If 'Star Wars' Debuted Today, Would it be 'No Fun at All'?
Harrison Ford suggests that "Star Wars" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark" wouldn't have been the same if they'd had the Internet and fandom to contend with.
These days, any self-respecting nerd movie property pencils in an appearance at San Diego Comic-Con in its promotional calendar -- maybe even more than one, depending on just how eager producers may be to court the genre audience. But how would the classics have fared in that kind of environment? Not too well, according to someone who'd know: Harrison Ford.
Talking to the New York Times to promote his new movie Paranoia, Ford suggested that if Star Wars or Raiders of the Lost Ark had debuted in the kind of genre-aware, front-loaded pop culture of today, "everyone would be ahead of it, and everyone would know what it was, and it would be no fun at all."
He went on to describe Comic-Con as "another form of engagement" that is "based on the partnerships between the fans and the service providers, the entities -- I won't necessarily call them filmmakers -- that supply the film product that supports their particular interest, whether it's vampires or science-fiction fantasies or Transformers or whatever is going on."
Don't worry, filmmakers; Ford didn't just reserve his disdain for you. The audience got some, as well, when he complained about today's moviegoers not going to enough movies. "People still went to the movies in those days," he said about the era of Star Wars. "People went to movie theaters. It was a community experience, and that was part of the fun. Now people see a movie on their iPad, alone, with interruptions for snacks."
It's hard to imagine just how Star Wars or the original Indiana Jones movies would have fared in today's environment, it's true -- not necessarily because of a "commodification" of the movie experience (Star Wars pretty much pioneered that, let's face it), but the mind boggles considering how the Internet would have dealt with plot twists like the Vader reveal at the end of The Empire Strikes Back. Think of how many spoilers, real or otherwise, would have flooded the fictional Tumblr of the time afterward!