The New Hit Meme

Bonjour mon prouts!

We’ve got another blog for you today and if you’ve been waiting for a Star Wars related post, well you didn’t have to wait too long!  As you may or may not know one of my favorite aspects of the Star Wars universe are the droids.  C-3PO and R2-D2 are the absolute best of course but where would that far, far away galaxy be without the ubiquitous gonk droid?  And who could forget the menacing Imperial probe droids?  Even the group of notorious bounty hunters summoned by Darth Vader to find the Millennium Falcon was comprised of two droids; IG-88 and 4-LOM!  Hell I even enjoy the comically inept antics of the prequel’s battle droids!  Roger, roger!  And now with the Force Awakens we’ve got the spunky and loyal BB-8!  Which I’m fairly certain is just a small robotic puppy inside a robotic puppy play ball.

Droids!  They’re awesome!

In the intervening time I’ve been away from this blog I’ve still been trying to leave my mark on the world and these days there is no better legacy then creating a meme!  Right??

I mean meme creators are probably some of our most well-known internet celebrities!  I think we’re all familiar with the creator of the “Keep Calm and Carry On” meme, the British Government.  I’m no expert of course but I’m guessing it was that gem of internet masterwork which made that Empire what it is today.

Then there’s the photographer behind the “Ermahgerd” meme whose name escapes me at the moment of writing this but I assure you I know their name and speak of them often, as I’m sure you do as well.

And of course let’s not forget the big daddy of them all the Trollface meme!  I don’t think I even need to tell any of you who created that heavy hitter, they are after all a household name!

Anywho so several months ago I was struck with the idea for a hilariously immortal meme which I could combine with one of my favorite elements of the Star Wars movies!

You:  “Wait Josh does that mean it’s a droid meme?”

Me:  “You’re damn right it’s a droid meme!  Now get out of that oil bath and take a look at what late night ideas in conjunction with boredom produces!”

void6

You see the joke here is that the droid has been used in a way that might void any type of theoretical warranty the manufacturer would have provided which may have been stipulated in the fine print of some long discarded user agreement

void4

Protocol droids shouldn’t have their parts swapped and used in battle, it’s all there in the user agreement

void5

Tusken Raiders shoving the droid off a cliff instantly voids the warranty.

void2

A droid chassis to carry your guts around should not encounter blaster fire.

void3

“Use aboard starships” does not mean “trudging through swamps”!

void1

I hate sand.

 

So go ahead and take the “Voided Warranty” meme out into the world and spread it throughout the interwebs, repurpose it, reapply it, and make it your own.  Put it on a picture of you and your toaster or maybe plaster it on a picture of Michigan’s governor next to Flint’s water treatment facilities!

The important thing here is that by cannibalizing the hard work of the creators of Star Wars I’m sure this’ll finally bring me the creative recognition I’ve soooooo longed for!

AND if you’d actually like to learn the origins of the memes mentioned above OR any meme ever thus ruining the entire premise of the above set-up make sure to visit: knowyourmeme.com

EDIT:  There have been two updates to this post along with some new additions to the meme!  Check them out HERE and HERE!

That is all!

Friday Funny Pages: I Was Wondering Where They Got To

 

Today I grace your sightballs with a few precious panels from Star Wars: The Return of Tag & Bink Special Edition #1.  Written by Kevin Rubio with art by Lucas Marangon, I would dare to say that Tag and Bink are one of the most beloved Star Wars parodies of all time.  They are right up there with one of Rubio’s other Star Wars parody creations Troops.  Both Troops and Tag & Bink have an “in continuity” comedic style that masterfully fills in scenes and details that go unviewed in the movies, and with a hilarious goofball twist somehow it all winds up making perfect sense.  It’s difficult to explain here to the uninitiated, but let’s just say that if you are a Star Wars fan there’s a good chance you will enjoy Kevin Rubio’s take on the universe.  Although if you consider yourself a Star Wars fan and DON’T know who Tag & Bink are there’s a good chance you aren’t really a Star Wars fan.  Oh burn!

