Friday, May 07, 2010

Oligatory Sharing of George Lucas Exploiting Gen-Xer's Love of Star Wars Post

The video featuring Darth Vader in a sound booth recording directions for the Tom Tom navigation device is very amusing and deserves to be shared for its entertainment value alone. That doesn't mean that I don't feel a pang of irritation with how George Lucas continues to mock, ridicule, or ruin what was an amazing experience for me as a child. Lucas has always exploited the market potential of Star Wars -- especially on the merchandising end -- but this seems a bit forced. Yes, it seems even more forced than Star Wars Slurpee cups or Burger King mugs.

It's odd being in an aging demographic that still finds the imagery of its childhood to be effective for commercial appeal. For all my irritation, I'm considering saving up to buy one of these. Can you imagine a Baby Boomer saving up to buy a Jonny Quest -- or Yogi Bear -- voiced GPS system? Heck, even a James T. Kirk one would probably appeal to Gen X more than Boomers. We're an odd bunch.

It should be mentioned that the Darth Vader video pales in comparison to Orson Welles discussing peas.

1 comment:

Sean said...

This was funny, but does George Lucas or Lucasfilm really engage in a lot of this kind of thing -- Shatneresque ironic self-parody? Isn't most of the vast blanket of Star Wars merchandise and marketing "straight"?
As an aside, on the subject of Lucas's marketing, I think in its sheer galactic magnitude (no pun intended), it really can overwhelm the specialness of the Star Wars fantasy or experience. Granted, at age 8, I was delighted that I could buy the (original) Star Wars figures, and waited with bated breath until they came in the mail (having had to buy a coupon first). And even today I still admire Lucas's creativity in plotting the story and imagining the world of Star Wars 1977-1983, though I think, as far as encomia go, there should be one mention of Lawrence Kasdan for every two of Lucas. And, as you've noted, Star Wars is in a sense only a variation on the Flash Gordon serials of Lucas's youth. But I've become pretty jaded, even in my reminisces, by the neverending flood of product in the last 30 years. That, more than any ironic self-parody, has deflated Star Wars for me.