Introduction to a Jaded Cynic, Plus Some EU Discussion!
While perhaps unnecessary, I feel quite strongly that introductions are always necessary when entering into new circles. Seeing as I only know one of the other authors around these parts—never mind what they know of me—and we shant even consider how little I know those who might read this post, I don’t think this such a radical idea.
To be short, if such things are even possible for me, my name is Nick, though any readers hailing from the boards at TheForce.net may know me better as Chukles38. I’ll be, what, a guest author? Maybe a full author? Who knows, but I should shoot some things up here occasionally to enlighten, inform, or… actually, pretty much to entertain, I think. I would say that I am an author, but that implies that I have been able to complete something. Instead, we’ll tack an aspiring on there and leave it at that. I have picked up a few things, here and there, though about writing and the processes involved, so I’m available to answer any questions, comments, concerns, or criticisms you may have. Hopefully I’ll be able to focus on just one project here and keep at it to completion. I’m not entirely hopeful.
At any rate, I have been a fan of Star Wars since I was quite young, and in fact it’s difficult to recall a time that I didn’t love the series. I remember pretending to be Luke Skywalker, flipping out of Sarlacc pits and hacking up anything in my way with the lightsaber I didn’t have. I’ve always had an active imagination, however, so this was an insignificant detail. When my brothers and I were first introduced to toy lightsabers, well, we were in heaven. I can say, with confidence, that we broke many of them, mostly on each other. Some duct tape though and we were right back at it, fighting off villains and the like. My childhood is laced with viewings of the movies, rereleases, action figures, and Legos. It still is a slight disappointment to me that I am far too young to have experienced the original trilogy in the theatre.
I say this as a sort of counter point to the rest of this posting. In recent years, I find myself drifting away from Star Wars as a whole; the universe, the movies, the video games, the books. I think back on it, when it was such a magical world full of wonder and amazement for a young boy, and wonder where that feeling went. I could take the easy way out and say that the Prequel Trilogy got too wrapped up in CGI and special effects and lost the feeling that, to me, defined Star Wars. That’d certainly be true enough. Perhaps, though, it also has to do with the introduction and constant expansion of the Expanded Universe by multitudes of authors, all with their own ideas and agendas. That’s probably closer to the mark. What it boils down to, I think, is that the Star Wars universe has just gotten too damn big.
What did it for me in the end, I think, was the New Jedi Order. Until then, I devoured the books in the EU. I started into that series with reckless abandon, and even as I type this I look over and see the first eighteen books on my bookshelf. As I pushed on, however, it just got to be too much. At first, it was wonderful, but then it was over. Then another author picked it up, and suddenly we were plunged back in to a plot that we thought was over. The story jumps its focus, book to book, which wouldn’t be a problem were the storylines and characters consistent throughout, but they aren’t. It occurred to me that what I once loved about Star Wars was now my biggest hold up. I tried some books after that, but they just couldn’t recapture my interest.
It’s not just the multiple authors, though. As my dear friend Tristan covered in his rather nice post on the nature of the Force, that changes. Who’d have thought the Force would change, back when all we had were the Original Trilogy? Sure, some of this is authors and companies taking liberties, but even Lucasarts is guilty, to some degree. Not just for the changes to the Force, I’ve never been a big proponent of their animated works, and certain video games, while fun, drive me further from the universe. They all seem to just not fit, as of late. Granted, that is completely my personal opinion, and I’m fine with that. I begrudge no one the right to like the entertainment they wish.
Somehow, though, against my will, I became a slightly bitter and jaded fan. I’m sure none of this is news to most of you. I’m hardly the first one to have these issues. On the other hand, heaven knows I’m not a purist. I don’t have any issues with those who like the various mediums in which the EU reaches us. I even still like quite a few individual books or series. Despite my disillusionment, I can’t deny I still love Star Wars. I’m more excited for the new trilogy then I thought I could be, though granted I have my reservations. I suppose, what I’m trying to say, is to be warned. I probably won’t be all fuzzy and warm towards the universe in my posts, but that’s okay too, right? It takes all sorts, and a fresh, even if unoriginal, perspective is always nice.
To conclude, I’m still a fan, and probably will always be, though I can’t help but wonder if most of it is rooted in nostalgia. Some days I wonder if I would still love the franchise were I to be first exposed to it today. There is a part of me, perhaps the child from my memories, that says of course I would. The Original Trilogy hasn’t changed—well, much, but that’s for another time. One would think that its appeal would persist. Still, with all the changes foisted upon it by the various EU contributions, all the ideas and perspectives clamoring for recognition, who can say for sure?