Star Wars "Extended Universe" novel (in which Luke Skywalker is 79, Chewie is dead, and every villain from the original trilogy has been cloned...twice), their devotion remains nothing less than rabid. These days, though, even the most devout fans feel the stinging ice pick of doubt needling their respective cerebral cortexes. After 1999's kick-off of the prequel trilogy, The Phantom Menace, they cringed at the thought of Jar Jar Binks' mad-cap encounters with power couplings, or a young Darth Vader's innocent exclamation of "Yippee!"" />
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Star Wars fanatics - and I why I want to run them through with my lightsaber.

Posted 12 April 2002, 10.52 pm by James

Fans of George Lucas' Star Wars trilogy have always been fanatics. Whether they're bashing their "dorky" counterparts, the Trekkies, or buying the latest Star Wars "Extended Universe" novel (in which Luke Skywalker is 79, Chewie is dead, and every villain from the original trilogy has been cloned...twice), their devotion remains nothing less than rabid. These days, though, even the most devout fans feel the stinging ice pick of doubt needling their respective cerebral cortexes. After 1999's kick-off of the prequel trilogy, The Phantom Menace, they cringed at the thought of Jar Jar Binks' mad-cap encounters with power couplings, or a young Darth Vader's innocent exclamation of "Yippee!"

Almost twenty years of waiting have gone by, and Star Wars devotees are now faced with the possibility of their beloved space-opera being utterly ruined by its own prequels!

...

Wait. Time out. Please, allow me to interrupt myself.

I am a Star Wars fan myself. I was raised by my mother to adore the classic trilogy, and admittedly, can pretty much recite every line of dialogue from any scene in the seven-hour running time of the cassettes. In other words, I'm a complete loser - it's amazing I've managed to touch a breast or two, being a man who collected Star Wars: CCG cards in middle school and can name the starship and weapon of choice of each of the bounty hunters flashed on the screen for three seconds in the middle of The Empire Strikes Back. Even the sad-looking assassin droid, 4-Lom. Despite my love for these films, however, I don't get my vas deferens twisted up over every quirk and stupid detail of the prequels.

Why, you ask? I guess I just remember some things about the Star Wars saga that others have chosen to forget. Or maybe I have issues with suspending disbelief. Either way, I don't see any of the first three episodes as a perfect template for a prequel to adhere to.. They all had a good amount of cheesiness, a boring spot, or clusters of bad dialogue mixed in with the classic goodness.

Take A New Hope, for example - the beginning of this film can be somewhat tedious, with only a brief look at Darth Vader keeping us interested enough to sit through C3PO's inane belly-aching. If it weren't for the captivating presence of Sir Alec Guiness or Peter Cushing, I'd bet you my mint-edition Chewbacca card that the series never would have taken off. Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, and Harrison Ford didn't really reach a stride until the second film, and without the seasoned veterans around to carry them, they would've fallen flat on their faces.

The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi weren't masterpieces either, I'll have you know. The matte lines in the Battle of Hoth (or Luke's fight with the Rancor, for that matter) make you want to gouge your own eyes out. And people complain today about "fake-looking" computer backgrounds, which I find breathtaking! They also love to complain about poor, "fake-looking" computer-animated Yoda, who's trying his best, dammit! I can't believe they forgot about the stiff, awkward, puppet-y Yoda that very nearly made the Dagobah death scene from Return of the Jedi more of a laugh riot than a tearjerker.

How about repetition? If you watch the series from start to finish, you should count about forty-or-so instances of the hyperdrive breaking down on the Millenium Falcon, or repairs being made by Han Solo and an always-irate Chewie. On the same token, why not listen closely to the dialogue during the climactic duel of Return of the Jedi - a father and son come to blows in the most emotionally charged battle the galaxy has ever known, and all we hear is:

"Search your feelings, father. I feel the conflict within you."
"Your feelings have betrayed you!"
"You shall meet your destiny."
"This is your destiny."
"It is your destiny."
"Feel the hatred swelling in you."
"Use your hatred."
"You will call me Master."
"Soon he will be your Master."
"I will not be turned."
"I shall not turn."
etc. etc.

Selective memories are sad, people. The original Star Wars films weren't perfect, and the prequels won't be either. Face up to it and move on, or the whole damn thing will be ruined for you. It's only a bit of fun, after all.

