Tenfold Hate

My Complete and Utter Ambivalence Towards a Proposed KOTOR MMORPG
October 21, 2008, 2:16 pm
Filed under: MMORPGs

Like every other red-blooded western male in my age demographic, I was completely enamored with the original Star Wars trilogy. I had the toys. The Atari 2600 games. The bedsheets. The garbage cans. Visually and thematically, Lucas’ films were light years ahead of their time, coupling cutting edge special effects with a unique blend of sci-fi and fantasy.

I recognize these films’ importance in their time and place, but outside of cheap nostalgic value, the Star Wars mythos holds little for me in the here and now. Don’t get me wrong, they are still entertaining movies. I’m just saying there’s no lasting depth or complexity–nothing that speaks to me individually as a grown-up. Campy dialogue from the mouths of great actors (Cushing, Guinness, etc.), visuals that have done an extraordinary job of weathering the last 30 years, and wookies. Very little to criticize there.  

But the Star Wars films fall flat because there’s very little left once you hack through all the tauntaun fur with your lightsaber. Take the first couple Planet of the Apes movies, Donner’s Superman, or Blade Runner. They offered me something as a prepubescent kid who needed fantasy, adventure, and that intangible “cool” factor. But they still offer me something upon revisiting them as an adult.

Once the smoke clears and the villains are defeated, these movies pose questions like, “What does it mean to be human?” and “What are the lines between right and wrong (or between human, animal, or machine)?”

I always liken the Star Wars thing to comic books through the early sixties: visual masterpieces with largely forgettable, poorly scripted stories. Stan Lee may have created Daredevil and the X-Men, but Frank Miller and Chris Claremont made you give a crap about them.

Out of high school, I learned that Lucas was heavily influenced by the films of Akira Kurosawa and the writing of mythologist Joseph Campbell. If you explore either of their works (which I really encourage, Star Wars fan or not), you’ll discover colorful worlds of ideas, characterization, and mythology that make Return of the Jedi look like Birth of A Nation.

I’ve been playing EA games since Bard’s Tale on my Apple ][e and Bioware was responsible for the last single player game I gave a shit about (Neverwinter Nights) so I’m sure they have something exciting down the pipeline. But I’m no more worked up that it’s potentially KOTOR than if you told me a Krull or Willow MMORPG was in the works.

* Please note I didn’t even touch on the Star Wars “prequels” which only serve to drive my point home by stripping the Star Wars mythos of the “nostalgia factor” and leaving us with three mediocre, shoddily written sci-fi films.

Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai
Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner
Richard Donner’s Superman
Franklin J. Schaffner’s Planet of the Apes

The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
God Loves, Man Kills by Chris Claremont (graphic novel)


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God Loves, Man Kills by Chris Claremont (graphic novel)


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