Saturday, October 3, 2009

Star Wars Ranting

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This is probably old hat by now, but I want to visit it, since I didn't have a web site to vent about this over the past few years. George Lucas, the magnificent bastard that he is, has given and taken away. He first gave us "A New Hope". The original Star Wars. Very much a space western that had a great villain, a cute damsel in distress, and a couple of swashbuckling heroes. My how fun that movie was to watch, especially in the early days when special effects were anything but special. Star Wars changed that and was fresh. A few years later, Lucas gave us the much anticipated sequel and the grandaddy of all the Star Wars films, "The Empire Strikes Back"! Easily, it's the best of the original trilogy. It was a dark film that exposed what we all thought the Jedi vs Sith battle was all about ; freedom vs control, dark vs light, and uncertainty vs power. Well, then Lucas "jumped the shark" as they say and brought us the greatest Muppet movie ever, in "Return of the Jedi". I like about an hour of the movie....maybe a little more. The Ewoks being able to take out the stormtroopers makes my stomach hurt to this day. They were gawd dammed camping Teddy Ruxpins! The plot line of the trilogy was getting complex but the direction of the fine actors and the dialogue they were given was bringing people to tears. ROTJ was the first time that anyone realized that Lucas' writing was way too simplistic and wooden. What was "camp" in the first two films, seemed to be just bad movie dialogue in the third. But the trilogy was complete and we all could be happy that the first great film legacy was born, with apologies to the James Bond films.

But, that wasn't enough. We kept on loving Star Wars. We kept wanting more. So Lucas gave it to us and issued the Special Edition Star Wars Trilogy. He tinkered with the special effects, which for the most part, I had no problem with. BUT, when he actually started pulling his pants down and shitting on the actions of the characters, it ruined it a bit. It's absolutely unforgivable that he changed the canteena scene to Greedo shooting first. Han Solo shot Greedo so he could escape being taken in to Jabba for the bounty on his head. But Lucas wanted a kind and gentle Solo. He made Greedo shoot (and miss) from point blank range. Blasphemy! It's like Spielberg did in "ET", when he changed the federal agents guns to walkie talkies in the Special Edition that he vomited on.All of the above brings me to what I really want to piss on and that's the prequels. These films were so anticipated and took so long to make, I can't understand how they are so mediocre. Where is the suspense? The drama? The jealousy?The slow corruption?

"The Phantom Menace" should have been a great movie. Except Lucas wanted to make it a 2 hour toy commercial. Jar Jar Binks is the single worst character ever placed into a Hollywood feature film. About 15 minutes into the movie I started to wonder what the hell Bob Marley was doing in that galaxy so far away! If Lucas was not ashamed of the Binks character, then here's some news.....I was embarrassed for him. Hey, what's funnier than an animal ass belching into Jar Jars face or Jar Jar stepping in a big pile of shit? I still can't believe those two scenarios are actually in the movie? Who wrote that pizzel?

Here's something to think about; how come there is so much racial stereotyping in the Phantom Menace? Watto, the slave owner and junkyard dude, had the big nose and Jewish (or was it Italian?) accent and was money hungry. The Viceroy were power seeking, sycophants of the Emporer, that spoke in Chinese accent. Of course the obviously Rastafarian Gungans, "Messa people, gonna get high!" And then there were the robot troops. They were smart asses and couldn't fight their way through a Jawa led game of duck-duck-goose! Just terrible. And Annakin as a kid was a know it all blow hard. I had to download the fan edit version just to see the movie twice. "Attack of the Clones" and "Revenge of the Sith" were better attempts by Lucas, but he had pigeon holed himself by the ridiculous "Phantom Menace" and was limited in his ability to overcome his mistakes.

I think I'll stop here, because you get the point, right? George Lucas took a great idea and ran with it.....and ran and ran and ran with it. Unfortunately, he took it right over the cliff with him. I'm still a fan and that's why I care. I'm still interested in the entire six film affair, but the prequels just left me feeling like I was being manipulated by the marketing and the idea of Star Wars. I was hooked and instead of being true to the nature of the first three films, Lucas took advantage of my loyalty and addiction and created a politically correct, over the top prequel trilogy that only a newbie to Star Wars would be able to buy , hook, line and stinker.

"Chewbacca, what a wookie!"--Supernova