Why We Love the Star Wars Saga

As happy as I am that Lucasfilm is acknowledging the love many fans feel for the 1-3 trilogy (long past time to phase out the term “prequel”, at least officially) by once again offering the “Why We Love the Prequels” panel at Celebration VI, and as disappointed as I am that I’m going to miss it, I sure wish it wasn’t necessary to make a big deal of people’s love for half the Star Wars saga. I’ve long argued that the 1-3 trilogy is one of the boldest cinematic visions since the original film in 1977. For all the justifiable praise heaped on films franchises like ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Dark Knight’ trilogy, many of those franchises built upon well-established successful works by other artists. Peter Jackson didn’t invent Middle Earth or the Hobbits. Christopher Nolan didn’t conjure Bruce Wayne/Batman out of his imagination. That’s not a criticism of what they’ve done in re-telling those tales, but it’s the truth. They’re adaptations, not new creations.

George Lucas not only created the universe of ‘Star Wars’ from his own imagination, but in the 1-3 trilogy he faced the burden of telling a story most fans thought they knew (the Clone Wars, Anakin Skywalker’s fall, the rise of the Empire). What he created was something far more original and bold than is usually credited. He took risks both with the storytelling (turning the bad guys into good guys, showing cinema’s greatest villain as a cute little boy) and the technology of movie-making (pioneering digital acting, digital production and cost-saving techniques). As reader Cryogenic wisely points out, the 1-3 trilogy represents a far more personal cinematic creation than is credited.

“What people also overlook is that Lucas actually spent an entire decade of his life making the prequels (all in all, the prequels actually took longer to make than the LOTR trilogy), and he could have simply farmed the lion’s share out to someone else, just slapping his name on as producer and then being done with it. But he went above and beyond, arguably making the most personal blockbuster films in cinematic history. And what has he received for all that effort and dedication; for the sheer audacity of the undertaking? The most base of insults, time and time again. It’s hard to even fathom the blinkered thinking and double standards this far down the road.”

I often say ‘Star Wars’ is George Lucas’ story to tell because it IS. He’s earned the right, financially and creatively, to own it in every sense of the word. Peter Jackson doesn’t own ‘Lord of the Rings’, he’s the temporary custodian building upon a rich, well-established story. The same is true of Joss Whedon or JJ Abrams. Without diminishing their talents in the least, it’s true to say that in terms of their most successful work they are writers and filmmakers for hire.

What puts the entire Star Wars saga on the mantel of greatness is that it is represents a singular creative vision from an artist who time and time again put everything on the line for his art. That’s more than worthy of my cinematic love.

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35 Responses to Why We Love the Star Wars Saga

  1. Cryogenic has written some of the most intelligent, accurate, and detailed analysis of GL’s film manner of all time. Up there with Kevin McCloud. The real tragedy of the JC Forums being down is that his musings aren’t out there for everyone to see, nice to see the tag pop up here.

    • PrinceOfNaboo says:

      I think he is a she, and she is changeli….no, not that ;)

      I think the lack of respect Lucas gets for his efforts are equally ridiculous as the connected accusations that he just made Episodes I-III “for the money”.

      I mean, as you said, making Vader a child and later a hopeless romantic is a real moneymaker with Sci-Fi-Action fans a your prime audience…. :D

      • A New Hope says:

        Right. There were easier ways for Lucas to make money than investing his own time to direct all three. He could’ve stayed on the ranch, watched the dailies, and sent commands through his minions. Now THAT would’ve fit the hateboy imaginary model of Lucas as a filmmaking crime lord drunk on his own power.

      • Nicholas (Darth Bizarro) says:

        I don’t let the hateboys get me down. Whenever I see them complaining they just remind me of this:

      • Whoops! I should have known.

    • Cryogenic says:

      Jeepers, creepers! I really don’t know about THAT, but thank you kindly. Your tumblr page, on the other hand, is tremendous. It’s like the old “Galactic Senate” page by Michael Hopcroft, but better. Unless I’m mistaken, I believe that that thing died on its butt some time ago. Great shame, but now there’s your page! And you have clearly taken a strong cue from Mr. McCloud/McCleod (that isn’t his real name). You couldn’t have a finer inspiration!