And because I was idle for a few weeks here, and missed one or two Friday Funny Pages, I will grace you with a BONUS panel from the issue.  This image takes place a little earlier in the book (as the setting should make obvious) and just happens to feature a small cameo from a character from one of my other sci-fi fandoms, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  Yup, that’s Arthur Dent wandering around on Jabba’s sail barge.  Just another reason I enjoy these books so much and think Kevin Rubio is a genius.

This just gave me a thought.  I know there are plans for a Star Wars comedy cartoon series in the works with Seth Green at the helm, but if they really want that show to work they should get Kevin Rubio involved.  That would be television gold.

Just a suggestion.

That is all!

Mindless Philosophy’s 100th Post!

So here it is ladies and gentlemen, the post you have all been waiting for!  This is Mindless Philosophy’s 100th post!  Huzzah!  Break out the champagne, send in the strippers, and let us commence the debauched celebrating!

Actually this post probably won’t really be all that exciting.  When I realized number 100 was approaching I started thinking about what sort of epic post I could create to exclaim my 100th blog installment to the world.  I thought about listing 100 of my favorite things, or sharing 100 bits of my personal observations, or some other such list of 100.  As I began to really mull it over however, I realized that would be rather wordy and quite an undertaking just to come up with 100 various items and then type it all out here.  So I kept putting it off, and putting it off, until finally several weeks have gone by without any posts whatsoever!  I was forced to postpone a couple of Friday Funny Pages because I didn’t want those regular segments to be my grand 100th post.  Now however you just get this. (Cue fanfare).

To start off let’s take a look back at a few of my personal favorite posts from the 100 thus far.  These aren’t necessarily the ones that have had the most views but the ones I enjoyed writing or have a real connection to:

#3 – Updated!  Possible New Series For Babylon 5?

This particular installment does actually happen to be one of my most read blogs on the site.  I really am proud of this one because I was on the forefront of this news at the time.  Thanks to the efficiency of Google Alerts I happened upon this story rather quickly.  In my continuing mission to raise the general awareness about Babylon 5 I hurried to address the rumors and tossed in a few of my own opinions as well.  I’m usually not the type of person to be on the forefront of knowledge, generally information like this goes through several filters before it comes to me.  I’m pretty sure my post here actually was a primary source for a few people, and I’m kind of proud of that.  Sadly however the rumors were false, and the hopeful talk of a new B5 series was swiftly squashed which necessitated this follow up article:  Babylon 5 NOT Returning According To JMS

#2 – Listening To Star Wars

This wordy proclamation regarding all things Star Wars, and the radio dramas in particular, is a favorite post of mine.  It has not been heavily viewed over the course of its life here on the blog, but it has incited a few comments and pushes of the like button.  I have a tendency to ramble in some of my blogs which generally is a detriment to articles in this type of forum.  More often than not people are just looking for a humorous picture, short review, or relatable anecdote.  Generally if a blog post is more than a few hundred words long folks just pass it by.  I’m as guilty of this as anyone, a story has to focus on something I’m truly interested in if I’m going to invest my time reading it, either that or it has to lure me in with the promise of some sort of revealed knowledge at the end.  Anyway, this article is just me sharing a portion of my love for the Star Wars films and my obsession with the Star Wars Radio Dramas which have been one of my favorite elements of Star Wars since about middle school.  It focuses mostly on how I believe the radio dramas are wrongly overlooked these days, how they fill in some crucial moments that are absent from the movies, and how I think real Star Wars fans should be as excited about them as I am.

#1 – Two Cents From Two Witsamans. Our Oscar Picks.

