Star Wars is Dead; Long Live the Myth

– All black in summer? Daring.

by Liam Scheff
for S74.com

Breaking news – Star Wars Episode 7 script leaked. Sources inside Disney have leaked the following:

Star Wars VII will, in fact, bring back Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill, who despite saying “no” to a sequel for years are looking forward to being really famous again. But, instead of playing “Han, Leia and Luke,” they will make cameo appearances as Han, Leia and Luke’s old, fat grandparents.

Or, something like that.

But, what should the new Star Wars be about? Answer: It doesn’t matter. Star Wars is dead. I know it was just sold for billions – but its heart est morte. It died as an intellectual property decades ago. It has crossed over into Star Trek-land, (another once-loved sci-fi series which has invoked time travel, ‘back from the dead’ characters and ‘alternate universe’ plot-lines so many times that there is no drama available to it – nothing is ever at stake. More on that in a moment.)

Star Wars jumped the Rancor beast in 1983, when the series that had put its hero through parental loss, ninja training, on-the-spot amputation, (ie, ‘the hero’s journey’), and then the disciplined ‘taoist’ studies required to wear all black in bright sunlight – including gloves in hot weather – ended with fuzzy bears singing “wug wug.” A movie that 12-year-old girls think is “cuuute” is no longer telling the story of “the hero with a 1,000 faces.”

George Lucas (who should have given Star Wars away to the world public), has sold his creation for over 4 billion dollars – which he has pledged to throw, (like Bill Gates), into “education.” (Can you hear the propaganda machines lining up to take the dough? “Star Wars presents: Get Vaccinated! Protect yourself from the Dark Side!” (Don’t believe me? They’ve already done it):

 – Pharma-shill 3P0

But he destroyed the better parts of his vision with his 2000-2007 “episode 1-3” mov.. fil… uhm. “Cartoons.” Those heinous insults to writing, acting, logic and story-telling, ground to dust any vestige of intellectual or mythic content from the series. Like the never-ending line of Star Trek ‘time-travel-will-fix-it’ episodes and movies (“Hey, let’s fix our dramatic predicament by pretending that what you’ve spent 2 hours watching never really happened! Thanks for paying us to waste your time!”) – Star Wars has robbed its very soul to bring you glossy ‘entertainments.’ But it still draws crowds – it’s still earning millions, having spawned seasons of video games and computer-graphic cartoons. But, why? Does anybody care about story anymore – or is it just a ‘cool’ series of sword fights and space battles?

Once, Star Wars was the story of a youth looking for his place in a confusing world (because that’s where we all start out) who finds friends and challenges along the way – leading to the discovery that the magic of the world isn’t in a single place, or in a machine or toy – it’s in the adventure and never-ending challenge of living.

Now, Star Wars is only this – aliens with light swords jumping around and fighting ‘bad’ guys. (What do the bad guys want? Nothing – they’re just bad.) There is no hero’s journey to be had. But, money remains to be drawn from the future, and so it plods on.

If the “Star Wars” writers are serious about forging ahead, they’ll forget the past, leap 200 years into the future, and find another story to tell. And – I am absolutely sure they won’t have the courage (or the freedom) to do that. What they will do, I predict, is to wind the old characters into pointless soap opera drama, bring in a few new villains (“ooh, cool bad guys” – but who can follow “I am your father” as a dramatic gesture?), and punch up the writing so it’s not the dreck spewed out in Episodes 1-3.

Easy prediction: The new movies will be better than the last three (to damn with faint praise); but, they’ll just be your average summer sci-fi. Sure, sci-fi with light swords and a few magic powers – and we’re talking “Harry Potter” in space. (On that note, did any of the Harry Potter movies really imprint you for life? They were too busy, too modern, to overdrawn, and lacking the courage and vision of a single, underfunded, obsessed creator – as Lucas once was).

What would be better for everyone would be this: Instead of getting caught up in more marketing for nostalgia’s sake, go back to the source myths and find out what new stories they are trying to tell us now. The world has changed since 1977; our interpretation of the ancient, ever-present archetypes will need to reflect where we live now.

Let old things die, let new things be born. Star Wars is dead. Long live the spirit of myth that gave it life; time to tell new stories.

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About Liam Scheff

"Author, Artist, Film, Permaculture." Liam Scheff is a writer, artist and stand-up lecturer on issues that people usually don't make comic books about. (Visit liamscheff.com). Liam's highly-praised book "Official Stories" reveals the complex details behind the myths of our times.
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