Wednesday, February 23, 2005

My Little Star Wars Rant

Via Boing Boing, I found this link to a collection of still shots from Star Wars Episode III. I recommend them to anyone who, like me, is morbidly curious but doesn't want to give any more money to George Lucas.

My beef with George Lucas is this:

One of the fondest and earliest memories of my childhood was when I was six years old. The day I graduated from Kindergarten, my father took me out to lunch and then to see Return of the Jedi. It was the middle of the afternoon and we were practically the only people in the theater and as far as I'm concerned, we were. Like most people my age, the original Star Wars trilogy formed the foundation of our imagination. Here was a complete but not fully fleshed out world. We could take the building blocks and have endless adventures-- Wookies, droids, Jedi, Stormtroopers, you name it, we could be it. On the playground, we had it all.

In first grade, I car pooled with a friend, whose dad would narrate the Star Wars stories to us in the car. It was an exciting time, that drive to school, because Jessie's dad was a journalist and knew how to tell a good story. At least, good enough to keep two seven year olds entertained in morning traffic. (Looking back, I realize he was narrating the radio play to us, which is why it sounded so good, as it was made for telling).

Then, along comes Mr. Lucas and decides to add scenes to my childhood. The Special Edition directors cuts of the trilogy came out while I was in college. Imagine it, me and a hundred other comic book geeks going to see Star Wars on the Big Screen, just like we had when we were little. Only, this time there were added scenes and more special effects!

The special editions turned out to be like a woman who goes to a plastic surgeon for a little nip and tuck and gets talked into a boob job. She wakes up hours later with three tits and nipples all over her face. It was a disaster of epic, but surreal proportions, the full scope of which would take years for us all to realize.

In retrospect, that was the beginning of the end for me and George, because he said he'd never release the original versions of the films ever again. Here was some fat bastard, telling me that I could never see a major part of my childhood again. At the time, it wasn't that big a deal, but as I've gotten older, I've found that there are things about growing up that I miss, and watching the Star Wars movies, untainted by special editions was one of them. At the time though, I had almost forgiven Lucas for the Special Editions. I still had the originals on tape and could watch them whenever I wanted.

Then, along came Episode I. I saw that piece of crap three times, hoping that I had missed something. Darth Vader was this bratty ten year old? And what the fuck are middichlorians?! Now there's a DNA test for Jedi?

Then there was Episode II, in which Christopher Lee gets his ass whipped by a muppet and audiences the world over are subjected to the most ridiculous love story, ever.

Padme: I know our love is forbidden, Anakin, but when you told me you killed all those Sand People, well, I changed my mind. Genocide is fucking hot-- let's get married!

(And wouldn't you be just a little turned off by a mettle arm? Cybernetic limbs do not bode well for relationships. Everybody knows this, and you'd expect a former Queen and Intergalactic senator to figure it out. Name me one instance in which a character gets a robotic bodymod where things end well. OK, lieutenant Dan in Forest Gump but he doesn't count. This just highlights the fact that Padme's love for Anikan is a plot point and nothing more. It's ordained by the Lords of Continuity and without it, there'd be no Episode III-VI and wouldn't that be a shame. Here's an idea for a sort of deconstructionist Star Wars remix: Padme realizes that there's a concentrated effort on the part of someone to make her fall in love with this hamfisted whinny boy who gets his kicks murdering indigenous people on remote planets. She attempts to flee her fate but soon discovers through clues subtle and benign that the Force controlling her destiny is wielded by a bearded man who resides outside of the known universe, who controls directly the fate of everyone in her universe by manipulating a vast collection of little dolls, which he plays with, mercilessly).

It occurs to me now that the original Star Wars movies were good-- not great, just good, and were so in spite of George Lucas, not because of him. Lucas has said over the years that had he the money and resources back then, the first Star Wars movie would have been very different, more like Episodes I-III. I wish now that he had gotten the money and resources so that he could have made his bloated space turd of a movie and it would have flopped and we'd now only know Star Wars as that silly old movie from the seventies that MST3K lampooned so badly. If only.

Then, I would have had more time in my childhood to explore my own imagination, instead of having it enslaved like some coked-up actress in a gold bikini to this idiot and his pseudo-spiritual homage to bad science fiction.

Edited to make a little more sense, but not much.


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