10 of Kathy Shaidle’s Greatest Hits
These are some of the Canadian culture critic's most memorable broadsides and inspiring provocations. Volume 1.
April 26, 2014 - 3:30 pm
1. February 1, 2012:
Five Reasons Star Wars Actually Sucks
So a human comic book with a stirring soundtrack, bad jokes and loud zapping noises is one of the top 10 highest grossing films of all time. Yoda wept. Related: Geek Rage: Star Wars Comments of the Day
In a previous column, I noted in passing that I fell asleep during Star Wars.
I have this dim (repressed?) memory of getting dragged to see it by a high school boyfriend. (So it must have been during a theatrical re-release — I’m not that old.)
a) Harrison Ford = hot
b) remarking loudly that we shouldn’t be able to hear those rocket ships or whatever they were because, as everyone knows, space is a vacuum and you can’t hear explosions or anything else.
Then I gathered my jacket around my head until the house lights came up.
I figured I was free and clear. Little did I know that, well into the next century, Star Wars detritus would be washing up onto the shores of my life each and every damn day.
I’m talking about stuff like this:
And whateverthehell this is:
Seriously: isn’t there some cancer you could be curing?
If you’re trying to make adults with refined tastes and a real religion hate your favorite movie even more, congratulations, Star Wars fans: mission accomplished.
Star Wars actually sucks. Here’s why.
1. THE MOVIES
First of all, I’m not going to employ those pretentious, post-market locutions like “Episode V” or whathaveyou. If you are a grown up, then there are “the three old Star Wars movies” and “the three new Star Wars movies.”
Now: let’s look at all the other people George Lucas got rich ripping off, the way Picasso did with the Africans.
First, Joseph Campbell. This toxic troublemaker earned his academic reputation for his theories on “the hero’s journey.”
That is: Campbell discovered that, in every culture, in all times, societies had myths.
Who went on journeys.
Damn, I wish I’d gone to college.
Campbell also coined the insidious Baby Boomer, New Age bumpersticker motto, “Follow Your Bliss.”
Now, most people know that the sign over Auschwitz read “Work Will Set You Free.”
Fewer people know that the sign over Buchenwald read “To Each His Own.”
What nobody knows yet but me is that when Concentration Camps 2.0 are erected, the signs over their gates will be “Follow Your Bliss.”
(Or, hey, maybe even “Welcome to Comic-Con”…)
Influence #2: Kurosawa. Star Wars is The Hidden Fortress in space. We nuked Japan and stole their movies! (They only deserved the first former.)
Influence #3: Flash Gordon, the boring-beyond-imagining 1930s film serial.
We’re meant to be impressed that Lucas was also inspired by John Ford’s The Searchers (1956). Except that almost every American film made after The Searchers (and not a few foreign ones) was also influenced by The Searchers.
So a human comic book with a stirring soundtrack, bad jokes, and loud zapping noises is one of the top 10 highest grossing films of all time.
2. THE DIRECTOR
George Lucas is a plastic toy manufacturer who makes mediocre movies on the side.
Compared to Spielberg, Scorsese, and Coppola, however, Lucas’s film oeuvre is nothing but juvenilia, from American Graffiti to Star Wars to… well, he’s never made anything else.
It’s like his career has the opposite of Progeria.
It’s not just that George Lucas has the kind of face you just want to punch, although that doesn’t help.
(A note to those of you fond of tossing around the glib expression “George Lucas raped my childhood”: unless it also contains the words “stepfather,” “Catholic priest,” or “Jerry Sandusky,”‘ you don’t actually get to use the words “raped” and “my childhood” in a sentence, m’kay? Please get another First World problem.)