Today is Star Wars Day. Why? Oh, it has no relevance to the film’s original production or release, it’s because today is May 4th, and that’s easily turned into May the 4th, which sounds like May the Force if you say it with a lisp. So in honor of this fake holiday I’d like to carry over a tradition from my personal favorite fake holiday: Festivus. And as well all know, Festivus begins with the “Airing of Grievances.” So, in the immortal, but re-purposed, words of Frank Costanza, “I got a lot of problems with you, Star Wars! And now, you’re gonna hear about it!”
First Grievance: You’re an abuser.
All corporations take advantage of their consumers, that’s just the way business works. Consumers put up with it because we realize that the tiny part of our soul that we’re selling away is totally worth it. But it is possible to reach a saturation point where the fans are putting in more than they’re getting back, and Star Wars is dangerously close to that tipping point. In the past I actually gave the Star Wars brand a pass on this front, because its fanbase was a fluke in the media world. Star Wars didn’t need to make concessions to fans, since fans were clearly having a riot with all of the Star Wars merchandising and fan-made goodies the world over.
But then today, on Star Wars Day, no less, they went and pushed themselves over the age. They had already announced that they’d be revealing the full specs of the upcoming Blu-ray set today. What they didn’t announce was that fans have to go and share the website to a certain number of friends before it would give them more info, pics and various snippets of the upcoming Blu-rays. Yes, you read that right: Star Wars was holding its goods hostage from the fans until the fans spread the website like an STD.
Just show us the damned goods, already. You’re frakking Star Wars, for crying out loud. I’m pretty sure the entire world knows you exist. You don’t need another 500,000 likes on Facebook. Quit outsourcing your marketing department’s jobs to your fans.
Second Grievance: I don’t care about your Blu-rays.
Oh, I want to care about them. I want to badly. I’m not even going to promise that I won’t pick them up when they come out this September. But I don’t care about them coming out because you’re not giving the fans what they want: the original, unaltered trilogy. None of this special edition bullshit, thanks. My son is going to see Star Wars at home in the best way possible: on VHS.
The year is 2011, Gods damn it. The best way to watch any movie, let alone Star Wars, should not be on a home video format that’s been around since I was a kid. (Yes, I realize that Laserdisc is actually the best way to watch the original trilogy at home, but since I don’t have an LD player, my indignation stands.)
Third Grievance: You, Lucas!
My son tells me your company stinks! You couldn’t smooth a silk sheet if you had a hot date with a babe… I lost my train of thought.
Fourth Grievance: Just give up the 3-d conversion.
Don’t you have enough money already? Are you really going to convert all six films to 3-D just to bilk even more cash from your already abused and plundered fanbase? Is your heart frozen in carbonite?
Seriously, what is the benefit here? No one likes 3-D. Sure, it was an interesting, worthwhile aspect of Avatar, but it hasn’t done a thing for the movie going world since then except jack up ticket prices. If audiences are already growing tired of new release movies going the 3-D conversion route in early 2011, how do you think they’re going to feel about a 3-D conversion come 2012, when you release The Phantom Menace? Spoiler alert: No one is going to thank you for it. They’ll hate you even more.
Please, please, please stop squandering decades of good will on transparent attempts to suck every single drop out of your own well. Believe it or not at your own folly, Star Wars, but fans do have a breaking point. And you’re pushing us ever closer to it every time you open your mouths these days. Take a break. Go a few months without announcing yet another new insult to the original trilogy. I promise you that people won’t forget that Star Wars exists.