      I’m annoyed about the JC being down. I can’t even say I’m enthused about the replacement software. The old one had its faults, but the basic layout was excellent: the colour schemes, the graphics, the lot. I’m particularly not fond of any board that puts the time and date of a user’s post at the BOTTOM. What a stupid design! I don’t know if they’ve customized the “full” boards that were meant to come online months ago to look more like the old ones (I certainly hope so), but I’m not flooded with optimism. The look and feel of the board was almost half the reason for being there. *sigh* I don’t wish to sound ungrateful, though. There are a lot of people there who put in a lot of work; and it has a solid userbase. Still, they’re in an awkward position now because they decided to completely change their software, and they have run into problems converting their many millions of former posts. If archiving is that important — and, I agree, it is — they should have stuck with what they already knew, and maybe tried for newer software a year or two down the line (which they could have fully tested IN PARALLEL with the existing board).

      I would like to improve my interpretative/analytical skills ten-fold; and simply finding better ways of communicating more information in less space. Your tumblr approach is an excellent one. The most recent pictures are the most exciting of all. I wouldn’t have thought of freeze-framing the transitions like that (another MSTRMND inspiration?). But look at the results! If I were to make a criticism, it would simply be in the form of a recommendation: more pictures. Don’t forget about “THX 1138″ and “American Graffiti”. I see a handful from the former, but that’s all. One mash-up you have is of two shots in TESB, one involving a close-up of a lizard. THX has an eerily similar shot: a lizard amongst computer wiring. So, the gloom of the Dagobah cave becomes a brightly-lit computer centre, and the twigs and vines are transformed into cables, and vice versa. There are so many striking parallels between and within the films: inner, outer, meta, super. The more you watch them, the more intricate and beautiful they become.

      • Cryogenic says:

        BTW, if you’re looking for a slightly more prickly/pugnacious me — what?! — visit the IMDb message board for The Phantom Menace. But be sure to have a stiff drink afterwards.

        • A New Hope says:

          Rational and polite debate has its place, but sometimes prickly and pugnacious is more effective.

          • Cryogenic says:

            That’s true! And I guess that that is your blog in microcosm. Well, from a certain point of view. :D

      • Oh geez, what a reply! You just made my day. Glad you like the blog, I felt like the web was missing a purely visual analysis of the patterns in Star Wars, and besides, I wouldn’t be able to compete in text with the likes of yourself. Being restricted to still frames is difficult since so many of the relationships in the series are also expressed through motion and music as well as the composition of the frames, but like McCloud (figured it was a screen name: as in Star Wars, things are rarely as they seem on the interweb) I try to get just enough information across that people can fill in the blanks for themselves. I didn’t know about the Michael Hopcroft site until a while after I started the tumblr page, and by then it was nothing but broken jpegs. More’s the pity, looked like he was onto a few things.

        Couldn’t have summed up the JC Forums situation better — really, I think you covered all the bases. If the interface stays the way it is on the temp forums then it’ll be time to look for an alternative, or just give up on forums altogether – they are havens for those that wish to be obtuse, if not a wretched hive of such-and-such and such-and-such.

        The transition posts were inspired by MSTRMND, yeah – specifically his lines about Norse, Native American and Japanese mythology merging in-shot, and the wipes behaving like stargate versions of the doors and gateways of the GFFA. Marvellous juxtaposition. It further highlights the limitations of working with still frames, however – you just can’t express the brilliance of an iris transition mimicking the circular shape of the droid part on the line ‘Look sir, droids!’ in a screenshot. If anything I hope those posts inspire fellow explorers to study the transitions in Star Wars rather than letting them go subliminal.

        As for THX and American Graffiti: believe me, I haven’t forgotten about them, I *love* those films, but one thing that makes it difficult to find visual parallels between those films and Star Wars is that Lucas carefully changed/developed his film grammar between each new genre/project. The connections are numerous, but less obvious. I’ll definitely be going in with fresh eyes thanks to your encouragement! I’m amazed I hadn’t picked up the lizard in the netting connection by now (if I remember correctly, on the commentary track GL describes that shot as a metaphor for the protagonist as a distortion in the system – George’s compression staggers).
        Intricate and beautiful indeed. Your ability to bring those qualities to the forefront in your writing is what makes you unique among Lucas aficionados: you never lose sight of why we’re all here. Get started on that book already!

