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Sorry SRK, But a Star Wars Fan Will Prevail – Despite Dilwale

Love, apprehension, hope, respect. Shakunt Saumitra on the Star Wars franchise and its fans.

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A still from the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Everybody has a projected image of fantasy that they choose to cling on to. Some of us found it in literature. For the others, it was a grimy, sandy start in Tattooine, on a moisture farm where a boy finally sets out to meet his destiny, and becomes one of the most iconic characters in cinematic history. Back in 1977, I’d say that the local lads and lasses who did not find their fictional fetishes in the Nautilus with Jules Verne, or with Mr Wells, or Mr Asimov for that matter, found it in Star Wars, which was special because it was the first that they’d be able to see it and not have non-cohesive visions of literary grandeur. I was a troubled child, as both took my fancy.

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Star Wars vs Star Trek? Time to Move On

Children dressed as Jedi characters from <i>Star Wars</i> participate in a game during an event held for the release of <i>Star Wars: The Force Awakens</i>. (Photo: Reuters)
Children dressed as Jedi characters from Star Wars participate in a game during an event held for the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. (Photo: Reuters)

There’s a rather unhealthy amount of discord when the Star Trek fans, (and I, with my greying mutual respect over the years shall not refer to them as Trekkies) say that Trek preceded George Lucas’s attempt at the newly spawned genre of space drama by a good decade or more. To them I’d say, well, Star Wars is evolution. Both the Trek and the Star Wars extended universes have grown beyond anything that Lucas and Gene Roddenberry could have imagined in their most comprehensible of dreams. But, not to digress from the imminent release on Christmas, for a fan who’s grown up with the original trilogy on VHS in infancy and the prequels in adolescence, its not just a movie franchise. It is more.

Its your first relationship. You never forget the first. The 77-83 phase is the time when you’re blinded by the possibilities of the Millenium Falcon, you understand the concept of the Kessel run in 12 parsecs, you move from the concept of medieval broadswords to lightsabers, land speeders, and make peace with the fact that Han shot first. Its that period of puppy love where you overlook the flaws, the tacky lightsaber battles, the grit and the grime and you power through because that’s the power of a crush.

The prequels is when you realise the flaws exist, even with mind numbingly brilliant CGI, top of the line, it really wasn’t all you made it out to be. However brilliant that minute long saber duel was between Kenobi and Maul, you will always remember it as the pinnacle of what could have been, behind a shoddy, and almost childish storyline.

Sorry SRK, But a Star Wars Fan Will Prevail – Despite Dilwale

Its when you understand that the relationship is in a rut, and the end shall be as volcanic and chaotic as the final battle at Mustafar. You know that it is the pre-ordained end to a perfectly harmonious system, and it’ll leave you heavy with the mistakes you made, the blame you could put on something else, something that’ll leave that fictional galaxy of yours in perpetual turmoil.

Lucas’ Exit – True Love is About Letting Go

Episode VII is when you grow beyond those mistakes, pick up the pieces and move on. It is rather topical to point out the exit of Lucas from the franchise as he realised that he probably cannot do justice to a legacy that was made by him and mired by him. From the over dramatisation of the characters, to the fatal error of the creation of Jar Jar Binks. In effect, and pardon the pun, it’s a new hope.

File image of George Lucas, creator of the <i>Star Wars&nbsp;</i>franchise. (Photo: AP)
File image of George Lucas, creator of the Star Wars franchise. (Photo: AP)

Because well, as they say, true love is about letting go. The Empire and the Rebel factions have new suits and names but the turmoil shall remain, peace was never an option for a universe as wonderfully twisted and chaotic as this galaxy, far far away.

Apprehensions are a fanboy’s birthright and I reserve my own. I do not know if the battle of Yavin and the battle of Hoth can ever be replicated, but maybe, and I’ll leave it to my biased opinion once I’ve seen it, it may just be the best thing or the worst thing to ever happen to the franchise. The directorial mantle has successfully been taken up by Kershner and Marquand in the past, I’d rely on J J Abrams to dish out the best that he can.

As much of a Shah Rukh Khan fan as I may be, with this slipshod, ill-timed release of Dilwale, the force shall always take precedence over lesser mortals, so the delayed release shall force my hand to cut off all outside communication for the next week, for fear of a spoiler. If you’re reading this, I shall see your reactions on the other side of Christmas, once I’m back from my lead lined bunker that I shall be retiring to, shortly.

May the Force be with you.

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(Shakunt Saumitra is a lawyer by day and a pop culture junkie by night. He can quote every single dialogue in all the Star Wars movies and owns three copies of Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park. He tweets under the handle @Gypsy_Lama)

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