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May the force of others be with you all
May 25, 2009 2:39 PM   Subscribe

“Until the recent Great Rebellion, the Jedi Bendu were the most feared warriors in the universe. For one hundred thousand years, generations of Jedi perfected their art as the personal bodyguards of the emperor. They were the chief architects of the invincible Imperial Space Force which expanded the Empire across the galaxy, from the celestial equator to the farthest reaches of the Great Rift. Now these legendary warriors are all but extinct. One by one they have been hunted down and destroyed as enemies of the New Empire by a ferocious and sinister rival warrior sect, the Knights of Sith.” - The first draft of Star Wars... was awful.
posted by Artw (149 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
"You can read this stuff, but..." - actually I can barely even read it.
posted by Artw at 2:42 PM on May 25, 2009


So I’d like to concentrate on the very first draft, which was titled simply The Star Wars. (Lucas would go on to title later drafts Star Wars: Adventures of the Starkiller, God help us all, but thankfully, he came to his senses and in the end stuck with Star Wars: A New Hope.)
posted by P.o.B. at 2:51 PM on May 25, 2009


Well, at least a few things made it into the final version.

HAN SOLO the Ureallian, a huge, green skinned monster with no nose and large gills.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 2:52 PM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


There is an Empire. There is a rebellion. There’s a princess. There are themes of tyranny verses democracy, which are mostly verbalized through somewhat preachy dialogue. There are characters who are called Luke, Han, Leia, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, etc, but the similarities end there.

The above also describes all the sequals.
posted by Faze at 2:54 PM on May 25, 2009


- Skywalker and company teach the “Wookees” how to fly a spacecraft.

- And then the “Wookees” fly the spacecrafts into outer space and attack the “space fortress.”


To see how Star Wars could have turned out, just watch Battlefield Earth.
posted by Midnight Rambler at 2:56 PM on May 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


This is awesome! Is it true? I have no specific reason to doubt that it is, just wondering.

May the force of others be with you all. And so say we all!
posted by Nelson at 2:57 PM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


This probably explains why he started at Episode 4.
posted by Effigy2000 at 2:58 PM on May 25, 2009


I have to say, I'm not surprised that drafts like these could come from the author of the prequels...
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:59 PM on May 25, 2009 [7 favorites]


I am a mediocre pool player. I was once out in a pub with three co-workers who tried to entice me into playing. I demurred and let them play as I watched, and finally after a couple of hours of them insisting, I consented to one game. Lacking any better four-player game, we played Solids and Stripes in two teams. A player from the other team broke, and failed to pocket anything. Then my teammate took a shot and again did not sink a ball. The third guy to shoot also did not sink anything,and then when it came to me, I sank the requisite seven balls in five shots, and then pocketed the eight. It was the greatest of flukes, but I know I can never shoot pool with any of them again

It seems apparent from these drafts and the finished versions of Episodes I, II and III that Lucas lucked out just that one time with the equivalent of my one perfect pool game. (Indeed,a buddy of mine says that if Lucas had died in a car accident in 1978, he would be remembered as the premier filmmaker of his generation,with a career cut tragically short leaving behind a huge unfulfilled promise.)

I suspect that the let-us-say erratic quality of the prequel trilogy springs at least partly from when you are a filmmaker with a gazillion dollars, there must be a lot of people around you who hear your half-formed notions of the plot and tell you what a fantastic idea that is, George, and you should totally include that in the finished version.

Insofar as he is aware of the masses reactions to the SW movies, it must rankle him to no end that The Empire Strikes Back,neither written by nor directed by him, is the one most widely beloved. How must it affect an artist to hear "We like your work,as long as someone else does it better."?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:01 PM on May 25, 2009 [50 favorites]


That Star Wars Holiday Special is starting to make sense now.
posted by hal9k at 3:02 PM on May 25, 2009 [7 favorites]


They say restrictions are actually a boon to creativity, when you have to work against something, you're much more creative, maybe because people are trying to subvert the structure, or because are trying to 'do the impossible' or because it provides a scaffolding to hang your structure.

On the other hand a totally blank piece of paper, with no restrictions can actually be much more challenging.

I think the technical restrictions in creating the first starwars movie really caused Lucas to produce something a lot better. He couldn't just do whatever he wanted, he had more limited resources. And of course ESB was directed by someone else. And Return of the Jedi was kind of mess, but he was still limited by the technology of the time.

But the 'new' Star Wars movies, aided by computer technology, Lucas had no limit in what he could do, and the results were awful.
posted by delmoi at 3:12 PM on May 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Of course one of the restrictions placed on Lucas in making the original movies was that he couldn't afford lots of effect shots. So he spaced things out with lots of long shots and dialog, which happens to make for better movies. On the other hand in the new movies the action was way rushed (IIRC)
posted by delmoi at 3:14 PM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Terrible, that treatment is.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:18 PM on May 25, 2009 [9 favorites]


Lucas had the amazing ability to scrap a script he just wrote and approach the story again from a completely different perspective, which he did repeatedly before settling on Luke and the hero’s arc.

Lucas also had the amazing ability to keep approaching the story again and again, rewriting it and rereleasing each version as a different movie.

Han shot first, and Boba Fett's new voice sucks.
posted by mattdidthat at 3:19 PM on May 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


In my world, the Emperor and the Empire died on the first Death Star, Luke married Leia who was never his sibling, and they all lived happily ever after, etc. The Star Wars universe began and ended with the movie in 1977. Everything since then has been a shameful blight on human culture.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:20 PM on May 25, 2009 [6 favorites]


He also wrote THX1138, American Graffiti, and of course helped write Raiders. I think he just got lazy. Relied on other people. Sometime that worked and sometimes it didn't.
posted by P.o.B. at 3:20 PM on May 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


It seems apparent from these drafts and the finished versions of Episodes I, II and III that Lucas lucked out just that one time with the equivalent of my one perfect pool game.

I don't think he lucked out so much as the force of creative tension between himself, the studio, the actors, and whomever else was holding the pursestrings combined to create something better than a single person could have done on his own.

The good bits of the original trilogy were part of a large amount of effort and rewriting and editing. Had the prequels turned out to be really good, when Lucas clearly had full creative control and was able to do whatever he wanted on a whim, then those would be just a fluke of luck.

What seems to me what happened was that Lucas had a bunch of bad ideas in the original script that got edited out. Things like plots that hinge on votes on alliance treaties and masquerading princesses. He obviously thought they were great ideas and was just waiting for the chance to put them in movies he had full creative control over. Even the idea of the distilled brains of brilliant scientists that would result in cloned 9-year-olds having the memories and scientific ability of those much older scientists seems to come out in his pod-racing, C3PO-building 9-year-old Anakin Skywalker. I don't think he just "got lucky" with the original trilogy. I think he just didn't learn anything over the next 20 years from his early experience having to write, re-write, and take criticism.
posted by deanc at 3:21 PM on May 25, 2009 [7 favorites]


Oh, and Vader retired, concealed his identity and made a fortune selling off old Empire weapons and lives with his robot wife back on Tatooine.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:22 PM on May 25, 2009 [5 favorites]


It seems apparent from these drafts and the finished versions of Episodes I, II and III that Lucas lucked out just that one time.

There's a saying in the music business that explains why so many sophomore efforts are awful: you have twenty years to make your first record... and six months to make your second.
posted by rokusan at 3:27 PM on May 25, 2009 [10 favorites]


So: There won't be a fan-made version of the earlier drafts?
posted by Pronoiac at 3:28 PM on May 25, 2009


On the other hand in the new movies the action was way rushed (IIRC)

Not entirely. There are also those interminable scenes of galactic politics played out in the enormous senate chamber where a bunch of CGI characters debate treaties and embargoes and trade federations and elections and then someone moves to vote and someone seconds and then there are some lasers or something.
posted by shakespeherian at 3:28 PM on May 25, 2009 [6 favorites]


They say restrictions are actually a boon to creativity, when you have to work against something.

Definitely. I coordinate a lot of creative work, and one thing I have learned if I want the project to turn out great: don't ever give me a blank slate or a blank check.
posted by rokusan at 3:29 PM on May 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


...there must be a lot of people around you who hear your half-formed notions...

The story that I keep hearing is that A New Hope and Empire were successful largely because there were still people around saying, "No, George. We can't do that, George." The second no-one stood up to say, "No," we got RotJ and the prequels.
posted by lekvar at 3:29 PM on May 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Indeed,a buddy of mine says that if Lucas had died in a car accident in 1978, he would be remembered as the premier filmmaker of his generation,with a career cut tragically short leaving behind a huge unfulfilled promise.

I disagree. Had he made the one film and died, the movie would have been mostly forgotten (as it should be) and Hollywood would be the better for it.

Star Wars is crap. Truly, horrible horrible crap. It's poorly written, horribly acted, contains tons of shitass expository dialogue... Had it come out 10 years earlier or later, it would have bombed and quickly been forgotten.

Further, had it never been made at all, the most talked about movie the year it actually did come out would have been Robert Altman's Three Women. And Hollywood would have been the better for it.

Yes, I live in a fantasy land. No, there are no fairies and elves in that fantasy land.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 3:29 PM on May 25, 2009 [5 favorites]


posted by lekvar The story that I keep hearing is that A New Hope and Empire were successful largely because there were still people around saying, "No, George. We can't do that, George." The second no-one stood up to say, "No," we got RotJ and the prequels.

