Heartbroken businesspeople everywhere will attest to the cruelty of maintaining a successful franchise.
Hawking fruit juice out of a shopping centre kiosk or travelling the countryside lubricating machinery are obviously different challenges to piloting a series of films into the pop culture pantheon yet the enervating grind of delivering the familiar is surely a universal curse.
Which brings us to Obi-Wan Kenobi streaming on Disney+ from Friday.
A curse? Too harsh?
Not if your home is occupied by a Star Wars-obsessed 10-year-old boy with unfettered access to an iPad.
As he anticipates this new show, our kid's (and what is parenthood if not a form of egotistical, biological franchising?) latest act of domestic blackmail has been to try and guilt his technically inept father into whipping up a functioning lightsaber out in the shed.
How about a nice bit of dowel? We can even paint it green?
OK then. Don't hate me ...
The latest shopfront to be opened on the Skywalker strip mall also represents the latest move by the Lucasfilm production house to claim a vacant piece of real estate on an increasingly occupied timeline.
This series lands us in the period directly after George Lucas's final "prequel" film, 2005's Revenge of the Sith, which takes place some 20 years before 1978's Star Wars: A New Hope began.
So, it's back to Tatooine, the desert planet to which the infant Luke Skywalker was secreted so he would not be found by Darth Vader, a dad whose emotional detachment is more than compensated for by engineering skills capable of delivering a non-wooden weapon to his child.
Given the streaming success of live-action Star Wars spin-off The Mandalorian (and to a lesser extent Boba Fett), it's a no-brainer Disney continues to mine that galaxy far, far away for guaranteed streaming spice.
What is remarkable about the existence of Obi-Wan Kenobi is how it all but seals Lucas's redemption as respected foundation franchiser of the Skywalker chain.
Because, boy-oh-boy, those snazzy new store owners really did besmirch the brand.
Just like Australia's own franchising king, the ubiquitous yet mysterious "Jim", Lucas is bearded, omniscient and may or may not actually exist.
So, to that end, Obi-Wan Kenobi comes with two telling casting decisions, virtual tributes to wise old George.
Age-defying Scottish actor Ewan McGregor returns as the series' eponymous Jedi master, the role he played in Lucas' maligned millennium prequels. Other than the prematurely dispatched Darth Maul and Yoda's bonkers lightsaber duel with Count Dooku (who was that guy, anyway?), McGregor was pretty much the best thing going for those films.
His slavish emulation of Alec Guinness's performance in A New Hope injected true class into the shiny new saga, a nuance which was lost amid the pitch-forked condemnation of Jar Jar Binks and Lucas's unhealthy CGI fetish.
Which brings us to the casting of Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker in Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Seriously, had this idea been canvassed a mere decade ago, the casting director would have been run through with a sharp piece of dowel.
Christensen's weird, whiny performance as the Force-wielding messiah was considered by legions of fans to be the primary problem with Lucas's prequels.
OK, one of the primary problems.
Natalie Portman was pretty crap, too.
Among those disappointed fanboys was New Jersey writer/director Kevin Smith, a canny franchiser in his own right.
As underwhelming as Smith's 2006 Clerks II (a third Clerks is on the way, of course) was, his funny fast-food-chain geek-off between devotees of Star Wars and Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings films captured the widespread derision shared for Christensen's "Mannequin Skywalker".
Now, Christensen is back. All, it would seem, is forgiven.
Again, the recasting of these prequel performers (Aussie Joel Edgerton also gets a call-back as Uncle Owen) feels like a none-too-subtle gesture to cancel out the most recent blockbuster sequels, which made us all feel a little bit queasy and little bit abused.
Yes, it's a shame about Rey.
We're returning to a tried-and-true formula, we're quietly replacing new Coke with Coke classic, we're playing the hits, we're opening a new outlet.
Not all franchises survive, the ones that do, deviate from the familiar at their peril, the same way we consumers crave the comfortable over the challenging.
It's a curse of our own making.
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