There’s a new Star Wars movie coming out in August, as you almost undoubtedly know. I almost undoubtedly know that, like almost every other Start Wars movie before it, the plot will be haphazard at best, the dialogue will be cringingly cheesy, and that these make me gag in almost any other movie. I also know that I’m going to see it, maybe even in the theatre, so I can get an even greater effect from it.
What I’m wondering is, why? And this is actually something I’ve been trying to figure out; on a purely cinematographic level, most Star Wars movies just aren’t very good. (Empire is excepted, of course.) And I hate watching bad movies. So why do I (we) keep going to them? The special effects, of course, tend to be great, but there’s something deeper. The best I can come up with is this: Star Wars taps into very fundamental desires/wishes that many, many people have, especially guys, and even more especially guy nerds. Here’s my best guess as to what they are they are:
- Good and evil can be clearly differentiated.
- It’s possible for one person to make a difference in the conflict between the two.
- Flight. Especially in the service of (2).
- Unlike the religions we have now, a spirituality (connection to something greater than oneself) exists that provides tangible, consistent benefits to those who follow its path.
All wonderful fantasies, of course, but they don’t help me when I’m standing in line to get in to the theatre, wondering why I’m giving George Lucas yet more money to wreck a story.