In all fairness, the people who were saying, "No, George. We can't do that, George." were probably the same people who insisted Lucas put pants on Chewbacca.
posted by mattdidthat at 3:37 PM on May 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Between "Empire" (the strongest of the films) and "Jedi" (when the rot starting setting in), George Lucas separated from his wife (also his editor) Marcia, and his producing partner Gary Kurtz. I contend these two people were two of his biggest "bullshit filters", forcing him to go away and come back with better and stronger ideas.

Since then he's been surrounded by "yes" men who don't care about the quality of output (since it'll make a mint), and Lucas' writing hasn't moved beyond first drafts.
posted by John Shaft at 3:39 PM on May 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


Let's stop placing blame on Lucas and the toadies who work for him. Let's assign blame where blame is due: the legions of clueless fans. They are the enemy, not industry.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:41 PM on May 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Does anybody know of a source for the actual, original, un-re-edited Star Wars as it was originally seen in theatres, without the ep 4 and stupid CGI revisitation to "improve" it? I too feel the other 5 movies are just a bad dream Solo had the night after the big award celebration because he drank too much grog.
posted by localroger at 3:42 PM on May 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yoda of Borg, I am.
Grammar irrelevant is.
Assimilated you will be!
posted by netbros at 3:43 PM on May 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Had it come out 10 years earlier or later, it would have bombed and quickly been forgotten.

Apparently Fox didn't hold out much hope for Star Wars before it was released. They were more convinced that this
apocalyptic drama would be the blockbuster of 1977.
posted by panboi at 3:45 PM on May 25, 2009


For those of you interested, there's actually a book about the drafts and all that led up to and came from them called, "The Secret History of Star Wars." The primary website is available here.

I read it a little less than a year ago. It was entertaining enough, if a bit long. Sometimes the author leaps to conclusions, but there is a lot of information on early drafts of all the films, as well as Lucas himself.

For what it's worth, the book was available as a PDF for free for a time. It seems the author is now selling it. I am not sure I would have purchased it, alas.
posted by tcv at 3:46 PM on May 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Does anybody know of a source for the actual, original, un-re-edited Star Wars as it was originally seen in theatres, without the ep 4 and stupid CGI revisitation to "improve" it?

The original versions (even without the "Episode 4" subtitle) came out on DVD a couple of years ago. They were bundled with the Special Editions but I guess you can ignore those if you like.
posted by John Shaft at 3:50 PM on May 25, 2009


The original Annikin Starkiller has a lot more personality than Anakin Skywalker did -- him and his sulking fits and his hate for sand.
posted by Countess Elena at 3:55 PM on May 25, 2009


Extra amusement for NZers and Australians: the "dark side" of the Force was originally the "Bogan" (the light side was the "Ashla").
posted by John Shaft at 3:56 PM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Based on some scattered comments Lucas has made, there's always been this persistent speculation about a sequel trilogy to the original films. Today, Lucas maintains he always meant to only make six, I would totally go see a Star Wars movie about an elderly Luke Skywalker somehow thrust into an adventure with some distant relatives from some loser, backwater snarl of the Skywalker family tree: Kane and Annikin Starkiller.

Maybe true Jedis are again an endangered species, but this time the threat is not the machinations of the Sith, but the dominance of the Jedi Bendu sect. Picture a new age/megachurch version of the Force, with Jedi Bendu calling their lightsabers "laserswords," wishing the "force of others" upon one another and using what little Force powers they have to assemble complex starship components on the cheap. Skywalker and the Starkillers must whip up the apathetic Bendu against the tyrannical zoning laws of governor Crispin Hoedack. Will the Starkillers be able to get enough Jedi Bendu to sign the petition to put Skywalker's rezoning initiative on next fall's ballot? FIND OUT IN EPISODE SEVEN!
posted by EatTheWeak at 3:56 PM on May 25, 2009 [9 favorites]


The original versions (even without the "Episode 4" subtitle) came out on DVD a couple of years ago. They were bundled with the Special Editions but I guess you can ignore those if you like.

In glorious two-channel stereo sound and non-anamorphic widescreen! I bet he's great at giving birthday gifts, too.

Kid: "Wow, an X-Box!"
Lucas: "Enjoy!"
Kid: "Wait, this is an old style X-Box in an X-Box 360 package."
Lucas: "Yes..."
Kid: "And the controller is missing half the buttons."
Lucas: "But it's an X-Box!"
Kid: "I suppose I'll play with it since it's all I have..."
Lucas: "That's what I thought."
posted by starman at 4:05 PM on May 25, 2009 [6 favorites]


posted by John Shaft Extra amusement for NZers and Australians: the "dark side" of the Force was originally the "Bogan" (the light side was the "Ashla").

One wonders if Return of the Jedi originally featured Ewogs.
posted by mattdidthat at 4:11 PM on May 25, 2009 [6 favorites]


Oh, and Vader retired, concealed his identity and made a fortune selling off old Empire weapons and lives with his robot wife back on Tatooine.

Now we know what the R and the D stand in R2D2. Let's just hope they also make a softer more realistic model.
posted by Sova at 4:16 PM on May 25, 2009


No, there are no fairies and elves in that fantasy land

Ewogs?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:21 PM on May 25, 2009


Some days I doubt my skills as a writer. Some days.
posted by The Whelk at 4:32 PM on May 25, 2009


John Shaft: "Between "Empire" (the strongest of the films) and "Jedi" (when the rot starting setting in), George Lucas separated from his wife (also his editor) Marcia, and his producing partner Gary Kurtz. I contend these two people were two of his biggest "bullshit filters", forcing him to go away and come back with better and stronger ideas. "

I'm probably repeating myself but I'm convinced that even the best artists need a harsh critic. It seems like a lot of creative people don't have any skill in self criticism and get too emotionally attached to their projects to be able to cut out what's bad and keep what's good. I still love Star Wars, Empire and about 3/4 of Jedi and you can see that there were some good ideas in the prequels but there are at least two bad ideas for each good one. I can see an analogy in Paul McCartney who had Lennon and George Martin to tell him that he was being a twit when he was in the Beatles and then afterward when he could do anything he wanted he put out mostly puerile crap.
posted by octothorpe at 4:37 PM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Only nostalgia blinds you to the truth that the first three are only marginally better than the last three.
posted by DU at 4:38 PM on May 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


Rumor has it that Lucas's "amazing ability to scrap a script he just wrote and approach the story again from a completely different perspective" came from his producer for the first Star Wars, Alan Ladd, Jr., who didn't give him any other choice.
posted by shetterly at 4:48 PM on May 25, 2009


Nobody said 'I have a bad feeling about this'?
posted by kldickson at 5:00 PM on May 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm with Burhanistan, I'd have been totally happy with just "Star Wars", with no sequels or prequels or anything.

The prequels especially annoy me. I do not want Darth Vader to have a backstory. I do not want him humanized, with a girlfriend and a hobby. Fuck all that. Darth Vader is Darth Vader, a 10 foot tall shiny black cyborg with the coolest looking cyborg outfit in the history of cinema and he can choke a bitch just by pointing his finger at him. What the fuck do I care that he liked to build robots when he was a kid??? Way to ruin Darth Fucking Vader.
posted by Cookiebastard at 5:09 PM on May 25, 2009 [39 favorites]


Ever since I saw the Yoda v. Dooku fight, I realized that George Lucas is a hack, and simply got lucky. By only hinting at the bigger story behind Eps 4-6, his utter ineptness didn't really show.

Yoda is OLD. That fight should have been subtle and awesome, like aged martial artists fight. They hobble onto the mat, limber up a little, bow, and then throw young guys around the freaking room with no visible effort. They're not very flexible anymore, nor are they terribly strong, but their skills are so honed that even with their greatly diminished physical capacities, they're fearsome.

Yoda should have been like that... shuffling slowly across a big field of some kind. Doofus should have done his level best to wreck him with pure strength, throwing first rocks and then boulders and then lightning, getting increasingly desperate, while Yoda did exactly enough to neutralize each attack, and not a hair more. (I have a clear image, for example, of a huge incoming boulder, where Yoda frowns a bit, lowers his ears, and avoids it by a centimeter or so as it whooshes past overhead.) Small motions, tiny gestures, very slight deflections: he should have been the calm in a hurricane, marching inexorably forward. He might have sparked up his lightsaber at about the halfway point to help with deflection, but the actual lightsaber battle should have been over almost instantly, with Yoda striking precisely once, deciding the fight.

That would have been fantastic, and it would have added so much impact to the final battle with the Emperor. Watching Yoda struggle and sweat and eventually lose would mean so much more when you'd seen what he could do with so little effort.

I gather that Lucas' animators were of a similar mindset, and he overruled them. He wanted spectacle, so he turned Yoda from a semi-mythical figure into a yo-yo. He violated the character, and a good chunk of his entire mythology, for two minutes of special effects, because "the audience wants to see Yoda throw down." Yes, George, yes they did -- but they wanted to see an ancient Jedi master, not a cat on crack.

So, no, I don't think too much of Lucas as a filmmaker.
posted by Malor at 5:11 PM on May 25, 2009 [93 favorites]


posted by DU Only nostalgia blinds you to the truth that the first three are only marginally better than the last three.

