Star Wars Movies
March 20th, 2019 by Proprietor
I am a fan of the Star Wars movie franchise. When “Star Wars: A New Hope” came out, I was a spellbound eight year old watching Han Solo and Chewbacca fly threw space, with some other people. I still feel a bit of nostalgia when I watch, A New Hope. Though as an adult I am somewhat more jaded.
“Empire Strikes Back” come out around the time I was twelve. I was not as jaded as my adult self, but not as naive as my eight year old self. The special effects were better, and amazing, the pacing of Empire was slower, but more intriguing. The second half of a trilogy is never as loved as the first, but considered superior, because the second half is where the heroes are now in the worst possible scenario. Han was frozen in carbonate, and Luke lost his hand while finding out Darth Vader was his father.
Then four years after that, “Return of the Jedi” came out. Lucas seemed to like to release Star Wars movies every four or so years later, essentially to ignite the market for toys, etc. Return was a very good movie. It brought out a few surprises, but in the end the heroes won. Their lives were changed.
Lucas announced he was done with Star Wars movies. Allowing anyone to produce books and comics tied to the franchise, to broaden the universe, and have some cash flow coming in. Then something happened. Lucas was used to living a lifestyle he could not sustain on producing other types of movies, Star Wars was becoming a phase children went through, sales of merchandise was tanking. Granted, it was at least sixteen years, but Lucas realized, he needed Star Wars to make some money.
“Phantom Menace” was very much anticipated. At the time I was working with a bunch of men and women whom grew up with love for Star Wars. Several co-workers waited in line at a nearby movie theater to get tickets for everyone, and several other co-workers were in an active Star Wars Roleplaying game campaign. “Phantom Menace” was a bit of a disappointment.
It became apparent that Lucas was not interested in certain things fans loved, but intended to dummy down the Star Wars universe for children. My eight year old self was enraged. A New Hope was not really intended for children, but resonated the most with children. It was also obvious Lucas needed better editors. The editors of the first three movies managed to pace things enough to where clunky dialog, and sometimes odd scenes were moved through quickly.
“Attack of the Clones” was one of the better of the three, but loaded with some dumbass scenes. Anakin slicing up Sandpeople was intent on showing how his rage could overcome him, and the temptation of the dark side might enthrall him. Then there was the whole harebrained going to Geonosis to rescue Ben Kenobi. Ultimately it was Kenobi’s being captured that sparked the clone wars.
“Revenge of the Sith” was so terrible, I had to turn it off half way, then finish it another day after deciding to rewatch the prequel trilogy. The whole scene between Anakin and Palpatine in the space opera was somewhat needless.
When Disney purchased Star Wars from Lucas, I had hoped that better writers, directors and editors would bring the franchise back to life. “Force Awakens” was a total remake of a New Hope, but it was good. It was understood why Han died, let’s face it, Harrison Ford did not want to continue to play Han Solo. Though having Kylo kill him to complete his transition to the dark side sucked. Han going out in a blaze of glory would have been better.
Then came “The Last Jedi”. The worst of all the movies. In spite of all the political rhetoric and fan rebellion, blah-blah-blah, The Last Jedi sucked overall. Rey, whom was developing into a wonderful character in Force Awakens, could have been turned into an incredible character. Instead, the story opportunities were squandered for various director choices. Sight gags, like Chewbacca breaking down a door, Luke tossing his old lightsaber away, and drinking green milk, made the show seem like bad comedy. Then there was the final scene where a child, freed from slavery, plays in the streets. What are we supposed to think. “The loaf of bread was his soul Jerry.”
Then there were the stand alone movies intended to take place in the Star Wars universe, maybe even focus on a main character, and ultimately Marvelize the whole Star Wars franchise. Have to hand it to Disney, everyone knew that the company of the Mouse was going to suck the franchise dry, and try to ring out the billions spent.
“Rogue One” is so far my favorite of the new crop of Star Wars movies. Many fans whom I talk to claim it is a war movie set in the Star Wars franchise. “NO! Really!” That is exactly why it is a great Star Wars movie. It shows how flexible the franchise can be. Plus Jyn Erso became a fantastically sympathetic and heroic character. The movie was based on a small bit of dialog stated in “A New Hope”, and fit that story seamlessly into the whole Star Wars franchise. The movie flowed well, and brought the past back to life. It was how the prequels should have been done.
“Solo: A Star Wars Story” was a decent movie. Unfortunately Alden Ehrenreich looked more like Jon Snow than Han Solo. I kept expecting Qi’ra to start speaking Dothraki or Valerian, and Chewbacca to begin breathing fire.
Rogue One could have been the third prequel. The first prequel, “Phantom Menace”, even “Clone Wars” could have been done in a way to show Anakin become Darth Vader, and the Empire taking control, and the rise of the rebellion. It is a lot to pack into two movies, but look at all the useless crap in the whole prequel trilogy that could have been cut.
As a fan nearly my entire life, I wonder what will happen next. Will Disney decide to bring in better writers, a less ham handed director, whom enjoys insulting fans, and actually make the final installment worth watching? In doing so, will fans be willing to move on, and see stand alone movies based on characters or maybe movies set within the Star Wars movies, with familiar characters making an appearance?
Thanks for stopping by.