Thursday, November 1, 2012

"I find your lack of faith -- & fairy dust -- disturbing."

Less than 48 hours after announcing their purchase of Lucasfilms (the production company responsible for the Star Wars franchise), Disney has unveiled a new character that will meld Pixie Hollow aesthetics with the power of the Dark Side.

Meet Fairy Princess Darth Vader:


Nah. I'm just yanking your chains, nerds.

That's me in my Halloween costume.

I'm including this photo because I want to make it clear: I like Star Wars.  I don't love it as much as Star Trek, but I found Star Trek as a 10-year old dismayed to learn no further Star Wars films were in production.

Like most fans,  I was giddy when -- after 16 Star Wars-free years -- the Phantom Menace was released in 1999. Unlike most Star Wars fans (especially those over the age of 35), I prefer the second trilogy (Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith).

Episodes I, II and III are not perfect. But they are no more or less flawed than Episodes IV, V, and VI. The prequels have stunning visuals, nuanced narratives, complex themes, first rate actors, and fan-fucking-tastic special effects.  In comparison, A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi are traditional, conservative, linear stories, with wooden acting and (even with remastered digital edits) they lack the sweeping magic of the later movies. "How much of the narrative did Lucas sacrifice because of budget and technological limits?," I often wonder.  "Will we ever learn Biggs Darklighter's back story?"

Because of my preference for the later movies, and because I'm grounded in a fandom that is unsentimental, inclusionary and dynamic, I don't think Disney is going to ruin the Star Wars franchise. First of all, Lucas has long embraced the tenants of Disney's marketing department including big budget marketing, mass merchandising, and corporate tie-ins with fast food franchises. He was never a high-brow film auteur philosophically opposed to compromising his vision in the name of profit or notoriety. Secondly, Disney and Lucas have been working together since 1987 when the Star Tours attraction opened in Disneyland. Plus there are Star Wars Weekends at Disney World, the Jedi Training Academy shows and a huge souvenir shop in both parks with Star Wars kit. This has been a long time coming. Thirdly, the Clone Wars series shows that even without Lucas' micromanagement the franchise can thrive. Episode VII? Bring it on. Fourthly, Disney owns Marvel Comics, Pixar and the Muppets -- they know how to deftly handle brand ownership with minimal amalgamation.

It'll be fine. And if not, I'm going to sell this Princess Fairy Darth Vader idea to Disney for a few million dollars

18 comments:

  1. A. I love your costume
    B. Disney could be onto something here. I'm already imagining the Action figures
    C. Did you know you actually blow my mind how you know so much stuff???
    D. You ALMOST make me want to watch Star Trek.

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    1. Imagine if I knew stuff that made me employable. That would be awesome. And YES, come to the Trek side!

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  2. Totally off topic but I really like your shoes.

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    1. I almost posted about her shoes, too!

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    2. Thanks -- they're Clark's. Whenever I wear them I feel like a heroine from a WWII movie whose about to enter a dance contest and win the grand prize and...I dunno. Buy bobby pins? Buy war bonds?

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  3. I thought I posted a comment here... was it no good?

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    1. I do not expect everyone who reads my blog to agree with me. But I do expect readers to express their dissenting opinions in a polite, non-condescending manner without resorting to personal insults. I deemed your earlier comment "no good" because it did not meet my criteria and deleted it.

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    2. I apologize profusely. I only meant to rib you in a fun way about Jar Jar Binks and the Last Indiana Jones movie. It sadly didn't occur to me that you would take it seriously or personally. I do like your costume and I'll be sure to be nicer next time. Thanks for the feedback! :)

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    3. Kevin -- thank you. This was a classy response. I appreciate it. I should have given you the benefit of the doubt, but I let cynicism win out. Cynicism is probably one of the paths to the Dark Side.

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    4. Nah, I'm actually glad you deleted it -- the less evidence out there that I'm a big meanie, the better. :)

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  4. Okay, stupid question - how can Disney ruin the movies when they're already made? Are people worried about future movies? Are there future movies? I am SO out of the loop on this. Fantastic costume, though.

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    1. That's not a stupid question at all, especially since Lucas did re-make some of his past films by inserting scenes and adding special effects and re-releasing them. But I suspect that Disney will focus on entirely new Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies. Lucasfilm filmography also includes Willow, Labyrinth, and Howard The Duck, so maybe there'll be sequels for those, too!

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    2. @Bibliomama -- Part of the Disney purchase announcement was a promise that Episode VII to would be released by 2015 and deal with the story line POST Revenge of the Jedi.

      @Kevin -- A Howard the Duck sequel! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

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    3. Oops. Make that "Episode VII **would be released..."

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    4. Damn.

      **Return of the Jedi.

      I give up.

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  5. I'm excited about more movies. Crap or not, I'd love to see more about the characters that we like so much!!

    I like your costume. Very much.

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    1. Next year I'm going to be Fairy Princess Boba Fett. Same costume, different mask. But shhhh...don't tell my son that I'm stealing his mask.

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  6. Actually I'd buy a ticket for Revenge of the Jedi. :)

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