Monday, December 4, 2017

Why I’m Going to See "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" Even Though I Hate Star Wars

When Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out two years ago, I initially wasn’t going to see it. I hate Star Wars, which might surprise some of you, considering that Star Wars is exactly the type of thing I generally like.

I don’t hate the Star Wars franchise because of its (considerable) flaws. When The Phantom Menace came out, I was sixteen. My aunt Martha, who is only ten years older than me, found out that I hadn’t seen any of the original Star Wars movies, so she insisted that I sit down and watch all three of them back-to-back before immediately taking me to the theater so I could watch The Phantom Menace. While I was watching A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, my aunt sat next me, delivering rhetorical analysis and commentary. “See, this is where he redeems his father,” she said as I watched the climactic battle between Luke and Vader.

It was enough to put me off the entire franchise. So, I wasn’t planning on going to see The Force Awakens. But then, shortly before it came out, or maybe right after it came out, I was talking to my friend Kathryn on the phone and she revealed that she was going to see The Force Awakens.

“I didn’t know you liked Star Wars,” I said, surprised.

“Well, I don’t,” she replied, “but you have to see it. It’s a cultural moment.”


For the record, I didn’t like The Force Awakens, and I didn’t really care for Rogue One either, but I went to see them. I did so partly because I wanted to see if I still hated the Star Wars franchise (I did), but also partly because if you want to participate in society, you have to see the latest Star Wars movie. Everyone else is going to see it, so you have to see it too. I suspect that, like voting or going to work, many of us will do it out of a sense of obligation, but we’ll be miserable the whole time. All I can say is, this one had better not have a damn Death Star in it.

But you know it will.