I always hope-without-hope that the things that inspire people would be those things that are more meaningful; I always have this nagging thought that one of the characteristics of a declining society is an obsession with the trivial and an ignorance of the sublime.
I used to live over in India and China. The countries are a bit alike, as growing, aspirational economies, that although one of their movie or sports stars will draw a crowd to give a talk, if Bill Gates or Warren Buffet shows up to do the same, there’ll be standing room only and lines out the door.
In the US, we worship the celebrity and ignore the productive. And the only US city that has the vitality of the average large Asian city is Las Vegas (which tells you a lot about where we are going as a culture, in my view.)
I could move the conversation here into the other movies and series, also in the sci-fi/fantastical realm, which contain far more meaning than Star Wars but are less popular, but we know where that would go, so I won’t. :-)
What is even more depressing than the choice of the popular over the meaningful, however, is the toxic behavior of some of the fanboys/girls to which your article focuses. How do you really deal with that, other than to say “Grow the fuck up” and/or “Get a fracking life”?
However, I’m not sure I’d equate that behavior to Christian Fundamentalism (I’m Muslim, and we have our share of toxic fundamentalists also, the ones that make things go boom) but to an innate problem that many people have with change. The SW franchise, when Lucas-owned, was moving in a certain direction, which became predictable and therefore comfortable; after it was purchased by Disney, who obviously want to maximize profit, it was destined to move in a different direction, according to the things that Disney does well; and the thing that Disney does well is to plug characters into a repetitive formula that they know sells at the box office.
That’s change. Big time.
Under Lucas, as absurd and annoying as I found Jar-Jar Binks and Yoda, at least I knew Lucas was moving in a consistent direction (as trivial as that direction may have been) and making some sort of nebulous comment about the tendency of man to seek absolute power, and what the consequences of wielding that power would be. Once Disney got a hold of it, it all became classic good-guys vs. bad-guys good-triumphs-over-evil pablum. I first dipped into the Disney version of the franchise with “Rogue One”; I am still trying to find a way to get back that wasted two hours of my life.
Anyway, at the core of it, some people simply hate change. Period. You can still get baseball fans riled up about the designated hitter, you know.