December 18, 2016

BUT MUH REALISM! OR, WHY IT IS TIME TO PUT STAR WARS AWAY AFTER ROGUE ONE


... and I am done with Star Wars after seeing Rogue One. It's not that it's a "bad" movie, it is perfectly done, it has all the ingredients that are in the computer software that apparently writes movies in 2016, but...

... it is totally unnecessary

The entire reason for it existing is (other than making heaps of money) that question "why would you build a giant space station that can be defeated by firing two torpedoes into an exhaust shaft?"

"Well, George, I am glad you asked. See, the space station was built by an engineer we kidnapped 15 years ago, who had his wife killed by an Imperial Baddie for no reason whatsoever in what essentially a worse variation of the opening of Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds (seriously, it is the exact same fucking scene that introduces Christoph Waltz, only in "Star Wars")"


"Ze Hallo, I am from ze Empire, ja!"

"But Steve, how does that explain?"

"Well, the engineer had a little daughter who wound up with Osama Bin Laden via Forrest Whittaker, so she is totally kick-ass, but has Daddy issues up her twat, and that is about the extent of her character, but we all love strong women these days that can do any- and everything, and she is drafted by the Rebellion to find Daddy and kill him, but..."

"Can we get to the point?"

"Okay, okay... see, the engineer planted that exhaust as a revenge after 15 years and building the space station for killing his wife."

"Oh"

"And then the terrorists, uh, rebels... have to steal those plans from a really good-looking planet"

"Ah"

"And it's totally gritty realism, George!"

"Oh, okay"

"What about Darth Vader?"

"Okay, I give you Darth Vader"

"Peter Cushing?"

"He's dead"

"But we have computers?"

"We can CGI the shit out of it?"

"Awesome!"

"Do we have a funny robot?"

"We can do a funny robot"

"Can the robot be, like, a fight robot?"

"Sure"

"It sells more toys to boys that way"

"Yeah"

"Nobody really wanted C3PO"

"I know"

"I mean, unless they were gay"

"We can do a fight robot, no worries"

"Excellent"

"And some Asians, I mean, we need to think of the Chinese market"

"Yeah, sure"

"Awesome"

Like I said, not a bad "movie", but actually it isn't a MOVIE.

It's the penultimate episode of a TV show

If Star Wars (The New, Best, Last, Earlier, Something Hope) was the final episode

Because it literally ends 5 minutes before the beginning of that movie

What pisses me off is not so much the movie, it is the reaction to it

I saw Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge last week, which is the (real) story of a guy in WW 2 who did enlist but he refused to carry a gun because he was that religious. That guy Desmond Doss wound up on one of the worst fights during WW2 in the Pacific, when thousands of US soldiers were shredded trying to take that ridge.

And this guy, without a gun, being a medic, he saved on his own 75 soldiers and carried them. Let's just think about that. In a single battle. 75 men. And anybody who has ever had to carry someone who is either unconscious or seriously ill (fuck me, I remember how much Dad weighed last year, and he had dropped to 64 kg to due the cancer, it was horrible to try and pick him up when he dropped on the floor in the bathroom or later when he dropped out of bed, and I am a big boy)

So, anyway... that movie gets criticized by the same people who praise Rogue One for its "gritty" portrayal of a fictional war that never should have been more than a silly fairy tale... that movie about something that actually happened, something dreadful where real people died...

... as violence porn.

Because Gibson doesn't turn the camera away when the soldiers get shredded. He doesn't make it look cool, either. He just barrages you with 20 minutes of hell on Earth.

That is "violence porn"

But do it in that almost propaganda "heroism" in a fictional universe that has no fucking stakes?

You get applauded for "gritty"

Excuse me?

Apparently, our society has decided that our cultural reference point now is Star Wars, not an actual war. That you should see Darth Vader like Hitler, and Imperial retards like the Nazis. As opposed to, uh, I don't know, actual Hitler?

There is a real danger in this, because it means a psychological transference from real events to something totally made up, and it's not like people today are the smartest to begin with, give it another ten years, and we will start to believe Star Wars is more meaningful than history

(I am not completely joking, only about 55% of that is a joke)

In a very real way, Alan Moore is to blame for this

(that is only 10% a joke)

because all the shit that is splattering against the movie screens today can be traced back to a singular event exactly 30 years ago. Watchmen. The idea to inject "realism" into something that shouldn't have been real in the first place. And you know how much I love Watchmen as a writer, because it is so extraordinarily clever, but just like in comics... the effect of this has been disastrous

Because it has led to this. Rogue One. And all the things that will follow.

It has led to a culture where fictional characters by the constant bombardment of them on the public mind.. have almost reached the same "weight" and in many instances more "weight" than actual human beings. We already seen the beginnings of that in 2003 during the Bush years when Jack Bauer (!!!!!) was actually seen as the hero for the government's policies on torture ... by the government

And that will only worsen.

But without me.

It is time to remember the child-like things and not be childish about giving them more meaning than they ever should have had.