Media Mashup: December 17, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 5.09.17 AMThe Force Be Damned

It has taken many years, but I have finally joined the one-percenters. I have absolutely, positively no interest in seeing another Star Wars movie.

I guess that means I have gone to the dark side!

Let me take you back a long time ago to a galaxy far, far away in 1977 when the first film arrived.

Jimmy Carter had been elected president in a mood of optimism after the rugged days of Watergate and the resignation of Richard Nixon. A few years later, the United States limped through a terrible economy and a battered reputation as a result of the hostage crisis in Iran.

Even though I was not a big Elvis fan, the King died that year. A blackout crippled New York City. We needed some hope that good would will out eventually.

So the first edition–now the fourth chapter after three later/earlier films–arrived on movie screens with high tech and high hopes.  The film included two hunks and a beauty, and the comforting strength of Alec Guinness. The next two films brought an entertaining and interesting conflict between the Empire and its adversaries. The plot was simple: good vs. evil.

After three relatively mediocre prequels, the latest edition of Star Wars looms as potentially the biggest box office hit in history.

Maybe there is a connection between hope and despair that once again makes this theme an enticing one. But he main theme has to do with escapism from a world of uncertainty.

Star Wars ain’t no Godfather I and II. Yes, III was terrible. Star Wars is more like the excruciating Rocky series, which just added a new edition, or the bevy of action flicks that seem more like brutal video games made for the big screen. Although I must admit, I did like the Hunger Games.

I wish all the Star Wars devotees well. May they realize how much more they are putting in the pockets of The New Empire, my former employer, Disney. Now that’s a company with some serious one-percenters who take advantage of suckers like Star Wars fans almost every day.

All you have to do is take a mini-glimpse of what Disney calls news on its ABC stations. Actually, don’t do that. It would only add more money to the Disney pocketbooks to produce more schlock.

Christopher Harper is a longtime journalist, who reported in Europe and the Middle East. He teaches media law and international journalism. Send suggestions and tips to charper@temple.edu.

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