that isn't the point. The point is that I feel like I have outgrown them. This became even more true as I worked my way through the prequels, which are not terrible films, but not great either; you have to be in a certain frame of mind to watch them.

Star Wars was my entry point into the worlds of science fiction, special effects, and an overall love of film. This was a film that said that a movie could be made on a relatively low budget and still have stunning special effects with a plot that really moved. Dialogue wasn't necessarily the best, but that's beside the point; I had been introduced to the world of film at the age of 6, and there was no turning back. I had actually contemplated a career in film, but moved into other areas instead. As I got deeper into film, I found even better films and gained an appreciation for more cerebral works, but could still go back to Star Wars and enjoy myself. Along the way, that became less and less the case. Part of that is attributable to George Lucas' Antonio Gaudi-esque need to have the films change perpetually, but more to the omnipresence of Star Wars. Spike runs the films almost as often as TBS used to run James Bond movies, along with their snarky commercials involving characters from the Star Wars universe, which were amusing at first, but have now become tired.

Star Wars has become the equivalent of a worn-out security blanket, which has been patched over with mismatched newer fabric; it's still recognisable, but it no longer serves the same purpose. Will I buy the Blu-Rays? I really don't know right now; it's not a priority anymore. I suppose if my kids beg and plead for them enough, I'll give in, but for now, I'll just be happy with my pancake moulds I got at Williams-Sonoma and my Lego toys.