May The Force Be With You ... Always?
20th January 2018
Despite critics declaring it 'the best film in the Star Wars series', I have to say, I was one of the many that came out of The Last Jedi with an overall feeling of disappointment. I think it's fair to say that Rotten Tomatoes has never seen such a huge disparity between critical acclaim and general public trashing's. But, although I came out feeling disappointed ... I still found it entertaining? I don't remember that happening to me before. It was a strange mixed bag of feelings that got me thinking that my reaction to The Last Jedi, is probably just as much a reflection of me and the many others of my generation, as it is of the film makers themselves.
I was born in 1977. The year Stars Wars: A New Hope was released. Obviously I didn't shoot straight out my mother's womb into a back row cinema seat with a tub of popcorn in one hand and a pretty girl's thigh in the other, but I did grow up holding the Star Wars trilogy as the measuring stick that all films and tv were compared against. And if I'm perfectly honest, I probably still do ...
However, after a recent short lived stint of 80's NES retro gaming with my kids, which was intended to show them how great the video games that I grew up with were ... I've been forced to realise that my measuring sticks units, just like everyone else's, actually consist of feelings at the time, as opposed to actual quality as I once thought they did. The trouble with memories is, they don't account for depreciation over time in the face of change, progress, and increased or better competition. So we're all walking around with stored memories in our heads that hold higher accolades than they currently merit.
Turns out that although those old games were the exact same games I played and enjoyed so much all those years ago, not so long after I watched the Star Wars trilogy for the first time in fact, they were certainly not as good as my memories told me they were. Retrieving cached memories that you forgot you had is a wonderful feeling, but obviously my kids weren't experiencing that. Memories aside, the fact is, many were also unplayable by today's standards. You just wouldn't bother. The effort was simply not worth the return. I recommended to my kids that they just stay current instead. Games today are just vastly superior in every way. No point living in the past. And that was that. Despite best intentions, all the retro gaming session seems to have achieved, is convince my kids that we must have all been poor stupid simpletons 'during the olden days'.
Firstly, I'm 40. That's not old. And secondly ... Was it possible, that just maybe, the films of the original Star Wars trilogy had depreciated slightly over time too, like those retro games, and I just hadn't realised it? Am I holding them with higher regard than they now currently deserve, creating unrealistic expectations of what the new Star Wars films should deliver? Was that why I left the cinema entertained but ultimately disappointed?
But then like a detective that has been compromised by getting emotionally attached on a case, because Star Wars was a huge chunk of my childhood, is my objectivity even a reliable source on the matter anymore? Or am I like Billy Joel in another timeless classic from 1977 where he sings at great length, about someone that can only be described as the world's worst, most selfish, most self centred, cruel and most complete and utter cunt ... before longingly singing 'but she's always a women to me.' We hear you Billy, and that's a truly beautiful timeless classic song you've written there, poetic irony at it's greatest, just don't marry her for fucks sake. You'll regret it ...
It's pretty clear that emotions and emotional memories tamper with our ability to remain objective. And Star Wars, due to how ground breaking it was in the unique period of time it was released in, created more emotional memories, in more people collectively, than any other set of films before it, and, due to how much the world has changed since then, likely any other set of films ever will, ever again. Today, it feels as if it's somehow been elevated above the rest of the film world, even though it was released 35 to 40 years ago. It's no wonder expectations were running stupendously high for The Last Jedi. Maybe a little too high ...
I think I first saw the original Star Wars films all in the cinema in around '83 or '84, so I would have been 6 or 7. A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back were re-released when Return of the Jedi was released so that people that may have missed them before, like me, could now see all three in the correct order. It was magnificent on a scale that's hard to put into words. It felt new. It felt fresh. It felt brilliant. It felt like nothing I had ever seen before. Because that is exactly what it was.
At 7, and being born when I was, I had little to compare it to at the time. But with adult hindsight, I realise that Star Wars was in fact the first story to basically install The Hero's Journey format into my easily influenced young mind. It installed it in one polished, exciting, humorous, graphic design, classical music, political, personality driven, multimedia extravaganza. And it hasn’t been topped since. If I was to compare the feeling of this occasion to the present day, it wouldn't be watching the new Star Wars Disney sequels at all, because as good an effort as they are, you just can't escape the fact that they are not 'new' in the sense that the branding, music, iconography, history, characters, you name it, have already been so well known and loved around the globe for decades. More than any other film franchise in history in fact. And, although the special effects are fantastic, they are not in any way ground breaking for their time like the originals were in theirs, and indeed other films have been since.
