Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Star Wars: An Experiment

A long time ago, in this very galaxy, I decided to run an experiment. After the umpteenth argument about the latest changes that George Lucas made to the original trilogy of Star Wars, the person who I was arguing with accused me of not being able to see past nostalgia and evaluate the movies as they really are today. So, I went and purchased the Blu-ray release of the six films and then didn't watch them, at all.

For years. Seriously. It was like 4 years.

Eventually, the films faded from memory. Don't get me wrong, certain scenes will never fade but the movies as a whole began to fade away. When it got to the point that I couldn't really bring to mind anything but the uber-popular scenes, I decided to watch the movies again in the order they were released.

Since it had been such a long time since I had seen the movies, I figured I could bring new eyes to the series. And for the most part, I was right. Because I had allowed so much time to pass between viewings, I was free to watch the films without immediately engaging all the previous enjoyment that I had experienced watching Star Wars. And because I was seeing the films without that childhood enjoyment and nostalgia, my critical brain had room to operate. And that's when a strange thing happened.

I had watched these movies too many times to completely forget how they went, and right before a familiar scene I would find myself thinking, "Wow, it would have been awesome if they'd been able to show a wider shot of Mos Eisley, you know? To really set up the contrast of the desert and the spaceport." And then lo and behold, one of the "hated" changes did exactly what I wanted to see. And there were many, many more of those moments, throughout the original trilogy. However, the final "No" that Darth Vader delivers before saving his son at the end of Jedi STILL didn't work for me. Either say something profound, or don't say anything. Just "no" doesn't work.

I then turned my attention to the prequel trilogy. There I had a completely different reaction. My initial response to the prequels was one of indifference and boredom. But in re-watching them, I finally saw the complexity that was being set up and the depth of the story. Jar jar Binks was still an annoying ass, and was even MORE annoying because of the seriousness of the events around him.

Over all, I found the prequels to be a lot better on a cinematic level than I gave them credit for initially. I still believe that movies should have started with Attack Of The Clones and ended with a final movie, after Revenge Of The Sith, depicting the actions of Darth Vader (in full suit and all) showing why he was so feared by both the Rebel AND Imperial forces. Given the focus the prequel trilogy had on the "fall of Anakin Skywalker", it would have been a fitting ending to see him at his worst as inverse symmetry of seeing him at his best at the end of Jedi where he saves his son.

But in the end, I realized that I was being completely unfair to both George Lucas and the prequel trilogy. I am sorry, George Lucas. I was wrong.

No comments:

Post a Comment