Star Wars’ place in the annals of film, fantasy and fandom history is undeniable, and I have no doubt that the film has inspired countless careers in the arts and generated more breathtaking illustrative and sculptural works than any other movie, but when is enough going to be enough? As I peruse websites such as Pinterest and Tumblr, I see thousands of terrific artistic achievements all inspired by a film that came out almost 40 years ago. It’s almost as if there are tens of thousands of virtuoso musicians out there with immediate access to a worldwide audience and all they ever play is Free Bird or Stairway to Heaven.
Nobody was a bigger fan of Star Wars than I was back in 1977. Seeing it was like finding religion and I drove friends and family nuts talking about nothing else. It was a fun and hopeful oasis in the cinematic and real world desert of nihilism that was the 1970s. I went to see it ten times on the big screen including once at the drive-in during a terrific lightning storm which added fantastically to the experience. I and the world had changed.
The world changed and it feels as if it hasn’t changed since. It feels somewhat moribund. With the Star Wars prequels, sequels and acquisition by the voracious and omnipresent house of mouse, it feels as if the world owes it’s soul to the company store. I thought that Star Wars was going to open the door to an incredible wave of creativity, and it has but it all seems to be in the service of licensed products.
Where are the new Stan Lees? Where are the new George Lucases? Where is something, anything new?
Yes, the artwork inspired by Marvel, DC and/or Disney is fun to look at, and as far as the nonexistent published illustration market is concerned, doing Darth Vaders may be the only way to make some commission money, but I’m dying to see something new!
I will probably see the new Star Wars movie like most of the rest of the world, but I’m hoping to hear something other than variations on Free Bird for the rest of my life. I’m hoping for something I haven’t heard yet