Nostalgia, one of life's truly incredible feelings that can be so gratifying. Triggered by something that draws you back to a better, simpler time in your life. Film, in modern society, is one of the major vessels in which nostalgia is delivered to the masses. No bigger series of films is known for this than Star Wars. The original three were a cultural phenomenon that fully impacted and altered the entertainment industry for the next 40 or so years.
I mean an incredible artistic collaboration that is a unique take on the hero’s journey that was fun and inspiring for every age, which no doubt was created with some ambitions for monetary gain, but on a base level was a passionately done product of truly magical inspiration. Some sixteen years later, the next three were, from an artistic standpoint, an absolute and utter failure. Why?
Why take this beloved film series and completely half-ass it? I mean the story being bad is one thing, but the characters are awful.
The answer is nostalgia, well, more so the exploitation of it in the name of collecting your money. Film is an incredible medium where writers, actors, directors, photographers, and many other artists come together to showcase their incredible abilities in beautiful new ways. Now there are many ways in which to bastardize the medium for selfish fiscal reasons. Nostalgia is time and time again the most effective tactic used by production companies to coax us out of our money.
Indiana Jones, for example, is another George Lucas collaboration. It is also another franchise whose overall quality has diminished and the lazy sequel was a sadder piss-poor copy of the original films. These reboots of classic films are just awful toss out ideas to help these major film companies make a quick, easy, thoughtless win. No true risks are being taken on young or unique artists who have new innovative takes on the classic genres of film.
More importantly, it's an insidious ploy to trick bored, overstimulated people who need something comforting just to get them through the week. If you’re going to exploit people’s love for nostalgic comforts, do it the right way: be exciting and make an interesting new take on it.
The most recent Star Wars film is a good example of this, or even better, is the Netflix series "Stranger Things." The series fully immerses the viewer in nostalgia and brings you back to that original feeling where it really feels like you're watching something truly unique. "Stranger Things" is a fantastic example of old art being used in new art. It isn’t insulting to anyone's intelligence watching the show. It keeps the original idea alive by being original in its own right.
Two years ago, "The Force Awakens" did an incredible job of not absolutely destroying the original love we all had for the first three films. Let's hope for this Christmas season, it doesn't pan out to be a massive monetary success and an emotional disaster. I bought my tickets the minute they went on sale. I mean the only reason I’m this angry about it is that they get me every time.