Star Wars: The Indecision Strikes Back

I haven't seen the new Star Wars film yet. I'm not all that pushed about it, to be honest. I'll probably see it eventually, but I may wait for it on DVD. And I'm disappointed with the whole new films thing; they're not only pathetic, they still have marketing people pretending they're not. I think.

I wasn't really brought up on Star Wars. Cinemas were few and far between in rural Ireland in the 80s, and my first encounter with the franchise was with the toys; an enterprising aunt gave me and my brothers three of the figure boxes. There was Darth Vader, two Jawas, and some other alien - something from the Cantina, I suspect. We played with the Jawas far more than the other two - Vader was dubbed "boring" and shelved early on, such that he survived into the mid-90s until a spaniel pup ate him. What a way for a Sith Lord to go. On the small amount of TV I did see, the Jawas became associated with the Mystics in The Dark Crystal, and became a sort of monastic gardening race who lived on cliff sides (we had some interesting places to play, although they weren't really cliffs). I was rather disappointed to find they were scavengers in the real thing.

And then I got the books. A second-hand bookshop, Vartry Books, outside the Mount Usher Gardens in Wicklow, had all three of the novels, or novelisations - although that word didn't really exist then. I think Timothy Zahn was to blame, and I remember thinking he sounded like he should have been in the books, not writing them. The books were great. They were really, really good, and they blew my twelve-year-old mind away and gave me an impression of what space opera should be which has lasted, well, at least until now. They were also faithful to the films, such that I'm not entirely sure if I actually saw The Empire Strikes Back before I was twenty. I could quote it, though, before I ever saw it.

In contrast, the new films - I have trouble even remembering the name of the first one, although Attack of the Clones is bad enough to stick in my mind - are, well, just not good. They don't do anything. And despite Lucas' insistence that the new generation like the new films just as much as kids my age liked the old ones, I'm not convinced. I've not seen any kids having light-sabre fights on the street, there wasn't a single stormtrooper, Vader, or anything in last year's trick-or-treaters, and there's not one catchphrase from either film that I've heard.

But the guy who wrote the novelisation of Revenge of the Sith was on Michael and Evo's podcast show on last week, and he was so enthused about it that I found my own interest picking up a bit. he said Lucas had fixed it all, and that people would go back and look at the other two movies and ask how they could have been so wrong.

And then it opened, and I saw the reviews. The Sunday Times was not impressed. The NY Times says it's good, though I'm still suspiscious. The Chicago Tribune is just a touch more than lukewarm (ba-dum-tish). And then Rotten Tomatoes is giving it 73%, and there're a lot more good reviews than bad there.

Ah, what the heck, maybe I will see it in the cinema. I've always got the version in my head anyway.

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Posted by Drew Shiel at May 16, 2005 3:57 PM

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It wasn't actually such a good movie. Hmmmm... not that any Star Wars movies, erm, good. They do have some different from all the others, but all that goes down the drain by Lucas still not having hired a copywriter.

Other than that - there have been actually some good movies lately. Like Million Dollar Baby and there was this fairly good german movie Der Untergang.

Posted by: Lauri Väin at May 31, 2005 12:36 PM