November 17th was Wookie Life Day. I know this because I used the internet at some point in time today.
I realize this probably wasn’t big news everywhere and probably indicates more about what I’m paying attention to online. But I had seen a couple posts about it already this week and after it popped up more than once, I was curious how widespread it was. The first place I went to check was io9, and they had…well, nothing. Damn, theory busted. But hey, as someone who has paid their bills in part by mocking Twilight, this article “Why The Twilight Hate Has Gotten Boring” sounds interesting, or at least designed to generate a bit of traffic. I’ll take a look.
“Twilight at its heart is no different from any other fantasy franchise. It’s like Star Wars – except it’s set on Earth and the goal is to penetrate Bella’s womb with some guy’s flaming seed, rather than shooting it into the Death Star.”
And, thesis inadvertently proven! My thesis that I have yet to reveal to you… but will do right now: I don’t think the internet can go a week without writing about Star Wars.
On the surface, it seems like this would be the easiest thing to do. The last Star Wars movie that anyone still talks about came out in 1983. Here’s a list of some of the programs that were among the top ten rated TV shows that year: Simon & Simon, Falcon Crest, Kate & Allie and Hotel. Think back on the last time you heard someone mention any of those shows (I have literally never heard of Falcon Crest or Hotel.) Now think back on when the last time you saw or heard someone reference Star Wars. Was it a few hours ago? Earlier this week?
Using an entirely collective “we”, we never seem to tire of Star Wars references, retellings and reimaginings. Already made all the Star Wars video games? Make ’em again out of Legos! Need something to rap about, or a beat to rap over? Star Wars has you covered. I was stunned after Community, Family Guy and Muppet Babies, among others, all did one, that “doing a Star Wars episode” doesn’t have it’s own TVtropes page.
But it gets better! Never even seen Star Wars? Not a problem. Got a cute kid that’s seen it? Even better. A cute kid that’s never seen it? Have three million views! Render scenes from the movie in different mediums: ASCII, pumpkin or crochet, people will want to post about them.
But why? Why the hell have we not gotten tired of this? What else is there left to unearth from these three movies, unless it turns out that if you take every fourth word a character whose name doesn’t start with a vowel says, you get a sweet jerk chicken recipe? It’s become part of our shared culture, yes, but it’s also become a crutch, rendering potentially promising creative endeavors instantly familiar and stagnant.
And so, I propose that we, the collective internet, try to go a week without referencing Star Wars. That means no linking to the new items those glorious bastards at ThinkGeek come up with. It means no quoting Obi-Wan in your blog post headline (Yoda too.) It means no video reenactments. It definitely means no Twitter hashtag games.
Should this be easy? Of course it should. Will it be easy? I don’t think it will. Once you start keeping an eye on Star Wars references, you’ll notice them pop up in odd places. ESPN. Finance blogs. The first sentence of articles about Jurassic Park Blu-Rays.
I will take the pledge myself. It will probably be difficult. After all, this Pez dispenser sits on my desk every day at work:
At RiffTrax, I’d venture every commentary we release contains a Star Wars joke, and we often have to go back through and make sure we don’t have too many. The Wikipedia book I just co-authored contains at least two Star Wars entries. Not to mention the fact that I was eating one of these while writing this post.
Let’s do it the week after Thanksgiving. 11/28 thru 12/4. As far as I know, there aren’t any new Star Wars movies coming out. There shouldn’t be any pressing need to write, blog about, or reference anything Star Wars related during that time. Think of it as a chance to expand your horizons, or to perhaps just sacrifice valuable clickthrus and retweets in the name of proving a point for a stranger.
I think we can do this people! After all, as a wise man once said: “Mesa day startin pretty okee-day with a brisky morning munchy, then BOOM! Gettin very scared and grabbin that Jedi and POW!”
A Week Without Star Wars: 11/28 – 12/4