The consensus seems to be that Star Wars: The Clone Wars is very, very bad. (How could any movie with the word “Wars” twice in the title be good?) Many of our leading critics and random internet nobodies are even saying that Clone Wars is so terrible that it should mark the end of the entire Star Wars franchise. The coffin-nailing job started by the Ewoks twenty-five years ago has finally been completed by a baby Hutt named Stinky. (This coffin sure has a lot of last nails in it.)
If this indeed is the final finale for all things Star Wars, there is one serious silver lining.
THE END OF EASY STAR WARS PARODIES
Over the last thirty years, generations of comedy writers have been unable to resist this crowd-pleasing but super-easy formula: CURRENT THING + STAR WARS = HILARIOUS. This very blog recently linked to a Star Wars parody called Padmé, (JUNO + STAR WARS = HILARIOUS). And the pantheon includes everything from Spaceballs (JEWISH SHTICK + STAR WARS = HILARIOUS) to Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (DRUGS + STAR WARS = HILARIOUS) to Family Guy’s Blue Harvest (STAR WARS + STAR WARS = HILARIOUS). (Yes, The Simpsons has done it too. But at least we didn’t do a beat-for-beat re-creation.)
But forget “legitimate” entertainment. The number of internet Star Wars mash-ups is staggering. How long before the legions of amateur comedy writers working (for free) in the online ouvre tire of combining the popular culture clichés of today with the same twenty tired quotes from a long time ago and a galaxy far far away? Please, take to heart the massive critical failure of Clone Wars, and put an end to this decade-spanning trend right now.
What is it about Star Wars that makes people want to mix it with something else and call the product good comedy? As Star Wars itself issued in the era of the mega-blockbuster, it too brought forth the era of the easy parody in the form of the proto-YouTube sensation, Hardware Wars (TOASTER + STAR WARS = HILARIOUS). Maybe it’s because the whole Star Wars franchise is so fundamentally bland that it accepts the imprint of other movies with absolutely no resistance. Doesn’t it make anyone suspicious that George Lucas himself LOVES these parodies? The man isn’t exactly known for his taste in comedy.
Like oil now, and water soon, we are running out of new sources of original, non-self-aware, genuinely-involving popular culture. Where are the new Silence of the Lambses, the new Maxtrixes? What will future generations make easy parodies of?
Here is a challenge to both the “professional” and “amateur” writers and directors of the world. Rather than “parodying” Star Wars by mixing it with The Jonas Brothers or whatever crap you saw yesterday, create a new trilogy of earnest, generation-defining adventure garbage for people to relentlessly mix with other stuff for the next thirty years. PLEASE. Because Star Wars has been Xeroxed so many times, you can’t even make out the original any more.