For me, it wasn't nostalgia; it was the fact I was nine years old. Here's a timeline:

Star Wars, 1977.
Age: 9.
Reaction: THIS IS THE MOST AMAZING THING I HAVE SEEN IT IS EVEN MORE AMAZING THAN STAR TREK AND AND AND LET'S RIDE OUR BIKES DOWN THE STORM DRAIN AND PRETEND IT'S THE DEATH STAR TRENCH PCHOO PCHOO PCHOO LOOK I MADE A LIGHTSABER OUT OF A FLASHLIGHT!

The Star Wars Holiday Special, 1978.
Age: 10.
Reaction: What the fuck? Was that real?

The Empire Strikes Back, 1980.
Age: 12.
Reaction: That was so totally amazing, it was even better than Star Wars! I can't believe Darth Vader is Luke's father! That story was awesome. I can't wait to see the next sequel! Also, BJ and the Bear is on tonight!

Return of the Jedi, 1983.
Age: 15.
Reaction: Uh, this is kind of stupid. Am I the oldest kid here? I hope Maria Elena Gonzalez from Algebra doesn't see me here. She's totally cute.

The Phantom Menace, 1999.
Age: 31.
Reaction: Well, that kind of sucked, but I'm still excited to see whatever happens with the Clone Wars, and the origins of Han Solo and Darth Vader in the next two movies.

Attack of the Clones, 2002.
Age: 34.
Reaction: Holy crap, that sucked. But the next one's going to be awesome, because it'll explain the Clone Wars and the origins of Han Solo and Darth Vader.

Revenge of the Sith, 2005.
Age: 37.
Reaction: I want the past 28 years of my life back.
posted by mattdidthat at 5:20 PM on May 25, 2009 [47 favorites]


I second the 'Star Wars is crap' notion. Since I don't want people to think I just came in to say that and shit in the thread, I'd like to add this: I wish they'd make Ender's Game into a movie. A good movie. Also, I'm hungry.
posted by Bageena at 5:29 PM on May 25, 2009


Nobody said 'I have a bad feeling about this'?

They did, but this isn't the original thread, it's the Special Edition.
posted by panboi at 5:29 PM on May 25, 2009 [6 favorites]


Extra amusement for NZers and Australians: the "dark side" of the Force was originally the "Bogan" (the light side was the "Ashla").
I'm picturing Darth Vader rocking up in a Holden Torana with AC/DC blasting from the stereo, leaving a trail of empty Lion Red bottles.
posted by Miss Otis' Egrets at 5:32 PM on May 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


The creative process is so cool. Anyone who creates knows. You start with a germ, you nurture it, you may even have to kill it and start over, yet eventually if you have something to say it comes forth. So Star Wars started out as nothing more than a simple desire to make a space story. He got it right somehow. He tapped into everything that came before an put it into space, kind of like Star Trek. If only he had Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. to star in it.
posted by caddis at 5:33 PM on May 25, 2009


Reaction: I want the past 28 years of my life back.

I didn't have that reaction so much as a reaction of, "Ok, that previous stage of my life is now over, and I can move on to other things. Clearly I can stop spending so much mental energy on this whole Star Wars thing, now."

And yet here I am, still talking about it.
posted by deanc at 5:42 PM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm sure if Lucas were to do a sequel trilogy it would involve Luke as the leader of a galactic holy war against the scattered Empire holdouts, while his sister, now known as Leia of the Dagger, handles running the New Alliance as well as raising Luke's two children, Ledo and Galia. Leia has been a master of the force for many years, now, but her power has come with a price: she is haunted by the specter of Palpatine who convinces her that he is her uncle. "Leia, I am your... uncle." "Noooooooo!" This ongoing internal conflict has brought out her harsher side, thus her epithet. Eventually, specter Palpatine convinces Leia to succumb to the dark side and to seal her commitment, Palpatine tells her to kill Luke's children. But Ledo and Galia have been one step ahead of Leia and are able to escape with the help of Mirella, one of Luke's Worm Talkers, his elite personal guard. After a bunch of chase scenes and contrived emotional tension in the second movie, it ends with Luke returning to confront Leia. Leia cuts off both his arms. But before she can deliver the killing blow, Ledo returns... transformed. He has somehow melded with the light saber crystals which now cover his body. He has become a human light saber. He kills Leia, says his goodbyes to his father just before he dies, then takes over the New Alliance ready to lead it toward the Platinum Trail.
posted by effwerd at 5:47 PM on May 25, 2009 [20 favorites]


I'm with Malor. That's why I don't buy this "nostalga" filter - the first movie sucked, you just can't see it crap.
Star Wars was a SAMURAI movie. In fact he admits he borrowed heavily from Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress. And it works on all the same levels. You can say anything good in it came from somewhere else, sure. But Lucas only stole from the best in Star Wars. It's a solidly fun film. And it deserves the accolades it's gotten.
Most people who bad mouth it typically have a problem with the sci-fi or fantasy genre in the first place and maybe have a chip on their shoulders because they think it's for adolescents because of all the bad sci-fi out there or the ubiquity of the fans.
But if we're talking serious geeks who are complete fanatics and encourage obsession and bad behavior, etc - all the worst traits of trekkies, et.al - let's talk opera.
Those people are in-fucking-sane. Same deal for me. I like sci-fi. I like music. I'm not obsessed. But you broach the subject (Say, that Frederica von Stade can really belt out a number) and you're overwhelmed nearly instantly by a fan who assumes you too obsess over the smallest minutia and are willing to throw yourself into traffic to lick their boots.
Easy there tuxedo, I just caught her at the Chicago Humanities Festival, I don't follow her like she's the Dead.
I mean where do you think the term 'diva' comes from?
So anything can be spoiled by fawning fans.
I don't think Star Wars is the greatest film of all time, but it's a good, fun, movie with some interesting themes and the whole series is pretty much a samurai trilogy with the spooky martial arts and the legendary swords (except they're light sabers ok) etc. etc. that incorporates elements of the rollicking space opera.
Lucas might be talentless, but you can't argue it's dreck anymore than you could say the Godfather is lousy because Robert Evans is a narcissistic prick. Or if you don't like gangster movies to begin with.
It's just entertainment. As it is - it is entertaining. Not everyone is going to like it, but some people have different taste.
It'd be nice if Lucas remembered that and didn't go back to try and 'perfect' his earlier films (THX1138 - why mess with that? It was fine. Not great, but just fine the way it was).

To be fair, American Graffiti could use some jawa's saying "Utaini!" and maybe some Ewoks to break the tension of one of the guys going off to Vietnam. Maybe show the Ewoks in the jungle, and he discovers a hidden temple. Why not, if you've got so much money you're divorced from reality?
posted by Smedleyman at 5:55 PM on May 25, 2009 [6 favorites]


Only nostalgia blinds you to the truth that the first three are only marginally better than the last three.

Yes, I'm willing to admit that. After watching the prequels, I went back and watched the originals again - the original originals, not the re-re-re-released versions and saw them...differently...than before.

But, you know what? I'm hanging onto those three films because one day I will share them with my sons. And I'll get to relive those feelings of how awesome I thought they were through them. At least I hope so.
posted by never used baby shoes at 6:06 PM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks Malor. Tragically, most people I talk to liked the Yoda fight. I had the idea that what made the Emperor scary was that he didn't need a light saber. It was like a toy to him, and the fact that Luke was carrying around this toy told him everything he needed to know about how dangerous Luke was. And I always thought that Yoda would be the same (in his own way, obviously). Instead, evidently the cane and the limp is for show, and he's, as you said, a cat on crack.
posted by Humanzee at 6:20 PM on May 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Most people who bad mouth it typically have a problem with the sci-fi or fantasy genre in the first place and maybe have a chip on their shoulders because they think it's for adolescents because of all the bad sci-fi out there or the ubiquity of the fans.

I think that You Should See the Other Guy inadvertently touches on the hostility of some people to Star Wars: it changed movie watching into something they don't personally like. The 1970s was full of a lot of good movies like Taxi Driver, Chinatown, and The Deer Hunter-- complex movies made by director-auteurs. Star Wars really introduced the concept of the summer blockbuster. Combine this with the Heaven's Gate fiasco, and studios saw more money in making summer action movies than putting up millions of dollars to help some director realize his "vision."

It's not so much that they have a problem with sci-fi per se (I'm sure they love the original Solaris) as much as they're angry about the fact that studios are trying to recreate the buzz and the financial success of the Star Wars trilogy. Which is fine, but Star Wars is still a great movie even if some people don't consider it good feeelm.
posted by deanc at 6:23 PM on May 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


Whatever Uncle George can use to sell licensing deals is what he'll make, that's his creative vision. That's what drives him, anything and everything else is just noise. The fact that folks have bought into this whole shtick is a bit sad, if not predictable. Meanwhile, a truly great set of stories centered around A Wrinkle in Time never went further than a terrible direct-to-video Disney nightmare. There's no justice in the wacky world of commercial film.
posted by dbiedny at 6:41 PM on May 25, 2009


Let's assign blame where blame is due: the legions of clueless fans.

I don't know. Ever walk past the science-fiction section of a bookstore and see how many Star Wars novels have been written? It seems to me that for the really dedicated fans, the ones who dress up like stormtroopers and attend conventions, there's a lot more to the Star Wars universe than just six movies. Maybe lots of that stuff is really good.

there's always been this persistent speculation about a sequel trilogy to the original films.