        • Cryogenic says:

          I was recently tempted to register at the temp boards with an assumed name. I’d post in my usual style, I guess, and see how long it took for others to recognize me. But then I thought better of it. It’d be kind of pointless, and I’d be breaking my self-imposed exile/”protest”. There are good people there, and I really want to go where the bulk of my posts are. The JCF offers a continuity that’s very satisfying. And there USED to be a sense of beauty, coherency, structure, with the layout of board, as it formerly existed. I suspect that a large part of the reason I enjoy the Star Wars movies as I do is because I sense something similar: an order, a precision, a symmetry and a dignity. As Albert Einstein sagaciously put it, “Man tries to make for himself in the fashion that suits him best a simplified and intelligible picture of the world; he then tries to some extent to substitute this cosmos of his for the world of experience, and thus to overcome it. This is what the painter, the poet, the speculative philosopher, and the natural scientists do, each in his own fashion. Each makes this cosmos and its construction the pivot of his emotional life, in order to find in this way peace and security which he can not find in the narrow whirlpool of personal experience.”

          I didn’t think you’d seriously overlooked Lucas’ former movies, but I had to ring that bell. There are fascinating motifs that keep repeating throughout his work. One of the more provocative THX-Star Wars parallels concerns OMM and Yoda. In THX, the protagonist, whose sense of confusion and disorientation is accelerating to the point of physical vomiting, visits a confessional booth and communicates with a disconnected, false deity/sage figure, receiving recorded affirmations that fail to chasten his spirit, let alone improve his predicament, and in ROTS, we have the Star Wars equivalent with Anakin visiting Yoda and receiving textbook advice for his woes. And Yoda, like OMM, is something of a fabrication: a digital (or real) puppet. They correlate even to the point of their hooded eyes (OMM, of course, being represented visually by Hans Memling’s painting “Christ Giving His Blessing”). In some senses, perhaps the THX construct is weirder (a figure from a real human religion co-opted by the state — in fact, not so weird!), but the SW one is, in a way, more lacerating. Particularly as Yoda has a quasi-reality that OMM doesn’t: he actually BELIEVES he’s helping Anakin (even as his advice shows itself to be brutally inadequate later on). This pointed attack on society is as satiric as it is devastating.

          Of course, as you are amply in the process of demonstrating, there are many internal rhymes — that is, rhymes or resonances purely or most strongly within the Star Wars films — too. One I like, and that I recently picked up on (maybe why I like it!), is that each movie appears to begin with a scene or sequence involving smoke, clouds, or fog. In TPM, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan bust out of a room flooded with gas; in AOTC, ships descend into a deep fog/shroud; in ROTS, Anakin and Obi-Wan fly through a smoky explosion; in ANH, stormtroopers explode a door and begin shooting through a cloud of smoke; in TESB, a meteorite (probe droid) impacts a snow-covered surface whipping up disrupted matter; in ROTJ, Vader walks down a shuttle ramp flanked by jets of smoke. All these links make the series very satisfying to watch and to probe: sensual/subliminal versus rational/intellectual. I would even go a stage further and propound that the series pivots and ruthlessly integrates these stark oppositions. In essence, that is its raison d’etre. (“A long time ago…”; soft, static, soporific, silent, blue; “STAR WARS”; brash, animated, galvanic, loud, yellow). Again, this is joyous: how Lucas weaves one, then another, then another, etc. “He’s quite clever, you know, for a human being…”

          And have you ever stopped to consider just how precise some of this is? Well, it’s subjective, naturally, but just consider the numerals. The prequel installments are defined by “I”: a copious amount (I, II, III). But the originals get a “V” to break the tedium (IV, V, VI). I’ve started to think that that “V” might just as well represent a falcon (as in “Millennium Falcon”) with its wings outstretched. I suppose I twigged to this interpretation after re-reading a comment by MSTRMND: “The Empire Strikes Back might be subtitled The Search for the Millenium (sic) Falcon”. Okay, so he’s not right to the letter (“sic”), but what he has to say about Han’s beloved ship is interesting. It is, of course, the Millennium Falcon that is instrumental in the destruction of both Death Stars, the latter of which so much of the prequel imagery is built upon and teases towards. In short, the Millennium Falcon, and all that it represents, is a solution to the mess. That’s only one reading, of course. But there is so much meaning if you’re willing or able to see it.

