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As a follow-up to my post a few weeks ago, I thought I’d give an example of what I mean about objectionable content in the media.  I have to admit that I find it hard to go to the movies these days without being bombarded by stuff I just don’t want to see and hear, and I don’t think I’m alone.

One series of movies in recent years in which I was disappointment because of the content was Transformers. For a series based on children’s toys, it was sure full of sexually charged content. Then if you think of many movies which are considered classics, you will see that they have very little swearing, sexual content or graphic violence.  My favorite example is Star Wars, in which all of these things are present very little. (Unless you consider ‘scruffy-looking nerf herder’ offensive)

It got me thinking: what if Star Wars had been made today and Michael Bay, the director of Transformers had been at the helm? I’m certain there would be some changes.  Here are some I came up with:

All the Imperials, especially Darth Vader, would develop a potty mouth, each trying to top each other.

·         The ewoks would talk in over-the-top stereotypical racial dialects. (which the director would deny)

·         The phrase “Who’s your daddy?” would become Darth Vader’s new catch phrase.

·         Princess Leia would wear her Jabba’s palace outfit all the time, even on Hoth.

·         The fading death of a Jedi would be replaced by a bloody “mortal combat” style death.

·         Han Solo would become the king of innuendo. Lando would become a close second.

And the movie would be ruined.  Star Wars doesn’t shy away from tough issues.  People are betrayed, fight, and die horrible deaths, but it is also handled tactfully. The story, the characters, and the dialogue stand on their own without having to use gimmicks to get the audience’s attention. I guess seeing R2-D2 turning into transformers would be pretty cool though. 

What are your thoughts? How else might Star Wars be different?  What other great movie could have been ruined this way?

Writing Update: Despite many hours spent in rehearsal and performance for the Berlioz Requiem, I was still able to get some significant writing done.

I’m up to 20,236 words in Simon Says, and just over 12,000 words in the second Last Archangel Book. I decided to embark on a new non-fiction title this week that has to deal with running a small church choir, especially those in LDS congregations. I’ve done this several times myself and I really wish someone would have given me a book to let me know what was going on.

I’m also preparing to submit a parable to the Parables for Today contest which ends October 1st.  You can win prize money and publication in a printed anthology.  View the website here:

 My parable has to do with a TV star who uses dishonest methods to try to get his TV series renewed for another season, but then realizes that he has his priorities all out whack. Here’s hoping! 

Transformers picture by Nicolas Genin

3 Responses so far.

  1. Here here. It seems a no-brainer to me that if you make movies more family-friendly you would get more sales. Evidently, Hollywood doesn't see it that way. In normal marketing, you want to make your product as universal as possible, not see how many people you can offend with it. But, hey, I guess that's why we write the way we write.

  2. Well said Berin. I'm not sure why Hollywood sees it this way. Alienating people is suicide and its not something you can do in a down economy especially. Has anyone actually said they didn't like a movie because there were too few swearwords in it?

  3. I have lost track of the "movies that would be good but..." If there's a "but," then it's not good. (Compare to that glass of water with just a little poison in it. It's still good, right? There's only a little garbage in it!) I'm beginning to wonder if there's some new, secret law that says the f-bomb MUST be used at least once, even if it doesn't fit. The rating standards are sliding so badly that often *commercials* should be rated R. The offensive language, gratuitous violence, constant (and obvious) sexual innuendo, and the use of people as objects in media teaches watchers that such behavior is acceptable, even desirable.

    And the outcry that filtering the trash out of otherwise good movies infringes on the artist's artistic rights is ridiculous. Isn't it better to have people viewing a filtered version than no version at all? The money in the bank is still the same amount. And if there are so many people who want to filter movies so that they can be watched without the trash, then the movie makers need to get a clue.

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