About writing. And reading. And being published. Or not published. On working on being published. Tangents into the pop culture world to come. Especially about movies. And comic books. And movies from comic books.
Monday, January 11, 2016
Star Wars: A Discussion (Episode IV)
If you've read the previous posts in this series, it will come as no surprise to you that the lead up to The Force Awakens was a big deal in my household. We had our tickets not long after they started pre-selling them, so something like a month in advance. My oldest son, who is working on a suit of stormtrooper armor so that he can join the 501st, spent the last year pouring over every tiny little detail released about the movie and engaging in all kinds of theories about it.
I pretty much constantly had to tell him not to tell me the stuff he was finding out online, because I wanted to go into the movie with as little knowledge as possible about it. I already knew more than I wanted to know about the general premise of the story because of all of the Star Wars lore I accumulated back in the 90s before Lucas announced that he was going to make the prequels.
My younger son fell somewhere in between us. He wasn't searching out information, but he wasn't opposed to being told things, either.
It's an interesting thing watching an event draw closer for someone who has been highly anticipating it. See, although my oldest son saw all of the prequels in the theater, he didn't really remember doing that. He was only three for Phantom Menace and, although he was old enough to remember going to see Revenge at the theater, all he really remembered of that was all of the people in costume while we were waiting in line to get in. His memories were all about the movies themselves because he'd seen them so many times on DVD; he had no real memories of the experience of going to see them.
That's not like me, I remember the experience of going to see A New Hope the first time I went to see it. I remember everything about it, including how badly I needed to go to the bathroom and being unwilling to do that because I was so enraptured by the movie. But, then, it was a full year before I got to see it again, so I really had to hold onto that one memory very tightly. And I did, too.
Yes, those were the years before, even, VHS players.
But it hasn't been like that with my kids. Their lives have been full of Star Wars pretty much from the start, so all three of them were very much looking forward to going to see a new Star Wars movie while being old enough to be able to remember the experience of going to do that, my oldest son most of all. You could see the tension growing in him as we got closer, especially in that last week. He was both excited and scared, scared that it wouldn't be as good as he hoped.
He's the reason I saw it twice on "opening" night, Thursday, December 17. We already had our tickets for the 7:00 show, but, back at the end of the summer, he picked up a job at a movie theater. They were doing an actual midnight showing for the employees, and he could bring two people: that was me and his brother. Let me just say: Midnight is not a kind time when you got up at 5:00am. Even for Star Wars.
So... We all went to the 7:00 show, and we all really liked it, but... Okay, so, my wife and my daughter just straight up liked the movie. Enough for them to want to see it a second time (which we did, making my third) and for my daughter to want, now, to go see it again. Neither of them are much into re-watching movies. After coming out of the first showing, my sons and I all felt like we needed to see it again before being able to properly evaluate it. Which is not to say that there were any doubts about likability. But the movie is fast. It's really non-stop action, like a roller coaster, which I'm sure is what Disney was striving for, and there's no time during the movie to ever stop and think about what you're seeing.
That was actually what I said to my wife when we came out of the theater, my only mark against it on that initial viewing: It was too fast. That one thing distracted from the Star Wars-ness of the film, much like the new Doctor Who series is also too fast. Don't get me wrong, I really like the new Doctor Who series and David Tennant comes in at second on my favorite Doctor list (though Capaldi is really excellent, too, and has the potential to hit #2), but, sometimes (frequently), I miss the thoughtfulness of the older shows. I miss that problems were solved by thinking, not by running around (the running is a big deal in the new series). [Part of what I like about Capaldi is that he has brought back some of the thoughtfulness.]
There is a lot of running in The Force Awakens.
Okay, so, what I'm going to say right now is that I like the movie. A lot. But it still only comes in at 4 of 7 of the Star Wars movies, maybe 5 of 7. One of the top 3 is one of the prequels. Next post, we'll talk about why.
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I'm glad you enjoyed the movie, Andrew. My hubby and boys did too. I don't think I'll watch this one though. I lost interest in it along the way. But who knows? Maybe I'll change my mind.ReplyDelete
Elsie: You should just start watching Clone Wars, maybe.Delete
I thoroughly enjoyed it and still might see it a second time. (Which is rare that I do so - last one I saw twice was Fury Road.) I place it second behind Empire, as it had so many of Empire's qualities. (Probably because the director of Empire was one of the writers.)ReplyDelete
Alex: You mean the guy who got directing credit for assisting Lucas, right?Delete
I really liked it too. I'll honestly change my mind on how it fits with the other ones over the course of the next year or so. So for now it's only, I like it.ReplyDelete
Rusty: I think the issue for me is going to come down to how every director that Disney brings on is going to want to put his/her personal stamp on the film rather than holding to the style of the other six. And that will be fine for the spin-off films, but it's going to bother me on the actual episodes.Delete
"I remember everything about it, including how badly I needed to go to the bathroom and being unwilling to do that because I was so enraptured by the movie."ReplyDelete
That was exactly me when I went to see Star Wars as a kid!! Had a lot more bladder control back then. :P
But this time I waited about two weeks to go see The Force Awakens. I liked it, but I wouldn't have gone at all if anyone had told me how it ends. I'm still upset about that.
L.G.: I peed behind a dumpster behind the theater when it was over. Yeah, not my choice, but my adults weren't listening to me say I had to go while we were inside with all of the crowd trying to get out.Delete
Surprisingly, I am not upset by the ending, though I'm pretty sure that's not a thing that Lucas intended.
I definitely wouldn't mind seeing it again. The non-stop action of it didn't bother me, although I think a moment to breathe might have helped it, but whatever. It was fun, it was enjoyable, it was the best movie I saw last year.ReplyDelete
Jeanne: We'll be going again this weekend for my younger son's birthday. He's advocating for sitting in the theater all day.Delete
Oh boy. This might be a disagreement between us. I saw it finally on Saturday. I liked it, A LOT. I haven't written about it yet because I want it to settle in, but I will say: it gave me a feeling like I was a kid again.ReplyDelete
Briane: But I did like it. A lot.Delete
However, it didn't come close to making me feel like a kid again.