George Lucas Did Not Rape My Childhood, but His Sith Informed My Politics
An Affectionate Appreciation, as Inspired by Oprah and the President of the United States
Oprah Winfrey killed it on last year’s Golden Globe Awards. Let’s see if this weekend’s annual event showcases an equally stirring moment. Then, the ovation was staggering. Men and women both were crying. She addressed the #MeToo and #ItsTime movements, and minutes later was touted as our next U.S. President. Those on the other side of Oprah’s fence defiantly, and immediately, posted images of her and Harvey Weinstein — together and looking quite friendly — on social media.
Some of those on her side of the fence did the same. I did, albeit within a tongue in cheek context. See here for the link, also courtesy of vocal.media.
A week later, the conversation was moot. Oprah was not going to run, and she would not be convinced. Trump said he would’ve defeated her anyway, and he would have “loved” to have run against her.
Millions were deflated. Without our new hope, instability predictably returned to the universe, with three or four new Trump-related scandals debated breathlessly on the news. Business as usual. CNN interviewed several men and women who voted for the former Apprentice star.
I heard a lot of this: “I’m not sure about his character, but I’m happy with the tax plan.” Or, “I don’t like him, personally, but he’s getting the job done.” Or, “I don’t like him, I lost my job, and I wish I never voted for him.” Or …
You get the picture.
These individuals were either Trump supporters hanging by a thread, or disillusioned Trump supporters. The liberal-minded CNN wasn’t quite balanced that night.
Thankfully. When it comes to this current administration, neither am I.
I was processing the events of the week, when my brain made some tenuous connections: First, there was Oprah, who for a brief moment connected to the Presidency of the United States, then there was Donald J. Trump, his statements about running against Oprah, and the above interviews…
For some strange, vaguely related reason, my synapsis connected in such a way to where I thought of George Lucas.
You remember George, the guy who “raped” our childhoods upon the release of the first of the Star Wars prequels, The Phantom Menace? Yeah, that one, who over a decade earlier “made” our childhoods with the release of the original trilogy.
You don’t remember? Allow me to remind you. When TPM was released, the collective heartstrings of many original Star Wars trilogy fans were pulled beyond recovery. The ensuing outcry hurt Lucas. He addressed his suddenly critical fans in the press, reminding us all that Star Wars films were for children, and we could not appreciate the product as much as we all grew up and no longer saw the films through childlike eyes. I disagreed with Lucas, as I found the film turgid.
George Lucas Raped My Childhood became a social media meme and a cultural touchstone of its own, representing just how quickly we could turn against our closely-held icons. In 2010, a documentary was released on a related subject: The People vs. George Lucas. Sad times.
George was still very much a hero of mine, though. He certainly didn’t “rape” my childhood, and though I did not care for TPM’s immediate followup either, Attack of the Clones, I loved Revenge of the Sith. To me, Lucas didn’t redeem himself so much as completing his story.
In arguably the saga’s best film, The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda looked to the skies, and said:
“I cannot train him. The boy has no patience.”
“He will learn patience,” responded the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Yeah. For me it was exactly that. I highly approved of the payoff, and I’ve since learned to channel my inner Jedi.
I wish I was a better student back in 1980, when Empire was released. I also wish I had a spare million back then, and a steady girlfriend, but alas…
Originally published at theswamp.media.