Star Wars: Feeling the force


Firstly, a warning: If you’re a Star Wars aficionado, you may get angry reading this blog. So declare I will, and declare, it now. My knowledge of all things Jedi/Vadar/Sith/general Star Wars “stuff” is not the best. Rather, having now watched all six of George Lucas’s films, I like to think of this post more as a series of musings, rather than a galactic bible. If any of my knowledge is wrong – and yes, that’s likely, be encouraged by the fact that nothing can beat the wrath of my fiancé, a self-proclaimed Star Wars geek, and stickler for the correct terminology when it comes to such stellar matters.

Despite not knowing my lightsabre from my, er, catapulter (?) I was already familiar with Star Wars. Why? Because I haven’t lived a cave for the last 30 years (and the rest..) of my life.

As a boy, my brother was obsessed with the first Star Wars film. Although, I have since been reliably informed it is actually the fourth Star Wars film. See, I have been learning. Good.

Anyway, every weekend the VHS case with “DO NOT DELETE” scrawled across the front would come out. I can still picture my brother sitting cross-legged in front of the telly in his wee red dressing gown, completely transfixed. I, meanwhile, was desperate to replace this sci-fi nonsense with The Wizard of Oz, so I could assess the munchkins and decide which one I wanted to be. (Yes, I did that. Really).

I digress. Despite wishing I could be transported to the Emerald City instead of the Galactic Empire, the film did possess a certain charm. The music’s pretty cool. I liked the scene in the bar with all the weird-looking characters. And watching the Millennium Falcon whiz through space with the boy-next-door Luke, feisty Princess Leia, loveable rogue Han Solo, two robots who make amusing noises and a big brown bear. They destroy the enemy base, hurrah! And all’s well that ends well.

Fast-forward a number of years, and my other half decides it’s time for me to watch all the Star Wars films. Starting with Star Wars: A New Hope. The first of the originals. The one I watched ages ago. How confusing. But that’s ok. I’ve seen this film numerous times and am feeling clever. “That’s Darth Vadar,” I point out. “Yes, it is Louise.” Ok, so I wrongly identify one of the baddies (Grand Moff Tarkin I believe) as “that big moth”. But no-one’s perfect, right?

We move on to The Empire Strikes Back. “I like those dogs and the clippety-cloppity things”, I proclaim. He continues to look at the screen, disapprovingly. “You mean the AT-ATs and the AT-STs.” “Yes.” At this point I must admit my attention was temporarily diverted due to the lure of Twitter and Facebook on my mobile phone. “Come over to the digital side, Louise…do it…”

“You won’t understand it if you don’t watch it,” my fiancé bellows. Drastic times call for drastic measures. The only force I’m feeling is that of feigning the need for a toilet break. This brief respite allows me to take stock of what I’ve learnt, I tell him. And to check if I have any new followers..

Having said that, The Empire Strikes Back is a bloody good film. “I AM YOUR FATHER…etc etc”. We’re also introduced to Yoda. Top points young man for being a great Jedi master. Not so many for your sentence structure. Endearing, nonetheless.

Next up, Return of the Jedi. .”Jabba the Hutt comes good in the end though, doesn’t he?” I ask my fiancé. “Er, *deep sigh* no, Louise, he doesn’t.” Whoops. But I’m kept amused by a healthy dose of Ewoks (think Gummy Bears on crack) and the good ol’ love story between Han and Leia.

The Star Wars marathon enters its second leg as we move on to the three other films: The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. For those who have been living in a cave, these are the first three films in the Star Wars series, released twenty years after the original ones. In a nutshell, they chart the backstory and rise of ultimate villain, Darth Vadar. All together now: Dum dum dum, dum-de-dum, dum-de-dum. It’s a good versus evil extravaganza, buffeted by copious amounts of computer-generated images.

The Phantom Menace isn’t a great film, but its saving grace is the child actor who plays a young Darth Vadar (aka Anakin Skywalker). I also found the race scene at the end rather amusing (sorry aficionados), as it reminded me of a kind of superior Wacky Races…google it.

In Attack of the Clones I thought I was watching a block of wood. After a while I realised it was, in fact, Hayden Christensen. His acting is not good. Not good at all. Exacerbated by gushing slow-mo glances at Natalie Portman, and a bevy of pointless cartoon characters. Me: “I don’t like that Dark Maud either.” Fiance: (sighs) “You mean Darth Maul.”

Let’s move on to Revenge of the Sith. I liked this one. Yay! This is more like it. I was relieved to find Hayden Christensen is a much better baddie than he is a goodie. Throw in some genuinely poignant moments, the right measure of comedy and everyone’s a winner baby. Well, okay, not everyone, Watch the film to find out.

In my humble opinion, Revenge of the Sith works better than the other two films because it does what Star Wars does best – it’s character-led. Whilst the modern day battle seems to be who can produce the most impressive graphics, I suspect us humans love nothing more than watching someone’s rise and fall, hopes and fears, powers and weaknesses, loves and hates. It engages us, draws us in. I also find it slightly jarring that these films were made after the three originals. It’s weird to think that the adventures of Luke, Leia, Han and the big bear Chewie would come after them, rather than before. That probably doesn’t make sense, But I know what I mean.

Anyway, herewith my take on matters comes to an end.

“Now you’re ready for the new film,” beams my fiancé.

Lightsabers at the ready.


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