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Star Wars: A Victim of its own Hype.
by Sean Hawkins

Perhaps there's a reason that George Lucas doesn't seem too upset about the lacklustre reviews his new flick is getting. Perhaps Lucas is finally realising that he simply lost control of his own creation.

Imagine this: From the moment you're born, you're promised a kick-ass present on your 16th birthday. For year after year, your parents dangle the promise of what's to come in front of your face, and slowly your excitement builds. You have no idea what to expect, but in your quiet moments, you begin to imagine the possibilities, and they blow you away. You imagine a present of unbelievable beauty, power, and magic. As the years tick by, your excitement reaches a fever pitch. Friends around you are getting just as excited as you are, and everyone around you is talking about what's to come. The world around you seems to be building towards this event as the be-all and end-all of your life. And finally, as the big day approaches, you wonder if you can take the anticipation anymore. Then, it arrives. And the present is wonderful, beautiful, very nearly perfect. But you've been waiting 16 years for this thing! It seems like a letdown compared to what you dreamt of all those years. You knew it was going to be great, but...somehow, you expected a little more.

It's been 16 years since George Lucas gave us a new "Star Wars" movie. Ever since, he's been talking about the new ones. There's going to be 6 new episodes. No, wait, only 3. They'll start appearing in 1997. No, wait, 1999. George Lucas has become the biggest prick-tease in Hollywood. George has been hyping these things since 1983, and now, as the release date looms, it would be impossible for any movie, no matter how great, to live up to the expectations that Lucas himself created.

Think about it: Lucas has held these movies over the audience's head, and even now, as reviews of "Episode 1" begin to flow in, and disappointment begins to set in, fans are now looking ahead to Episodes 2 and 3 as the answers to all their prayers. Fans have been so completely brainwashed by the hype that even as the movies fail to live up to their (admittedly unreachable) expectations, they refuse to admit defeat. Hey, if all three episodes do end up letting people down, Lucas'll just make a "Special Edition" of the three new ones 15 years from now, and everything'll be alright.

The reviews of the movie seem to be clear: Walk into the movie with no expectations, and you'll enjoy the heck out of it. But walk into the movie expecting the greatest 2 hours of your life, and nothing can begin to measure up to what you hoped. Just ignore George Lucas and his hype machine, and everything will be fine. But is that possible? It's on every magazine cover, every TV show, every bit of pop culture right now seems to have "Star Wars" written all over it. Lucas created the hype, but now he seems to be copping out, saying "It's just a movie." Lucas is like Dr. Frankenstein, creating a monster, and then accepting no blame when it wrecks the village. Only this time, Lucas' monster seems to be wrecking the chances of his new movie taking its place next to the originals in cinematic history.


link directly to this feature at http://www.efilmcritic.com/feature.php?feature=40
originally posted: 05/19/99 04:39:52
last updated: 05/19/99 15:21:22
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