So the more I think about it, the weight of expectancy of the new Disney Star Wars films to deliver those exact same feelings that I experienced for the first time as a 7 year child after watching the originals, was only ever going to lead to some feeling of disappointment. No matter how good it may or may not have been. There's a sense of irony that the very thing that created the demand for the Star Wars sequels, is in fact the very thing that would destine them to be a disappointment to so many.
There's so much released these days, it's not easy to find something that feels like a genuine breath of fresh air. Although most of my favourite films were films I watched as a teenager in the 90's, I think the closest I ever got to that raw feeling of fresh newness again in film was probably The Matrix in 1999. A modern take on the Christian coming of a Saviour for mankind that was simply mind blowing in so many ways. The Matrix had me almost rolling off the front of my seat with excitement when I first saw it. Shame about the sequels though. Then after a long hiatus, Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 1 in 2014. I found this so enjoyable and refreshing - it basically used the Heroes Journey format to re-imagine the Star Wars : A New Hope script, and then crossed it with 70's music and Buffy The Vampire Slayer aesthetics and humour. Film perfection. Very very funny with a perfect pace and flow to it, and a cracking soundtrack to boot. Again, shame about the sequel.
Of course there were tons of films I loved in between that long stretch of time, but nothing that delivered that 'Oh my God this feels new and refreshing' feeling. For instance, the Harry Potter series. I greatly enjoyed the them first time round, and then again years later with my kids, which added a whole new magical dimension to them. But seeing as I'd read the books well before the films, obviously the plot was well and truly spoilt for me. And unfortunately when ever you do that, you tend to notice all the bits they missed out rather than the bits they put in. There's nothing like a good book to ruin a great film ...
But then again, as Tyrion Lannister wisely surmised, 'A mind needs books like a sword needs whetstone if it is to keep it's edge.' But then he also said he was the 'God of tits and wine.' ... I guess the book vs film debate is a time vs preference trade off, or a which ever you do first thing. Or if you're an ignorant retarded tit, it's a class thing ... As such, I'm so glad I never read any of the Game Of Thrones books, or rather than enjoying the ride, I'd be moaning about what they missed out instead. Talking tv rather than film, Game Of Thrones definitely delivered that spectacular 'never seen anything like this before' feeling in overflowing bucket loads. And that was just with the characters of Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister ... When the whole culmination of events and characters come together, usually in the penultimate episode of the series, never mind bucket loads, the show's already deliberately prepped you up to feel like a religious man waiting for a tidal wave to come in with open arms, believing it will deliver him to his dream. Instead, it's going to completely consume him, tear him to pieces, destroy every foolish perception of what he held true, and replace it with the brutality and truth of reality instead ... As a viewer, I actually felt physical discomfort for days after some of the events that transpire in that show. It's like augmented reality. You feel like you've been hit over the head with a bat thinking about it in the back of your mind at work. But as the seasons go on ... You actually can't wait for your perceptions to be fucked over in the un fairest, most unforgiving, cruellest of ways. And then it flips you on your head again. When Game Of Thrones peaks ... it really is something else off the scale. It's second to none. But as with all tv shows, bar one which I haven't got to yet, it still suffers the odd boring lulls. The up and down episodes, either to speedily fill in the plot, or drag things out, usually in order to fit to the pre determined series episode count or scheduled episode length.
Problems Black Mirror will never have as it's made for Netflix. There's no schedule and each episode is as long as it needs to be to tell the story. The perfect unrestricted medium ... if all writers were as smart as Charlie Brooker. That's a big if. Unfortunately, unlimited viewing will never come with unlimited quality. It will just come with unlimited padding instead that obscures the actual quality. It was the British channel, Channel 4, that took the real big risk on first commissioning Black Mirror as a short mini series in 2011. That should never be forgotten. Especially given that the first episode was about a British Prime Minister fucking a pig ... a story that bizarrely turned out to have a real life parallel a few years later ...
But anyway, back to Black Mirror. For me, every episode gets a 10 out of 10, sometimes even an 11 or 12 out of ten, for raising and resetting the bar. If you've never heard of it ... even better, neither had I. That's the best way. Just watch it. I wont sing it's praises too much other than to say it's genius ...