And it will get made. If Lucas decides he's serious about not producing any more films, that's fine. He's in control now. But one day he'll die and no matter how fervent his wishes or specific his instructions, there's just too damn much money to be made. Eventually, those sequels will exist.
posted by cribcage at 6:46 PM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Only nostalgia blinds you to the truth that the first three are only marginally better than the last three.

Oh fuck that shit.
posted by Artw at 6:52 PM on May 25, 2009 [8 favorites]


I want Malor's Yoda fight scene to be made. It can be made apropos of nothing: just as if it had been clipped right out of some larger movie
posted by five fresh fish at 7:08 PM on May 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


I haven't read the whole thread yet I suspect the gist of it is: Star Wars isn't complete crap, it's just mostly crap.

For the record, I was just out of high school when the first one came out and as such, though it entertained me, I found it a bit too kids-stuff to go head-over-heels for it. Yes, the second one was an improvement but Airplane! was in the theaters at the same time and it was just ... better.
posted by philip-random at 7:15 PM on May 25, 2009


cribcage - Absolutely. I suppose the thing to do is to is to claw our way in to Lucasfilm one way or another right now and to start making connections while waiting for Lucas to head off to the Gray Havens. The prequels came out while I was getting out of school; I was too late to save them - but if we move now, we can be in position to keep teh suck out of of teh sequels.

You know what I always wanted to see? A lightsaber duel where the Jedis/Sith involved aren't touching their lightsabers. Maybe each one's got three or four in play and they're just force-slinging them at each other, carving the shit out of the scenery while the Jedis move only when they have to dodge.

Also: widespread genetic breakdown among a few legions of storm/clone troopers, just to throw a mutant imperial fleet into the mix.

Also: WOOKIEE. JEDI. Muuuwwrowar! ~FFZZZT~ Rowowlll! ~PEW! PEW!~
posted by EatTheWeak at 7:16 PM on May 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


I wish they'd make Ender's Game into a movie. A good movie.

That seems extremely unlikely. Well, the good movie part. That is unless dull writing, a telegraphed central conceit and twelve year old boy wish fulfillment make a good movie. I would rather watch Jar Jar Binks read the phone book for two hours then an Ender's * movie.

I may be in the minority on this one.
posted by shothotbot at 7:20 PM on May 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


Lemme break it down:

George didn't write the final product that is Star Wars all by his lonesome. He came up with concepts and characters and even an outline. But, thanks to the input of those around him (his wife, Gary Kurtz, Coppola, Spielberg), he was getting all sorts of input and advice. This eventually led to a very entertaining film, one that I still enjoy today. Then, when he had great success with that film, he decided to make a sequel. Rightly, he came up again with concepts, but handed the writing off to Lawrence Kasdan (a pretty good screenwriter, without a doubt) and Irving Kirshner (a more-than-capable director) and they served as collaborators on what became one of my favorite films of all time.

With Jedi, he started exerting more control. By the time the prequels were being pre-planned, he decided to write them himself and direct them himself, two things he is NOT all that good at. His concepts, with some tweaking, can become something good. But as long as he controls every major aspect himself, it turns to shit. And that's the thing: he's an idea man. And that's it. Once he wanders beyond his core competency (without major interference/input from others), he fucks up. His "good" films were good IN SPITE OF his effort, not because of.1 This first draft proves it.

Although, Phantom Menace wasn't half the turd The Clone Wars (the CGI movie released last year) was. Eeechh.



1. Yet, I still own all six of these Star Wars films on DVD for some reason. Go figure.
posted by grubi at 7:26 PM on May 25, 2009


I may be in the minority on this one.

Yeah, well, me too.
posted by grubi at 7:26 PM on May 25, 2009


That is unless dull writing, a telegraphed central conceit and twelve year old boy wish fulfillment make a good movie.

Well, it worked for Star Wars.




I keed! I keed!
posted by grubi at 7:29 PM on May 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


That is unless dull writing, a telegraphed central conceit and twelve year old boy wish fulfillment make a good movie.

Well, it worked for Star Wars.


Yeah, I was sort of thinking that as I was bashing Ender's Game. All a mater of taste, I suppose.
posted by shothotbot at 7:34 PM on May 25, 2009


Star Wars really introduced the concept of the summer blockbuster.

No it didn't. Jaws predates it by 2 years and was a huge summer blockbuster. The Exorcists predates it by 4 years and was a huge summer blockbuster. What Star Wars introduced was that idiots will pay money and line up for the privelage of watching shit as long as it sparkles. Jaws and The Exorcist are terrific films--solid storytelling and filmmaking that both achieve their goals: scaring the beejezus out of the audience. Both are very well acted, scripted, shot, and scored. Star Wars is none of those things (okay, the score is okay). This has nothing to do with "sci fi". People who like great movies don't hate SW because it's SF. They hate it because it's laughably bad. Any intelligent adult can watch Jaws, The Exorcist, the Godfather... they hold up. Any intelligent adult who watches SW for the first time shuts that shit off after 20 minutes. It's boring. It's a snoozefest. It's poop. The only adults who like the film are ones who saw it as a kid or who really have nothing else going on in their lives. Anyone with grass to mow has something better to do than watch Star Wars.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 7:38 PM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Any intelligent adult who watches SW for the first time shuts that shit off after 20 minutes. ... The only adults who like the film are ones who saw it as a kid or who really have nothing else going on in their lives. Anyone with grass to mow has something better to do than watch Star Wars.

Yikes, dude. I don't think I'd like living in your fantasy land.
posted by EatTheWeak at 7:41 PM on May 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I'm in the camp that George was influenced by Kurosawa, but not enough. As was mentioned above, the Yoda/Dooku fight should have been a lot of sound and fury ended with a single elegant stroke (think the showdown in Seven Samurai.)

Hell, George had to explain his increasing reliance on CGI in the movies, by saying 'the Force was diminishing' (Is it? Why? Oh, right. Better CGI in the 'earlier' movies.)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:43 PM on May 25, 2009


Any intelligent adult who watches SW for the first time shuts that shit off after 20 minutes. It's boring. It's a snoozefest. It's poop. The only adults who like the film are ones who saw it as a kid or who really have nothing else going on in their lives. Anyone with grass to mow has something better to do than watch Star Wars.
This is just such ridiculous, blatant troll bait that I have to dismiss it entirely. It's the ravings of a pimply-faced teenager trying to rile up the crowd in the comments section of fark. And there it would work.
posted by deanc at 7:47 PM on May 25, 2009


I want Malor's Yoda fight scene to be made. It can be made apropos of nothing: just as if it had been clipped right out of some larger movie.


I wish they'd make Ender's Game into a movie. A good movie.

I used to wish this. And then I learned what an unmitigated asshole Orson Scott Card is. He is utterly hateful. I liked the Ender's series; I think it was pretty much brilliant. But there's not a chance in heaven or hell that Orson Scott Card will ever see another nickel from me.

Fuck him. His church and the organizations it supports tell balls-out lies to the public. They use the finest market-based research brainwashing techniques to agitate easily-led people into voting in support of hateful policies. They manipulate the masses to support a class society in which one group of people will have advantages and opportunities that are outright banned for another group of people. It is utterly sickening.

[spit]

now ask me about something i really care about. gay rights? good god, what civilized nation is denying gays the right to marry these days? no, there are more important issues we need to deal with. of course they have those rights. just like women got their rights and blacks got their rights and the landowners got their rights and the monarchy and church got their rights and so on and so forth. that's how progress works, let's move beyond social issues now and start dealing with real issues. stupid socially-regressive small-minded shitstain, is Orson Scott Card.

tuna. ask me about the tuna. garrhh. there's no more fucking tuna. do you people even know what kind of oceanic disaster that points toward? ffffishdicks!


[breathes. goes has a lie-down.]

Sorry about that, folks.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:49 PM on May 25, 2009 [12 favorites]


Just wait until J.J.Abrams comes along in 2027 and "reboots" the whole fucking thing for its 50th anniversary.
posted by briank at 7:52 PM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


The only adults who like the film are ones who saw it as a kid or who really have nothing else going on in their lives.

May I respectfully submit: Go fuck yourself.
posted by grubi at 7:54 PM on May 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


Most people who bad mouth it typically have a problem with the sci-fi or fantasy genre in the first place and maybe have a chip on their shoulders because they think it's for adolescents because of all the bad sci-fi out there or the ubiquity of the fans.

I've generally given up on talking about Star Wars on the interwebs (I think that Harrison Ford is the only thing that makes the original trilogy tolerable compared to the prequels), but I'll duck in here and comment.

I fucking LOVE science fiction of all stripes. Star Wars just bores me.
posted by brundlefly at 7:57 PM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Just wait until J.J.Abrams comes along in 2027 and "reboots" the whole fucking thing for its 50th anniversary.

Actually, I would! Considering the joy and fun in the new Star Trek movie, that's exactly what it would take for me to give a crap about Star Wars again. Edit out the blovation, boredom, racism, sexism, styrofoam rocks and start the hell over.
posted by Countess Elena at 7:58 PM on May 25, 2009


Interesting. As a big a geek as I am, most sci-fi bores me. And I'm a sci-fi fan.
posted by grubi at 7:58 PM on May 25, 2009


So grubi and deanc, are you saying that you didn't watch SW as children and saw it for the first time as an adult and liked it? I'm genuinely curious. Because I've never met an adult who saw it for the first time and liked it.

