May 4th, 2011

Han Solo

My feelings on Star Wars

I haven't updated here in a while, but I feel it's really important to update on Star Wars Day! (May the fourth be with you!)

Star Wars... there are almost no words. I have loved it so much since my junior year of high school. It's gotten me through some extremely tough times. After my accident, I used to watch the original trilogy over and over again in the hospital. My grandma made a tape with all three of them on it, and it was awesome. I have probably watched the original trilogy hundreds of times.

I remember being completely excited about the prequels, or at least about Phantom Menace in 1999. It was the last movie I watched as a non-quadriplegic in the movie theater. Even though Phantom supremely sucks, it is my favorite out of the prequels for a few reasons. Mainly, because it is the lesser of the three evils. Attack and Revenge completely ripped apart the continuity established by the original trilogy so much more than Phantom. Also, Phantom is the one out of the prequel that makes the most sense as its own story, i.e. there are far fewer leaps of logic that need to be taken when going along for the ride.

I know that it has Jar Jar, and there aren't very many characters that I have hated more (see "Don't Speak, Jar Jar") with such an intense passion, but having his stupid orange cartoon butt tromping around saying ridiculous things all the time is a lot more palatable to me than Padmé wanting to get with Anakin after he admits that he slaughtered women and children. And the pointlessly lengthy pod race is more preferable than the ridiculous descent into the dark side that comes from out of nowhere, and really doesn't make sense.

George Lucas definitely betrayed all of his fans when he made Phantom Menace, but I feel like episodes two and three were more blatant. He made many mistakes. The first, of course, was thinking that people liked the original trilogy because of the special effects, and then making the prequel starring the special effects instead of the actual characters. The second major mistake, in my opinion, is that he forgot what the original trilogy was really about: the redemption of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. Instead about making the prequel about why it was a good thing that Anakin could be redeemed in the end, he made it all about how Anakin was pretty much destined to go dark. If one follows the prequels with any sense of logic, it is hard to actually believe why we would want Darth Vader's ultimate redemption. It would have been a far better story if we could have seen Anakin in his good element, BFF with Obi-Wan Kenobi, an upstanding citizen, a great match for Padmé, etc. Instead, we get a pouty, cranky adolescent Anakin who likes to kill women and children.

My point is that if George Lucas would have thought about it for just 30 minutes in a row, he could have come up with a much better prequel that still had all of the elements that he liked, i.e. special effects. I could have gotten on board with that, and I know many other Star Wars fans could have as well. Now, however, the prequel is nothing more than a blight, a cancer, a cloud that obscures the sunlight given by the original trilogy. My feelings toward Lucas are ambivalent: on one hand, I owe him my life for bringing to pass the original trilogy, and on the other hand, my heart is broken because of the prequel. Why, George Lucas, why?