Jake
on 13 April 2002, 12.59 pm
In our freshman Pre-AP English class we watched Star Wars and outlined the reasons why it was a great example of an archetypal journey. Basically, the balance of the universe was threatened, Luke was the archetypal "hero" who had a "boon"(the Force) bestowed upon him in order to save the universe, he gathered a group of heroes to aid him, kicked the archetypal "villain" Darth Vader's ass, and I ended up restoring my seething hatred for that movie. However, I applaud you for touching a mammary or two in spite of the fact that you are a massive Star Wars fan. Isn't there supposed to be a new prequel coming out May 16?
Oh yeah. There's nothing funnier than watching the Ewoks after you've smoked copious amounts of pot.


James
on 13 April 2002, 4.50 pm
Yep, the delicious looking Attack of the Clones is out on May 16th. And I have to get my advance midnight screening tickets for the digital theater, too. Damn, that will be tough. :P

Anyway, I think for analyzation in a class, that interpretation works, but it's sorely lacking when you consider all six episodes. The real story of Star Wars is the fall and redemption of the TRAGIC HERO (ooh, literary) Anakin Skywalker. And behind that, a concept of fate.. It's interesting to watch the movies considering that the Force is controlling the actions of all the characters you're seeing. As a child, especially, Anakin is used like a puppet by the Force - something that adds depth to scenes we might otherwise consider obnoxious, like his "lucky" destruction of the droid-control ship orbiting Naboo. But now no one knows what I'm talking about anymore!

I want to add a part to this piece by the way, within the hour. I meant to add it initially, but I accidentally made myself late for work posting this last night and haven't been home since. Heh.


James
on 13 April 2002, 4.55 pm
Another thing, to the credit of Lucas - he added the bit in Episode One about "midichlorians", which were microscopic lifeforms inside your cells that imbued you with the power of the Force. Many thought this killed the magic of the original idea of the Force, but really it's just creating a parallel to our own society, and how scientists are currently linking mitochondria to theories on our origins...which pisses the religious right off.

The whole point isn't REALLY to explain the Force, which pissed people off. It's to show that in the height of civilized "Old Republic" society, even the Jedi had used science to explain the universe's mysteries, like the Force. But after the destruction of the Republic and the purge of the Jedi, the Force becomes a thing of legend and reverts back to its mythical, "magical" status. Just another worthless but potentially enlightening tidbit!


berly
on 13 April 2002, 7.06 pm
Ok. James? As usual, you rock.

I saw Star Wars when it was first released on the world in ... er....I think 1976? I can't remember the exact year. Whatever.

Back then, there was no such thing as catching a film on video if you missed it in the theater. I begged my parents to take me to see that film no less than 5 times. They did, too. Which, I can't believe they put up with. I can remember kids bragging that they had been able to catch it 20, 30, 40 times.

The funny thing about this whole Star Wars fascination for me was this. I was, lessee...7 years old in 1976. In 3 of those 5 times that I saw the first film, I busted out into tears at the opening scene when Darth Vader enters the, what - Imperial big ship to get Princess Leia. I was scared to death of him. Yet, I wanted to go back over and over.

The film was all timing. When it was released, the world was obviously ready for what it had to offer. As you pointed out, the acting pretty much blows. I know that to this bawling 7 year old, the original movie took me somewhere I seemed to want to go back to over and over again.

The second and third films disappointed me in areas, and I too have chosen to forget those disappointments. When I saw the last one - the one with Jar Jar, I was not happy or unhappy that I'd seen it. It was just a "eh" feeling.

I think people want the magic of whatever they experienced with whichever part of the series to be repeated for them. They don't realize that it has been 20 years and people/film/effects/times change. The chances of those good feelings being repeated again are so small.

I mean, heck. There are probably people out there who adore the first installment of the prequel, and hate the original series. Who knows.


James
on 13 April 2002, 8.24 pm
I'm able to enjoy the Star Wars films in ways I don't enjoy others. If I was to sit there and analyze the special effects constantly, or critique the acting, it wouldn't be a great experience. But I just enjoy it at face value and don't question it.

I loved Episode One until I went on the internet and read everyone else's complaints about it..


link-
on 4 August 2004, 7.18 am


link-
on 4 August 2004, 7.20 am


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I done it in pencil on cotton bond 8 1/2" by 11" in November of 90. I call it "Self Portrait". That's me in the gas mask.


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Hmph

80s candy bars were pretty good

only because i traded it for a candy bar in the 80's.

lol we all know you don't have a soul ghoti

my soul for some carbs...

But of course!

Yo ! Does this work ?

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