This one has lost some of its relevancy now that this particular group of Oscar nominees has come and gone.  The one nice thing about that however is that you can immediately see which of our Oscar picks were correct and which were way off.  The reason I enjoyed this so much was because I was able to convince my wife to participate in this mundane little blogging hobby of mine and I think with our combined talents we were able to come up with some good picks with some fairly solid reasoning to back them up.  Plus there’s no shortage of witty banter between us.  My wife is incredibly amusing, if you haven’t read her interview in my very first People I Know segment I suggest you do so now by clicking HERE.

Now over the course of my 100 posts I’ve somehow prompted a few misguided souls to actually subscribe to my blog!  Sure I only have 13 regular followers, but hell, that’s one more than Jesus!  So I’d like to take this time to personally mention and thank the loyal readers of Mindless Philosophy and encourage them to keep reading and make sure to comment and share their thoughts on my writings, after all that’s what this is supposed to be about right?  (Of course at this point those Mindless Philosophy email notifications have probably been flagged as spam.)

But without further ado I say thank you to:

Eldon

LouLaMay

secretcastle

pimpdaddylovemuffin

RiverUnderWater

Arlo J. Wiley

comfortingstrangers

Scott

Hannah

Carl

Brian

ryuk8488

and last but certainly not least

salsabiscuit82

Please continue to read, tell your friends, and share your thoughts!  You guys are the best group of mostly anonymous blog subscribers a fella could ask for!

Moving on now to the future!  In the next couple of days I will have my next installment of People I Know in which I interview Jason Lemmon, a friend of mine and fellow blogger, one of his blogs can be found HERE.  During our chit-chat before and after the interview we casually discussed the idea of starting a combined podcast where we would talk about the various plethora of things that interest us in the humorous manner in which we generally discuss such things.  Since then we’ve been toying with the idea more and more and have tossed a few ideas around.  While I won’t confirm or deny anything at this time, I will say that it is quite possible that there just might be such a production in the very near future.  Expect to read more news about that here as it develops!

And finally, I would like to know what you the readers would like to see on this blog.  After 100 posts of me spouting off randomly perhaps there might be some unexplored or underexplored topics you’d like to see get the Mindless Philosophy treatment, what subjects should be subjected to the Joshua Witsaman filter?  Therefore I present to you this poll with which you can help shape the future of my random spoutings.  Vote.

So there you have it folks, big ol’ post 100.  Now as always . . . .

That is all!

Occupy Coruscant: Life Imitating Art

Now I don’t claim to know the specifics about the whole Occupy Wall Street movement, nor do I wish to be perceived as having a complete grasp on all the implications of the Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission case.  I’m fairly laid back when it comes to politics and I try to shy away from getting into political debates.  However being a big geek I do enjoy drawing parallels between real life situations and my favorite fictional universe, Star Wars.

When it comes to Star Wars I consider myself something of an expert.  Obviously my love of the movies stems from the original trilogy but I do enjoy the prequels as well, and don’t have quite the feverish hatred for them as some others out there.  In fact one of my favorites of the three prequels, despite the great fount of dissenting opinions from across the opinion-sphere, is The Phantom Menace.  Sure there’s too much Jar Jar, despite that though I found myself extremely engrossed by the scenes on Coruscant and the political environment there.  For as we all knew, this would be the political realm that would usher in the end of democracy in the old Republic, and set up the power base of the nefarious Emperor Palpatine!  One of my favorite additions to the Star Wars mythos in the prequel films was the Trade Federation and its lot of greedy cronies.

For those who might not be as familiar with the movies as myself, the Trade Federation is a large conglomerate of intergalactic corporations and trade guilds run by a central council which is responsible for regulating and overseeing most of the galaxies trade, trade routes, and trade taxation.  Of course there are some checks and balances on the power of the Federation by the Galactic Senate which had the power to propose legislation for or against the policies of the Trade Federation.  The fictional history of the Trade Federation has its origins as a simple commerce lobbying organization associated with the Galactic Republic, however by the time of Episode I the Federation had been monopolized by the Neimoidians and had amassed such power and political sway that the entire entity of the Trade Federation was granted its own representative in the Galactic Senate in the form of Senator Lott Dodd.  Along with other manufacturing and banking conglomerates similar to the Trade Federation lobbying and special interests in the Galactic Senate were brought out from behind the scenes and given full disclosure and equal voice to those of individual star systems and their local populations.

