Call For Comments: The Star Wars and the End of a Modern Epic

From Mav: Well, here we are. We’re one week away from a day that once seemed completely impossible. The “end” of the Star Wars. Or at least the end of the Star Wars as we know them. This should be a pop culture event if ever there was one, so obviously it’s the kind of thing that we just HAVE to talk about on our show. So we’re going to. You know… cuz Star Wars. Anyway, much like when we talked about Avengers: Endgame, we sort of already know this isn’t really “the end” because there’s too much money in the world to not just keep making Star Wars related IP until the eventual heat death of the universe. That said, way back forever ago, George Lucas promised that this would be a nine part epic (except for those times when he claimed he never said that except for those times when he said that he did) and now we’re finally getting to the end of that. So in a lot of ways this feels like the conclusion of some great modern epic…. a story that we first became invested in way back in 1977. Nine+ (Nine to fifteen, depending on how you count) films (plus assorted tie-in media) that I once thought — if we ever got here — would be the greatest cinematic accomplishment of all time. Something that’s never been done before and never will be again…

Except, it’s not actually. Because in the intervening 42 years since the project began, we’ve already gotten thirteen Star Trek movies. We’ve had 23 MCU films released, and they only started eleven years ago. Star Wars can’t even really be considered the first film franchise of this type; there have 24 (or 27) James Bond films since 1962 (or 1954… seriously film franchise IP rights are confusing). And is there no love for the sixteen feature films in the Andy Hardy franchise (the first fifteen of which came out in a nine year period)? Because like, seriously… that’s impressive! Am I the only one who remembers this? (Sidenote: I wonder if I can get the IP rights to the Andy Hardy film series… because in IP-addicted film franchise crazy cinematic universe Hollywood, that’s money on the table, baby! Think about it… a gritty reboot… lovable teen idol Andy Hardy… getting into all kinds of mischief… trying to date girls… only now he totally fucks! And he has abs! And he’s a badass. And if you get in his way, he’ll straight bust your ass. Come on, can I at least get a show greenlit on CW or something?) But Star Treks, 007s, superheroes and lovable Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland aside, this certainly FEELS like something different and more epic.

So I want to start there. What makes Star Wars special? Why does it feel so different than everything else? A few weeks ago, I saw someone being all internet geek religiousity troll and arguing that Star Trek was better than Star Wars because Trek fans don’t hate half of their films. Of course this is bullshit, because probably the one universal truth I know about Star Trek is that people hate like every other movie. But yes, Star Wars does have the problem that it has gotten so big that there’s literally nothing they can do to please everyone on any given installment. It just means too much. It has so many different themes and interpretations at this point that anything that is done has to break someone’s head canon and make them unhappy even if it makes other people really happy. As much as I might think that the dumbs incels who are complaining that there’s “too many girls in Star Wars” are being dumbasses… they actually have a slightly valid point. (Editor’s note: Incels deserve no credit. -Hannah) If Star Wars TO YOU is a masculine boyhood wish fulfillment fantasy… well, then in a way, these last few movies have kind of taken that away from you. I mean, I still might think that you’re an idiot. But I get where you’re coming from.

And I also understand the people who want the films to be more feminist, more racially diverse, less racially diverse, more political, less political, more EU tie-ins, less lore, more original and more nostalgic. With 42 years of history and expectations to live up to for literally billions of fans worldwide, this movie is going to be as disappointing for some people as it is going to be exciting for others. It simply has to be. On a personal note, I’m probably going to be a little disappointed if the heroes to the entire epic aren’t Tag, Bink and Skippy the Jedi droid as I’m sure we have all been hoping for so very very long. Anyone? Anyone?

So we’re going to talk Star Wars on the next episode. All things Star Wars, but especially this finale. We’re going to analyze Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. What did we think? What do we make of it? We’re going to talk about the series as a whole. I’m almost certain there’s going to be at least a little oohing and ahhing about how cute Baby Yoda is. Obviously, as I write this, I’ve not yet seen the film. And, I’ve gone way far out of my way to avoid spoilers. But I’m sure there’s going to be some obvious big moments that we’re totally going be getting into. What do you want to hear?