This is just such ridiculous, blatant troll bait

Dude, you posted that SW invented the summer blockbuster. It didn't. Hell, The Exorcist came out in December and was still playing the next summer and that was in 1973/4! :)
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 8:01 PM on May 25, 2009


So grubi and deanc, are you saying that you didn't watch SW as children and saw it for the first time as an adult and liked it? I'm genuinely curious. Because I've never met an adult who saw it for the first time and liked it.

I'm saying you have dismissed not only the opinions of those who enjoy the movies still as adults, you've dismissed us as people. Your opinion is no longer valid.
posted by grubi at 8:03 PM on May 25, 2009


I'm saying you have dismissed not only the opinions of those who enjoy the movies still as adults

I didn't dismiss them. I just consider them tainted by nostalgia. Fuck, every once in a while I throw on Hot August Night, but I completely understand how someone who wasn't there when it came out won't understand when I do.

you've dismissed us as people.

Um, no, never did that.

Your opinion is no longer valid.

You're wearing a Darth Vader helmet in your profile pic. I suspect my opinion on Star Wars was never valid to you.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 8:23 PM on May 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


It might be a hard sell to American film audiences to show how sexually obsessed Ender is with his sister Valentine.

Or would it?
posted by Balisong at 8:29 PM on May 25, 2009


Gaaah. Nerd rage? On Memorial Day? Did you get outside today?
posted by Pronoiac at 8:31 PM on May 25, 2009


Dude, you posted that SW invented the summer blockbuster. It didn't.

You'll notice that I didn't excerpt that part of your post regarding my error (though the Exorcist, being released in December, doesn't count. Jaws, being released in June, would have.). The rest of it is indistinguishable from standard-issue troll-bait. So, yeah, I'm pretty much dismissing your arguments entirely, much like the whiners take to task on threads about the Oscars who complain that the academy didn't recognize the obscure Vietnamese film they just loved last year.
posted by deanc at 8:32 PM on May 25, 2009


I don't even own a TV.
posted by EatTheWeak at 8:33 PM on May 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm coming to your house tonight and I'm going to burn anything that looks remotely like Star Wars merchandise. You'd best not be wearing any of it because that will get burned also. It's for the best; you'll thank me one day.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:35 PM on May 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


A Wrinkle in Time never went further than a terrible direct-to-video Disney nightmare. There's no justice in the wacky world of commercial film.
posted by dbiedny at 6:41 PM on May 25 [+] [!]

While I'm a big fan of AWIT and one of its sequels (Swiftly Tilting Planet--better than the original!), by the end of the series, L'Engle was totally painfully obvious with her Evangelical Christian themes (to the point where one of her character's major conflicts is whether she can pray to Jesus after she travels back in time to some weird Pagan society that is inexplicably in the new world in the years b.c.). Which is to say that even sometimes great authors can have dubious motivations, can suffer if editors don't tell them that what they're doing is way ridiculously lame, and can massively destroy a franchise. Lucas isn't exactly alone in this.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:35 PM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


The rest of it is indistinguishable from standard-issue troll-bait.

Why? Because it's the polar opposite of your own opinion? If you're really that smitten with the film--that you honestly think no one in their right mind would think it's total shit and really would only say that it was to be a troll... well, isn't that proof in and of itself that your opinion of the movie is ridiculously biased?

I love Ishtar, but I don't think people who've actually seen it and think it's shit are trolls. Same goes for the first Hulk film. It's just my opinion; it's just theirs. It's only a movie.

Seriously, having seen it as a child and loved it, it's near impossible for you to judge it by any meaningful standard. That isn't an insult. It's the very definition of nostalgia.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 8:56 PM on May 25, 2009


Fair enough, YShSThOG, but there's a difference between "I don't like this movie" and "you would have to be a complete loser with nothing going on in their life to like this movie." That was kinda harsh.

I dug the first Hulk movie too, actually. I feel it represents the missing half of the movie they just put out. One has too much sulk, the other has too much SMASH! Maybe they'll balance that out one of these days.
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:03 PM on May 25, 2009


Your opinion is no longer valid.

You're wearing a Darth Vader helmet in your profile pic. I suspect my opinion on Star Wars was never valid to you.


You Should See the Other Guy, I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say this.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 9:04 PM on May 25, 2009


mattdidthat, don't forget,

The Muppet Show, With Special Guest Stars Luke Skywalker, R2-D2, C-3PO, and Chewbacca, 1980
posted by ActingTheGoat at 9:13 PM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


"you would have to be a complete loser with nothing going on in their life to like this movie."

First of all, I never called anyone a loser.

Second, I think my qualifier, which deanc and grubi both ignored, is important: I made a distinction between people who saw it as a child and still like it and people who saw it for the first time as an adult and liked it. I understand the former; I've never even met the latter.

And, in my opinion, any adult who's never seen Star Wars and makes it past the first act has absolutely nothing better to do. Yes, I think it's that bad.

I've known numerous adults who've tried to watch it for the first time. Everyone of them says the same thing: "What the fuck?! It was boring. I turned it off."
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 9:13 PM on May 25, 2009


I can't dismiss Star Wars despite its many flaws because it just seemed to hit a sweet spot for me, sci-fi wise. Quite probably this is because it was the first sophisticated sci fi movie I ever saw, in terms of sets and effects--I mean, we had early Star Trek, Logan's Run, Buck Rogers, and..well that was it, mostly. That pure-white ship interior, the exterior shots, Darth Frickin' Vader...blew my little mind as a kid. And would have at least been new to me as an adult.

The fans aren't so much bootlickers as people who are struck by the possibilities that this particular set of stories suggest...I mean, read the rewrite upthread of the Yoda fight scene. Something in this set of stories and characters, however undeserved, sets up suggestions for greater stories in the minds of lots of people.

I despised Luke, the whiner, liked Leia but thought she would've been better without Han, and found Han sexy but irritating. But I wanted to fly those starships and walk in those gleaming hallways with monsters and robots. Or live in that cloud city. It was captivating. And the Vader theme was brilliant, ominous and sweeping and instantly recognizable.

Maybe we should not be looking at Lucas' imagination as much as that of the people around him, who built those amazing worlds that we wanted to live in. I think that has a lot more to do with the affection and nostalgia than most of the plotlines or characters.
posted by emjaybee at 9:14 PM on May 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


I don't think he's protesting that you don't like Star Wars, but that you said "who really have nothing else going on in their lives." That's just stock Mothers Basement trolling.

I also think the movie is pretty lame, but don't have any value judgments to make of people who like it. I enjoy some pretty stupid shit myself.
posted by cj_ at 9:20 PM on May 25, 2009


I just finished watching Shark Attack 3: Megalodon. For the second time.
posted by cj_ at 9:24 PM on May 25, 2009 [5 favorites]


YSStOG:

Would it change your opinion if I told you that in college I showed all three of the original Star Wars films to a friend who had never seen them before, and she loved them? Or would you just call me a liar because that anecdote is neither black nor white?
posted by shakespeherian at 9:28 PM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I enjoy some pretty stupid shit myself.

As do I. The difference seems to be that we'll admit their shit.

But whatever, I'll bow out. My "nothing going on in their lives" comment was more meant to clearly state the level of shit that I put SW at rather than the "lameness" of the people I was categorizing. But with hindsight I can see how that's not clear.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 9:28 PM on May 25, 2009


You Should See the Other Guy: So grubi and deanc, are you saying that you didn't watch SW as children and saw it for the first time as an adult and liked it? I'm genuinely curious. Because I've never met an adult who saw it for the first time and liked it.

I think my wife was 20 the first time she saw the first three Star Wars movies. She could name many better, high cinema movies that she has seen, but she enjoyed it quite a bit.

The original, un-recut versions, mind you. After I showed her some of the dicking around they did later, and she was as disgusted as anyone else.
posted by paisley henosis at 9:35 PM on May 25, 2009


Lucas seems like a guy interested in Big Ideas, not necessarily good ones; High Concept ("His best friend is an eight foot tall dog... ape... Sasquatch! But he's not a dog, or an ape, or a Sasquatch. He's a Wookie!") is where the guy lives. The first Star Wars was an ideal adventure flick for its time and place: After the enervation and confusion of the post-Vietnam moral wipeout, here was a story with great special effects, a wham-bam tempo, a rousing score, and a sense of humor-- all located in a fantasy universe whose markers for Good and Evil were obvious, where the enemy was apparent and war could again be a gateway to initiation and swashbuckling fun. To me, the fascinating thing is that it seems to have laid out the template for the reintroduction of Old-Fashioned Morality in the U.S.; after Star Wars, talk of "values" and "spirituality" became much more prominent in mainstream politics and media. These things would have of course bubbled back up eventually-- and they were already on the way to doing so-- but Star Wars did hasten the process.

I don't blame Star Wars for re-introducing simplistic notions of Obvious Evil and Unambiguous Good; these things, again, were on their way back anyway.

As far as Lucas' talent is concerned, well, I think the anecdote above about The One Great Game of Pool pretty much captures it-- he pretty much succeeding in nailing the needs of the Zeitgeist precisely once... but once is all you need, to make a massive impact.

