I’m Not The Sharpest Pencil In The Box…

…I will admit to that. I truly may not be the sharpest of pencils. I might even quality for more of the “exotic crayon” category.

(With the caveat that I am hopefully all thirty-two colors in the “Dogs Of War” set from Cryhavocolor. Even the “Friendly Fire” Grey crayon.)

But, even this particular crayon knows that when you’re in a hole and it isn’t the hole you want, stop digging.

Case in point, the Star Wars franchise. Understand this, I have been a Star Wars fan from when the first movie came out and I was possibly pooping in my own diapers when I saw it (still learning bowel control, I was a kid). I loved the movies. I enjoyed the Original and Prequel trilogies. I had probably my best ever time at BayCon was in 2008 when I got to watch Star Wars on LaserDisk. The original theatrical cut, which you can’t find anymore if you just want to buy it. Spent the entire night watching it, with a pretty and smart girl from OSU (science major, if I recall right) who spent the entire night drinking margaritas, snuggling, and curled in my lap.

I saw Revenge of the Sith at the Brenden Theaters in Concord with another awesome lady that made me feel like a normal human being at the time, and I still have fond memories of that evening.

So, yes, I have some very damn good memories of the franchise. I remember when West End Games did the Star Wars RPG and it was just…fun. Good, honest fun that was enjoyable and they wrote it well and it played well. It was good.

And then…Disney buys the franchise. This is where the digging commences, and Disney clearly was trying to get a world’s record in seeing how quickly they could destroy the franchise.

I liked Rogue One, I thought it was as close as we’d ever get to a West End Games RPG session as a movie. Where if you weren’t a Jedi or had a kilometer of plot armor, you ran from the Sith. As fast as you could, remembering that old saying that you don’t need to outrun the lion, you just need to outrun everyone else.

I went to see The Force Awakens…and something was wrong. Han died like a punk. You don’t kill people like Han Solo like a punk in this kind of franchise, because you need to use him to properly pass the torch along to the next generation. You don’t wreck the relationship between Han and Leia, you don’t throw Luke off to an ending cameo, you don’t make everything they fought for worthless.

And, it was in that moment, that I felt the briefest twinge of that dangerous wind blowing from the East. The wind of the Mystery Box. Of deconstruction theory. That you need to kill your heroes and kill the past, because the past will hold you back. The gust front of the Millennial Fallacy, that you need to make it all end before you can start again.

And then, I saw The Last Jedi.

That the movie theater is still standing, because I didn’t burn it down to the ground to try and contain the disaster. Mostly because it was already too late. Far, far too late.

I refuse to talk about why The Last Jedi was bad. It’s like reliving the worst day of your life, over and over and over and over and over again.

I like Rian Johnson and he makes good movies. He was not the director for something like this, and it showed. Oh, GOD did it show. You could have cut a third of that movie and still had enough space and budget to fix everything. The writing was horrible. The set-pieces were terrible. And…what the crucified fuck did you do to Luke Skywalker?!?

I am sorry that Carrie Fisher died. Especially with The Last Jedi as her very last film credit. Nobody deserves that. But, if you wanted to save the franchise, there was time to reshoot the ending, bring Luke back, and give Leia a dignified ending. Save something from the disaster that was about to unfold.

But, of course, they couldn’t. Because the past has to die, and you have to kill it if you must. And, the Force is female, and Luke was an evil old man and all of those old, tired theories.

I still have not seen The Rise Of Skywalker through in a complete showing. I…just can’t. I’ve seen it in bits and pieces, but I have seen it through from one end to the other. And, if there is a story in there….I can’t find it. At all, beyond…at the end of the day, Palpatine wins. His heir has everything, even the Skywalker name.

I watched Solo and there was a movie there I might have liked…if it wasn’t a dumpster fire from end to end and to the sides and to the bottom.

And then…and then, The Mandalorian

….which was a shock because it was actually good. It was well-written. It was paced properly. It used practical effects as much as possible. I liked the cast, they were chosen well, and they were fun to watch. And, the return of Luke Skywalker at the end of the second season, how it was paced in such a way as to hide what was going on-and to frame Luke as being an even bigger badass than his father. (Seriously, watch that episode and pace it with the fight scene with Darth Vader in Rogue One. Vader may slow down, but Luke never breaks stride. Not once.)

I had hope again. That there could be good Star Wars stories.

In theory, I should have enjoyed The Book of Boba Fett…but, it was just…horrible. One of the most dangerous men in the Star Wars universe. Someone that can challenge even weak Jedi and Sith-and hold his own-got a plot that could be a horrible mash-up of Dances With Wolves and The Godfather.

Then, the cycle was complete with ObiWan. I had to watch it, because everybody around me likes it. They enjoy it. They think it’s fun. They don’t see the plot holes that are a mile wide. They don’t see how some of the biggest heroes and villains have been turned into small and crass people…because the people in charge don’t believe in heroes, not at all. Unless the “heroes” are their perfect Mary Sue characters that are never wrong, always right, and always win somehow.

And, we saw the promos for Andor. Tell me this-if you weren’t told, specifically, that this is a Star Wars series, just on the visuals alone…would you think it was? Would you think that maybe this was a SyFi original series with maybe a bigger production budget? And, isn’t that a huge insult?

Let’s not even talk about the tie-in materials and games. My blood pressure is already too high.

I should be mad right now. Truly, I should be. But, if anything, I’m just tired.

Tired of bad movies.

Tired of bad TV shows.

Tired of people that have no respect being given the keys to the kingdom…and burning the kingdom down to the ground. Because they can. Because they think it is good and proper to destroy things. Because the only way they can feel joy is to destroy what other people have made. And laugh when you get angry when they destroy things.

So, yes, I’m out. No more Star Wars for me. I’m that theoretical abused spouse that has just had enough and is walking away. Giving my divorce papers, even if I’m going to be leaving with nothing but the clothes on my back. No more.

They’ve dug the hole, it’s going to collapse on them, and I don’t care what happens to them in that hole. I cannot raise a single mote of empathy for them, not at all.

They dug this hole. They destroyed what I loved.

And now, that hole is going to be their grave.

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