If the stars align and the Dark Gods allow it, on Wednesday evening, I believe I shall be entering a cinema complex where I am not known, in a town I haven’t visited in several years, and I shall be watching Rise of Skywalker under the cover of darkness, and a future post perhaps this very week (if I recover from what I’m sure will be a nerve-shredding experience) I shall be posting: ‘(Actually) a Rise of Skywalker review’.
On the other hand, it may well have to wait until the weekend. I mean, if I love the film, I may well be having to eat some very humble pie. It’d be a bit like me watching the latest episode of Dr Who and deciding I was wrong all along and its hard-edged social commentary and excitingly riveting script (not to mention its exemplary acting and fiendishly ingenious use of Sonic Screwdrivers) have swayed me to its righteous cause. But you know, open minds and all that.
Mind, I appreciate I’m a bit behind the curve at this point. The film has been out nearly three weeks now. In this crazy busy world of social media and internet hysterics the film is quite possibly such Old News at this point, that its hardly worth me writing about. Its gone, its done, and everyone’s looking for the Next Thing already (its actually coming out in a few days, and its the World War One drama 1917).
But it does make one think. There are people out there who literally only watched Rise of Skywalker so that they could rush home and post a video about it. There are people who only watch television shows (or, God help me, movie trailers) so that they can stream their Reaction Videos to it. What kind of crazy bloody world is it that people watch people watching movie trailers?
I like to think I watch films and TV shows because its something I like to do, because I enjoy the art form and watching something creative gives me pleasure (as well as suspiciously high blood pressure sometimes -hello there Jacobs Ladder remake- but hey, its a risk I’m prepared to take for the betterment of those lucky sods who haven’t seen it). I suspect many of those posting all those Youtube videos are making money out of it. Maybe a lot of money, good luck to them. There’s no money in these blogs, that’s for sure.
So anyway, its just that it got me thinking- go back to 1982 and no internet, and magazines like Starburst and Fantastic Films and Starlog. Imagine if something like Rise of Skywalker was released in those times, when reviews were written for magazines and usually printed around the time of, or just after, a films release, by professional journalists who put their name to the review and had it in print for posterity. Gentler, slower times without a ravenous fan-base screaming from the internet mountain tops. Films tended to stick around in the public consciousness longer, or maybe I’m just imagining that, as time seemed to pass by much slower when I was a young teenage geek waiting for The Empire Strikes Back to come out. And waiting to read John Brosnan’s review.
I’ve just got a mental image of me going to work on Thursday and revealing that I’ve seen Rise of Skywalker and one of my colleagues making a grunting noise and saying “what? That old thing?” and me suddenly realising I’m still way behind the curve of the pop-culture zeitgeist. Not so much a case of me and a few others discussing the film over the water-cooler or the copier machine, but rather me trying to find someone who still remembers it.