          Speaking of Lucas, there’s another quotation by him — in addition to the “symphony” one you have — from the same publication (Rinzler’s terrific “Making Of” for ROTS, p.78) that emphasizes what he’s all about: “A friend of mine once said in every shot of a movie, there’s a thousand ideas — and that’s true actually.” Maybe one you want to use? Nothing will ever speak more fully than the art itself, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate, indicate, and pontificate along the way. :) Yours is a truly great resource. There’s something primal about images, y’see (see? << see! it's even ingrained in our verbal language), so you're communicating very potently with your idea: on multiple levels.

          Yes, I should get a book going (this post, if nothing else, proves I like to rabbit on), but I've been thinking and talking about these movies so much, recently, I'm going insane. INSANE! I need a chill pill (though I don't want to become a THX zombie — if I'm not one already! if we aren't ALL good little citizens scurrying here and there and nowhere). Something more concentrated and serious, and hopefully with a small profit margin to go with it, beckons. All in good time. And thank you.

  2. lazypadawan says:


    I noted that it’s kind of sad this panel is necessary in the first place. Or that I even had to set up SWPAS. I think there’s a lack of appreciation for Lucas and very little thought given to what it all means in Star Wars.

  3. Well said, sir. My thoughts exactly. And for what it’s worth, the tide is turning. And when the dust settles, I don’t think any of this ridiculous infighting is even going to be remembered. But Lucas and the Wars will.

    • A New Hope says:

      I hope the tide is turning, but you seem more confident. In what ways do you think its getting better? Obviously, people like you and me are stepping forward to say, “Enough!” but we have a very small megaphone.

      • Since you noted Christopher Nolan, I’m tempted to just offer a line from The Dark Knight Rises. “Victory has defeated you.”

        But …. while the haters have become a boring, predictable, repetitive status quo …. read through these comments. Visit that tumblr page. They may have quantity. But we most assuredly have quality.

  4. buick runner says:

    I agree with every word of this article. Lucas did work hard and took risks with all 6 films, yet the hateboys always try to accuse him of being a control freak. Such nonsense and disrespect really pisses me off.

    • A New Hope says:

      Oh, he’s a control freak, but he’s no more or less a control freak than any other Hollywood filmmaker. Control is the name of the game, and for Lucas he learned the lesson of maintaining control after American Graffiti. The hateboy control freak accusation is really just an attempt to rationalize how Lucas could make 3 films they really like (ANH, TESB and Raiders) and four films they really hate (TPM, AOTC, ROTS and Kingdom). If the same filmmaker is responsible for all those films, it can’t be that their own unrealistic expectations and mistaken assumptions are responsible for why they don’t like some of them (coincidentally, the later ones). It must be because the filmmaker had transformed into a dictatorial madman who refused to listen to anyone and kills puppies and kittens.

  5. Cryogenic says:

    Woot! An offhand comment of mine makes its way onto this estimable blog?! I’m honoured. I guess I did just slough that off, but you found the substance within. The last paragraph, in particular, by you, ANH, is beautifully said. I guess all these proclamations can sound a bit defensive, but they’re all completely true. Singular visions on all scales should be respected, but the prequels take the cake. I guess it simply isn’t recognized more — this aim and achievement of Lucas’ — because numerous fictions have been spread about Lucas being a soulless technocrat, a sell-out, a lazy hack, even misanthropic. Heck, that last one shouldn’t even be considered much of a bash. Artists are not obligated to like people, cater to egos, or make themselves the life and soul of the party; a certain dolefulness and remove is common to many of them, and arguably leads to great art. (But as it happens, Lucas has long struck me as more adjusted than the average basher propounding he isn’t; and with an underrated wit and acute sensibility that implies an underlying fascination with people, not a misunderstanding or a disdain).

    People may genuinely not like the prequels in some or many cases, but they can choose whether to air some civil disagreement or spiral into cynicism and hate. We’ve long been seeing too much of the latter, and such a noxious cloud has choked out some basic but powerful truths, like the fact that GL could have taken far easier paths than he did, and that he clearly had a serious emotional and intellectual investment in what he was doing, with much of his own fortune and the future viability of his film company on the line. Other filmmakers of popular acclaim, like the aforementioned Abrams, Nolan, and Jackson, were all, by comparison, given the keys to the car, and advised not to crash it. But Lucas built the damn car, the race track, and everything around it. That certainly deserves my respect.

