What a difference 24 hours makes. Just yesterday, I happily posted a lengthy article discussing Metaflix’s incredible discovery of the new “Star Wars” Wilhelm Scream, the WALL-E Scream, in honor of May the Fourth, i.e. Star Wars Day. Then the rest of the day played out.
Sure, the internet was flooded with Star Wars everything. From entertainment sites all writing about the franchise to social media sending May the Fourth trending into the stratosphere, it was all Star Wars all the time. This was certainly to be expected and the trend has only been moving further and further in that direction for quite some time.
However, the straw that broke the back of my mental camel (I don’t think that saying makes any sense, but let’s just move past it) was watching the Yankees-Astros game on Tuesday night on ESPN.
ESPN is notorious for having rotten baseball broadcasts. Their announcers are lifeless and insipid. Their graphics are crappy. And the overall dynamism of the program is third rate.
So what is ESPN to do in an attempt to liven things up on May 4th for a game that would surely attract massive interest? How about dress their broadcasters up in lame Star Wars costumes and force them to pretend to actually give a damn about the “holiday.”
Not only did they constantly go back to the May the Fourth well throughout the entire broadcast, beating an already dead horse to a bloody pulp, but none of the bits, asides, or discussions felt the least bit authentic.
And that’s when it hit me.
ESPN is owned by Disney. Disney owns Star Wars. The entire broadcast was just a marketing ploy by Disney to shove more of their content down our throats.
Which begets the question: at this point, are we really celebrating Star Wars, or are we all just being a bunch of lemmings by doing Disney’s marketing dirty work?
Star Wars is great. That’s why May the Fourth exists and is becoming increasingly prevalent every year. But Disney should not be given such free reign over this sort of free marketing. And if nothing else, last night’s ESPN baseball broadcast proved that May the Fourth has officially jumped the shark.