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Chewy, We’re Home

2015-10-23 04:55

Every week, we here at Securosis like to highlight the security industry’s most important news in our Friday Summary. Those events that not only made the press, but are likely to significantly impact your professional lives and, potentially, the well being of the organizations you were for.

Ah, who am I kidding, let’s talk Star Wars.

If you didn’t know a new trailer for The Force Awakens was released this week, you can’t be reading this statement, because you are either deceased (like a parrot) or currently imprisoned in an underground bunker by a religious fanatic who is feeding you nutritional supplements so he/she can harvest your organs and live for eternity. I can’t imagine any other legitimate options.

Stick with me for a minute, I really do have a point or two.

Like many of you, Star Wars played an incredibly influential role in my life. The first film hit when I was six, and it helped form the person I would eventually become. I know, cheesy and maybe weird or nerdy, but as children we all grasp onto stories and metaphor to develop our world view. For some of you it was religion (it’s pretty much the purpose of the bible), or a book series, or a blend of influences. For me, Star Wars always stood far above and beyond anything else outside the direct guidance of my parents.

Martial arts, public service, a love of aviation and space, and a fundamental recognition of the importance of helping and protecting others all trace back, to some degree, to the film series. Perhaps I would have grasped onto these principles anyway, but at this point that’s an experiment whose control group vaporized decades ago.

I have, perhaps, an overconfidence in the new film. I’ve already bought tickets for opening night and the following day, and could only stop tearing up at the trailer through intense immersion therapy. Unlimited bandwidth FTW.

There was a fascinating article in the New Yorker this week. The author admitting a love for the original trilogy, but claiming that now, as an adult, there is no chance a new entry could possibly create the same wonder as the originals did for a child in the theater. That the new films must, of necessity, be for children as adults are no longer of generating such emotions.

You know, pretty much what you would expect the New Yorker to publish.

The day I no longer believe a story can make me feel wonder is the day I ask Reverend Billy to finally remove my dead heart and implant it in that goat that makes our cheese (in the bunker, keep up people). Maybe the new film won’t hit that lofty goal (although the trailer sure did), but you can’t close your mind to the possibility. Okay, maybe Star Wars isn’t your thing, but if you no longer believe stories even have the potential to engender childlike joy, that’s a loss of hope with profound personal implications.

I’m also fascinated to see how Star Wars changes for my children. Already the expanded universe is creating a different relationship with the canon. Growing up I only had Artoo and Threepio, but they now have Chopper (from Rebels, a really great show) and BB-8. My two year old is already obsessed with BB-8 and insists my Sphero toy sit next to him when he watches TV. When the battery runs out he likes to tell me “BB-8 sad”.

They will never experience things the way I did. Maybe they’ll love it, maybe they won’t, that’s up for them to decide (after my meddling influence). But there is one aspect of the new films that, as a parent. endlessly excites me.

The prequels weren’t merely bad films, they did nearly nothing to advance the story. They gave us the visuals of the history of Vader, and a few poorly retconned story beats, but they didn’t tell us anything material we didn’t already know. There was no anticipation between the films, not like when Empire came out and my friends and I spent 3 years debating if Darth was Luke’s father, or if it was merely another Sith lie.

In two months we get to see an entirely new Star Wars that continues the story that started nearly 40 years ago. And, though I’m really just guessing here, I’m pretty sure Episode VII is going to end in a cliffhanger that won’t be resolved for another two to three years, if not the full six years to finish this next trilogy.

My children will get a new story that will play out over a third of their childhood. Not some movies based on some existing books, however well written and popular. Not a television series they see every week or can marathon on Netflix. Three films. Six years. So popular (just a guess) that they extend Star Wars’ already deep influence in our global consciousness. The ending unknown until my entire family, the youngest now eight or nine (not two), the oldest bordering on a teenager, sits together in the theater as the lights dim, the curtain peels back, and the familiar fanfare blasts from the speakers.

No, maybe I won’t ever feel the same as that day in 1977 when I sat next to my father and that first Star Destroyer loomed above our heads. I’m older, capable of far more emotional depth, with an ever greater need to escape the responsibilities of adulthood and the painful irrationality of the real world. Knowing that my children sitting next to me are building their own memories, and are experiencing their own wonder.

It’s going to be so much better.

On to the Summary:

Webcasts, Podcasts, Outside Writing, and Conferences

Securosis Posts

Favorite Outside Posts

Research Reports and Presentations

Top News and Posts

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