Wednesday, November 10, 2010

#5: "I am this close to raping you!"

So there is a potent element out there that causes some of the most evil, angry, and just outright horrible things to be said in this world. It will make normally smart individuals lower their brain patterns to that of a neanderthal, and for really no good reason. It will make those that are usually the most sensative of us say things that only a jerk would say. It is one of the most infuriating things we live with today. It is not alcohol, it's much much worse...It's nerd rage.

Nerd rage is one of the most prevalent things on the internet. Whereas 95% of the internet may be porn, the other 5% is, well, it's links to porn. But in the comment sections or forums of said pornternet, that's where the land of the rage filled lives. Nerd rage comes from a place deep in the heart of someone who is a bit of a social outcast. Who likes things that in the outside world have made them that way. They like these things so much that it turns them into shut-ins, and they will fight to the death to defend it. One of the topics that has caused the most instances of nerd rage in the past 30+ year, but most notably in the past 10 years, is Star Wars.

In 1977 George Lucas made Star Wars: A New Hope. He had based the idea on Saturday afternoon serials he had seen when he was a child. He had an idea for a 6 movie saga that would follow the life of a man from childhood, to becoming a hero, to falling and becoming a villain, to eventually redeeming himself. Realizing there was a chance of it failing, he picked the 1 of the 6 that would be best to make, in hopes that some day he'd be able to complete it all. That movie of course went on to be the biggest movie of all time. He then went on to make 2 sequels to it. Children, teenagers, and twenty somethings alike all fell in love with these films. For years and years they worshiped at the alter of Lucas because of the joy he had brought them.

Then in 1997, after his company had made the dinosaurs for Jurassic Park, Lucas felt that digital technology had finally reached the point that his vision had always seen. So to test out if they could do what he envisioned for the prequels, he made the Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition. Using computers he made changes to the original movies so that they would be how he always wanted them to be, but couldn't accomplish with 1970's tech. The most controversial change that he made was in the cantina scene. Greedo, a bounty hunter for Jabba the Hut, sits with Han Solo at his table. They have a conversation and then...the incident. In the original version of the film, Han Solo shoots Greedo and walks out. After 20 years Lucas decided he didn't like having Han Solo murder someone for no reason, feeling it didn't fit with his character. So he made Greedo shoot at Han first. Later on the DVD release, he made Greedo shoot 2 frames sooner then Han.

Now in 1997, I don't recall hearing much about this. I remember seeing it in the theater, and I realized he had added Greedo's shot, but I really didn't think much else of it. Other people, not so much. The nerd rage began with that. Chants of "Han shot first!" rang out over the then early days of the internet. People seemed outraged. How dare he? How dare he change things. As the other 2 special editions came out, there were more changes that enerdraged fans. The added things in those 2 also seemed to not sit well. In Empire Strikes Back he added Luke screaming as he fell from the Darth Vader fight, and in Return of the Jedi he added a dance number in Jabba's Palace and changed the song at the end (all of which I will admit, I'm not a fan of). A majority of people didn't care. But the people who were so in love with Star Wars, it angered them. This is when the early rumblings began.

Then, in 1999, Star Wars episode 1: The Phantom Menace came out. I saw it opening night. For me, from the first shot to the last, it was a Star Wars movie. I loved it. It had everything I like about Star Wars and more. To this day the pod race is my most favorite thing in any Star Wars movie. I always use it to check on my speaker set up when I move to make sure everything is working right. Other people, not so happy. People started the complaints. Suddenly people were finding continuity issues with the original trilogy. Questioning things like why C-3PO never told Luke his father built him, or why Jar Jar had to exist. People seemed to forget there were 2 more movies left that could easily answer all of these questions. Once the other 2 came out, all of the questions were answered, yet still people complained. (In case you're wondering Jar Jar needs to exist because it is due to his gullibility and easiness to control that the Empire even exists. If he were such a simple minded fool, Chancellor Palpatine wouldn't have anyone to suggest in the senate giving him complete control thus creating the empire.)