Senator Lott Dod of the Trade Federation addresses the senate

 

Sound familiar?  I remember when I first heard about the Citizens United case, and the phrase “Corporations are people.”  My initial thoughts were, without skipping a beat, “Wow, they just created the Trade Federation.”  Of course corporations having the ability to create political ads is quite a stretch from intergalactic groups of corporations creating standing armies and invading neighboring planets.  Or is it?  Well not really, when you think that companies like Halliburton and others hire private security contractors and their own groups of armed forces to protect military supply lines and logistics outposts.  The number of private, corporate security forces in Afghanistan and Iraq are second in size only to the U.S. military itself.  For more information on that subject check out this LINK.

I’m not sure exactly what I’m getting at with all of this, I suppose that I’m just doing my own small bit of political activism by trying to illustrate how scary the phrase “corporations are people” really should be.  If that mindset is allowed to take hold, what’s to stop it from becoming “corporations are citizens” and eventually becoming “corporations deserve representation.”  I can almost hear the reasoning for it now, that such a move would be able to alleviate the economic sway of special interests over politicians, when in fact it would simply give special interests exactly what they want, a political voice, and more power.  Such things or course are only theoretical, but we already have corporations theoretically being people.  What’s to stop these theoretical ‘people’ from forming theoretical states within states which could then be granted a voice and legislative power equal to the very real individuals who have to then toil for and deal with these over powered and gluttonously wealthy corporations.  People are people and from what I remember in my social studies classes in middle school governments are supposed to exist to support and protect their citizens, not cater to shadowy businesses who have buckets full of money which they can use to sponsor the direction of political discourse.  Ah but what do I know?

That is all!

I Wish Every Day Was Halloween!

Halloween is approaching hopefully all of you boils and ghouls out there have your houses decorated, your candy bowls filled, and your costumes prepped.  Halloween is my favorite of the major holidays.  When October rolls around I try to bust out the skulls and pumpkin decorations as soon as possible, and the wife and I often disagree on how horrific the decorations should be.  Personally I don’t believe that any type of decorations should be blown out of proportion whether it’s a ridiculously involved Christmas light display, or a sprawling Halloween cemetery scene in your front yard with animatronic vampires, contrary to popular belief it is possible to over do it (and frankly your neighbors probably don’t want to look at your gaudy shit for a month anyway!)

I firmly believe that less is more, and that you can have some memorable decorations without going the Clark Griswold route.  The contention between my wife and I is how scary the decorations should be.  If it were up to me I would pass out the Trick or Treat candy between two poles decorated with mannequins made to look like impaled child clowns, along with a few skulls trickling blood from their eye sockets.  You know, nothing extravagant but enough to really hit home and creep the hell out of the kids that approach my doorstep.  If you want the candy, you’ve got to be brave enough to get it.  Lauren however is more inclined to do the whole family friendly schtick.  Some jack O’ lanterns, a Halloween sign on the door, and maybe we dress the puggles in goofy costumes (which is always a good time.)  Our decoration plans are seemingly in constant negotiation.

However despite my love for Halloween, and my enthusiasm for it, I generally hate this last week right before the big day.

It always seems like when October starts the world comes out guns blazing with Halloween excitement.  The weekends are chock full of horror movie marathons, costumes are on display every where you go, and the Reese’s pumpkins are seemingly around ever corner beckoning you to devour them.  As the weeks go on though, and we come to this last week before Halloween the ghoulish spectacle wanes.  It seems like there aren’t any good horror movies left on the upcoming television lineup, and the Halloween decor has already been put on clearance, torn apart, and decimated like a cabin full of virginal teenage victims who’ve fallen prey to a supernatural serial killer.  With retailers quietly displaying Christmas merchandise earlier and earlier each season, it has gotten so that when we’ve reached Halloween people are already bracing themselves for the X-Mas rush!  It seems like every year around this time I’m forced to summon forth my inner demonologist and take it upon myself to keep the spirit of Halloween bright and alive (or at least undead.)  Thankfully through my experience I’ve come up with a regular routine of grotesque activities that help me keep my thoughts dark and my nights sleepless!  Allow me to go over a few of them for you now.

