Location: Vienna, Virginia, United States

A graduate of Dartmouth College (2005) and Washington and Lee University School of Law (2010). These are my personal blogs, and the musings expressed on them do not reflect the positions of my employer. They do reflect my readings, thoughts, and aspirations, which I figure is good enough.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Flying Feces

On a good note before I embark on a rant of epic proportions, Don Mattingly (yes, the Don Mattingly) had this to say about the subject of my last entry.

"When a guy is hitting .640 for the first few games of a series, he's probably not going to hit .640 for the whole series. This isn't Little League."


Padded Closet for Maximum Rantage

In any case, one of the first things I wanted to Rant about when I set up this blog was an entity that once was near and dear to my heart, turned black and sour, corrupted by the power-hungry machinations of a man that had once been its greatest champion. I am, of course, talking about Star Wars.

George Lucas created a wonderful thing in 1977 with the first Star Wars movie, A New Hope. Based entirely on the Kurosawa movie The Hidden Fortress, A New Hope took a tried and true adventure story and set it in outer space, projecting the universal constants of good and evil, love and hate across time and space. It was a simple but effective tale about corruption, power and totalitarianism. Luke reached out to teenage boys everywhere, the farm boy that became a warrior and saved a princess from an evil foe of seemingly insurmountable power. Han the rogue, the mercenary, Obi Wan the sage. Comic relief provided by two droids, one English, the other domed. These characters were painted with broad strokes that allowed the dreams and ambitions of an entire generation to explode in fantasy.

Then came The Empire Strikes Back, a darker film, more refined. It was a sophomore effort that built on the characters, introduced the mysterious Yoda, and the villianous Emperor Palpatine. Billy Dee Williams playing Lando Calrissian became one of the few African American men to play a real character in a science fiction movie.

And then the Return of the Jedi, a entire film that was the climax of the trilogy. Luke, becoming the Jedi Knight. The Death Star, rebuilt. Han, unfrozen. Jabba, strangled by Leia in a gold bikini in one of the most erotic scenes ever to make a movie targeted towards adolescents. So there were Ewoks. We wrote that off as a hiccup in an otherwise brilliantly conceived and executed venture. And all was good with the world.

When it was revealed that the Special Editions were hitting theatres, everyone got excited. New scenes, and old ones brushed up, even though part of the attraction was the simplicity of the graphics, X Wings floating on strings upon a black background. Many winced when Han defended himself against Greedo. But by and large, the Special Editions let a whole new generation bask in the glory of Star Wars. Licensing and video games made Lucas even wealthier than before, not to mention the enormous box office proceeds.

And then came Episode I. I went with 9 friends and my brother, sat in the front row after getting there an hour early. First ones into the theatre, the last ones out. We wondered a little at the glitz, winced a little at Jar Jar Binks, and winced a lot at Midichlorians, a scientific explanation of the Force. We laughed when then Senator Palpatine said "we'll be keeping our eyes on you" to the young Anakin because we were in on it. And even though the movie obviously wasn't as good, we forgave Lucas because it was the first one, and there was nowhere to go but up. A young queen and a young jedi that would soon struggle through a decision that would alter the universe, a tragic decision that we knew was fated to be a fallen one. Like Adam in Paradise Lost, we knew Anakin was sufficient to stand, though free to fall. And fall he would.

But then came Episode II. Natalie Portman showed us how bad of an actress she was, completely unable to understand the character of Padme, who was to be attracted to the darkness within Anakin, an irresistable darkness that would scare her, and yet draw her like a moth to a flame. Hayden Christensen was whiny, although we could forgive him, maybe for interpreting a character. But Count Dooku, a CGI Yoda, and worst of all that Bad MotherFucker Samuel L. busting out his purple lightsabre on Jango Fett. CGI took the place of plot, introducing gangly aliens and four armed short order cooks that we couldn't muster any feeling for.

This brings us to the present, as we stand at the edge of a precipice, waiting for the disaster that is Episode III. So much to resolve, not enough movie, not enough directorial skill or acting skill to manage all of it. Villians named Grievous, and a title that is somehow worse than Attack of the Clones.

If the release of Episodes IV-VI on DVD are any indication, George Lucas has completely lost it. Strange edits, like Greedo shooting later than he did in the Special Edition and Han still firing after Greedo, and a Jabba in A New Hope with a strangely black palatte swap. And worst of all, Hayden Christensen spliced into the last scene of Return of the Jedi, and the unmasked Darth possessing the same colored eyes as Christensen. All for something purported to be continuity, which to an ardent fan feels more like a slap to the face. Lucas couldn't give his fans a bigger "Fuck you I'm a fucking fucktard with no fucking idea what my real fucking fans want". I despair, because even as Ewan McGregor might emerge from this shit stained toilet unscathed, the fans of the franchise will not.

A Weary Emergence from the bloodstained Padding


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So - have you got around to reading Peter Pan yet??

6:08 PM  

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