Is the Star Wars Franchise Starting to Resemble the Empire, or is it Just Me?
Commentary by Ben Jenkins
I recently wrote a review of Ian Doescher’s book William Shakespeare’s STAR WARS, and I will soon be writing a review of his second book William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back. Both books are out of this world mash-ups of, you guessed it, Shakespeare and Star Wars. I’m a nerd through and through, o I tend to believe that the more nerd-related inventory available, the better—but when I went to pick up my latest copy of Doescher’s book, the amount of Star Wars related merchandise seemed to have doubled since I pickup my first copy of his book a few months before. Don’t get me wrong, I bought some of it, but I started to question the effect a saturation of “stuff” would have on my enjoyment of the new film series, which are set to begin in December 2015.
The other book I purchased was a Star Wars How to Speak Droid with R2-D2: A Communication Manual by Urma Droid, with illustrations by JAKe (that’s how the publisher has listed the author and illustrator’s names). I bought it for my nephew, but I haven’t given it to him yet because I’ve been enjoying it myself. The beauty of the book isn’t the story, it’s the little electronic R2-D2 that is included to help you (or the children rather) pronounce the language of the droids. There may be a story in there, but in all honesty I haven’t read the book or really viewed the pictures. I’ll send it to my nephew eventually, but for now, I enjoy the “thingness” of the book and keep it near my desk to punctuate the dull moments in life. Isn’t that what Star Wars is all about, an escape for those of us who haven’t been recruited by the Rebels yet?
Now-a-days I find myself surrounded by cartoons like The Clone Wars, novels that expand the Star Wars universe, toys for all age groups, and spin-off books for everyone in-between. I love this series of movies, but I hope they don’t become that girlfriend that calls you every five minutes. For now, I’m happy regulating myself to four episodes of The Clone Wars a day and a few books every other month. But I don’t know if I will be as excited about the movies when they finally do come out as I would have been if the powers that be in the Star Wars empire had left a little to the imagination. It’s all about money, and I get that, but if they are going to go all out, why aren’t the movies available to purchase on iTunes? I must have them on my Apple TV! Mainly because I haven’t quite mastered the force and I’m sure as heck not going to get up from my chair to put in the DVD. I guess I’ll just have to perfect my Droid pronunciation until I train my nephew to work the TV for me. The force is strong with that one.