All I want for Christmas is another good Star Wars movie.
Okay, I'll get honest with you, Santa: I'm 31 and no, I don't believe in you anymore. But I'll also throw it out there that I've been a Star Wars fan since before grunge music went Top 40 and my desperation to feel childlike wonder and joy at a new "Star Wars" film means I'm willing to play along with a jolly Christmas deity just in case. The last time I wrote a letter in this space it was to Channing Tatum pleading with him to not leave Gambit -- and it worked. Coincidence? Don't answer that.
So yeah, Kris Kringle, old chum old pal, I want a good Star Wars movie for Christmas. I've been good all year, if that matters, although I think the metric for "good" is skewed for independent adults who don't have their parents as authority figures. I had zero interactions with any badge-carrying authorities in 2015 and I currently owe the IRS zero dollars so, S.C., I think that means I've been pretty good. But have I been good enough to deserve a "Force Awakens" experience that fills me with the special kind of joy I first felt upon seeing "Star Wars" 25 years ago? I certainly think so!
And let that sink in, Saint Nick! I first saw the Millennium Falcon dodge TIE fighters 25 years ago, courtesy of a full screen VHS tape rented from the Video Depot! This gift has been a long time coming, Jingle Man. This is my 26th Christmas as a Star Wars fan and I have not once -- not once -- asked for a good Star Wars movie. I've asked for plenty of other smaller Star Wars artifacts, sure, and I promise I will get more enjoyment out of a joy-tears-inducing "Force Awakens" than I ever got out of those Galoob playsets. Also I'm now realizing that I never once recognized "Galoob" for the truly bonkers word it is back in the day. But real talk: I've got photographic evidence of the joy Star Wars books and toys have brought me at Christmas. Imagine what a movie would do, Santa Dude!
Surprisingly, Star Wars and the holidays go hand in hand. Yeah, there's the Life Day-centric and rightly maligned 1978 "Holiday Special," but there's also a Star Wars Christmas album, which pulled double duty by introducing the world to Jon Bon Jovi (no, seriously) and informing us that Chewbacca doesn't need a comb for Christmas. But beyond that, my apartment is filled with holiday Star Wars merchandise -- specifically my Christmas tree. I'm filled with both Star Wars and Christmas spirit! This is in your wheelhouse, Jolly Bro!
The thing is, Krissy Krings, no matter how much my rational adult-brain is fighting the kooky logic of this letter, part of me still thinks that "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" only exists because of pure magic. Maybe... Christmas Magic? I know writer/director J.J. Abrams is Jewish, so Christmas might not specifically be his thing. But Santa, you have sorta been co-opted as a quasi-secular symbol of the holiday season! If you felt like sprinkling some of your magic snow-dust (which is something I made up that seems right at home in a Rankin-Bass production) on the big brains at Lucasfilm or Disney, you could do it.
Because let's parse this out: there's a new Star Wars movie opening this Friday (AKA Thursday because a while ago movie studios said, "Oh yeah, we're cool with more opening weekend money") that takes place after 1983's "Return of the Jedi" and it stars the leads of the original trilogy. Harrison Ford! Carrie Fisher! Mark Hamill! Even Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker! Harrison Ford has called Han Solo one-dimensional in the past (eighth grade me held onto that anger for a long time!), and it seemed like Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill had moved on and forged long-lasting careers on their own terms. Getting just one of them back wouldn't have felt right, and getting two back would have made the absentee Rebel even more glaring. But signing Ford and Fisher and Hamill up for a fourth adventure? I get that money and conversations may have played a role in that, sure, but who's to say your sleigh didn't do a fly-by during contract negotiations? And getting a new movie with Harrison Ford as Han Solo has been my dream since the days when I preferred Nike windbreaker suits to dapper suits and ties. And it's happening -- ! How is this happening? Sure, part of it is a massive entertainment corporation realizing that the most successful film franchise of all time was a largely untapped resource, but I'm also willing to give credit to you, oh bearded bearer of gifts, if it means that you are real and can give me a good Star Wars movie.
I did nothing like this for the Christmases of the prequel era. I was too cool to believe in you during my high school and college years, Nicky Claus, so prequel after prequel went by without me once asking you to put a wise-cracking everyman into those movies, or a practical set... or a less head-scratchy plot... or less talk of trade routes. If I had written you then, Papa Noel, would you have done something about Obi-Wan Kenobi's "Attack of the Clones" mullet? I didn't ask, so we'll never know.
I realize this might be too much to ask too late in the game, Mr. Claus, sir. The movie's already been made and it's already been shown to people. I wouldn't know what the reaction to the movie is because I'm on complete and total spoiler lockdown, so asking you to either go back in time and tinker with J.J.'s process or rework the movie and a few hundred people's memories of it may be impossible. I don't now how Christmas Magic works since I just forced myself to believe in it 906 words ago in a last ditch attempt at "Force Awakens" quality assurance. But if you're real, and me continuing to question your existence in this letter isn't offensive, and your magic is powerful enough, please give me a good Star Wars movie for Christmas.
If for some reason you're reading this through your antique eyeglasses and scoffing because all of this is well within your Santa power, then I have an in-depth list of things I wouldn't mind seeing in my version of a good Star Wars film that you can add to my list:
- I want more than 63 seconds of dialogue spoken by women that aren't Leia or Rey.
- I want Han to shoot first at something.
- I want the Luke Skywalker mystery to be worth him missing out on the eventful press tour.
- I want Poe and Finn to be friends, but not at first. They gotta earn it just like Han and Luke did!
- I want BB-8 to not be a doofus, because I dropped $150 on a BB-8 toy, because of course I did.
- I really want Gwendoline Christie's Captain Phasma to be the first truly intimidating stormtrooper in the history of ever.
- I want there to be a scene stealing character that we haven't met yet that I can appreciate in the same way I do Wedge Antilles.
- I want the Millennium Falcon to not get blown up, because I'm just too weak for that -- I'm just too weak.
- If there is somehow even a passing mention of a character being queer, I will leave milk and cookies out for you every year for the rest of my life -- and I mean the expensive, artisanal milk and cookies that adults are suckered into buying.
So that's it, Santa Claus! All of that would be good, but know that there are plenty of other things that'll make this a good Star Wars movie for me. Just do your best! And if there's nothing you can do, then, well, I at least have the Marvel Comics. Seriously, the Marvel comics have been the gift that keeps on giving all year long. Jason Aaron's "Star Wars" is my favorite comic of 2015, for sure, thanks to work-of-their-careers output from John Cassaday and Stuart Immonen as well as developments like the non-Jedi cast wielding lightsabers, Boba Fett finally being a badass, the introduction of the cocky Sana Solo and Chewie ripping off droid arms (as promised).
And even if the movie doesn't live up to my Mon Calamari cruiser-sized expectations, I'm at the very least thankful to have all this Star Warsiness in my holiday season to go along with the Santa Yoda bobble-head I proudly own. So Santa, if "The Force Awakens" makes my heart grow three sizes, then you'll have made a believer out of me. And if this is too much to ask, then just send money. How about tens and twenties?
Brett White is a writer and comedian living in New York City. He made videos for the Upright Citizens Brigade as a member of UCB1 and writes for the podcast Left Handed Radio. His opinions can be consumed in bite-sized morsels on Twitter (@brettwhite).