Friday, March 26, 2010

Popped my Star Wars cherry

I have a very important announcement to make.

I just watched Star Wars: A New Hope for the very first time. That's right, ever. Previously I had only seen very small clips, though I knew the whole plot thanks to being surrounded by nerds. I also have never seen Episodes 5 and 6.

The worst part? I've seen the new trilogy.

Though the oddest part was that it was just sort of alright. I mean, some parts were funny, some parts were dated, and some parts were just terrible. I guess it's different watching it without the childhood memories and attachment. Luke has effectively no reaction to seeing the horrifically charred bodies of the two people who raised him for eighteen years, but the spooky disintegration of Obi Wan leaves him screaming and upset? What the hell, Luke? You've known him for only a couple hours, and all he did was give you super vague advice about the Force!

Ok, I'm going to shut up now before I make you guys want to stone me even more. Will watch the other Episodes later!


  1. I already yelled at you on Twitter, but:
    Also these are probably entirely legitimate points that I have never noticed due to first watching it as a relatively small child.
    V and VI are better though. WATCH THEM.

  2. Actually George Lucas is an idiot. There you go Jen, now I'll be the one getting stoned. 5 and 6 are the best ones and if you are going to watch any of them, those two would be the ones to go to (because Lucas didn't direct them). The new trilogy almost completely contradicts the original ones and I much prefer the puppet Yoda to the bad CG Yoda.

    Anyway, it is a total childhood memory sort of thing, one that most people will defend to the death. For its time, it was fantastic, and innovative, and should be seen by everyone. :)

  3. I seriously hope that thanks to some extremely improbable circumstances you haven't gotten spoiled on the 5th, that was a great one.

  4. Cool that you get to see them in story order, not release order. Of course you've probably absorbed plenty of the story through pop culture so that may lessen the impact.

  5. Yeah, make me feel old. When I was a kid, you couldn't be cool unless you had seen that movie at least 3 times. You apparently grew up your entire life without even seeing it.

    I didn't like episode 1 at all though. Jar Jar was annoying as hell, and Yoda did look rather fake. They got better with the CGI in the next two though.

  6. I didn't watch the Star Wars movies in their first theater run, but when they were upgraded and rereleased as the "Special Edition" versions, I went and saw them all in the theaters, one right after the other, and thus got to experience Star Wars like I would have in the late 1970s or early 1980s. Only then did I become a fan.

  7. I've technically seen all of the movies in the series, but I don't really remember a lot of details. I watched the original movies about 20 years ago when I was a kid, and again when the special edition came out in theaters. I saw each of the prequels in the theater once, and I think I may have seen episode 1 again at least once since then. I don't remember a lot about episode 3, since I had just come off of my 7th or 8th 10 hour graveyard shift in a row and had about 6 drinks before going in to see it. From what I remember, I didn't miss much, and I've never felt particularly compelled to rewatch them.

  8. Meh. Poor you. (For watching, not for not watching.)

  9. Communicate coherently, fucker.

  10. A death threat, eh? Well, I'm convinced. I'm a theist now. Praise Cthulhu! Ia! Ia! Cthulhu Fhtagn!

  11. Also, DM, you may want to work a little more on your website. It's not quite insane enough. You've got the incoherent rambling down, but the design is all wrong. You need some animated gifs, blinking text of various sizes and colors, a nice ugly background color, maybe a midi file of a really annoying song that plays on a loop that can't be turned off. You've definitely got batshit potential, my man, you just need a little bit of work. If you need ideas, try browsing through the following:

  12. Um... back to Star Wars (WTF is up with your Trolls, Jen? The psycho seems to be growing.)

    My Dad was a massive Star Wars fan, so I saw the trilogy again and again from a young age and understood the geek of it. I also understand that 1, 2 and 3 are SHIT. Lucas is, sadly, a childhood-raping idiot. It's honestly sad that for people like yourself, 1, 2 and 3 have coloured your understanding of Star Wars when the original trilogy is so much better.