It safe to say that tv and film have changed a lot since Star Wars day. Lots of great, excellent and unexpected new things have come and gone over time, but truth is, I doubt those feelings of watching the Star Wars films for the first time can ever be truly recreated for me. And I think I'd be foolish to expect that they could be. Not unless I could wipe all memories since and revert back to being a kid in the 80's again. Not unless I started taking a packed lunch to work in a Star Wars lunchbox everyday. Not unless I went back to playing with my Star Wars toys at home everyday. Back to playing Star Wars in the school playground, enjoying arguing over who was going to be Luke and who was going to be Han with your friends.
I think what a lot of Star Wars fans from my generation seem to forget is ... we are not the kids determining the market anymore and times haven't just changed ... they continue to change, and at a rate that was simply unimaginable in our youth. To us, Star Wars was a diamond that just fell out of the sky and landed out in the open, staying there untouched for a long period of time, glistening for all to see. Today, it still glistens just as brightly to us, but it's nestled amongst tons and tons of other newer glistening diamonds all trying to catch the eye of younger people first.
Due to how technology has developed, we're bombarded with tv series and films from all angles these days. In the 80's we couldn’t even have dreamt of a tv service like Netflix, let alone dared to imagine that it might actually be possible. Now it's become mainstream I'm thinking, how much tv do you need for fucks sake? You flick through the menu screens on Netflix, 24 episodes of this, 24 episodes of that. 6 series of this, 10 series of that. The thought of having to watch 24 episodes over 10 series of anything from scratch is so daunting, it completely switches off your desire to watch anything at all! As such, after an hour of arduous frustrating menu flicking, you just think 'fuck this', and head off to play video games or have a wank instead. All we had in the 80's was 4 channels and a handful of your favourite quality films on VHS. We didn't even have wanking back then. Well, we did, of course we did. But I didn't, I was only 7.
In fact, I think it was actually the sheer amount of 'screen time' as a result of VHS that really enabled Star Wars to become so deeply entrenched and highly regarded in Western Culture. The Star Wars trilogy, along with a handful of other great films from the time (Indiana Jones, The Goonies, Back To The Future, Superman The Movie), had the fortune, luck, and timing to arrive in the heyday of VHS. As such, they were watched over and over, for many years to come once we had them on VHS in my parents' house. And I'm sure this was happening in houses up and down the country too. In the 80's, no one cared about 'screen time'. It was encouraged if anything as there was no internet, smartphones, or computers, and it was always raining in the UK. There was fuck all else to do.
VHS was the cutting edge technology of the time. That's the Video Home System for those reading this under the age of 25. VHS basically consisted of a ridiculously massive chunky video cassette, around the size of 4 Nexus 7's strapped back to back, that could only fit one relatively fuzzy film on it. You would insert this ridiculously massive cassette into a box about twice as big as the Xbox One, that weighed about 2 tonnes. It was a tv revolution. Bringing the cinema into the home. No longer did you have to wait for your favourite film to be shown on one of the massive selection of 4 terrestrial tv channels. You could now sit back, grab your Soda Stream, kick up your leg warmers in front of the box, and watch it whenever you liked in the comfort of your own home. Tv's were called box's back then as they actually had the dimensions of a box. If indeed they had been a box, you could have literally fit inside one the casing was so damn big. Even though the screens weren't very big themselves, the units they were fronting were absolutely massive ... and also weighed about 2 tonnes. No one had their tv's on the wall back then either. The wall simply wouldn't support it.
With the VHS, you could even magically record tv off one of the massive selection of 4 channels onto a spare VHS cassette to watch at your leisure at a later time! This was great because there were some very funny TV edit versions of films. Bad language was often dubbed over (badly) and unsuitable material cut, depending on the broadcasted time of day. Die Hard without swearing was an absolute ITV dubbed classic. I wish I still had it. It was hilarious. For years I thought that iconic line was 'Yippee Ki Yay Kimosabe' ...
Worried someone would record over your favourite recording? Worry no more. There was a small plastic tab that you could manually snap off the cassette in order to prevent someone accidentally recording over something that you had previously recorded. It's creators even had the fore-sight of adding the amazing dynamic hi-tec feature of being able to stick a bit of sticky tape over the small gap where the tab had once been in case you changed your mind and decided that you wanted to record over it after all. Yes, VHS was technology at its finest. Razor sharp cutting edge. So much so, that if you knew how to plug your VHS into the back of your tv set back then, or even better actually knew how to set the record timer on the bastard thing, you were considered a verifiable technological genius.
