That's what Amy, my 7 year old daughter said, after seeing me whoop with excitement as the evil cackle of Emperor Palpatine closed the new Star Wars teaser trailer. Yes, I'm very, very, excited! It's sounds like a cliché now, but Star Wars was my first Movie experience at the cinema. It was my first memorable toy, I bought the comic books, wore the sweater and fought my best friend with a lightsabre. When I was sick off school I lay on the settee in my Star Wars sleeping bag. It inspired to dream, to imagine, to believe and to draw. Yes, I have Star Wars to thank for igniting the spark that led me here, to this place, to write to you.
There's been so much negativity surrounding the last two Star Wars films from 'fans', mostly based on the fact that a film maker(s) made a few story choices that they didn't like. Or was it internet trolls sent from a foreign country to spread hatred?
I don't know. What I do know is that I believe in creative freedom and I'm comfortable with the fact that not every person has to like what is made or created. I'm at the age where I like a song, because I like it. Not because it's by my chosen band or in my favourite genre. I wear clothes that I feel comfortable in, not because they're 'on trend'. I like movies of any genre: musicals, sci-fi, horror, western, drama, comedy...if the film entertains or moves me, I like it. If I don't like it, that's fine, I just don't like it. What I don't do is that I don't blame the Director of a film if I don't like their movie, because I can accept the fact that other people may and probably do like it!
A group of outraged fans who hated The Last Jedi made a petition to raise money to fund their own version of the story, to tell the story as it 'should have been told'. Really? I'm a fan of Star Wars, believe me, I am. I may not agree with every story choice or new character, but tough! I'm not going to throw my teddy out and blub about it and demand it be remade.
The problem (one amongst so many) with the fans making their film, is just that: it would be a 'fan' film, made by 'fans', for 'fans'. It would inevitably be 4 or 5 hours long, filled to bursting with exposition, badly scripted, badly produced, badly designed and badly directed. It might appease a small group of people, but it would alienate the masses and would, yes, it actually would, kill Star Wars!
We all have a right to an opinion and we all will be let down by someone, something or some movie in our precious franchise, at some point. That's life and you just have to suck it up and accept it. Star Wars has never been perfect, for every Empire there is an Ewok Adventure. For every John Williams fanfare there's a, dare I say it, Droids theme. I said it, didn't I. I don't like the Droids theme, so should I petition a new one, a one that's a bit more 'Star Warsy' or do I just live with the fact. It's an easy choice for me.
My eyes were really awoken to creative freedom by watching the third season of Twin Peaks, full of flaws, poor special effects and yes, it was possibly more divisive amongst its fans than The Last Jedi! Two things especially jarred: the act that Agent Cooper didn't return to his previous lovable self until near the very end of the season and the final episode. That last episode was a hard watch, very emotional and left many fans confused, upset and numb. It took a long time to recover, if we ever will.
If Lynch was led by 'what the fans want', then Coop would have returned earlier and cleared up the town of Twin Peaks, got the girl and drank endless cups of black coffee. David Lynch makes what David Lynch wants to make. He tells the story as he wishes it to be told and leaves us, the viewers, with the job of making sense of it all. He doesn't use exposition or chronological storytelling to guide you along. He knows what it all means, yet he leaves you to make your own mind up about the meanings woven so deep into the narrative.
What this means to an artist? Well, Lynch is free. He is free to put on canvas, song or film whatever he wants, without fear of failure or letting the 'fans' down. What a wonderful place that would be. Twin Peaks, like Star Wars, isn't perfect. There are whole chunks of story and characters that don't suit all tastes, but would we ask Lynch to remake Fire Walk With Me, to meet the expectations of the fans? Would we ask da Vinci to correct the smile on the Mona Lisa? Some people would, the same people who call people like me an 'art snob' because I believe in the artist's right to make whatever they want to make.
I've gone off on quite a tangent now, I was going to talk about the excitement of Star Wars and all that. But such is life, when your mind wonders onto other things. I'll leave it at that for now and await any trolling from the 'fans'...
For everyone else, here's my sketch from the trailer that has awoken in me a childish giddiness and longing for escapism and adventure. I genuinely can't wait to see Palpatine back on the screen and to fond out which Skywalker is set to rise and to know how the Saga will end.
Please don't let yourself become so self obsessed with a view on something like a movie franchise, to the point when it turns to hatred. Because you know what that leads to...