    5 and 6 are much better over all, but 1 does have its flaws (so does 5 and 6; nothing is perfect). To me, Luke was in shock when he found the chared bodies of his Aunt and Uncle. I mean, he found a mysterious message from a hot girl in his robot, was beaten by Sand People, was rescued by an old man who gave him a sword made of light, told him he had magical powers and should come away to another planet with him to save a princess, all in the same day. Then he comes home to find his family dead and at that point he's numb. To me, when Obiwan died, that sort of shook him out of it and he was reacting to all the insanity which happened to be embodied in the death of the last tie he had to home. I'm not justifying it because you saw it differently, that's just always how I've seen it.

    Of course, this is coming from someone who named her kittens Luke & Leia... so maybe I'm a bit too close to this fandom to be objective...

  13. @Jaki, they won't be able to stone you 'cos I'll be standing in the way. I confuse people by telling them that I am a SF fan who detests Star Bores -- for that very reason. I've never seen 2 & 3, and don't intend to.

    Maybe because I was too old even for the original trilogy.

  14. Everything you say is true, but I love that movie because it is so bad. I love watching cheesy, old sci-fi with lame special effects and bad acting! Although, my husband, who actually did see that movie in the theater as a kid, always reminds me that the effects were amazing at the time.

  15. If I may make a preliminary comment concerning DM (alias Dennis Markuze): he's a troll living in Montreal who goes off his meds periodically (which is why he can't keep a job). He starts up with death threats to those who respond to him. He gets removed from ISPs, so he uses Internet cafes. He flits from email address to email address, and is really rather pitiable.

    When it comes to DM, or David Mabus, or whatever he calls himself, remember Rule #2 in internet society: DON'T FEED THE TROLLS. Ignore him.


    Now, onto the subject at hand: Episode 5 is the best of the lot, with 6 a close second.

    As for George Lucas himself, I defer to Rick Emerson's analysis:

    "I believe that George Lucas, for better or worse, has changed the way we see the world, ourselves, and each other, and I believe that we will one day reach those stars that he himself made visible.

    "I also believe that George Lucas to be a narrow-minded, money-grubbing, pig-headed slave to the now who ought to be locked away from his own creations lest he do them further harm."

  16. Did DM start his/her post with a reference to Kristallnacht? That's a fucking death threat. I'm reporting you to the RCMP.

  17. Wouldn't be the first time, Veritas. PZ reported him to the cops when he started sending him death threats back in september.

  18. Jen, you remind me of the girl in this video (Star Wars retold by someone who hasn't seen it-- hilarious, to me at least).

    And, of course, you MUST see the other two, IMMEDIATELY. :^)

    Next I expect you'll be telling us that you haven't seen the LOTR trilogy or something...

  19. Jen,
    Have you watched the Bill Moyers PBS series, Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth?

    If not, you really should.

    You will note George Lucas was both inspired and influenced by Campbell.

    From the wiki:
    In the first episode of the series, The Hero's Adventure, and the fifth chapter of the book, "The Hero's Adventure," Moyers and Campbell discuss George Lucas' report that Campbell's work directly influenced the creation of the Star Wars films. Moyers and Lucas filmed an interview 12 years later in 1999, modeled after The Power of Myth. It was called the Mythology of Star Wars with George Lucas & Bill Moyers and further discussed the impact of Campbell's work on Lucas' films.

    Indicate you'd like to see them and I'll send you copies.

  20. DM is a legend who’s threatened literally dozens of different atheist bloggers with death and whatever over the countless blogs he’s spammed over the course of the past 3-4 years, if not longer, according to a bit of Googling I performed. He’s been reported to the cops almost as many times, too, if what I read is accurate. Notice how he’s still at large.

