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Obert Opines: Star Wars, The Little Mermaid, and nostalgia’s place in pop-culture

Like so many young children, my siblings and I were plopped in front of the TV screen and forced to watch every "Star Wars" movie ever made. Unlike most children, our eyes were pried open for every single second like in "A Clockwork Orange."  (KIDDING)

My parents REALLY love "Star Wars." Although it would’ve been nice to blink a few times in our 12+ hour binge, I remember loving every movie due to the epic lightsaber fights, cool characters, and the large and beautiful world.

I remember enjoying the sequel trilogy when I became older.  It amazed me how a decent trilogy received more backlash than any group of movies I’d ever seen. Most of the harshest reviews came from a group of hardcore prequel "Star Wars" fans. It felt funny to me that certain people claimed the prequels were among the best in cinema history, but the sequel trilogy ruined their childhood. I went back to watch the prequel trilogy myself just last year wondering if I was misremembering something. 

I put my headgear back on to pry my eyes open again so I wouldn’t miss a second, and after finishing the three prequel movies I came to a conclusion: the prequel trilogy is terrible. Yes, the lightsaber fights and the world-building is cool, but in general, the trilogy is poisoned by awful dialogue and convoluted plots.

I was stunned by the disconnect between myself and other "Star Wars" fans until I realized that hardcore prequel fans aren’t logical about the trilogy because of their nostalgia. They don’t remember "The Phantom Menace’s" weird plot about trade federations or Anakin’s relationship with sand, they remember watching Obi-Wan and Darth Maul fight with lightsabers and watching "The Phantom Menace" in theaters with a big bucket of popcorn sitting with their families.

Nostalgia makes us associate our great memories and love of childhood life with the movies that we watched when we were kids. Nostalgia also makes us blind to certain movies’ glaring weaknesses.

New information affects our relationship with our beloved characters and world, and for so many "Star Wars" fans, their relationship with "Star Wars" was perfect before the Sequel trilogy, meaning any new information could only harm their perception of the Saga.

Die-hard fans can’t view what they love through an objective lens because their passions are rooted in some sort of personal connection.

Art is subjective. Fans use personal connections to the movies they relate to all the time, but there's a fine line between love and obsession. 

I’ve always loved "Star Wars," but my true passion was "Harry Potter." I grew up watching the "Harry Potter" movies and reading the books with my best friends from the age of 7. My relationship with "Harry Potter" is innately personal, and the nature of my relationship with the series affects how I perceive new content. I have re-read the books and watched the movies over and over again, but to this day, I haven’t brought myself to read "Harry Potter and The Cursed Child." My relationship with "Harry Potter" is pure; I am so satisfied with the happy ending achieved in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," it is difficult for me to process new information that shows my favorite characters going through hardship.

It was difficult for me to appreciate "Fantastic Beasts" when it came out, and admittedly the spinoff series is far from perfect, but when I view the "Harry Potter" universe objectively, the Fantastic Beasts series is more productive in providing original content, than a "Harry Potter" TV show remake could ever be.

Remakes like "The Little Mermaid" or “The Lion King,” for example, are the safest movies that giant corporations like Disney can make. Disney basically re-released two of their most proven products with a slight twist to justify telling the same story again. In the case of "The Little Mermaid" the live-action format is an excuse for fans to watch their favorite movie again. Rather than create an original story Disney used its money and time to remake an old movie with a slight twist.


Bobby Gorbett is a junior studying journalism. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Bobby know by tweeting him @GorbettBobby.

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