    And again, that sounds defensive, like I don’t even like the prequels or something. But maybe that’s just years of insults and insinuations wearing me down; making me kowtow to pre-empted negativity. (Not that I will encounter much here — HOORAY! PEACE! SANITY! JOY!). Of course, I love GL’s prequel art; more and more as time passes. If I were to do what some of the rank-and-file OT purists have done (it’s normally someone who loves the OT being particularly vituperative against the PT — love and hate being mutual fellows (“The doors of heaven and hell are adjacent and identical”)), then I could just accuse them of being afraid of putting the pitchforks down, in case those ruddy good prequels suddenly take a ruddy good hold of them, enchanting and bewitching them, and rendering their socially-motivated crusade obsolete. But no, I won’t do that. And people are entitled to their opinions. Which is the one thing everyone really needs to try harder at remembering when it comes to art: what it’s possible to do in and with art; what it’s possible to like; and to love, cherish, and revere.

    • Cryogenic says:

      A few “I guesses” starting sentences off in that first paragraph. See? I’m not that eloquent. I hope you can forgive that clumsy repetition. It’s nice to be writing somewhere where it’s appreciated. Have you ever thought of establishing a message board to go with this blog? This existing format works great, but a board could make a sweet addition. Just an idea. In either case, it’s great to see other fans congregating here in the talkbacks. “Excellent!”

      • A New Hope says:

        I’ve thought about a message board, but I go back and forth on it. I post 99% of the comments I receive (except for a handful of the batshit crazy stuff). We’ll see how the site evolves in the years to come.

        • Cryogenic says:

          You always need a filter for “batshit crazy stuff”. On occasion, it might even be fun to let it slip through! But yeah, I guess the site is fine the way it is. Don’t just stop at evolve, though! Evolve, transform, transcend! :D

    • “But as it happens, Lucas has long struck me as more adjusted than the average basher propounding he isn’t; and with an underrated wit and acute sensibility that implies an underlying fascination with people, not a misunderstanding or a disdain”

      Exactly. Totally agree. But if you notice, people rarely respond to something Lucas himself actually said. The conversation almost always revolves around something someone else said ABOUT him.

  6. TPF1138 says:

    I agree with everything you say.

    Point of order though: Yes Joss Whedon’s biggest success is this Summer’s Avengers movie, but he is undoubtedly a creative genius in his own right.

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, Fray, Sugar Shock, Doctor Horrible, Cabin in the Woods…

    Sorry, I just couldn’t let the man be reduced to the descriptor; “writer and filmmaker for hire.”

    Anyway, please return to your well reasoned, and quite heartening defense and celebration of Mr, George Walton Lucas.

    Thank you.

    • A New Hope says:

      No complaints about Whedon here. He has absolutely been original and brilliant. On The Avengers, however, he was a writer and filmmaker for hire. That’s not a disparagement, it’s just a fact.

    • Kitster's Shoe says:

      J.J. Abrams, too. Lost, Alias, Fringe, Super 8, Cloverfield, etc. He’s done plenty of great stuff away from his Star Trek or Mission: Impossible adaptations. :/

      • A New Hope says:

        I think JJ Abrams is great. Of his films, Super 8 stands out as his ‘American Graffiti’.

        • Cryogenic says:

          Whoa! I really need to see “Super 8″ (I say this for 99% of films in existence — I’m stubborn and slow). I actually get a huge Spielbergian vibe from it, like Abrams (or is it that producer credit of Spielberg’s that’s truly to blame?) mixing together the quotidian-”Americana”-bisected-by-the-supernatural vibe of former Spielberg-directed and Spielberg-produced movies: “Jaws”, “Close Encounters”, “E.T.”, “Poltergeist”, and, to a lesser extent, the “Indiana Jones” movies (I’m thinking in terms of the suburban aspects of the former). And like those other movies, it looks beautifully shot. And I say this as someone who generally found Abrams’ take on “Star Trek” unpalatable; in fact, close to inhumane!

      • PrinceOfNaboo says:

        This is also interessting.
        JJ Abrams is not known for his long involvement in projects, because he immediately wants to do “new things”.
        Only with Alias, he was heavily involved for the most part of the show. He left Lost (according to his own words) basically after Episode 6 of Season 1. He left Fringe during its second Season. Cloverfield was directed by Matt Reeves.

