Apparently, TNT has acquired exclusive rights to show the first six Star Wars movies and they have been doing just that for the past week. They started showing A Phantom Menace last Tuesday and have been showing each movie in numerical order every night after that.
Yesterday was the mother of all Star Wars days. TNT showed all six episodes all day long. That, of course, meant that TNT stayed on my television all day long. And watching all six movies in a row like that kind of makes you think about things.
So here are some thoughts that came to me while watching Star Wars yesterday:
The prequel trilogy is hard to watch.
I watched all three of the prequel movies as they came out in theaters. I never really “hated” them, but I do remember feeling underwhelmed based on what fans were expecting. Especially with Episode One.
As I watched Episode One I struggled to stay interested. It only got worse with Two and Three. There were long stretches of boredom with only a few interesting scenes stuck in here and there. In fact, the only thing I really remember about Revenge of the Sith is the execution of Order 66 and the final battle between Anakin and Obi-Wan.
Speaking of which…
Obi-Wan Kenobi is kind of a cold hearted bastard.
In the final scenes of the movie it makes a lot of sense that Obi-Wan is struggling with the fact that he has to fight his apprentice. He has to fight his brother, someone he loved. But I think he comes to terms, even though it is hard, that he can not help Anakin and he will probably have to kill him to stop what is happening.
And the way to kill him…let him burn alive while you turn you back on him.
What the actual fuck?
Obi-Wan cuts off both legs and an arm, with a single swing of the lightsaber mind you, and then watches as Anakin catches on fire. Obi-Wan doesn’t even finish him off, doesn’t even put him out of his misery. He just lets him burn as he walks away.
Bad practical effects look better than bad digital effects.
The one thing I really do hate about the prequels is the over-use of computer graphics. Everything is a drawing in a computer even when it doesn’t have to be. The scene where Anakin and Chancellor Palpatine are sitting in the exclusive box seats of that opera thingy that was going on, was all green screen. I mean every single bit. They sat on green seats on a green background and talked through their lines. Why couldn’t a set have been built for that part?
Same thing in the final scene of RotS when the helmet is being lowered onto Anakin after he has gone through the life saving surgery. The shot from above shows the helmet being lowered onto his head, his life support suit already fitted on his body, all computer graphics. You already have the costume for Darth Vader for other scenes, why didn’t you use that?
Practical effects and puppets and sets are all so much better. Even in the original trilogy when the technology to do it was not as good and it sometimes looks fake, it still looks better. Everything looks grittier and touchable and just more real.
And I am not knocking computer graphics. When done well they make a movie fantastic. But they must be done well, and there must be good reason to use CGI. Otherwise it’s like your just playing with a toy because it is there, not because it makes the game any better.
That is why I was so glad when JJ Abrams went back to puppets and practical effects for The Force Awakens.
Yoda has gone crazy sitting on Dagobah for 20+ years.
Besides not being an actual puppet, I do like Yoda in the prequel trilogy. He is wise and calm and the embodiment of a Buddha like creature from the Jedi world. But watching The Empire Strikes Back so soon after watching him in the prequels you realize that he really changed.
My only assumption was that being alone on a swamp planet with a shitload of snakes and no one to actually talk to make him go a little crazy. I am sure he had some contact with Obi-Wan in the early years of their hiding, because he mentioned training regarding talking from the dead, but the contact was most likely limited.
When we see him again in Empire he is nuts. He fidgets with everything Luke has like it is his first time seeing a flashlight or a droid or a ship. The way he speaks is far gone from his calm and collected speech of the past. It is arguable that he has reached the point of insanity.
Speaking of Yoda, why did he go into exile?
At the end of RotS when Yoda was unable to beat Palpatine he said that he failed and he must go into exile.
Why did he have to exile himself to a planet that had no contact with anyone else in the universe? Couldn’t he have just gone into hiding like Obi-Wan did? I mean they hid Luke right in plain sight and Obi-Wan was right around the corner from him. If no one was going looking for Luke and Obi-Wan then certainly no one would be searching for Yoda.
He could have just went to a nice little planet out of the way somewhere and enjoyed his days telling stories to children or something. Anything to stop him from going bat shit crazy.
I still can’t figure out why they made Lando Calrissian a general.
One thing that really bugs the shit out of me is the whole Lando thing. He basically commits treason. He hands over not only Han and Chewie to Darth Vader, but Princess Leia as well.
Her adopted father was responsible for the rebellion and she was a pretty important piece of the puzzle when it came to fighting the Empire.
But instead of charging him as a traitor or punishing him for working with the enemy…they make him a General?
Did we miss something?
But I still love Star Wars.
These aren’t even all the things I could nit-pick about the Star Wars universe. I could also ask why there was such a convoluted plan to rescue Han from Jabba’s Palace. I could complain about midichlorians. I could talk about The Force Awakens being a rehash of A New Hope.
But I won’t do that, because all of these things do not matter. Star Wars is fantastic and fun and I thank the great and powerful Disney that we are getting more movies every year.
They won’t all be perfect, but lets hope they are all good.