As a side-note, judging by his interviews, Lucas seems very wedded to the notion that the Star Wars films are kids' films first and last and always. Which is rather sad, in that the first film created such strong emotional anchors for moviegoers of the year 1977, and cast such a shadow on pop culture, that he pretty much could have gone anywhere with the later films, and the audience would have followed... but he was determined that the SW films would not grow up; or he was at least unable to see that his skills as a writer could not allow them to grow up.

Yeah, too bad that he didn't pass the later films off to someone else. Supposedly Spielberg begged to do Phantom Menace... which actually would have been a good fit. If you've gotta do a story about a cloying Lovable Tyke, it may as well be done by the Bard of Lovable Tykes himself. Sure, it would have been a bit too slick, and probably saccharine, but maybe, just maybe, it could have been watchable. As opposed to the journey into the depths of puke-making that it turned out to be.
posted by darth_tedious at 9:45 PM on May 25, 2009


I think there is a difference between watching that movie in '77 and sitting down to watch it next to some other sci-fi flick 30 plus years newer. Judging by the stock footage of newscasts about Star Wars, I'm quite positive there were a lot of adults who appreciated the film when they first watched it when it was released.
posted by P.o.B. at 9:47 PM on May 25, 2009


Clearly what You Should See the Other Guy is trying to say is that he's much, much, smarter than everybody who like things he does not like and he has special insights that you cannot possibly comprehend. But that's, like, just his opinion, man.
posted by tkchrist at 10:09 PM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


"to clearly state" : clearly wasn't clear...

but I agree the first SW wasn't that great a movie in writing, acting, or pacing -
it was charming though - and set a new standard for sci-fi in terms of scope and effects

but Empires is a great movie - written and directed by other people, it is tighter and overall a dark movie which is pretty cool

Return starts out promising, although from the top the more "fratboy" atmospohere is back - and by the end of the movie is a descent into shlock.


aside: ricochet biscuit
Nearly the exactly same thing happened to me while out for some afterwork beers with the guys from the lumberyard I was working at at that time - but I cleared the table off the break - other guy didn't get a shot in. Super flukey incident - and yup - can't play pool with them again :P

posted by sloe at 10:10 PM on May 25, 2009


Once, when I was about 8 years old, I said to hell with it and started using GI Joe and Star Wars figures and playsets interchangeably in my own decontexualized and spontaneous way. I never could bring myself to cross the lines with my Transformers and Voltron toys, however, and play with those remained within acceptable limits of their respective universes.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:27 PM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Burhanistan - After years of resistance, I integrated my Transformers and Gobots into a single roboverse. The Gobots were absolutely second class citizens from that day forward. There was no Gobot suffrage.
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:47 PM on May 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


You're wearing a Darth Vader helmet in your profile pic. I suspect my opinion on Star Wars was never valid to you.

COLD BUSTED!

posted by blasdelf at 10:58 PM on May 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


EatTheWeak: Heh, I forgot about the handful of Gobots that I owned. They usually served as Autobot extras and cannon fodder.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:37 PM on May 25, 2009


Its fun to tell other people that the things they like suck. Apparently.
posted by moonbiter at 1:02 AM on May 26, 2009


I'm probably repeating myself but I'm convinced that even the best artists need a harsh critic. It seems like a lot of creative people don't have any skill in self criticism and get too emotionally attached to their projects to be able to cut out what's bad and keep what's good.

This is very true. Smart creative people recognise this, which is why (for example) short story collections all have huge lists of thank-yous to wives/husbands, editors, and so on.

It's probably most notable, I think, with middling talents. Anne Rice's first few vampire novels were pretty good, actually. Not great, not stunning, but good, decently written genre fiction. Once she decided she was too good for some editor to mangle her deathless prose they quickly turned to complete shit.
posted by rodgerd at 2:02 AM on May 26, 2009


grubi: "George didn't write the final product that is Star Wars all by his lonesome. He came up with concepts and characters and even an outline. But, thanks to the input of those around him (his wife, Gary Kurtz, Coppola, Spielberg), he was getting all sorts of input and advice. This eventually led to a very entertaining film, one that I still enjoy today. Then, when he had great success with that film, he decided to make a sequel. Rightly, he came up again with concepts, but handed the writing off to Lawrence Kasdan (a pretty good screenwriter, without a doubt) and Irving Kirshner (a more-than-capable director) and they served as collaborators on what became one of my favorite films of all time.

With Jedi, he started exerting more control. By the time the prequels were being pre-planned, he decided to write them himself and direct them himself, two things he is NOT all that good at. His concepts, with some tweaking, can become something good. But as long as he controls every major aspect himself, it turns to shit. And that's the thing: he's an idea man. And that's it. Once he wanders beyond his core competency (without major interference/input from others), he fucks up. His "good" films were good IN SPITE OF his effort, not because of. This first draft proves it.
"

Pretty much, yeah. Though I would add that Lucas is a really good idea man, who's come up with some of the strongest creative visions ever put on film. (It's hard to imagine anyone else who could have invented things like wookies and Deathstars and Darth Vaders and the like.) And he still collaborates really well with the art people and designers on his movies, which produces some amazing visuals.

But character development, pacing and emotional "omph" are really not his thing. And for some weird reason, Lucas seems to think that the Star Wars films are best experienced as shallow action spectacles, so he cuts out everything that slows down the film, even if that means trashing the plot. Everything has to be faster and more exciting, with bigger and better action - it's like he's afraid to slow things down.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:03 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Actually, I would! Considering the joy and fun in the new Star Trek movie, that's exactly what it would take for me to give a crap about Star Wars again. Edit out the blovation, boredom, racism, sexism, styrofoam rocks and start the hell over.

Most any of the expanded universe book writers could have done a better job than Lucas. I suspect that's where so much of the angst and outright anger comes from. There is already a huge, rich universe built on the core three films Lucas did, it's not too shabby. The prequels didn't just look shit compared to the first three, they looked even worse to the people who'd been following all that other stuff.
posted by rodgerd at 2:09 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Argh! Some day I'll hit get used to this Mefi-style writing without edits. Meant to say:

... it's like he's afraid to slow down for for even a minute to let the movie speak for itself.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:10 AM on May 26, 2009


Come on guys, the acting in the original is not that bad. Alec Guinness, Harrison Ford, and James Earl Jones are legit stars and give pretty impressive performances. Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher do the best they can and Anthony Daniels was pretty flawless as C-3PO from the first movie all the way to the prequels.


A lot of the lines are hammy, that can't be denied, but the acting, special effects, storyline, and general uniqueness make A New Hope a cinema classic, it's pretty much film nerd elitism to say otherwise and it isn't accurate.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:18 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


For what it's worth, I recently rewatched the original series with some friends from work. One woman (mid 30's) had never seen them and hated sci-fi, and another (early 30's) saw them once as a kid but didn't really remember anything about them. They both seemed to like them more than I did. I can tell you they're not dressing up as storm troopers though.

I have to echo the "idea man" discussion above. The thing I love about Star Wars (and the thing that's most frustrating) is that the universe is a great backdrop for a great story, although unfortunately the execution was largely miserable (graphics, music, and sound aside). It would be awesome if a really technically proficient sci-fi author got together with a good director and redid the whole shebang. I suspect Lucas will try to set things up so that it's impossible to do this, long after he's dead.
posted by Humanzee at 4:44 AM on May 26, 2009


I watched part of the last one in the Anakin series over the weekend on MTV. I completely agree about the Yoda fight-- hideous.

I think the problem with the movies is they shift equally from totally boring stupid dialogue to totally boring CGI fight scenes. In the original the fight scenes had quips and dialogue interspersed-- the characters reacted to the fights, yelled at each other, etc. In the nouveau version they just leap around with their light sabers.

Plus, the boy who plays Anakin and Natalie Portman are either both the worst actors in the world, or were directed to emote like the Easter Island sculptures. Portman's acting is especially egregious, since she is supposedly a "serious actor."
posted by miss tea at 5:12 AM on May 26, 2009


Plate of beans, over thinking this is!
So fisticated are you, you subject entertainment to such criticism!
Thinking it is not! It is the force! Feel it, you must!
Relax, be entertained. Save the thinking for something useful.

I was 20 and stoned when I saw the original (Thai stick! Thanks for evoking that memory). I enjoyed it. At that time, I had never seen Forbidden Planet. Perhaps if I had, my opinion of Star Wars might have been more critical. But I doubt it.

I watch movies to be entertained. If there is some benefit beyond entertainment, that's okay, even good. But I only expect entertainment. In the many years since, I have learned enough about movie making to be quite in awe of the craft. But I prefer to neglect the technical notions of film making for the sake of being entertained. I know I'm quite likely correct about that, because theater is something I do know, and have experience with. I am incapable of watching theater without the technical issues distracting me from the entertainment (except The Lion King blew me away anyhow, thanks to the fantastic and awesome design. And I saw Hairspray in South Africa, and the leading lady had a voice to worship).
posted by Goofyy at 5:27 AM on May 26, 2009


This discussion brings to mind the Salon article where David Brin rips into Episode 1, or the article in The Weekly Standard where Jonathan Last makes a case for the Empire.
posted by Harald74 at 7:09 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


"George, darling. Love the idea, hate the songs. Have you thought about setting it in space and perhaps including some sort of laser sword?" - Alec Guiness.
posted by vbfg at 7:25 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Plus, the boy who plays Anakin and Natalie Portman are either both the worst actors in the world, or were directed to emote like the Easter Island sculptures.

