Would you go without ‘Star Wars’ for a year? This guy did.
For most people George Lucas‘ Star Wars was one of the first Sci-Fi films we ever watched, our version of a gateway drug. Now take this drug that you’ve been using for years and take it away for a whole year. Why in the hell would anyone go and do such a thing? After such a long dependency it’s not something you watch just to pass the time. It becomes the safety net for your emotions whenever you have a good or bad day and want to get things off your mind. Javier Grillo-Marxuach, creator of The Middleman television series and a former producer on Lost, decided to do just that and go cold turkey from Star Wars for an entire year. Did he do this to teach everyone that the evil of Lucas can be overcome and that every nerd should follow in his footsteps? No, he did this to escape his crutch, a crutch in the form of Empire Strikes Back.
After years of using the battles of Hoth and the revelation of Luke’s father over and over it was time to make a decision. No longer relying on his nerd nicotine you’d expect that he’d last a few weeks and spill into a Leia overdose. Javier lasted the whole 12 months without a Wookie fix, the most he did was use a copy of Revenge of The Sith to show off his home theater system. After that he simply packed away the dvd and left it alone, not even showing a withdraw symptom. Years of using the Academy award winning franchise now a near forgotten memory in his mind did Javier learn anything from his year withdrawn from the force. He actually did and they are simplified into four easy lessons (AFTER THE JUMP).
“Lesson #1: the longer I stay away from Star Wars, the more annoyed I am by its ubiquity.”
The reason we watch so much of this Sci-Fi drama is because we demanded it. After watching A New Hope we wanted to see a continuation of the Skywalker saga. Do to our heavy reliance on this blue milk we ending up creating the very drug we keep using to this day. If we had collectively weaned ourselves back in the 70’s the franchise might now be as huge as it has become.
“Lesson #2: I’m sick and tired of all the inside jokes and references.”
Being dependent on the lightsaber for a number of years leads to quoting the very lines you listen to in everyday conversation. Comparing the exhaust of your car to the exhaust port of the Death Star? Then knock it the fett off, all your doing is annoying your friends that aren’t nerds. That and keeping any potential woman forever away from your rebel base.
“Lesson #3: my otaku-like obsession with the Star Wars universe cheapened the emotional force of the original.”
When your young and still very impressionable it’s natural to become obsessed with something you love. Now imagine twenty years has past and your still obsessing over what you know very well is a movie. Like the Lord Of The Rings, your life has become one long quest. After all that walking all you can say is you spent every allowance on every bust, figure and replica you’ve ever seen. It’s no longer special to gather with friends and just enjoy a movie, your living just like the movie now, surrounded by cheap special effects.
and finally the toughest of them all…
“Lesson #4: I forgave my past self these indulgences and incompetencies and enjoyed the encounter – not out of arrogance, but an appreciation of how much fun I had back then and how far I’ve come.”
Like Luke making peace with his father before his death, Javier came to realize that the movies are just that, movies. They are scenes depicted by someone who was allowed to let their imagination run wild and turn it into reality. Movies can still be enjoyed whenever you feel like you need to be cheered up but they can also be used to just enjoy what they were. A piece of your childhood that stays forever young.
One day your own kids (if you’d want any) might watch these and think “Man, this movie is a piece of shit” but you can still sit back and remember where you were when you watched Ewoks defeat an empire. That’s still messed up, even today.