Sign an exclusive deal with Count Chocula:

Like Peeps at Easter, and Candy Canes at Christmas, Count Chocula is a Halloween staple for me.  There was once a time when the Count and his buddies, Boo Berry, and Frankenberry could be found on the cereal shelves all year round, but those days are gone.  Now Count Chocula is a seasonal delicacy and I make sure to get as much of it as possible throughout the month of October.  There’s just something about chowing down on ghost and bat shaped cereal bits first thing in the morning that really helps keep the feeling of Halloween going!  Whether you’re a fan of the fumbling Frankenberry or the beatnik Boo Berry or the coco count himself, make sure to keep your shelf stocked with one of these, the scariest of the breakfast cereals.

I'm almost 100% sure this record won a grammy.

Blast the scary music:

While on my way to work I make sure to set my iPod up to thrill me with some of the best of my Halloween related music.  Things like the theme from Halloween and Night on Bald Mountain are good for creeping yourself out in the early morning darkness.   If you need a little lighter fair, but still want to hit your Halloween groove you can try bands like the Cramps, or classics like the Monster Mash, and Thriller.  A couple of groups that deal almost exclusively with Halloween type themes and who I’ve come to appreciate all year around are Zombina and the Skeletones and Paul Roland.  Musically they’re very different but they both have their own unique darkness that ranges from bizarre and humorous to just plain creepy.  If you’d like to learn more about them click on their links.

Are they a cool band? Yes, they are a cool band.

Horror Movies:

This one really needs no explanation.  Watch. Horror. Movies.  Everyone has their favorites with varying ratios of gore to scare as well as classic to modern.  So I’ll leave the choices up to you.  Oh, and Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas is a must as well, just be ready to watch it again in a few months when X-Mas rolls around!  AND There is a bonus this year (and hopefully for many more years to come) with the television series’ The Walking Dead and American Horror Story!  Two great ongoing dramas that have thus far been filled with plenty of great storytelling as well as well crafted horror elements.  With the modern wonders of DVR you could conceivably save up your recordings of these shows for the end of the week and have a horror drama double feature!  Both shows are unique and will give you varying degrees of “the willies.”

Only on episode 3, and I can already say this show is a favorite of mine.

Other Things:

Take Halloween into your own hands!  If you wait for this last week to carve your pumpkins it can really help to keep those nostalgic Halloween feelings going, and helps ensure that your pumpkins don’t look like the Crypt Keeper by the time Halloween actually rolls around (unless of course you carved it to look like the Crypt Keeper.)  Personally around this time I also like to delve into some fine demented literature.  It’s always a good time to revisit my favorite paranormal superhero, Dr. Strange and his supernaturally macabre adventures.  Also this year I’m working on completing the entire collected works of H.P. Lovecraft which happens to coincide nicely with the holiday.  Finally look back at some other media that fits the themes of Halloween, for instance I plan on  rewatching the episode of the Star Wars Clone Wars cartoon entitled  Legacy of Terror, which features zombie Geonosians.  There’s even an episode of Babylon 5 called Day of the Dead which features a strange occurrence aboard the station where the dead return to the world of the living for a single night.

Undead Geonosians prowling the catacombs in search of clone brains.

Basically when others aren’t getting psyched for Halloween, sometimes you’ve gotta psyche yourself up.  Remember that Halloween is more than just bad movies, girls dressed like sluts, and tooth rotting candy.  Halloween is a holiday that allows us to briefly acknowledge the darkness of the world, and of ourselves.  Halloween expresses death and allows us to come to terms with the fear of all of our inevitable destinies, and Halloween allows us to revel in the mysteries and instinctive imagination of the human psyche!