Portman was definitely directed to emote (or not emote) in that stilted way, as was Carrie Fisher. Notice how Fisher was allowed to be a bit more natural (and funnier) in Empire when Kasdan was steering.

The boy, Jake Lloyd, was naturally too precious by half, though, so I think that might just what you get.

Me, I watch the above and wonder about Portman's direction in the screen test itself. "Okay, treat this child like the guy you're going to be shagging in the next movie."

Ewwww.
posted by rokusan at 7:46 AM on May 26, 2009


It is the force! Feel it, you must!

Or, you know, sharpen it with Force Trainer.
posted by rokusan at 7:48 AM on May 26, 2009


Just wait until J.J.Abrams comes along in 2027 and 'reboots' the whole fucking thing for its 50th anniversary.

In 18 years. The original was 32 years ago.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:48 AM on May 26, 2009


I've known numerous adults who've tried to watch it for the first time. Everyone of them says the same thing: "What the fuck?! It was boring. I turned it off."

Well, first off: it is at heart a kid's movie. I saw it at 10 when it came out and was as dazzled as any ten-year-old. My parents, in their thirties in 1977, enjoyed it passably well but certainly didn't go back a dozen or fifteen time the way my friends and I did. My grandparents, all around sixty or so in 1977, didn't see it and were not interested in doing so.

This may be something to do with the infantilization of culture or somesuch, but today at 42 I still am interested enough in this superhero/sf stuff that I am mildly tickled that this month has included a new X-Men movie, a new Star Trek movie, and a new Terminator movie and I am not the only aging gen-Xer in the theatre when I see these things. People who were my age now when Star Wars was released would be turning 74 this year... are retirement homes full of people who refer to the dining room as "a wretched hive of scum and villainy" and exhort their colleagues in wheelchairs threading a narrow corridor to "Stay on target!"?

And second, I don't really see what this is supposed to prove. For better or for worse, Star Wars has been ubiquitous for decades now, and it seems that anyone who has not seen it has not been denied the opportunity to do so but rather is more likely just disinclined to want to see it in the first place. Look, if you are a big fan of opera and I find it contrived and dull, the fact that when you drag me to Turandot, I am not enthusaistic about it does not tell us anything about the innate quality of Turandot or Puccini. It tells us I still don't like opera and have not had my mind changed by this performance.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:17 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's hard to imagine anyone else who could have invented things like wookies and Deathstars and Darth Vaders and the like.

Wookies: basically Sasquatch from 6M dollar man. With crossbows.
Deathstars: seems obvious if you've ever heard of the Lensmen.
Darth Vader: any Dark Knight, mixed with a smidge of Merlin.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:31 AM on May 26, 2009


As a side-note, judging by his interviews, Lucas seems very wedded to the notion that the Star Wars films are kids' films first and last and always.

Here's a place where luck came into play in the 1970s: Lucas didn't really know how to make a movie that would appeal to kids. He thought it would be nice to have a young protagonist (Luke) and comic relief sidekicks (C2PO and R2D2), put it together, and it all worked. He even had that alien's arm chopped off in the cantina to ensure that the movie wouldn't get stuck with a G rating.

Fast forward to 1999, and now he knows he wants a "kids' movie" and nothing's going to stop him... so the young protagonist becomes 9 years old and the comic relief isn't a prissy android but an annoying alien in the form of Jar Jar. It smacked of someone yelling "this is a kids' movie! for kids!" whereas in an earlier era (contemporaneous to the original Star Wars) parents would be content to take their kids to watch "Superman" without the need for the hero to be a pre-pubescent child with an annoying sidekick.

Still though, he didn't have the balls to go full-out make Episode I a G-rated feature.
posted by deanc at 8:37 AM on May 26, 2009


“Star Wars is none of those things (okay, the score is okay).”
Yeah, that’s pretty much why John Williams faded into obscurity. That’s some finely tuned and honed sense of taste you’ve displayed, You Should See the Other Guy. Only intelligent people realize Star Wars is bad. Thanks.
I cite the Kurosawa influence as one reason why it’s decent, at least thematically. The counterpoint is - “It’s poop.” Excellent way to back up your assertions.

You don’t have to like Star Wars. Many people don’t like, classical music. It doesn’t detract from the talent involved. Mozart’s Jupiter symphony? Poop.

“ ‘you've dismissed us as people.’
‘Um, no, never did that.’ “

Um, yeah, you did: “The only adults who like the film are ones who saw it as a kid or who really have nothing else going on in their lives. Anyone with grass to mow has something better to do than watch Star Wars.”

“I love Ishtar, but I don't think people who've actually seen it and think it's shit are trolls.”

There’s a difference between not liking something and earnest criticism. Ishtar is a poorly made movie. That does not mean are an idiot with nothing else going in your life because you like it. That does mean, however, given the other levels of art appreciation you’ve displayed and the purile level of your criticism, that your taste isn't that refined.

Do I like Ishtar? No. But not merely because of taste - it’s haphazardly made. The plot is nonexistent – pretty much scenes are held together by a loose confederacy of concepts rather than a coherent plot, the jokes are overdone and hit on again and again and two very fine actors who have had wonderful chemistry elsewhere completely don’t click.
I can see why some people like it in a kitch sort of ‘bad on purpose’ way, because some of the songs are like that. But that doesn’t make anyone unintelligent, merely having a different sort of taste. And, really, it’s not as bad as its hype. It just doesn’t work the way most movies are supposed to. So for me it was completely forgettable.

Star Wars does work. Whatever its other flaws. And I’ll gladly cede they are there. But that’s not what you’re arguing (I don’t think - not much to rationally discern from “it’s poop”)
Many people don’t like 2001 either because it’s “boring.” Well, again – matter of taste. But just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean it’s not one of the best movies ever made (2001). And many people can’t seem to make that leap of understanding.

I had a beef with someone over Citizen Kane vs. Underworld. Now, you can not like Kane because it doesn’t have werewolves and vampires duking it out, but c’mon, Kane is clearly a supremely crafted piece of cinema and Underworld isn’t.
And yet – because Kane is so old – one of the arguments was – the cinematography was in some ways inferior (even though Kane was innovative for its time - by definition, Underworld is the product of a later generation Hollywood, the child of many such innovations). Yeah, ok, well, can’t argue that.
The legendary Shelby Cobra was a beautiful machine, but ok, it’s not as advanced as a modern Chevy minivan. Blah.
But you have to look at a film in the context of when it was made, its environment.
Star Wars was a tremendously innovative film, most of the emphasis was on the special effects – indeed, the score was written so as not to distract from the film (many folks wanted to use pop music, which was the form at the time).

Same argument with Dark Star. Terrible movie in a lot of ways – but it works on a lot of levels, and its innovative, so it gets cut a lot of slack.

Ishtar – you had so much talent in that film and so much studio involved, there was no real reason for it to fail. So judging either on their own merits and the other products of that environment, Star Wars shines as a superlative moment in film.
So what, exactly then, would be the difference between seeing it as an adult and seeing it as a child? Is your point, as it seems to be, that it is a film only for children or the unintelligent?
Why would people remember Star Wars after so long a time if they had seen it as children if there were not something to it?
Why would they celebrate it again as adults? Their being not as smart as you aside of course.
If people had blind camel outfits they wore to Ishtar conventions 30 years after the release of the film I might not get it, but I'd have to admit there was something to the film, and that maybe I wasn't seeing it.

To be fair – judging the Star Wars series on its own merits –there you can get into some really scathing criticism. And I think many people do. Especially of Lucas who was, especially after Empire, handed a finely tuned instrument with a strong fan base and had the studio behind him, etc. etc. etc. – no excuse to fail at all or even not massively succeed. And yet, he wobbled. And made a series of films that were very poor.
And I'd argue not because of any fan fanaticism, but on solid objective criteria. Hell, the first film doesn't even follow its own internal logic.
But to go further - even taking for the sake of argument that all six films are about the same level of lousy - the latter three films did not do anything that was earthshaking in terms of changing the cinematic landscape. People were not wowed by the special effects. The score was no different. The themes were not only familiar, but retread and poor copies of the more mystical thing going on in the first three. In 77 Star Wars - whatever its other flaws - was a new thing in film making.
The new films were just poorer echoes rather than a recapturing of that innovation and craftsmanship.
Which again, points to Lucas.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:57 AM on May 26, 2009 [5 favorites]


“This may be something to do with the infantilization of culture or somesuch…”

Yeah, I keep hearing that too. But the themes of superhumanism, demigods, cosmic (or astral) travel, alien life, etc. etc. have been around for thousands and thousands of years. From the Greek plays to the Norse Gods, later you had epic poetry with supernatural themes, Victorian era lust, ghosts, Dali, Bierce, etc, etc. – there has always been fantasy in one form or another.
I suspect the repression of it goes to some cultural insecurity as though there were some meaning in the mundane and the form of office equipment were the highest aesthetic and escape was some horrifically dirty word.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:05 AM on May 26, 2009


ROU_Xenophobe: "Wookies: basically Sasquatch from 6M dollar man. With crossbows.
Deathstars: seems obvious if you've ever heard of the Lensmen.
Darth Vader: any Dark Knight, mixed with a smidge of Merlin.
"

Well sure, everything comes from something else. Ideas have to be developed, they don't just appear from nothing. But dreaming up all that crazy stuff in the early 70's and putting it into a big screen version of the old science fiction movie serials was all Lucas. I think it's harder today to see how innovative he was then, mostly because we're living in a post Star Wars world. Today there are no limits to the kind of stories you can tell, because guys like Lucas and Spielberg blew them away in the 70s and 80s.