It was around the time the 3rd of the prequels came out that I first heard one of the worst lines that has ever been said due to nerd rage. "George Lucas raped my childhood!". Anytime I hear someone say that all I can think of is an actual rape victim. They must be thinking, "You know, when I was held down and forcibly sexually assaulted in what was the worst moment of my entire life, something that will haunt me until the day I die, forever changing me and making me never feel safe again, ya I can see how that is exactly the same as you seeing some movies". To me, this is the darkest part of nerd rage, making comparisons to horrible events that actually happen to people in order to complain about pop culture. It's the same as when people compare things to the holocaust and Hitler. It really makes me wonder about just how shut in these otherwise rather intelligent individuals really are that they feel that a statement like that is completely valid.

Then comes my other favorite argument caused by the nerd rage. Once the Revenge of the Sith came out, all I ever heard from people that hate the prequels so much was, "George Lucas is a horrible writer" and "George Lucas doesn't know how to make movies". However the thing that has always confused me about this statement is that, the movies that they're comparing them to that they love so much were written, directed and/or produced by...George Lucas (Yes Irvin Kershner directed Empire Strikes Back, hence "directed and/OR produced"). How is it that he's a horrible film maker and writer when making one set of movies, and a god when making others. Well it's really quite simple.

When most of the people that experience nerd rage towards Star Wars saw the original movies, they were children. They didn't care about writing and directing, they just cared about how cool everything was. X-wings and TIE fighters and Jedi and Lightsabers and Wookies and Droids. It all captured their imagination. Children today that see the prequals love them, you know why, they're children. They're the target audience, just like the originals were. They're the ones that want the toys and the merchandise. They're the ones that have the imagination to be captured. There the ones that the serials that George Lucas saw as a child were aimed at, and it worked then too. People put too much of themselves and claim almost an ownership to things that aren't really theirs. George Lucas owns Star Wars, not the people who watch it. If George Lucas wanted to replace all 6 movies with nothing but CGI and destroy the masters of the movies as they are now, guess what, he can. Like I said, I didn't like Luke yelling as he fell from Darth Vader (which they actually removed from the DVD release) or changing the yub jub song at the end of Return on the Jedi, but I'm not going to attack him for it. Like Bobby Brown says, it's his prerogative.

I'll admit, there's things that I get enerdraged about (that's twice now, I own it!). Take the Spider-Man reboot for example. The producers of the film couldn't come to terms with Sam Raimi on the villain for Spider-Man 4, so they decided instead that they wanted to reboot the franchise. They didn't like that by having a 27 year old Toby Maquire (now 35) they had to take him out of high school quickly because he was to old to play an 17 year old. So they wanted to get a younger actor instead so they could spend more time with the high school days. I could completely understand this seeing as I'm a huge fan of Ultimate Spider-man which for 10 years, has been set in Peter Parker's high school days. Also they need to work him into the new Marvel movie continuity. I was excited for the potential. So then what did they do? They hire 27 year old Andrew Garfield to play Spider-man...Um, what? Isn't that doing exactly what you did before? They have also done the same thing again by hiring a red headed Emma Stone to play the blond Gwen Stacey. They did the same thing when they hired the blond Kirsten Dunst to play the red headed Mary Jane Watson and red head Bryce Dallas Howard to play Gwen Stacey. Yes, all of this makes a little part of me enerdraged, but I don't get to crazy about it. The movie is 2 years away, what am I going to do, stew in my anger until it comes out? No, I'll wait and see how it is. When I first heard Toby Maguire was going to be Spider-man, I wasn't to happy about it. I would have much rather it be Topher Grace. But when Spider-man 1 and 2 came out I loved them. I thought Toby Maguire did a good job. Spider-man 3 not so much, but that was mainly for emo Peter Parker and the what could have been with Topher Grace being there.

Anyway, so what is the point I'm trying to make here? Honestly, I don't know. I guess what I'm really trying to get at is, don't take things that are meant to entertain us so personally. Liking a movie or book or comic or video game is one thing, but to compare it to one of the worst events in human history or a moment when someones life is shattered is so extreme and insensitive.

That being said, next blog I revisit one of my old MySpace blogs, "Tears for America" in which I discuss the horrors that are the "Movie" movies, thereby negating everything I just typed in this blog.

Oh, and if you're wondering where the title of this blog came from, click this link:

Have a good however long it is until I talk to you again.

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