Published at: Aug. 15, 2008, 2:02 a.m. CST by Moriarty
Hey, everyone. “Moriarty” here.
You know what fanboy phrase I really hate?
“George Lucas raped my childhood.”
No he didn’t. He didn’t “rape” you in any way. That’s such a specifically, intentionally ugly use of the word, and in the end, even if you hate every single thing he’s done since the end of JEDI, he still hasn’t “raped” you at all. He’s never forced you to do anything. Many of us grew up fans of the original trilogy, and I can understand feeling a massive disconnect from what he’s done with the series recently, but “rape”? Hardly.
George Lucas inspired a great deal of my childhood. He ignited a love of film in me that has continued, full force, from 1977 to today. I was there for the theatrical runs of the STAR WARS films. I was rabid long before there was an Internet. And the thing that Harry and I were first in contact over was the teaser trailer for STAR WARS: THE SPECIAL EDITIONS.
Since I started at AICN, I have written thousands and thousands and thousands of words about STAR WARS. Timing’s a funny thing, because right around the time I got actively involved with the site was the time that prequel rumors really started heating up. And we covered them. The real ones. The fake ones. The silly ones. The ones that made us hope. It was a thrilling time, and I was living with a good buddy, Segue Zagnut, and his wife while all that was going on. Obi-Swan was always over. All of our friends were STAR WARS crazy. It was just a great time to be a film geek and, in particular, a STAR WARS fan.
Here are a few of the highlights of the STAR WARS coverage I’ve done over the years here at the site.
Here’s my reaction to the EPISODE I teaser trailer, which was a great evening for fandom overall just because of that feeling of community.Here’s my review of the script for EPISODE I. It was, as you can, published a wee bit early, which is what kicked off Lucasfilm’s now-decade-long war against me and, on a slightly wider scale, the site.When I went to ShoWest in 1999, the Fox presentation was one of the things I covered.
As a result of that EPISODE I script review, I was Banned From The Ranch. Officially. How we learned that fact became the subject of this article, which earned me more mail than almost anything else I’ve ever written for the site.
That ban is evidently still in place today, which seems ridiculous, but we’ll get into that later.
So of course, I had to write a review for the script to EPISODE II, just to tweak George a bit.Here’s my EPISODE I review once the film was finally finished.Here’s my EPISODE II review once the film was finally finished.And here's the summation of it all, my EPISODE III review, as well.
As some of you will remember, I spent over a year organizing “Jedi Council” meetings for AICN, roundtable discussions with other fans that we posted as massive transcripts. They were so much fun, but our search engine just coughs at me and then shits on the floor when I try to ask it to pull all those articles up.
I found a few, though. Like this one.Or this one.Or this one.Or this one.
The point is, I’ve written about STAR WARS for almost ten years here at the site, and I’ve been thinking about it nonstop as a fan for thirty-one years.
And I think it’s time to stop.
You did it, Mr. Lucas. You finally broke me of the habit. The embargo that you told Warner Bros. to enforce on our site, the ONLY SITE OR MEDIA OUTLET ANYWHERE THAT WAS HELD TO THAT EMBARGO DATE, is a very clear signal. You don’t want me to write about STAR WARS. And it may have taken me this long to realize that it’s not just that you don’t want me to spoil secrets... you don’t want me to write about it AT ALL... but I’ve finally taken the hint.
Yeah, I’m the only regular reviewer here at the site who kind of liked THE CLONE WARS. And, yeah, I’ll be tuning in with Toshi to watch every episode of the series, and I’m sure I’ll watch the live-action show, too.
But as of right now, midnight in Los Angeles on August 15, 2008, I am done writing about STAR WARS. No more. No reviews. No retrospectives. No news. No coverage at all. Because embargoes can work the other way, too. If it pains Lucas on a professional and a personal and a corporate level that someone who was part of the generation that made him a billionaire has an opinion about his product, then I will spare him that pain from now on. Happily.
Because let’s be honest... I love STAR WARS (which is what I still call the first film) and EMPIRE, and all the others are, I think, inferior product that I enjoy on a much more surface level. I love the iconography of the universe Lucas created. I love lightsabers and robots and spaceships and Art Deco intergalactic architecture, and I love Jedi Knights and Sith Lords and all that stuff. I can’t wait to play the FORCE UNLEASHED video game next month, and I’ll happily admit to having read the novelizations of both CLONE WARS and FORCE UNLEASHED that were sent over for review. The book for CLONE WARS is better than the movie, by the way. It explains more (including the idea that Hutts reproduce asexually, and only once, making Jabba’s link to his son far more dramatic) and there’s a slightly more adult tone to the whole thing. I enjoy all of this stuff, openly and without any of the baggage that seems to have poisoned a lot of fandom these days.
But maybe that’s because it’s no longer that important to me overall. You go back and read some of those pieces I wrote in 1998 or 1999, and that’s a hardcore STAR WARS fan, a guy who still believes that STAR WARS is an important cornerstone of genre film. These days, I consider it one of the many, many influences that turned me on to my overall love of film, but that’s it. It is not something I spend much time thinking about or watching. I doubt I’ll watch any of the films again until my kids are ready to see them. To be perfectly frank, I have something like 9000 or 10000 movies in my house, and yet I don’t have a single copy of any of the prequels. That sort of tells you how important the movies are to me these days.
You win, Mr. Lucas. When I was getting ready to see THE CLONE WARS, I was told there was an embargo in place, so I was prepared to honor it until opening day. What I wasn’t prepared for was the punitive and offensive way the rest of the situation was handled. Warner Bros. has a great publicity team that I deal with all the time, and although every single communication I got was from them, they were out of character. Warner never once blamed Lucasfilm for any of this, but come on... I know what was going on. Warner tried their best to behave with honor to Lucasfilm and to us, and they got just as screwed as we did.
I am sorry that I ever spend the time and energy I did on STAR WARS, Mr. Lucas. I am sorry that I poured my money and, before that, my parents’ money into your pockets. I’m sorry that after decades of being a fan, even when there was no new STAR WARS to satisfy that craving, I somehow made your life so unbearable simply by sharing my enthusiasm for that world with our readership.
You win. I’m done. From now on, my opinion about STAR WARS is for me and for my immediate friends, and that’s that. Your embargo has opened my eyes, and I wish you nothing but peace now that the threat of me saying something as controversial as “His cartoon movie’s kind of fun” has been erased. The internet is safe now. STAR WARS is safe now. Congratulations.
Like I said... George Lucas didn’t rape anything.
But he sure is a fucking bully.