Yes, yes, and yes: I heard the news yesterday about -- cough cough -- Dave Filoni's promotion to something called 'Chief Creative Officer' or something thereabouts, and -- in all honesty -- my initial reaction was, "Erm ... hasn't he been in this position for some time?" Truly, I thought I'd heard or read a statement to this effect previously, and -- yes -- I do read a lot of short articles here and there so I could be mistaken. My point, however, remains the same: he's without question had his hand in the pot stirring everything up for a few years now. I don't think any all-new title is going to make any difference.
Still, I've always cautioned readers and otherwise to "take a breath." You know? For me, it stretches back to the days in the 1980's and 1990's when a trailer or coming attraction would hit the silver screen, causing folks to proclaim, "Oh. My. God. This is going to be the BEST THING EVER!" How many times did we then go see the completed film and have to suffer through an incredible amount of embarrassing disappointment over telling all of our friends and family to drop everything they were doing and go to see this film despite our having seen it and learned it was total crap? I don't know about you, but that happened so many times to me in the 1970's and early 1980's that I realized I was never going to champion a trailer ever ever ever again.
True story, that is.
So that's why -- about a decade or two back -- I started actively trying to be a voice of reason online, likewise cautioning folks to not make too much out of any announcement. Sure, that's great news for Dave ... but it is good news for fandom? Some will understandably take the opportunity to engage in a whirlwind of sniping (snipping?) and/or clapping back, saying that this "promotion" proves without question that the ill-received Ahsoka series was secretly some kind of massive success for Walt Disney, Lucasfilm, and Star Wars ... when every measureable metric proves that could not be the case. Its ratings were an unmitigated disaster, folks, and no title change and/or pay bump can change that fact. In a sane world, Ahsoka would be an anchor around dear Dave's ankles: no, that's not worth cheering over in any sense but rather a statement of reasoned analysis.
Like many, I've got no major problems with Star Wars: The Clone Wars. I wasn't thrilled with Star Wars Rebels, but it had its moments. And I'm on record as saying that I think Star Wars: The Bad Batch is, actually, quite a welcome diversion; yes, I understand those who suggest it's little more than a last gasp at the Clone Wars era, and that could be true. But I've still enjoyed it, and I'll be sad to see it end once it does in this upcoming final season. So a good deal of what Filoni has done hasn't spoiled anyone's childhood -- though I've heard others state otherwise -- and we'll just have to agree to disagree on that high ground.
But ... does Star Wars matter any longer?
Readers, each of us has to make up our own mind on that question.
That's what life is. That's what art is. Each of us gets to decide just how much meaning and/or impact we're going to take from any work, and that's the way it will always be. In that regard, Star Wars really hasn't mattered for me since the Prequel Trilogy -- a few moments within The Clone Wars and maybe even a couple within early outings of The Mandalorian notwithstanding. Like perhaps even George Lucas himself intimated when asked about the sale of the I.P. to the Walt Disney Company, it's become "product" and not "modern-day mythmaking."
And, yes, it shows.
And, yes, that blows.
At the end of the day, it is what it is ... and if you had asked me ten years ago if I'd ever have that epiphany regarding Star Wars -- perhaps the single greatest inspiration in my life writing about film and media -- I would've countered that it was improbable if not impossible. Having been there since the beginning and having lived through those years of drought when there was, literally, no new Star Wars on the horizon, I always wanted more. Now that I've seen what a corporation thinks Star Wars is and what its fans deserve, I'm not so sure I'll ever want it as much ever again.
The Force was with us, but -- like the stupid title of the JJ Abrams reboot suggests -- methinks it's gone to sleep and might stay there ... for a long, long time ...