Mediocrity, thy name is Star Wars…
If you like me, left the theatre wondering why your Force was still asleep, fear not, for an answer lies within reach.
If you are outside the expected demographic for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, this product was not made for you. The expected demographic is 14–35. That feeling you expected but did not get is not in your head.
This movie is now a product. Created to re-capture that lightning in a bottle that was Star Wars, Episode IV. Think of it as a synthetic lightsaber crystal. It looks and acts like a regular natural lightsaber crystal except it only comes in red. The effect it had on the young audience was just like it was for you, once upon a time. Their faces alight with the new adventures of Rey, Poe and Finn, just like it was when those hoary old guys were on camera, Han Something or Other, Furry guy whose lines you didn’t know who uses a weapon which looks like a crossbow but isn’t, and General Princess Leia.
The emptiness where fullness was expected is not in your mind. That nagging sense this didn’t seem like a complete story isn’t an artifact of an addled thinking process. It wasn’t a complete product. Like many products made today, even media products they are being compartmentalized for resale, manipulated, quantized for diversification, over as many media forms as possible.
Star Wars is no longer a feeling but a franchise, from longing to pandering, from connection to production, Star Wars: The Force Awakens indicates our social transformation from stories to move the soul, to tales which appeal to particular financially-solvent demographics.
When movies become products,
When characters become toys,
When franchise trumps feelings
When investment trumps writing
story becomes predictable,
talent becomes meaningless,
mediocrity becomes the norm,
lazy becomes the standard,
and movies become useless.
Movies don’t inspire us to greatness any longer; they’re designed to inspire us to shop. Characters don’t give us something to look up to, unless its sitting in its climate-controlled case on your mantelpiece. Movies don’t inspire us to adventure, only to watch others adventure in the comfort of our climate-controlled theatres eating corporately-sanctioned air puffed, oil drenched, over-priced deathcorn and tongue-colorizing Slurpee-chem, puffed by a scientific and patented, ice-forming process.
I don’t know what you should expect when the next movie premieres but given what we know above to be true, it likely won’t appeal to you either. But take your kids, otherwise, Disney might not make any more of them.
Psych. There will be a Star Wars on television or in media until they put you in the grave. Disney needs to have money to buy the next great franchise.
How much do you think it would cost to buy Star Trek? This next generation of Star Wars earnings are likely to make that little more than pocket change to the House of Mouse.
Thaddeus Howze is a California-based technologist and author who has worked with computer technology since the 1980’s doing graphic design, computer science, programming, network administration and IT leadership.
His non-fiction work has appeared in numerous magazines: Huffington Post, Gizmodo, Black Enterprise, the Good Men Project, Examiner.com, The Enemy, Panel & Frame, Science X, Loud Journal, ComicsBeat.com, and Astronaut.com. He maintains a diverse collection of non-fiction at his blog, A Matter of Scale.
Thaddeus is a popular and well-read writer on the Q&A site Quora.com in over fifty various subjects. He is also a moderator and contributor to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Stack Exchange with over fourteen hundred articles in a four year period.
He is an author and contributor at Scifiideas.com. His speculative fiction has appeared online at Medium.com, ScifiIdeas.com, and the Au Courant Press Journal. He has a wide collection of his work on his website, Hub City Blues. His recently published works can be found here. He also maintains a wide collection of his writing and editing work on Medium.