Five Stages of Star Wars Revisionism Fan Grief

I wonder how much of this is age related. ROTJ came out when I was three, so for most of my childhood we kids still loved Star Wars, but adults, having lived through the hype of the late 70s and early 80s, were pretty much sick of it. From about 1985 until 1995 there wasn’t anything Star Wars in the stores at all. Nothing. I got my Star Wars fix off of old Star Wars Marvel comics in the 25 cent bin at the local comic shop, and a couple of video games. It came on TV once a year, but mostly it was kind of a cult thing like Pulp Fiction; a good movie but that’s about it. Certainly not a major cultural force anymore.

I remember being amazed when they announced the Thrawn trilogy; for a lot of us this was as close as we ever figured we’d get to new movies. Then there were more books, new comics, new video games; the mid-90s were becoming a Star Wars renaissance. Then, believe it or not, they announced they were re-releasing them in theaters! Wow! That was news. My entire generation had worn through countless VHS copies on the small screen and we were actually going to finally, finally have a chance to see Star Wars on the big screen. This was truly amazing. Our long years of waiting and finally we could enjoy the big screen like our parents had.

Imagine our disappointment when it turned out to not be the movies we had spent the better part of two decades waiting for. It was something different, something kinda wrong. And that is why we don’t like the Special Edition. It’s because we spent years hoping and then were delivered something else. We felt like we were promised the fulfillment of our childhood dreams and instead we got a weird, adulterated version of our beloved films.

Ah well, we still had our VHS copies. And the twenty year rumor finally came true when new Star Wars movies were announced. New Star Wars movies? Surely not. We had been told these were always “just around the corner” for years. And they never came, but in the magical year of 1999 they were finally going to come out. We Star Wars geek kids of the 80s, who loved the films when the rest of the world seemed tired of them, we were finally going to get to see new adventures!
Yeah, well, you know how that turned out as well. So for people my age (30s), this was a disappointment because we were the ones who waited years for these movies. We gobbled up the Star Wars magic as kids, found any scraps we could and treasured it and when we finally thought we were going to have a chance to partake of the real Star Wars magic on the big screen, we were twice disappointed in a serious way.
College Freshmen this year were three or four when the Special Edition came out. This is the only Star Wars they know, so of course these kids today aren’t going to feel the same way we old folks do. They never lived in a Star Wars void and to them the prequels are just as constant an entity as the first films. So of course they have no real passion about the changes and alterations. They didn’t spend years waiting for the prequels so they don’t quite understand that disappointment either.

The young ones, they can move on to acceptance. Old folks like me, who waited with Jedi-like patience only to be given CGI junk, are going to not like it, but alas, c’est la vie. Enjoy your Blu Rays, kids.