Unlike my usual brilliant column in which I disembowel motion-picture
releases with uncanny accuracy despite never having seen them, for this
special Star Wars saga review section, I have actually subjected myself to
the torture of watching all seven of George Lucas's monstrosities. Don't
say I never did anything for you. Oh, I haven't, but don't you dare say
I shall tarry no longer, though. To the reviews!
STAR WARS: EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE
STAR WARS: EPISODE V: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
The one that started it all. George Lucas finds the magic formula for box
office success: midgets in metal cans + incest longings + hand
dismemberment + John Williams ripping off Holst = $$$! Repeat, repeat,
This movie is deeply offensive to Superior lifeforms. The Cantina scene
alone would've set human/alien relations back hundreds of years (if any
aliens actually wanted to have any relations with humans). A bar full of
non-human lifeforms and it's described as a "wretched hive of scum and
villainy." The only things more offensive in this movie than that are the
acting, the dialogue, the plot, and the directing.
Throw this one in the trash compactor, please!
This episode introduced Yoda to the series. Yoda is supposed to be the
wisest creature in the galaxy and he is portrayed as a small green
hand-puppet. Ludicrous, I say! Besides, everyone knows the wisest
creature in the galaxy is I, Zonar the Superion!
Another newcomer in this installment is fan-favorite Boba Fett. I can see
why Fett would be well-liked compared to a lot of other Star Wars
characters - he hardly speaks! I appreciate that too after hearing a lot
of the lines the rest of these idiots have to say.
This installment is widely-considered to be the best of the bunch, which
is horrifying considering that that means I have to watch five more of
these things that are probably worse somehow!
STAR WARS: EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI
Much has been made of how George is repeating themes used from classic
mythology and the traditional hero's journey in his space saga, as if
simply hitting these marks somehow equated Star Wars with The Iliad or The
Arthurian Legend. There are no dancing teddy bears in The Odyssey,
though, my friends. Sure, Beowulf kills Grendel and Luke slays the
Rancor, but only one of them has to go the teddy bear's picnic afterward.
OK, I know mocking Return of the Jedi for including ridiculous cloying
stuffed animals has been done a million times in the past. So let me
switch for a moment to the plush blue elephant playing the keyboards, or
the bargain-basement Gonzo at Jabba's tail, or the goldfish leading the
assault on the death star. Is this a space action movie or a Disney
cartoon? By the second musical number, is there really any point looking
for a difference?
STAR WARS: EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE
And now, Jar Jar Binks, a character introduced to make the Ewoks seem not
so bad after all! Making fun of Star Wars by bringing up Jar Jar Binks is
pretty obvious, but not mentioning him at all would be like talking about
how awful Hitler was without bringing up all that genocide business.
But Binks bellyaching aside, there's so much to loathe about Episode I:
Lucas takes 16 years off and his biggest innovations upon returning are
mixing Star Wars with Nascar (and dumbing BOTH down as a result) and a
lightsaber that is also "uh, like TWO lightsabers, man."
There are real-live breathing actors in this movie that are being
out-acted by digital flying anteaters and midgets shaking trash cans.
STAR WARS: EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES
From suffering through the original trilogy, I believed young Anakin
Skywalker was supposed to be an immensely-likeable heroic figure, in order
to make his fall to the dark-side seem sad and tragic. Instead we see him
here as the sort of angsty disaffected teen whom people pray their kids
don't try to make friends with. Try to listen to a single line spoken by
Hadyn Christensen in this movie without wanting to slap him afterward. I
Lucas was concerned that his fans might not accept a movie with a romantic
subplot. His fans worried that Lucas would write romantic dialogue with
all the grace of Jabba the Hutt dancing Swan Lake on a greased ice-skating
rink. Guess whose fears were more founded.
STAR WARS: EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH
I haven't seen this many hands getting chopped off since I snuck into the
kitchen at the local Pizza Hut.
THE STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL
What's this? Finally, real entertainment! Finally, the series introduces
a female character with some sex appeal! After watching all six of the
other movies featuring their petite, young brunettes, I was mighty glad to
see the comely miss Bea Arthur in this installment singing to the patrons
of the Cantina. I'd like to see that in a metal bikini, I can tell you
that for free. Oh, she's no Angela Lansbury, but I wouldn't kick her out
of bed for eating Wookiee Ookiees either.
Everything about this installment is better than the others. The plight
of Chewbacca's family as they wait for their patriarch to return for the
Life Day celebrations is reminiscent of Beckett's work in "Waiting For
Godot." Gone are the interminable space battles and lightsaber duels.
Instead, we are treated to a study in patience and sorrow among a clan of
hairy beasts who do not speak English. The subtle melancholy of old Itchy
the Wookiee is haunting and heartbreaking.
Finally, a Star Wars movie that is a Life Day gift to us all.
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