From Mav: As a coda to what I say above. I have now seen this movie… and OMG do I have so many thoughts to share… which I won’t do here because of spoilers. My quick and dirty review is: this is an impossible movie to give a real thumbs up or thumbs down to. It really depends on what you want out “a movie“… I went out of my way to not read a single review of this before I saw it. I didn’t want it tainted. But I did know what the RT% was (it’s hovering right around 58%) and that makes total sense to me. I will give more details on the show. But if I had to give it a rating on MY rating scale, it is the very definition of a 2 out of 5 stars movie. For ME PERSONALLY… it made me retroactively like Last Jedi a bit more than I used to (I’ll explain on the show) But, I also can’t say I hated it or anything like that. It’s not good. But it’s VERY VERY Star Wars. And sometimes we grade on a curve.” ★★☆☆☆ or I guess… ⚔️⚔️⚔️⚔️☆(2 out of 5 stars… or four light saber battles… out of 5 stars).

But we definitely want to know what you think… please give us your thoughts on the movie. You can put spoilers in comments, but please clearly mark them as so to protect people. We want to be able to respond to as varied opinions as possible on the show.

6 Comments and 1 Webmention for “Call For Comments: The Star Wars and the End of a Modern Epic”

  1. My biggest hope is that there is a cohesion to the story in the sense that having Episodes VII – IX was justified creatively and not just for $. Palpatine being included, whether as a Force ghost whispering in Kylo’s ear or as the second Sith to ‘cheat death,’ means there’s a hope that it all ties together. Say what you will about the Prequels but they do set up the events of the original trilogy. As far as why Star Wars is different is the simplistic concepts – good vs evil, hope vs fear, etc. they’re a feast for the eyeballs, the music is arguably the best score tapestry, and there’s been installments the past several generations.

    I could go on for days! ?

  2. I’m sad that this is the last Star Wars that will ever be made. 🙁 (/jokes)

    I got into Star Wars late in the game, as I’ve probably mentioned before in comments. My first experience with Star Wars, that I remember choosing to engage in (vs. by parents maybe taking me as a kid or it just being on the TV in the background somewhere) was the Knights of the Old Republic game. It seemed like a reach and interesting universe that I wanted to learn more about.

    Later, my girlfriend at the time, had us watch all 6 films. I more or less enjoyed them, some more than others. I think what makes them interesting… at least to me, is everything that ISN’T the movies? I just think it’s a really rich universe with a lot of potential for stories to be told. A lot of which we saw in the cartoons, comics, novels, etc.

    Luke Skywalker is ok, but I wanted to read about the Doctor who concealed people’s Midichlorian counts on their blood tests for the Empire so they weren’t sent to Concentration Camps to be executed. I wanted to see the story about the Jedi Apprentice who became so disillusioned by the hypocritical bullshit in the Jedi Council that she straight up disavowed them to their faces and left. I want to hear about the Clone Troopers fighting against their Order 66 programming and their struggles with PTSD and racism towards Droids from the Clone Wars.

    That’s the interesting stuff. Space wizards and the battle and balance between good and evil? Meh.

  3. This is mostly stream of thought.

    We went and saw a 6pm showing because I really couldn’t wait and Didn’t want to spend the day at school hoping to not get spoiled (one of the student who has since graduated told folks that Han Solo died in The Force Awakens which was a real dick move in my opinion)


    I’m not sure how I wanted them to handle Leia in the film. I think they handled it the best way possible.

    Poe being put in charge at the end seemed odd. I would have like more Lando. I cheered when I first saw him on screen (I did feel a little lonely during that).

    Finn being all “I have to save Rey” got real old. Especially when she’s going to the wreckage of the Death Star. And that was a little too much “willingly suspend disbelief” for the location of the pyramid guide thing.

    And I would have liked Fin to have god damn fucking acknowledged when she saved their bacon using tactics that she learned when she stayed behind. Just a “ohhhhh…. that’s what you learned. Yeah. That was important.”

    Chewie getting the medal was needed. I’m glad it happened.

    Ben’s redemption arc was appreciated. I loved their ability to be in both realities at once. I mean it’s twisted, but cool.

    I liked the fact that Han Solo cameoed at the end. Many good things.

    I felt her starting to heal Ben drug out a little too long (if she hadn’t healed the snake earlier, it might not have been too long).

    I liked Luke grabbing the light saber as she tossed it in the fire. He did many cool things as a Force Ghost.

    I might be back with more thoughts.

  4. This met my expectations and my minimum requirements for the finale. It called back to Episode III dialogue in a way that did give it a bookend feel that if you’re going to label these Episodes of the same plot it was justified. As a fan, content. As a film fan, you can see the parallels with Game of Thrones Season 8 – the original author wasn’t involved in the plotting and the release date commitment rushed the production when it needed more time to fine tune and polish.

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