    He is certifiably insane, in the most literal sense. I’m talking full-out schizophrenia or something. The only way to deal with him is to ban him (assuming your blog has the tools allowing you to ban a commenter, or a commenting system that allows banning such as IntenseDebate, Disqus, or whatever) and hope that the cops eventually catch on and arrest him and put him home – in a padded room.


    Other than that … what took you so ruddy long? xD Hell, the first time I watched the original trilogy was when I was about 6 and stuck in bed with the flu. Had a little TV & VCR in my room. I have to admit, my mother always made it so that my sick days were unusually pleasant: food, comfy bed, TV … *sighs nostalgically*

  21. I second Joé's suggestion for you to use a third-party commenting system like Disqus which has better features than Blogger's native commenting system.

    Also, I'm amazed that you made it to adulthood without ever seeing Star Wars. How did that happen?

  22. I remember the original Star Wars opening night. A friend of mine had seen the premier: "It looks really authentic; everything is beat to shit." That was new in science fiction movies. Now it's a cliche. Yes, the special effects in SW4 were pretty impressive in their day. Compare the combat scenes with any from the original Star Trek TV show, and remember that the original Star Trek was considered ground breaking. The real kicker was the SW4 was an old fashioned movie. That's right. It was 90 minutes, instead of dragging on for hours, and it told a coherent, relatively linear adventure story, just like an old fashioned movie. That was rare in the 70s, but SW4 brought back good old fashioned narrative to the movies. The dialog might have been comic book, but it was good comic book.

    SW5 was a real grown ups movie made by a real director. As a movie, it was much better than SW4, but much darker. SW6 wasn't bad, but George Lucas was turning the whole franchise into a kid thing. There's nothing wrong with that, but it changed things. Lucas, as you know, edited and re-edited the original movies to make them more kid friendly. Yes, Han shot first, and wookies did tear people's arms off when they lost at chess. That, and a lot of the good dialog, seems to have been edited out. If I didn't have an old VHS tape of the original I would have assumed it was an aging memory, but in this case, my nostalgia was real.

    The only thing I might regret is that Lucas dropped his original grown up approach. He had another Casablanca or To Have and Have Not. (You should see the former someday.) It would have been interesting to have seen grown up oriented versions of SW1,2&3. (You'll notice, I'm not saying adult.)

  23. Now that you've seen A New Hope, you must be asked the following question: Who shot first?

  24. @Mark -

    Han shot first. The cops in ET had guns, not walky-talkies. And Jean Grey died on the moon.

    Jen -
    I can understand why Star Wars didn't ring your bell. God knows Lucas was a terrible director. I don't know if it's possible to realize how groundbreaking a movie it was in its day if you weren't there. Not just for science fiction, not just for special effects, but for the entire industry. In the 1970s, Hollywood was dying. While there were a few hits, overall revenue was dropping every year. And the studios were responding by becoming more and more conservative. Since they didn't understand what people between the ages of 10 and 30 liked, they just refused to make movies for that demographic. Completely. None at all.

    Then along came this young punk named Lucas who said "Fuck you Hollywood, I'm gonna make a movie like the ones I enjoyed when I was growing up. It's gonna be fast, it's gonna be flashy, and it's gonna be fun." And despite 20th Century Fox's efforts to quash it (can you believe it was initally released on a whopping total of 30 screens nationwide?) it blew the doors off of everything. My friends and I spent a number of Saturday afternoons standing in line for hours, waiting to buy tickets, hoping that every show wouldn't sell out before we got to the booth. And it was totally worth it. Real heroes, real villians, real excitement. Today, Star Wars no longer seems revolutionary, because it won the revolution. So completely that it's impossible to remember what it was like under the old regime.

    Please do see The Empire Strikes Back. It had a real director, who knew how to make the characters a part of the story instead of just standing in front of it.

    Okay, I'm done with my old-man-waving-his-cane-at-the kids-on-his-lawn shtick.

  25. May the Force be with you, Jen.