        Yet, his fans and the media as well, give him full credit for ALL these project while, at the same time, they try to deprive George Lucas of any involvement with ESB for example.

        Hypocrisy at its “best”.

    • Bob Clark says:

      Personally I don’t like “Buffy” at all– but then I never go looking to talk about it, so whatever. “Firefly” I think is interesting, and I think it should’ve been given much more of a chance from Fox, but I always cringe a little at the thought of it being all that original. It’s doing the same basic thing that Lucas was up to in weaving an homage/pastiche to the space opera genre, only with a more current set of allusions– instead of “Flash Gordon” and Kurosawa, it’s “Star Wars”, “Trek” and anime (River showing up naked in the suitcase practically screamed “Outlaw Star”). A fun show, but nothing revolutionary, and after a while all the old-timey dialect just grated on me.

      “Dollhouse” was a great piece of Dickian mindf****. Best thing he’s been involved in yet, and it’s a genuine shame that show didn’t get to develop more. And “Cabin in the Woods” is pretty good, too, though there I think it helps that Whedon only co-wrote the movie along with director Drew Goddard, who’s more comfortable with the visual side of filmmaking. But it is telling that his greatest success and those of genre filmmakers from the better part of the last fifteen years or so have been from hand-me-down franchises.

      • Cryogenic says:

        Heya, Bob! I did enjoy “Firefly”, but like you, I never got into “Buffy”. I, er, hmm, do I need to re-word that? Firefly was fairly original for a television enterprise — and even then, not — but it pales next to Star Wars, which is a much more aggressive and lustrous “pastiche”. Without even talking about the sequels/prequels, the original effortlessly combines “Flash Gordon” and “Buck Rogers” with “Metropolis”, “The Dam Busters”, “The Bridge On The River Kwai”, “Lawrence Of Arabia”, “The Hidden Fortress”, “The Searchers”, “Dr. Strangelove”, “2001″, and Lucas’ own “THX 1138″ and “American Graffiti”. That unobvious melding is still plenty radical. If the picture in its finished form seems anything less than amazing, it may only be because we’ve gotten used to it, and because it was all so dexterously done to begin with. Whedon is a creative genius (of the few things of his I’ve encountered, which I suppose would also run to his brushing up of the “Toy Story” screenplay, amongst others), and I should probably seek out more of his stuff, and there’s something to be said for the fact that he keeps creating more stuff, and yet… here it comes… he’s no George Lucas. But that’s no slight, really. There are only so many times you can invent the wheel (or gloriously reinvent it, at any rate).

        • A New Hope says:

          You reminded me that I need to compile a list of “Movies Every Star Wars fans must see” in order to better understand George Lucas. I think I’ll put that on the main page.

        • Bob Clark says:

          Also add to that, Godard’s “Alphaville”, Leone’s “Once Upon a Time in the West”, and Fleischer’s “Fantastic Voyage”.

      • Adam D. Bram says:

        I loved Buffy the movie and hated Buffy the Show because it didn’t seem anything like Buffy the movie. Apparently, Joss hated what happened to Buffy the movie, and it’s his perogative to do so being the creator. Though I sense in this the same thing I sense in Lucas-bashing: people nowadays are afraid to just let themselves be silly.

  7. Rosie says:

    ["The same is true of Joss Whedon or JJ Abrams. Without diminishing their talents in the least, it’s true to say that in terms of their most successful work they are writers and filmmakers for hire."]

    Although I agree with you in the case of Peter Jackson’s work with Tolkien’s novels, I don’t think I could agree with in regard to Joss Whedon and J.J. Abrams. In Abrams’ case, he was the creator of both “ALIAS” and “LOST”. Unfortunately, he put both series behind early on and left it to others to continue his creations on television.

    As for Joss Whedon, he was the creator for the “BUFFY” saga and stuck with it and “ANGEL” to the very end. In fact, he still serves as the force behind the comic book series for both shows.

    • A New Hope says:

      I have great respect for Whedon and Abrams. And I see your point. I’m biased, but I don’t think Buffy, Angel, Alias and Lost are anywhere near the creative or cultural significance of ‘Star Wars.’