Friday, January 1, 2016
Star Wars: A Discussion (Episode I)
Those of you who know me at all or who have been following for a while probably know (ought to know) that I went to see The Force Awakens at the earliest possible showing. What that turned into was seeing it twice on "opening day," which was not, actually, opening day, because it was the day before opening day. Fortunately one of those showings was at 7:00 because the main thing I learned is that I am definitely getting too old for midnight shows, which the second viewing was. I also learned that my boys have nowhere near the stamina I did at their ages as both of them also struggled with the midnight viewing. Up until a few years ago, midnight shows where commonplace in my movie viewing repertoire.
All of which is, of course, beside the point other than the fact that when I said to my sons, "I'm getting too old for this sort of thing," as we were leaving the theater (at 2:30am!), they didn't get it. Yes, I was disappointed.
I want to provide some context for the upcoming review and the things I say about Force Awakens before I actually get to talking about that movie.
I have always said that Star Wars changed my life, and I mean that in a very literal sense. Even as a teenager looking back at my childhood, I could see the point where Star Wars came into my childhood and changed my path. Before Star Wars, everything was dinosaurs and cowboys and Indians. Everything changed when I seven. I was one person entering the theater and someone else when I came out. To again borrow the words of Ben Kenobi, I'd taken my first step into a larger world.
Star Wars never faded from my life, though it faded from the world around me. My Star Wars toys decorated my room all the way through the 80s, long after everyone had forgotten Return of the Jedi, and into the 90s just waiting for the resurgence that happened with the release of Zahn's Star Wars novels and the Dark Empire comic book series from Dark Horse in the early 90s. Needless to say, I was elated when Lucas announced the special edition versions of the movies.
And I remained elated after I saw them.
Let me be clear, I am not a part of the "Han shot first" crowd. I am from the "Han shot" era. That was it. Han shot. The whole argument over Han shooting first annoys me to no end. That being said, I have no issue with Lucas adding in the thing with Greedo shooting. It doesn't destroy my childhood or the movie or, even, damage them. I get it. Star Wars became a thing that's much bigger than Lucas ever imagined it would be and making Han a better role model for kids is something I can understand.
There was only one thing they added to the special editions that I didn't like, the scream by Luke as he dropped into the shaft in Cloud City after the duel with Vader, and they later took that back out.
And then there were the prequels...
Let's make that next post, shall we?