Monday, November 5, 2012

Moar Star Wars

Disney bought Star Wars. We're getting Episode VII, which is Episode 7 for those who don't speak Roman. That's huge. The only true Hollywood earthquake in recent memory.

George Lucas gives his toys to a new owner.
But after you get over the initial joy, you think about the poor performance of the prequels. I loved them as a sixth grader, but as the criticism sunk in over the years, it became apparent to anyone that they were storytelling failures. I like things about them, like the Boba Fett-esque Darth Maul, detective Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the ascension and transformation of Emperor Palpatine, but anyone would be hard-pressed to admit that they got everything they wanted from those movies.
Detective Kenobi

I remember back in high school I would watch Episode II again and again. I'd have it on in the background while I was doing homework or talking on AIM. Remember AIM? Yeah me neither. I'm not sure why I watched it so much because the more it seeped into my brain pores, the more it disillusioned me. There was no magic in that movie. I love light sabers as much as any fanboy, yet even though this movie was absolutely packed with them, I never felt impressed. 

That was the one thing that Episode I did right: light sabers. They captured how deadly and precise Jedi could be. I say deadly, but rarely did the Jedi ever kill anything alive. They sliced up a fair few amount of flying bug creatures in Episode II, but those were hardly humanoid. No, Jedi almost exclusively battled cold hard steel robits. That drained a lot of tension from the movies because the fights felt imbalanced. Both sides didn't have something of merit to lose, and the droids were hopelessly outmatched, until a Destroyed rolled up. (Why not produce all Destroyers and other shield-based droids knowing you're going to war with Jedi?) Droids were shown being assembled in mass quantities, while Jedi were slowly trained with patience from youth. That's why the slaughter of the Jedi at the end of Episode II never felt right. These warriors were trained to BLINDLY deflect lasers from CHILDHOOD yet there were dozens of them laying dead on the ground from laser beam death.


That's why Darth Maul made such an impact: he straight up murdered Qui-Gon Jinn. The character was dull, but Jinn's death meant a lot because it brought a weight to the otherwise dry story. (Did you really care that Naboo had been taken over when we never saw even one Naboobian starve, suffer, or die unfairly?) After a whole movie of meaninglessly destroying droids, a light saber sunk into someone we truly didn't expect to die given how invincible he had been for the entirety of the film. That's a lesson for Episode VII -- get rid of the battle droids, tone down the light sabers, and only bring them out when the characters mean business.

Okay, I totally got away from my point, which was, you might have hated the prequels, but let's say they are a 3 out of 10. Keep in mind that while you think there's nowhere to go but up from there, there's always a chance that Disney will turn in a 2 or a 1.

Okay, that's not what my point was going to be. I'm actually super excited about these movies.

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