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THE ‘DARK SIDE’ OF ‘STAR WARS’ HYPE

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“Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” is set to open on Dec. 18, but fans got a taste of the action in a newly released trailer. (IMDB)

With more than a month and a half still to go until the end of the year, the only movie anyone seems to be talking about is ”Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” a film that some of my friends believe is going to be the ”biggest cinematic event of the decade.”

The buzz that each trailer has created since the minute-long teaser came out a year ago is enough to warrant predictions of the movie seeing a $615 million worldwide opening, breaking every major-blockbuster record of our time.

With all of this talk about “Star Wars” leading up to the Dec. 18 release date, I have already become fatigued with lightsabers, the force, Wookies, the Millennium Falcon, Stormtroopers, J.J. Abrams, Disney, whether or not Daisy Ridley’s character is Luke’s daughter, how that Darth Vader mask in the trailer showed up, another death star, Harrison Ford’s health, “Star Wars”-brand Legos and ”_ Just make it stop!

As of today, I have officially reached my breaking point on the new “Star Wars” movie, to the extent where the hype has actually begun to make me less and less excited for the film. Maybe it’s my overall frustration with the Hollywood blockbuster, where the only truly great studio film to come out during this mediocre summer was “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

But YouTube has become filled to the brim with trailer reviews, Star Wars prequel reviews (We get it! They’re bad! Just move on with it already!), trailer reactions, Easter Egg videos and more things that keep on exposing me to a seemingly endless flood of Star Wars discussion.

People are even making videos on the Japanese trailer that came out early Sunday morning, not wanting to miss any extra shot or sequence that wasn’t in the American version! Can we collectively talk about other movies coming out soon like “Creed” or “The Big Short” or even “The Revenant?”

The Disney marketing strategy is even worse; a master plan hell-bent on assaulting consumers with what is essentially exploitation on nostalgia and childhood memories. I can’t walk into a local Target without entire aisles of everything from Star Wars napkins to the LucasFilm Four Piece Camp Kit to even CoverGirl Star Wars Limited Edition Lipstick!

Marketers seem to already have T-shirts of every major character from the upcoming movie (including the droid-ball thing?) and we don’t even know yet if the movie is going to be good. Earlier this semester, I wrote about the dangers of labeling yourself as a ”nerd,” which is not an identity, but a marketing term used to create a large and profitable homogeneous consumer base, and the “Star Wars” phenomenon has become the prime example of this. The worst part is that this could end up hurting the film in the long run.

For one, there are only a few movies in the history of cinema who could live up to this hype created for this movie and none of them have been directed by J.J. Abrams. The films of Nolan, Scorsese, Tarantino, Spielberg even Wright deserve the excitement, but the man whose last movie was one of the worst Star Trek movies of all time? While I commend J.J. for not wanting to reveal too much in the movie’s trailers, hiding too much information about this movie, like even the basic plot, has created so much speculation and conjecture that any director would have a hard time trying to meet those expectations.

If even George Lucas, the creator himself, couldn’t live up to the quality of his previous work, what makes people think that the writer of ”Gone Fishin’ ” and ”Armageddon” is going to achieve something as great as the original trilogy, something that has been romanticized in an entire generation’s collective consciousness for almost forty years for its connection with their childhoods?

It could still be a good movie (which I hope it is), but this massive amount of hype doesn’t get generated over merely good movies, but rather over great ones. Until then, I won’t be wasting time talking about why Luke isn’t in the poster or if the massive twist in the movie is that the iconic hero has turned evil. I simply don’t care anymore.

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