I'm sure it was VHS that drilled the Star Wars trilogy deep into my generations psyche, along with The Goonies, Superman, Indiana Jones, and Back To The Future, in a way that's not repeatable now, due to the near unlimited availability and sheer quantity of tv and film, accessible wherever you go, at any time of day. We didn't really have anything else worth watching as young kids so we just watched those about a billion times over. And we were perfectly OK with that. We never seemed to get tired of watching or discussing those films. I still don't today. With hindsight, given the nature of those viewing habits, I'm not all together sure how much of an element of brain washing was going on there? But who cares? It's better than religion. And the result is that I still love all of those films equally as much today as I did then. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Kids aren't allowed to do that these days. People are too obsessed with robotically monitoring the rising, so say new, dangerous and unhealthy threat to their child's development ... 'screen time'.
Children should be out skipping through fields of wheat in slow motion with big smiles on their faces as the background blurs into sepia tones. They should be playing Pooh sticks in rivers or riding their bikes out in the great outdoors ... even if it is always raining and they live in a first floor inner city flat. Doesn't matter. Screen bad. Outdoors good. Meanwhile, their parents faces are glued to their smartphones, mindlessly scanning Facebook, as they binge watch an entire series of some dreadful American comedy tv show on Netflix at the same time, right into the early hours. Doesn't matter. For kids... Screen bad. Outdoors good. Their parents wake up on the sofa a few hours later with massive bags under their eyes before driving an easy walking distance to work, inside a pollution intensifying metal tin on wheels. Fortunately the pollution doesn't stay in the air for long, as it goes directly into the kids lungs that actually are cycling their bikes outside, dangerously weaving in and out of slow moving grid locked traffic. Once at work, the parents proceed to spend most of their day sat down inside, getting no exercise at all, eating junk, in front of a screen for hours on end, whilst mindlessly scanning Facebook at the same time. This is to ensure they don't miss any new opportunities to 'like' pointless photos, usually consisting of a bunch of cunts pulling moronic faces that they've never met and don't care about, posted by a 'friend' they haven't seen in ten years, and don't intend ever seeing again anyway. Yet when a kid so much as looks in the general direction of a tablet or phone, out of the corner of their eye ... HERESY! Screen bad. Outdoors good.
These 'screen time' dictators are no doubt the same parents that used to stick thermometers and portable radios all over the house and sterilise EVERYTHING, ironically to ensure baby is not exposed to any extremes ... They're running around like the Neighbour out of Hello Neighbour and they can't even see it.
Meanwhile, mothers floppy tit in mouth, dick in one hand, AK47 in the other, some potential future terrorist baby is growing up just fine in a boiling hot cave in Afghanistan somewhere, watching re runs of David Hasselhoff's Knight Rider on an old cathode ray tube television set, to study the ways of the American infidel. If he grows up a gooden. Mothers tit. If he grows up a badden. David Hasslehoff. All the billions of interactions and random, unexpected and changing external forces that influence a persons life, all the adaptability of the human brain and all the survival instincts we have evolved with, and yet it always seems to just boil down to one of those two things. What a life.
So thanks to no one caring about 'screen time' in the 80's, the Star Wars franchise was without a doubt a main beneficiary of the VHS heyday. However, whilst the VHS was great for its time, you could just never go back to that now. Or a world without internet. Remove the rose tinted glasses and the audio and video quality was pretty shit on VHS. Muffled and blurry on an oversized cassette that degraded and faded over time, I guess it was comparable to watching an over compressed MP4 after being hit over the head with a bat. And as for the technological genius thing, looking back we were like monkeys just sat around scratching our balls by today's standards.
But Star Wars wasn't just about excessive 'screen time' (HERESY!) for my generation. It was just as much about toys and play. And yes, you can fit this in around excessive 'screen time' modern day researchers ... Although my kids genuinely seem to like violently attacking each other with lightsabres, I'm pretty sure any blunt instrument would do. They haven't shown the same interest in playing with Star Wars toys like I did when I was their age. I'll admit it, that they have the toys in the first place is because of me, partly because I just ignorantly assumed that's what they would want, and partly because I'm pretty sure I was subconsciously attempting to re-feel my own youth. Not only did I really enjoy looking for good deals on these toys and having them arrive in the post and wrapping them up as Christmas presents, but I used them for a fun photography project with the kids too ( www.openthebastdoors.com ). It was wonderful. But, like most toys, they cost a small fortune, were played with only for a little bit, before quickly becoming boring to them. So I stopped throwing money down the drain and started paying more attention instead.
