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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

May the Greed be With You

I am by no means a Star Wars fan boy. I enjoyed the original trilogy and for the most part the second one as well. I understand that the purists were up in arms about it not to mention the animated series but I can not say that I am really bothered by all of it. So the story lines didn't macth up perfectly, so they lost their feel, I can live with all of this. I mean, fanboys can go on and on, the franchise does in fact belong to George Lucas and if he wants to do a series where Darth Vader runs away from the Emperor to become a transvestite dancer in the Cantina so be it.

But there is one thing I have noticed time and time again with every new release of Star Wars films, games and series. Something that has me snickering and shaking my head. The Force Powers.

Now you all know how the Force was portrayed in the original trilogy. Very mysterious, elusive and subtle. Little mind tricks, movement of small to medium sized objects. It is what made the force almost believable in the minds of so many. Im sure you can remember Mall Rats where Silent Bob attempts to move the video tape using the force. Because it was so subtle it seemed to be right on the edge of reality, within grasp if you just believed.

Then came the games and the new movies. Suddenly seeing droids fly across the room were common place. Massive objects were not just lifted but hurled like oiled bricks around the scenery. In Jedi Academy you could jump a couple of stories, push and pull anything movable and even choke and fling opponents. If you think back, Vader, one of the most powerful Siths merely choked the Admiral who "failed him for the last time".

All of a sudden the Force was not something subtle anymore. Along came The Force Unleashed and here Vader's apprentice could clear landing platforms with a cough. Massive Droid the size of a Condo running towards you? Just pick it up and compress it into the size of a TV before throwing it through another one. I mean Luke Skywalker was supposed to be some Force prodigy and all he could do was move a lightsaber by grimacing at it for 20 minutes.

And the latest? Oh I liked this one. A Jedi catching a lightsaber blade (Yes you read correctly) with her bare hand. Nice.....

So I am a fanboy, you must be thinking. Nope, not at all and the fact that Lucas rapes his Franchise doesn't bother me in the least. I find it amusing though because I think it holds a very shiny mirror to society. We want more in every possible aspect. More action, more drama, more more more more more! The Force is just an example of this greed for excitement we all seek. No longer is that believable, subtle, almost tangible Force good enough for us. No we need to pull Star Destroyers from orbit, electrocute an ocean of Eels and make planets do the Twist.

This phenomenon is prevalent in just about any gaming and movie franchise out there. An escalation of arms to the point where it all starts becoming a bit silly. Yes, the ability to grab the Death Star and shake it till it wets itself out its exhaust vent is impressive but not very believable. But look at that mug on your table and concentrate hard on it and try to believe you can make it move. Almost feels real, doesn't it?

This pursuit of the Spectacular has allowed us to look over the Special and I fear that what made so many of movies and games, not only in the Star Wars universe, creep into our hearts in the first place might be lost for the sake of the next, bigger explosion.