With the release of Aidan Wasley’s Star Wars article on Slate today, all day job malingerers can finally find an article that is absurd on almost every level. To compare George Lucas with the likes of John Ashbery’s poetry, Peter Greenaway and Matthew Barney’s Cremaster films is to remain highly suspect, as Yoda is an amusing little character but poetic in the most puerile of ways (“Do, or do not. There is no try.”) and Barney scaling the Chrysler Building’s elevator shaft (without CGI, yo) is more impressive than some half-baked lightsaber duel near a lava flow.
Let’s be clear on this: the Star Wars sextet is not pomo. Not in any real way. There is no blurring of distinctions. A space opera is a space opera. We do not see any fragmented moments that are meant to be mourned, any form of self-referential narration (The Force? Are you fucking kidding me?) other than that yellow scrolling text, any moment where George Lucas himself appears within the story as author, and, particularly in the most recent trilogy, anything that even approaches a minimalist design. Further, the idea that a series of films with some of the most atrocious B-movie dialogue ever written can be considered “intellectual” is tantamount to inviting a bunch of grad students to seriously consider the literary merits of Run’s House.
And let’s be clear on this, Wasley: Anytime an audience goes into a theatre, they are going to be “self-conscious” of a fucking narrative. It’s called paying attention to a movie. And unless an audience member is too busy making out because the movie in question sucks or ingesting an interesting and possibly illegal substance to enhance the visuals, assuming that the audience member is not a dumbass, he is sure as fucking fuck going to be self-fucking-conscious of what’s going on. Because ten fucking bucks is a lot of fucking money.
“Lucas even seems to acknowledge these stumbles toward excess within the structure of the films themselves.” No, pal, it’s called focus groups.
“Lucas is firmly committed to digital cinema, but in this single shot we see him acknowledge, perhaps a little sheepishly, his technology’s erasure of a fortuitous or exciting human accident.” No. It’s called one-upping Firefly.