I was quick to observe that they much preferred, and genuinely enjoyed, watching You Tube videos on their phones and playing local multi player games on their Nintendo Switch. Playing with plastic figurines just wasn't stimulating to them anymore. Not when they could be playing Minecraft, Rocket League, Overcooked, Mario Odyssey, Breath Of the Wild, Splatoon 2 ... There's just no comparison. And to be fair, I much prefer playing on the Nintendo Switch with them than with plastic figurines anyway. If I had had a Nintendo Switch at their age back then, I'd have been playing that all the time too. No question. It's simply better. Way better. More fun and more stimulating than their other toys.
I get this. But this is nothing new at all as some people seem to think. I had the NES in the 80's at around the same age as they have the Switch now and I loved it. Sure, some of the games that I once held as timeless, have depreciated in the face of how advanced technology has become these days. But at the time, they were just as good. The relative point remains exactly the same. I've known first hand that other toys have never been able to compete with the latest console games since the mid 80's. They're engaging and make you think and use skill and fun to solve puzzles. In many ways, I'm surprised that playing with branded plastic figurines with unrealistic body images is still even relevant? To be fair the Sar Wars figures are proportionate and stay clothed, but most of the plastic boys toys are all built like brick shit houses with no dick. And most of the plastic girls toys are designed and manufactured to be almost as fake, plastic and exaggerated as Kyle Jenner. But not quite ...
Truth is, every boy that has ever had a sister, has had a quick peek under their Barbie's clothes only to be disappointed that there is no genitalia on those unrealistic, irresponsibly manufactured curves and features. I'd much rather my kids were inspired by a fat heroic plumber with a comedy moustache that does Parkour and solves skill based puzzles using their brain and creative fun, rather than be inspired by a plastic models ridiculous manufactured body image. I'm talking about dolls again by the way, not Kylie Jenner ... Although observing the way people use Instagram these days, either fits.
The amount of times I've seen parents worried about 'screen time', so much so that they actually make their kids play with 'traditional' toys for an enforced period of time instead. Whilst they're busy stressing over the term 'screen time', regimenting it so much that they may as well have a stop clock and whistle, what I'm observing with my kids, is a brother and sister, playing together, laughing, arguing, co-operating, creating, competing, cheating, bonding, fighting, celebrating, cheering, screaming, thinking, focusing, having fun, and the best part is ... I get to join in and be a part of all this too. I'm still scratching my head trying to work out what part of that is supposed to be bad for their development?
If they were blankly staring at Facebook, flicking the screen up and down waiting for likes on some pointless inane comment about Prosecco or wine o'clock like adults do, I'd tell them to get the fuck off that screen now and do something creative. But as it is, with the games they are playing, I see no downside to what they are doing what so ever just because it involves 'screen time'. It's the latest technology of their time. And they absolutely love it. Better to embrace it and enjoy it with them, rather than try to pretend it doesn’t exist or sterilise it into pointlessness for them. Don't forget, 'screen time' on VHS is largely why Star Wars is still so loved and iconically prevalent in our pop culture today, 40 yeas after it was released.
And another thing, since when was a thermoplastic figurine, with paint machine-sprayed onto it, of a modern film franchise 'traditional'? Since when was a doll with a waistline like a wedding ring and legs longer than the queue at the Post Office, with a massive orange head, unrealistically long hair, sexualised blow job lips, painted on eye brows, and hugely exaggerated facial features 'traditional'? It's no wonder all these impressionable young girls are idolising the likes of Kylie Jenner on Instagram ... As physically appealing as she has become, the fact of the matter remains that she's paid to have a surgeon's scalpel design her into the embodiment of their childhood dolls, only with genitalia still intact. Or at least I'm assuming they are still intact? I mean no disrespect to her personally, I just wonder what kind of society we live in that's making young girls think that this is a good thing to do to themselves ...
If you made that figurine or doll out of wood, would that be 'traditional'? Or just shit? And would Kylie Jenner now be made out of wood instead of plastic? How far back have you got to go for something to be 'traditional'? 'Here you go son, have a rock for Christmas. Cavemen used to love playing with rocks. Next year you can have a stick. It's tradional.' ...
Times are in a state of continuous flux faster than at any point in history due to accelerated advancements in technology and our kids are bang in the middle of it ... It makes me angry when I see adults forcing kids to do something that doesn't stimulate them at all, when they could be doing something that clearly does. It just doesn't feel right to me.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, Star Wars to my generation is about more than just the film itself. It's about cinema, home video, toys, and playtime with your mates. And then, as the decades passed, fancy dress, drunken fun, and nostalgic banter material too. It's become deeply ingrained into Western culture.
