I've never seen...

Warning, this post may contain spoilers, but probably not.

I have a confession. This may result in some people never talking to me again but I should come clean. I've never really seen Star Wars. There, I've written it down for all to see.

Before your brains explode at this revelation, I should explain myself. As I grew up I should have seen Star Wars. Everyone else did or had. Somehow though, it never happened. Actually, this isn't strictly true as I have seen tiny bits of the original three movies whilst at other people's houses. In all these cases it was on in the background (everyone else had seen it countless times) and I never got the opportunity to sit through any of the films from beginning to the end or even from middle to end.

Of course, Star Wars references are everywhere in popular culture and I have grown up with an awareness of Darth Vader, Stormtroopers, R2D2, C3PO, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Yoda, the Death Star, Ewoks (from a cheesy cartoon series), the Force, and some classic lines of dialogue. I've had some vague idea that there is a Republic and an Empire and some rebels but I've never really been sure which of these was the good side and which was the bad (Empire doesn't sound good though). I do know that you shouldn't turn to the dark side.

When George Lucas announced that he was releasing the three prequels, he said that this was the order he had wanted people to watch them in. Given my general ignorance of the original three films I decided I would take his advice and watch them in the 'correct' order. So, in 1999, I went to the cinema to see Episode I. I was very disappointed. It felt like a two hour long trailer for a pod-racing video game. Perhaps there were some inside things for people who had seen the original films but, as someone looking at the film out of that context, it wasn't good. In 2002 I went to Attack of the Clones. This was a little better but the plot still seemed weak. I'm not sure either film stands by itself but perhaps they shouldn't be expected to.

After the release of Attack of the Clones, someone bought me IV, V, and VI on DVD. Before I could watch them I needed to see Episode III. Somehow I missed the cinema release and, after my disappointment at I and II, I couldn't bring myself to buy the third. This week my Star Wars saga took a step forward when someone finally lent me a copy of Episode III. It was... mostly disappointing. The first part of the film contained supposedly dramatic battles and fights but Anakin and Obi-Wan never seemed in any real danger so there was no tension. Then there was a lot of fighting on different planets but nothing made me care about any of the characters. I only got interested when the fight between the Chancellor and Windu came to a pause. At this point some character development occurred and it finally felt like there was peril. The plot definitely picked up from that point. Overall though, there was far too much use of CGI that looked like CGI. People looked superimposed on CGI sets and too often turned into CGI versions of themselves. The CGI drew attention to itself and distracted me from the story.

I may have been underwhelmed by what I've seen so far but I am getting excited that I can finally watch episodes IV, V and VI. Soon I'll no longer have to say that I've never seen Star Wars. After that? Well, I've never seen Alien.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Sunday 03rd May 2009 (02:36 BST) | Permalink
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