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Featured Video: "Star Wars IX Teaser"
The Rise of Skywalker
Enough already!

April 12, 2019: The Star Wars saga was started many years ago when a young George Lucas had an inspired idea for a revolutionary new science fiction movie. Over the course of time, his Star Wars series of movies has intermittently wowed, fascinated, frustrated, and surprised fans. When Disney bought Lucasfilm and Star Wars the franchise, many fans were excited to see the potential for the three final sequels—as the Star Wars series had been envisioned as an unusual non-linear series of nine movies—to be finished. By the end of the sixth movie, Lucas had indicated that unless someone else stepped in to finish the last three movies, the Star Wars saga was ending with the release of Revenge of the Sith.

When the 7th Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens, was released by Disney, it came with a lot of fanfare and glitz—as well as a lot of marketing and product placement. What it lacked was any of the deeper and more personal insights that George Lucas had imbued his movies with. Much of the inspiration for the Star Wars concept came from a book by the late Joseph Campbell, renowned author and expert in folklore and mythology, called The Hero With a Thousand Faces. Campbell’s primary focus was on the “hero archetype,” and how that concept can be a force for positive change in the world. Lucas incorporated those concepts throughout the six Star Wars movies he made, creating both an extremely entertaining story, and a story-line rich with a lot of spiritual and social meaning.

What Disney has done with the franchise is to transform it into the penultimate marketing and profit generating tool. The four Star Wars movies produced by Disney thus far are little more than lost ghosts of a bold and inspired long-term creative enterprise. If there was any element of “soap opera” in the first six movies, it was merely used as a device to provide some appeal to a broader audience not used to seeing complex philosophical insights as part of their “entertainment experiences.” The latest movies are little more than “soft soap” efforts to make insanely large profits. Make no mistake, however, the first six movies were laden with many moral, ethical, and philosophical insights and challenges. The four movies produced by Disney almost appear as little more than sad and faded ghosts of the past movies, not entirely unlike the “Ghost of Hamlet” from William Shakespeare’s tragic play.

Even worse, Disney has spun off a couple of movies based on the characters from the original six movies, but outside of the main story-line and largely lacking any true continuity with the symbolic themes of those original movies. Ironically, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, may be the best of the Star Wars movies made by Disney, since it is wholly contained in and constrained by the temporal frame of reference of one of the most compelling episodes of the original Star Wars movies. Even so, the willingness of Disney to transform the Star Wars franchise into a never-ending progression of movies, not unlike the Fast and Furious mindless action film franchise is horrifying to true fans of the more substantive and thoughtful Star Wars movies of past decades. Apparently, Disney has plans to keep releasing Star Wars movies until fans either get tired of the franchise, or the Sun expands and swallows Earth.

Sadly, the commodification of intellectual property has finally killed most of the last threads of originality and creativity in Hollywood. The Rise of Skywalker, no matter how it may compare artistically to the last two efforts of Disney to continue the original Star Wars series, represents an affront to all the talented and unrecognized writers, actors, and artists overflowing with exciting and original ideas for movies. Hollywood is lost in an orgy of over-hyped and lazily themed movie creation, with the “Marvel Cinematic Universe,” and other similar superhero themed movies representing examples of just how devoid of inspiration, creativity, and adventurous spirit Hollywood has become. If the trailer of this latest Star Wars release is any indication of what is yet to come from future Star Wars movies, many of us may become increasingly convinced that the death of Hollywood as the “Capitol of Movie-Making” can only be a good thing for the world as a whole.

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