You know, talking about all this now makes me wish Lucas would do a new movie. Not necessarily sci fi (although that would be fine too), and not like the prequels, but old style like Star Wars, Empire and the first Indiana Jones where he comes up with the concepts and someone else writes the story. Not a writer like David Koepp, but somebody with their own strong sense of story that Lucas can't overrule. And then get a really different kind of director to film it... somebody like Alex Proyas say. Lots of strong talents working together, I'd go to see that.
posted by Kevin Street at 10:43 AM on May 26, 2009


So what, exactly then, would be the difference between seeing it as an adult and seeing it as a child? Is your point, as it seems to be, that it is a film only for children or the unintelligent?

Yeah the whole 'People only like Star Wars because they liked it when they were young' idea has never made much sense for me, because there are plenty of things I liked when I was young that, upon revisiting them, are awful embarrassing shite. Duck Tales for example. If I don't have nostalgia blinders on when I look at Duck Tales (which I loved far more than Star Wars), why would I have them when I look at Star Wars?
posted by shakespeherian at 10:45 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Once, when I was about 8 years old, I said to hell with it and started using GI Joe and Star Wars figures and playsets interchangeably in my own decontexualized and spontaneous way. I never could bring myself to cross the lines with my Transformers and Voltron toys, however, and play with those remained within acceptable limits of their respective universes.

Oh yes, all those futuristic SW vehicles became top-secret vehicles for the Joes.

I think if you can agree that legos stay compartmentalized in their own universe then I'd like you invite you over to my house to play.
posted by Fleebnork at 11:06 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


128 comments and no one's said anything about Cos Dashit, the Dark Lord of Alderaan?

Cos.

Dashit.

COS DASHIT.

I imagine this being used in some kind of terrible pun:

"Who is responsible for this? WHO?"

"It's the Dark Lord. He really likes to cos da shit."

Or something else equally bad.
posted by Captain Cardanthian! at 11:13 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


yeah, Fleebnork that's the other thing - I not only play with my kids, I play with Barbies. My daughter and I have tea parties wherein I sit on a little Dora chair with a dainty plastic cup on a saucer drinking imaginary tea with Barbie and other dolls and stuffed animals (I don't know their brand names, but I do know the names she's given them) and we occupy this sort of fantasy multiverse. So I guess one of the things that I have that's better to do than watching Star Wars is play dollies.
Far as I'm concerned though it's one of the most adult things I do.
(I go from a dainty tea parties in the pink hued corners behind fairy doll houses to the gym to trade hands and I'm knocking people through brick walls because - I kill closet monsters, the boogie man fears me, I'm 'Daddy' dammit, Godzilla's got nothing on me.)

I see that as the product of an open mind. I think adulthood accepts and embraces, not eschews, childhood things. In fact, I can't think of anything I've refused to do with my kids because it's childish.
(oh, I don't much like hearing the Dora song 1100 times a day or watching Barney or the f'ing Wiggles - but I'll sing and dance with enthusiasm every time and have fun with it)

Granted some people can go a bit overboard. But they'd find just about anything to obsessively latch on to.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:26 PM on May 26, 2009


I'm staggered by some of the comments on this thread.

"Me and my mates watched Star Wars recently and we were not impressed". You need to recalibrate your standards to match mine (and my mates of which there are hundreds - no seriously).

"Your appreciation of Star Wars is down to nostalgia". Have you watched Damnation Alley recently?.

"Star Wars wasn't the first blockbuster film". Because The Empire Strikes Back can't hold a candle to Jaws : The Revenge

"I'm not saying People who love Star Wars are idiots". Hang on, I just did.

I love Ishtar. The defense rests.
posted by panboi at 4:12 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


My parents wouldn't buy me GI Joes, so I had a single one-armed Snake-Eyes that my neighbor left at my house one day, and a Darth Vader my cousin traded me for a Frisbee. I also had about 12 million My Little Ponies.

Now, you would think that Ponies would naturally be on the side of good, but this was not the case. The Ponies teamed up with Darth Vader and sought to rule all the other toys. Only my one-armed Snake-Eyes and my little Lego people stood against the might of the Pony Empire. I am pleased to tell you all that with the aid of Lego spy technology and the construction of many fiendish traps the evil of the Pony Empire was brought low.

I guess I don't have a life, either, because when the music swells as Luke sulks in the beginning of A New Hope I get a little teary-eyed. It is also refreshing to see a princess who actually does things instead of being a living MacGuffin. We still haven't managed to consistently have female characters who are capable and strong.

And I was disgusted by that Yoda fight, too. It was a violation of the character, justified solely on the basis of CGI IS NEAT.
posted by winna at 4:31 PM on May 26, 2009


Obligatory link
posted by kldickson at 4:40 PM on May 26, 2009


Star Wars vs. Saul Bass
posted by Artw at 4:44 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I watched Star Wars again recently with my kids and the thing that struck me this time is what weird, manic chemistry Luke, Leila & Han have at times, particularly when they are trying to escape from the Death Star (and most especially when they're in the trash compactor).

Those parts really seem like a different film almost: the one liners just zing around & Mark Hamill in particular seems genuinely freaked. My memory of seeing it back in the 70s is that, around the point where C3PO thinks they're dying (but this is funny as opposed to sad), the film really kicked into a higher gear for the audience. It becomes briefly kind of giddy in fact.
posted by stinkycheese at 5:55 PM on May 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


You know, talking about all this now makes me wish Lucas would do a new movie. Not necessarily sci fi (although that would be fine too), and not like the prequels, but old style like Star Wars, Empire and the first Indiana Jones where he comes up with the concepts and someone else writes the story. Not a writer like David Koepp, but somebody with their own strong sense of story that Lucas can't overrule. And then get a really different kind of director to film it... somebody like Alex Proyas say. Lots of strong talents working together, I'd go to see that.

I was talking to someone the other day about how David Lynch was offered Jedi, but he turned it down in order to do Dune. I've often wondered what that version of Jedi would have been like, and also wished Lucas had let someone else handle the writing and directing on the prequels.

Not Proyas (other than The Crow, not a fan), but I settled on Guillermo del Toro as the perfect guy to take the reins. However, I'm not sure where he'd find the time to do it, what with the ten kazillion projects he's attached himself to.
posted by brundlefly at 10:56 PM on May 26, 2009


Well, I was just picking Proyas out of a metaphorical hat. Guillermo del Toro would be a great choice too. It could be anybody new and different, so long as they had a really distinctive style of their own.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:35 PM on May 26, 2009


Oh, I know. I just had to share the idea. A del Toro version of Anakin's journey to the dark side just gives me the giggles/chills.
posted by brundlefly at 11:55 PM on May 26, 2009


David Lynch was offered Jedi, but he turned it down in order to do Dune.

Why did the director I like the least get to adapt the book I love the most?
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:46 AM on May 27, 2009


EatTheWeak Burhanistan - After years of resistance, I integrated my Transformers and Gobots into a single roboverse. The Gobots were absolutely second class citizens from that day forward. There was no Gobot suffrage.

Fuck the Gobots.

No, really.
posted by The GoBotSodomizer at 2:48 AM on May 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Dude.

Spaceballs is the original script.

It all makes sense now.
posted by saysthis at 7:12 AM on May 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I love how the guy who insists he didn't dismiss people out of hand mocked the fact that I am wearing a Darth Vader helmet in my user pic. Ahem. Irony much, sir?

And it's plain to see from that pic how utterly BEYOND THE LOOKING GLASS I have become. *sigh*
posted by grubi at 7:35 AM on May 29, 2009


David Lynch was offered Jedi, but he turned it down in order to do Dune. I've often wondered what that version of Jedi would have been like

It probably wouldn't have had ewoks. And if it did, you wouldn't have slept for a week afterward.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:53 AM on May 29, 2009


Anyone with grass to mow has something better to do than watch Star Wars.

It's precisely because I have grass to mow that "make time" to watch things like Star Wars. Same was as my kitchen was never cleaner than during dead week.
posted by Fezboy! at 9:06 AM on May 29, 2009


Now that we've had some time to think about it, it's time to ask yourself which was worse: the Star Wars prequel trilogy, or the Matrix trilogy?
posted by homunculus at 5:07 PM on May 30, 2009


I had no expectations of The Matrix movies, but didn't like any of them (including the first). As much as I dislike the the prequels, I prefer them to the Matrix trilogy. More gee-wizness and less of the wearing of "subtext" on its sleeve.
posted by brundlefly at 6:51 PM on May 30, 2009


I'd vote that the Matrix sequels are far suckier than Star Wars episodes 1-3. At least they had a story and some logical continuity. The Matrix parts 2 and 3 were just a complete mess of scenes that had little to do with each other and never bother to tie up 3/4s of the plot points that they bring up.
posted by octothorpe at 2:36 PM on May 31, 2009


I enjoyed the first Matrix more than any of the SW prequels, but I have to agree that the Matrix trilogy was worse than the prequel trilogy.
posted by homunculus at 1:39 PM on June 2, 2009


Star Wars: The Old Republic cinematic trailer [HQ]
posted by homunculus at 1:42 PM on June 2, 2009


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