Happy Halloween everyone, make sure to scare the piss out of someone special this year!

That is all!

What Is It About The Color Blue?

Recently I’ve received hundreds, possibly even thousands, of emails from readers asking me to write a blog specifying my top 5 favorite blue (the color, not the state of mind) characters from television, film, and popular culture.  This got me thinking, and as I pondered the question I quickly came up with a dozen or so blue individuals off the top of my head from Huckleberry Hound to those blue aliens with the white hair and antennae from Star Trek.  What is it about the color blue that makes it such a prominent shade?  For the complete breakdown of Blue and its various properties refer to this Wikipedia page!

And now, because you demanded it, I give you my Top 5 Blue Characters!

#5 – The Tardis

 

Any Dr. Who fans out there?  The Tardis is an incredibly complex and difficult to understand device.  Capable of traveling across all of time and space, and even occasionally punch its way through to different universes, this home/transport of the mysterious Time Lord known only as The Doctor is under the guise of a big blue British police phone box.  The Tardis is often a welcome sight to the Doctor’s companions.   This strange machine regularly disappears and reappears just as they find themselves in a jam.  Though an inanimate object the Tardis is somewhat conscious and self aware and is just another of the strange characters that crop up in the show, especially in the recent seasons where the Tardis was briefly granted a human form.  I’m not a huge Dr. Who expert but I know enough about the lore to count the Tardis among my top 5 favorite blue beings.

#4 – The Smurfs

 

The Smurfs.  These guys pretty much wrote the book on being blue.  I’ve previously discussed my enjoyment of the Smurfs in other posts, such as my fairly recent Friday Funny Pages which featured the little blue creatures.  This is not to say that I endorse, at all, that recent Smurf abomination which they dared call a “movie.”  The only Smurfs I recognize as legit are those that appear in print or cartoon format.  I don’t really need to go into much more detail about the Smurfs do I?  Either you know who the Smurfs are, or you’re some kind of asshole whom I’d rather not associate with.

 

#3- Deep Blue

 

I love robots!  Especially real robots.  Although Deep Blue is technically not a real “robot”, and is actually a powerful computer, it still was designed to interact with humans to some capacity, so to me was a robot.  Alas I digress.  Deep Blue in both name and appearance, this chess playing son of a bitch could really mate some checks!  The Deep Blue computer was made famous for defeating human chess champion Garry Kasparov back in 1997, which some claimed was the heralding of the robot destruction of mankind.  As we now know that was not the case (though we should remain vigilant and prepare the way for our eventual robotic overlords.)  A shining achievement of computing design Deep Blue was a stepping stone for IBM and lead the way to such creations as Watson, the robot that recently appeared on Jeopardy and defeated Ken Jennings.  Sadly Deep Blue was disassembled shortly after its notable victory, thus depriving Kasparov of a sorely wanted rematch.

#2 – Nightcrawler

 

Kurt Wagner.  Nightcrawler!  This German born X-Man is one of my favorite students of Professor Charles Xavier, and indeed one of my favorite Marvel super heroes of all time.  With the ability to leap around and climb walls well enough to keep up with the likes of Spider-Man, Nightcrawler is also granted the power to teleport from one spot to another thanks to his natural mutant talents.  What’s not to like?  Nightcrawler is a badass who’s also a nice guy.  After awhile you get tired of stoic faced anti-heroes and hard nosed leaders of men.  Occasionally you just want a super hero who can get the job done, who looks cool, and who has a smile on his face.  That’s Nightcrawler.  This was no easy choice for me because there are a shit ton of blue comic book characters, especially X-Men.  There’s Beast, Mystique, Archangel, half the morloks, and several others.  But when it comes to blue super heroes, Nightcrawler has my vote.  As an added bonus ol’ Nighty had a near perfect portrayal in the second X-Men movie, it’s always a relief for us comic book geeks to see our heroes done right on film.

