Have you been watching The Book of Boba Fett? I’m four episodes in, the fifth one just dropped, and I think it’s been a lot of fun!
Sure, I guess you could gripe about how different Boba Fett’s character is from the movies, but what was Boba Fett’s character in the original trilogy really? “Dude with a cool costume who dies comically?”
Whatever, not like it even matters, because at one point in the new show, Boba Fett teams up with a gang of cyborgs and THEY RIDE RAINBOW HOVER VESPAS. To hear tell of it, it’s officially the dumbest thing in Star Wars.
Except for the prequel trilogy, of course. And the sequel movies. And that Han Solo movie. And the Ewoks. And Midichlorians. And Jar Jar Binks. And the Holiday Special. And the freaking revelation that Luke and Leia are siblings, despite the two of them kissing in The Empire Strikes Back!
If it sounds like I’m being mean to Star Wars, believe me when I say I love it!
I’ve been a fan of Star Wars since I was a kid and I still get giddy whenever a new comic, movie, or game is announced. I happily paid for the overpriced Blue Milk at the Galaxy’s Edge theme park and I’d gladly do it again.
That doesn’t stop Star Wars from being stupid, though. And I frankly don’t understand why that’s such a hard thing for people to accept.
I shouldn’t say that, because I do understand it.
I’ve never been the most secure person, and I grew up in an area where the standards of what was acceptable for a young man to enjoy were narrow. I was sensitive, I was shy, and I never enjoyed sports. (If there is a hell, mine will be an endless game of high school kickball.)
The stuff I’ve always gravitated toward -science fiction, fantasy, general nerdery- are things I was often made to feel bad about. “Why do you like that stupid shit?” is something I heard quite a bit growing up, usually followed by some sort of homophobic slur, because… well… it was the early 2000s and casual homophobia was all the rage.
That sort of thing has been happening to people for ages, and I think it made a whole lot of us really defensive when it comes to the things we enjoy. It’s not a huge mental leap to go from “this thing I like is stupid” to “I’m stupid for liking this thing.” Nobody likes feeling like they’re less. I know I’ve definitely gotten into unnecessary arguments defending my tastes.
Too often though, I think it’s more than that. A view that’s too common among many Star Wars fans (in particular) is that the franchise is “theirs.”
That sense of ownership is problematic for a lot of reasons, the most obvious being that a whole lot of people like Star Wars, and often for diverse reasons.
The golden rule of Star Wars, for the longest time, was “the prequels are worthless and awful movies that RUINED EVERYTHING.” In recent years though? I’ve been seeing more and more people express open affection for the Star Wars prequel trilogy. There’s an entire generation of younger fans who grew up with the prequels as their introduction to the franchise, and who genuinely love them – warts and all.
And why shouldn’t they? Even setting aside the whole “Luke/Leia unintentional incest” thing, the classic Star Wars trilogy was never perfect. The original movies had plenty of problems. I love those movies and the universe they created, but the fact that they gained the prominence they did was just as a much a matter of timing/chance as it was a matter of quality.
They might be stupid in different ways than the prequels, but they’re still stupid. And I frankly struggle to see why that’s even an insult.
Do you have any idea how often “stupid” and “awesome” have walked hand in hand? The Terminator, Batman, Superman, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, The Lord of the Rings, Arthurian legend; the fabric of popular fiction is built on a foundation of stories and characters that aren’t really all that bright when you look at them critically.
But then again, you could say the same thing for a lot of what happens in the real world too. Reality is so damned stupid sometimes it makes me want to scream. It makes me wonder, in turn, why so many people insist on aiming so much negativity at the pretend stupid that brings people joy?
Because, at the end of the day, stuff like Star Wars is supposed to be fun. It’s fine if you’re invested and it’s great if you draw deeper meaning from the stories and themes, but it doesn’t have to be the same for everyone who likes it.
You might think the rainbow vespa cyborgs in The Book of Boba Fett are the dumbest thing you’ve ever seen, but someone out there loved every second those characters were onscreen. Not everything needs to be made specifically for you.
The things you like don’t have to be smart, and they certainly don’t need to be perfect. It’s fine to enjoy parts of something, while disliking others. We shouldn’t be making people feel bad for the things they enjoy, especially when it doesn’t actually hurt you.
New Star Wars content didn’t “ruin your childhood.” And if you really think that? I think the actual children who have struggled through 2+ years of pandemic-land would like a word.
Just have fun, and stop being a jerk. You’re ruining all the good stupid for the rest of us.