Star Wars is For Kids

Star Wars is For Kids

A friend of mine makes the excellent point that Star Wars is not for adults, but for kids. And that's fine.

Sadly, like a lot of things from the past, I should have let this movie live fondly in my memories. It’s a good movie, if you ignore the CGI vandalism Lucas vomited onto his own work, but it’s a movie made for 12-year old boys and I’m a 36-year old father. The acting, the plot, it’s rather cringe. In my mind’s eye I remember Vader and the Empire being menacing. On screen the acting is stilted and the whole thing comes off campy. Luke is dweeby, Han is campy, and Fisher is a poor actress. I got sleepy and sadly gave up a bit after they left on the Millennium Falcon and never had the urge to continue.

The detailed Star Wars sci-fi epic that I imagined doesn’t exist anywhere but in my memories. But that’s ok. Star Wars was a kid’s movie, it’s a great kid’s movie, and will always be a great kid’s movie. I outgrew it not the other way around and I believe a lot of the anger, disappointment, and failed expectations of the new material comes from adults that have forgotten how campy, cheesy, and childish the original movies are.

He's not the only one to notice the utterly unhealthy obsession a lot of people have with Star Wars, and how immature that is.

Yet, I don't think the anger is just because of us forgetting how campy and cheesy the originals were, being forthright stories of good standing up to evil.

Part of it is because there are stories aimed at kids, or that used to be aimed at kids before they became too politically incorrect, that turn out far more sophisticated than they first appear or simultaneously operate on multiple levels. Take your typical Chuck Jones/ Bugs Bunny cartoon, The Narnia books, or Tolkeins LoTR. It is not unreasonable to ask that the creators of a work grow in their talent to tell a tale, and even if they are still telling a children's story, to tell it well, so as to also not insult the adults.

Some of the things he mentions, especially the X-wing, TIE fighter games, and the Thraw books by Timothy Zahn, looked to expand on that universe, telling stories that adults could enjoy.

But, the creators don't have to say yes.They don't have to build on that. Morally or otherwise. Good "kids" stories are good things in and of themselves, and they are perfectly justified in making a kids story, and nothing else.

What is inexcusable is ruining Star Wars as even "just" children's entertinment. It may be immature to get too emotionally invested in something that obviously never wants to be for adults, but ruining a good thing so it's not even suitable for our kids deserves some ire. Our mythologies, the stories we tell of ourselves and our societies, where we came from, of courage, etc., build us. Alternatively, you can poison soeone with stories of how they are always at fault, born to be bad no matter how hard they try, but if they try hard enough they might be tolerated.

Star Wars was once myth that pointed to reasonably good standards of courage, sacrifice, and standing up for what is right. It has been spoiled. Where the original taught that one may have gifts, but they have to be developed and nurtured, the new one praises people for being special just as they are. It's gutted the original themes and the lore that fit it, flayed the corpse of what it killed and put that skin on, pretending to be what it is not.

The new iteration denies virtue. And for that, it has rendered itself unfit "even", possibly especially, for children's stories. Unless of course you want or agree with the toxic brew we are being fed by the culture at large.

It's a good thing people are working to develop other virtuous myths.

About Last Redoubt

Ex nuke mechanic, jack of all trades.