Han and Chewie are Dead (And Indiana Jones is next.)

Harrison Ford and George Lucas
want to slash and burn...
This Saturday, I logged onto Twitter and saw an angry message written by Harry Knowles. It was in all caps, and there was cursing and exclamation points and it was aimed at George Lucas, so naturally, I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. Knowles, posted a link to the following video, a snippet of game play from the Star Wars game, "The Force Unleashed 2", in which your character is a Sith Lord. For those of you who don't speak geek, that's one of the bad guys. So you're living all the Star Wars adventures out on the other side of the chess board. We downloaded and played the demo and it was awesome, though extremely violent. But when we played, we were just offing random Stormtroopers. I had no idea what was in store as the game went forward. 

(Warning, the content is disturbing. If you love Han or Chewie, and who doesn't, this will seriously bum you out. And for the love of all that is holy, don't let your kids watch it!)

So, I got pretty upset about it and showed it to Jake. And Jake went BALLISTIC. (He even asked me to go delete the demo off of the PS3.) You can read his thoughts about the clip over at his blog, because they pretty much sum up exactly how I feel. I'm not mad about the deaths because they're not canon, I'm all about the hypothetical scenarios. (Hello, fan fiction?) It's the brutality and violence of the deaths. It's like they sat in a room and tried to come up with the saddest portrayal possible of killing off two of the most beloved characters in film history. It just seems sadistic. Seriously, and with Chewie being so much like an animal, it just made the scene that much more disturbing. I hate it with the fire of a thousand suns. 

Coming off of the heels of that news is this little nugget from website "Nuke The Fridge", Harrison Ford himself wants Indiana Jones to die in the next movie. I'm okay with the idea of Shia LeBouf taking over, because these most recent movies aren't really Indiana Jones movies. They're something different and new and that's what I tell myself that helps me to be okay with this new world of physics where Indy can survive a nuclear explosion and a subsequent fall of hundreds of feet from the sky by hiding in a fridge. Plus, I just want more Indy and I'll take it any way I can get it. (I've wavered on this subject a lot.

Fanhood, especially radical fanhood, strikes such a delicate balance between ultimate devotion and spontaneous rebellion. In a lot of ways, I feel bad for George Lucas and Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg. Not in a pity way, but I mean that I can understand why they get frustrated and want to kill these characters. Maybe they do it to move on in a personal way, kill the character and maybe all of us wack job fans will calm down a little bit. It's the ultimate way to divorce yourself from your work if you're a creator of any type, actor, writer, or director. It's also a natural choice as a storytelling tool, that when done well, can be epic and wonderful and serve the story in incredible ways. It's a great way to tell your audience that your franchise is moving on and growing, just as we all do. No matter how much all of us fangirls wish and wish and wish for the practical special effects filmmakers claim they will use, no matter how much we want the hyperbole and adventure of the 80's to make a return in the cinema...it's not going to happen. And the Kings of 80's (and contemporary) showbiz want us to get that idea through our thick skulls. Or so it seems. So it feels.  

But then again, every artist knows that once you create something, it's ultimately out of your hands forever.  Your meaning will always count for something, but you've also handed your creation over to your audience and it means something to them now. Something you can't control. 

And for me, Han and Chewie being brutally murdered just hit me the wrong way. It was just too much. And fine, go ahead and kill Indy. I get that you want to and I understand why. Indy has aged along with his fans, but I haven't given up hope that the franchise could make a new and wonderful start...but please, whatever you do, don't break his arms and have him sadistically shot in the back. That's all I ask. Have a little respect...