But times have changed massively in all those respects since and continue to do so at an accelerated rate. Even if slightly disappointing for much of my generation, I actually think the new Star Wars movies will appeal more to kids today than the originals will to them. They are still good fun films, with lots of entertaining character driven emotion. And if they inspire and entertain kids today that's great. It's something current that they can enjoy in their generation, with their friends. And this is important. Don’t downplay things for them just because you got old.
That they get to enjoy Star Wars in their generation, with their friends, is far more important than grumpy old men that used to be so full of hope, complaining how bad it is, that Luke had become a grumpy old man, that used to be so full of hope.
Far more important than complaining that the casting is too blatantly politically correct now. Sure it was one step shy of casting a balding obese black muslim lesbian in a wheelchair as Obi Wan Kenobi's long lost love child, but why does that even matter? These people have obviously forgotten the 80's school playground days, where whilst the majority of kids were enjoying fighting their corner as to why they should get to be either Luke or Han ... the black kid was always automatically Lando, the only black guy in the galaxy, and girls weren't even allowed to play. If you need a reason there you go. But why do you even need a reason? It's not an issue. There are green and blue people and fury fucking carpets walking around, and even aliens with bollocks hanging out of their mouth and you don't batter and eyelid... and yet you're concerned about an even ethnicity spread and too many women?
In the name of evolution, get over it or roll under a moving bus. Either will do. No preference. If you have differences with the characters and how they fit into the film, that's fair enough. But it shouldn't be because of their gender, any more than it should whether they are white, brown, black, yellow, green, blue, ginger, hairy, bollock mouthed or antennaed. Admiral Ackbar was a giant fish in a white suit for fucks sake and no one moaned about him being in charge. It must have fucking stank in his control room ...
Star Wars is a space opera, spanning tons of different planets, with all manner of bizarre aliens, over an entire galaxy. Characters don't even have the same internal organs or reproductive systems ... and your worried about gender and ethnicity? Like I said, in the name of evolution, get over it or roll under a moving bus.
I'll agree though, it was too long, and I wasn't keen on some of the Netflixy type humour in it either ... It made me cringe. But it's the time we live in now unfortunately. Kids like it. I guess I should be counting my lucky stars that they didn't go full on Netfilx and start every ker-rae-zee sentence with 'so' and end them with 'right?', followed by a mandatory pause for canned laughter.
And why was Snoke so disappointingly useless? Well, Luke's gone so technically he got exactly what he wanted, and we don't know if he'll come back yet do we? He's certainly got the face and skin of a man who's died and come back several times. And we've seen that new Force powers have been introduced. They're slippery little suckers these Sith Lords. Good tacticians. Let's wait and see how it concludes before too much shit is thrown out of the pram in the direction of the directors face ...
It's great to hear the music and sounds on the big screen again, and even better to be able to watch Star Wars with my kids in a way that's current, but there is just no way that the Star Wars sequels can compete with the original trilogy for me. But that's kind of obvious because you just can't top good childhood memories. That's just how memories work. I'm sure I'd probably have enjoyed the new Star Wars films more if I didn't expect them to make me feel young again. But then if I didn't expect them to do that, I wouldn't have had the anticipation and excitement of looking forward to them would I? At the end of the day, they are just films and my childhood memories remain unaffected. I'll get over it.
I'd also say, given the way tv and film is accessed now and the sheer quantity of it that is available at any one time, it's most probable that kids these days won't be into Star Wars to anywhere near the same extent as we were as kids, especially if their parents are monitoring 'screen time' with a stop clock and whistle every day. I think some parents forget it's their kids childhood, not theirs. There is just so much more out there to grab kids attention these days that was not there before. And most of it is better than what was there before. And if it inspires and stimulates them ... let it. Rather than stop it, get involved. Kids don't need their parents to sterilise and filter the life out of everything for them. And they don't need to be told what they should be liking either. They have their own minds.
It's important to let kids today find their own inspirations so that they too can have childhood memories of their own. Not ours. Of course, in time, these fond memories will become warped out of all contemporary perspective as the world moves on. In time, they too will come to realise that their children will also assume that everyone must have been poor stupid simpletons, or monkeys just sat around scratching their balls 'during the olden days'. And when you consider peoples Social Media habits these days ... they'd be right.