There, that ought to get a bunch of people to not read it. Anyway.There’s this reflexive cycle in consumption right now where there’s the Unironic Love, then the Ironic Love, then the Unironic Dismissal, then the tired Meta-Dismissal. Here:
“I love Star Wars!”
“Oh yeah, I’m such a Big Fan of The Star Trek!”
“I couldn’t care less about Star Wars.”
“Well, really, caring or not caring about it makes you so boring.”
I want to make it clear I’m not trying to fit into these categories. I don’t think my experience is something universal everyone should have opinions on or identify with. I’m putting down how I feel in my silly little blog. Okay? This isn’t about making you feel bad or whatever.
Nostalgia is to pine for a time and a place that was and is no more. It is the feeling of returning in your heart if not in reality, to a thing that you once had and that makes you feel safe, and comfortable, and happy. Nostalgia properties are therefore, aiming at reaching back to a time when you were happier and things were simpler. Or realistically, when everything was worse, but you didn’t have the same responsibilities so it wasn’t so noticeable. The happiness you could mine out of a Nintendo cartridge because you didn’t have to think about your long-term health or something like that. Point is, it’s about reaching back into your past and talk to you – and therefore, most of Nostalgia media is about trying to reach into common experiences that lots of people had. You could reach into my past but it won’t exactly be great media for anyone else. Or me, either, really.
Star Wars is, for my generation, sort of The Shit. It was all out, our parents had opinions on it, and we all saw it, growing up, and it became the stuff of our childhood joys, pretending to be Jedi and shit. Everyone knows that. Everyone has that. Everyone.
Didn’t happen to me. I mean, you can kinda assume that’s the case, right? Fundamentalist church environment, anti-mysticist bent.
So, then, Star Wars wasn’t part of my childhood. I grew up, I saw them on VHS in my teen years, then I saw the prequels and was left pretty much stumped as to why the hell anyone cared. It felt like there was some really well-distributed in-joke about how everyone pretended to like this thing that was kinda boring and dull.
It used to be that disengaging from Star Wars was, functionally, just a thing to do in occasional nerd circles. The prequels had come out, nobody was excited, we were all a bit embarassed, we moved on and that was it. But then came the Nerd Revolution, where suddenly every movie was a Nerd Franchise. Avengers and Disney took over the way the media was produced and now even James Fucking Bond, a franchise that has always in my mind been Shit For Dads, is being treated as Nerd Ephemera full of injokes and references. It’s surreal watching one of the oldest and most misogynistic of franchises, with all of its power and promises, the sort of nerd shit that was appreciated by the adult class who owned train sets in their basements, prostrating itself to be part of the plastic-sealed new-in-box culture of hypercontinuity.
Now, Christmas is already a time of intense alienation. I’m already sort of used, as an internet citizen, of having to deal with ‘hilarious’ ‘friends’ asking me about my country when I talk about events within it, already used to that notion that English Speaking Internet Is American Internet. I’m an outsider all over the place, even when dealing with other Australians. Christmas is about snow, you see, and it’s about wearing hot red clothing with white fur trim, and it’s about bright gold and rugging up and fireplaces and the same seven songs that were from the childhoods of the 1950s, and the occasional mainstream playing of hymns. I like Christmas – but it’s still a period of time when I walk through the shopping centre and see everyone, everyone pretending for some bizarre reason it’s going to snow any day. As if it’s not 42 degrees outside.
Disney have said they’re planning on making Star Wars every single year. So this is just going to be part of the media landscape. The main-streaming of my quietly trying to extract myself from conversations about stuff around a time where the world is telling me to feel joy because of things I don’t actively like, reminding me over, and over again, that I am weird and wrong, and Universal Appeal means everyone else.