Bryan K. Fleming Blogs

Star Wars is an Addiction

An Addiction?
So the world is Star Wars crazy. 3 years ago the only thing I could buy was the new Black Series figures (Which was clever marketing. Since it was from Hasbro in disguise as a new specialty company.) and the old stuff at flea markets, yard sales, etc. Now you can walk into every store and find anywhere from 10 to over a 1,000 products bearing the name. Literary every store. Grocery stores, pet stores, hardware, make up shops. Every store, seriously!!
So yesterday I found these 3 docs from a fanboy. Star Wars Begins, Building Empire & Returning to the Jedi. Basically it's the whole films with quotes, interviews, behind the scenes and multiple arternative takes mixed in at the appropiate places. It was mindblowing to see Han & Leia, laying on Jabba smoking cigerettes. Things I would never get to see in any old doc.
The one quote that got me was James Earl Jones trying to explain the phnoninon of kids seeing the movie so many times.
He said I guess it's an addiction. It's a good addiction being that there is far worse to be addicted to. So is it an addiction? Is it just a prideful thing? More of a fanactic type of behavior? Is worshipping a football team an addiction? Well maybe. Is having a whole house decked out in Coca-Cola products and drinking it all the time an addiction? Probably. So yes then liking Star Wars to the degree I do or others do. Has to be an addiction. Okay I get it.
Although being another intellectual property. Let's look at just what Star Wars has given the world. Many companies donate, sponsor and promote what they do for us. They don't promote the cancer they give us, the actual addiction they give us, the dirty politics they engage in to make the most buck off us, etc. If you want to start with a monatary value SW gave. When Lucas sold out to Disney he donated those billions to different causes and foundations. Basically giving away his creation. As we can see the purchasing price by Disney has been recoupped withing the first 5 years so anyway....
Let's look at what it gave myself and many others in our life. SW gave me my first direction in life. I wanted to be an FX guy. The newest career to take off in Hollywood. Then after seeing the first 3 movies. I had my first Idol, George Lucas. A man who had a vision, a dream and did it. The outsider of Hollywood who quit the guild to finish his masterpiece. I wanted to write, direct and produce. Which has followed me my whole life. After what he did for the toy industry and marketing. I wanted to get into advertising, which I have landed in most of my adult life. Using the tools created by Lucas's crew, everyday to do my work. In return I create Star Wars art from the photoshop, filters, plug-ins and other programs, the Knoll brothers and others under Lucas's guidence.
To the industry, Lucas recreated it. He revolutionized how to create and record sound. This yeilded THX & Skywalker Sound that nearly every movie has incorporated. Their pioneer special effects created ILM that has given us every advance from weather and hair to living dinosaurs. Everything cool except what Peter Jackson has done. He mastered the Sci-Fi genre to where all films tried to copy or duplicate what he did. Even the smallest thing as the lightsabers reengerizing the swashbuckling generation in film to follow. Or saving Marvel with the SW comic book, which is now a sister company running more SW comics that ever before.
The biggest thing I think he gave the industry was the power to franchise. The triology, the sequel. Basically a franchise is a property that is continuously marketed and promotes new products as often as possible. The first franchise I can remember is Star Trek. They had a TV show, cartoon, comics, books, toys. If not for SW, they would have been forgotten like Space 1999. From the success of SW that greenlit a reboot of Star Trek with the movie that led to 4 tv shows an over 10 movies, plus the newest reboot from the newest director of SW.
The final thing SW has given me and us is longivity, possibly enternity. For almost 40 years all we have had is those 3 movies and 2 crappy cartoons. Now I have a reason to stay alive. 3 sequels coming out. 2 new tv shows. Multiple franchise movies of secondary stories. More SW in 5 years than the last 40!!!
I can look at the idea of the sellout and over saturation to turn me off. I can look at the backlash from the haters to detear my love. I can even hate the ingenious new marketing concept of exclusive items and way too many products to what and spend money on. Hell I can dislike the route Lucas took with the prequels, franchise, etc as a turnoff, but I won't. No film, book, music group, product or intellectual property, will ever have the impact again that SW did on me. It set me on my path in life and gave me the only worldly creation I like and enjoy.
This world always disappoints me and I'm sure so will SW in other ways. I mean I have spent way too much on this chinese created, Disney crap that are worst than the original toys in so many ways. For SW if you don't like it or plain out hate it. You have to respect what it has done for the world. All the way down to making conventions cool. For us the fans. We will live on Disney excretements and enjoy it. To the third generation to experience SW. At least you weren't the 2nd generation with the prequels. Embrace your addiction and do not make it a gateway to other things like Star Trek! Let the battle continue.


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