#1 – R2-D2

 

R2-D2, the real hero of the Star Wars saga.  The unassuming little astromech droid with the blue detailing that went on to get involved in one of the most epic interstellar adventures of all time.   You shouldn’t really be surprised that my number one favorite blue character heralds from the Star Wars universe, and I had to choose him for number one due to the major role he plays in the movies.  There are few of our heroes from Star Wars who don’t owe R2-D2 their life.  Being that R2 is a walking toolbox he’s also handy to have around when it comes to repairing equipment, detecting lifeforms, parsing data streams, and picking locks.  R2-D2 has seen quite a bit of action and with the continuing success of the Clone Wars cartoon we are finally getting a good look at just how much action!  With the approaching release of the Star Wars movies on blu-ray there will be renewed interest in the adventures of R2-D2 and the rest of the gang from the galaxy far, far away.  And right about now I’m guessing that R2-D2 is pretty glad he doesn’t speak English, so that he can’t become the nexus of an, added dialogue, George Lucas tinkering, fan base controversy.  As of now R2-D2 remains the same as ever, though some other elements of his surroundings might get tweaked around him.

So there you have it!  Behold the power of BLUE!

That is all!

 

George Lucas Doesn’t Hate The Fans, He’s Just A Terrible Artist

“Art is never finished, only abandoned.

—-Leonardo Di Vinci

“Star Wars is like a woman who was once vibrant and beautiful but who has had an obscene amount of plastic surgery and hasn’t been allowed to age gracefully.”  —-Some Guy on a Star Wars Forum

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or simply aren’t a Star Wars fan or geek of any ilk, you most likely have been hearing the complaints about the changes made to the Star Wars movies in their upcoming blu-ray release.  Most of the recent controversy has centered around some added bits of dialogue given to Darth Vader during the climactic final battle between Vader, Palpatine, and Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi.  In this newest version Darth Vader screams “No! Nooo!” as he picks up his Sith master and gives him the shaft.  A phrase that has already garnered some fan ridicule when it was used in Revenge of the Sith and now has them outraged due to its insertion into the iconic ending of the original trilogy.

Cover of the upcoming Star Wars Blu-Ray

Now many Star Wars fans out there already have several complaints to bring up against Uncle George, the bearded creator.  This recent tinkering with the saga seems to be the straw that infuriated the camel’s core fanbase.  Many other blogs and commentaries seem to imply that they feel George Lucas hates the fans, cares nothing for the Star Wars saga, and thinks that adding to, and messing with, the movies will encourage us gullible fans to shell out a few extra bucks in order to collect a newer version of the films.

But here’s how I see it.

From what I can tell George Lucas does NOT hate the fans of his movies, or think that they are fools.  On the contrary Lucas seems to take quite an interest in the fans and their activities.  He has personally attended several of the Star Wars Celebration conventions and I have personally seen him speak twice.  From all indications he seems actually quite congenial to, and appreciative of, his fans.  One quick example that comes to mind is when Uncle George was taking questions at one of the previously mentioned Star Wars Celebrations, when one particularly stereotypical geeky fan asked a very specific and involved question about buzz droids and particle shielding on Jedi starfighters.  George took a breath and was about to answer the inquiry before the other fans in the auditorium booed the awkward questioner down from the mic.  I remember personally yelling something along the lines of “Ask that kind of shit at a Trek convention!”  George Lucas however said nothing, and simply shrugged as if disappointed he didn’t get to answer.

George Lucas shakes hands with a young Jedi fan

What I’m getting at is that George Lucas could be so much more standoffish with his fans, he could be like the Emperor, mysterious and removed from the people.  Instead he seems to make appearances quite often, has dialogues with the fans, and has even given his take on a few of the popular criticisms about his work.

That’s not to say that George Lucas hasn’t made some mistakes in his work.  I am in no way simply pardoning Lucas for everything just because he takes a few minutes to chat with the fan boys.  Jarjar was waaaaay overdone.  Episode II is terrible.  Han shooting first was stupid.  He shouldn’t have directed the prequels.  And Indiana Jones 4 was total shit (but actually I put most of the blame for that debacle on the other major players involved with that one, Lucas’ story could have been one of my favorite Indy movies, but the execution was atrocious!)

Now onto the idea that Lucas hates the Star Wars universe, or simply has no regard for the established universe that is Star Wars.  I’ve commented on this before in my post about Lucas VS the Fan Boys.  Without repeating myself too much I’ll just restate that I’ve never felt, nor have I really seen any evidence to support the idea that Lucas simply doesn’t care about what changes he makes to the Star Wars universe.  On the contrary I have to say that if you’ve read any interviews with Dave Filoni, the director of the Clone Wars cartoon, or George Lucas himself, you’ll discover that there is quite a bit of thought and effort put into what new elements are added to the Star Wars universe through the cartoons, and film changes, and how those elements fit in with the existing Star Wars realm.  Sure Lucas makes changes to established and iconic scenes, and tinkers with works he’s already completed but I attribute that more to the idea that Lucas is a perfectionist who regularly thinks about how he wishes this or that scene had turned out better.  I don’t believe he makes changes on a whim, but instead foolishly makes these edits based on his current state of mind, and not his original inspired direction.  As a writer myself I can sympathize with wanting to tweak your work to make it just right.  That however has to happen before it is unleashed upon the world.

Which brings me to the last part of my rant.

“Lucas just wants to make a quick buck off the fans by making some unnecessary changes and putting the movies out on a new format.”  George Lucas knows how to make a buck, there is no denying that.  That son of a bitch is the grand master of merchandising and he established the style of promotion and rebranding that keeps a product fresh in the mind of the consumer.  He knows how to stretch something out and get the most from fan expectations and desires.  I’m convinced that the only reason we haven’t seen the live action Star Wars television series yet is because the Clone Wars was far more popular and successful than originally anticipated, so why show all your cards at once?  Get the most of the Clone Wars and when that winds down, ramp up the live action show once more.  Some might say it’s a dick move, but it’s just good business.  Hold onto those good ideas until you need them, and keep the product going.  It’s America, it’s capitalism.  So all our Star Wars dreams aren’t coming true all at once, too bad.

I believe Lucas does what he does in terms of changes, additions, tinkering, etc. because deep down George Lucas is still clinging to his indie film school roots.  Somewhere deep down there is still good in Lucas, he pictures himself as a hipster film geek who praises 2001: A Space Odyssey and Kurosawa movies.  He wants to try to perfect his art however and is afraid to let things go until they are “done right.”  The problem is of course that things are never done right, they’re just done as best as they can be.  As the above quote states art is never finished, only abandoned.  This of course means that George Lucas is a terrible artist in that he just can’t let go.  I’m not saying he shouldn’t have made the prequels or has done too much with the Clone Wars, on the contrary, for the most part, I really enjoy these new segments of the Star Wars saga (glaring annoyances aside.)  It just means that Lucas has to learn to let go.  When he stepped back from the directors chair on the original movies we found that his vision could be fulfilled just as well, if not better, through a different set of eyes.

A young George Lucas with his friend, a young Francis Ford Coppola

It is my theory that George Lucas is not a spiteful person, nor a solely greedy one.  If any maladjustment can be assigned to him I would say he suffers from excessive vainglory.  He wants his works to be the best, and remain the best.  Star Wars, his inarguable pinnacle achievement and best known creation was once the apex of movie making, a groundbreaking achievement in film.  He is slow to relinquish that glory and so attempts to make his art a continual work in progress, slowly adapting the state of the art practices of the present to his masterpiece of the past.  Without a doubt Lucas has been a pioneer in new technologies and styles of film making, but he is unable to completely let go of his pride and the earlier works that got him there.

That is why you fail.

That is all!