Monday, February 28, 2011

Star Wars – the Original Trilogy

I waited almost 30 years to watch the Star Wars Trilogy. This is now done. 3 episodes watched back to back, altogether about 7 hours that went by really fast, a marathon that allowedus to stay in the movie and not lose track of the storyline: A new Hope (1977), The Empire Strikes back (1980), Return of the Jedi (1983).

Hats off to George Lucas for pulling it and imagining it – whereas most movies are inspired by a book, here it is the other way round, this trilogy inspired books, TV shows, video games, etc…. Even a prequel, directed again by good old George.

Do I need to give a detailed summary of the story? I believe only a handful of people (including me) have no idea but just in case – so, roughly: in a galaxy far, far away, the Empire controls the universe, and the resistance is led by Princess Leia. Luke Skywalker, a simple farmer, gets dragged into the war and, helped by Han Solo, Chewbacca and two droids name C-3PO et R2-D2, leads the ultimate fight against Darth Vader and the Emperor.

Beforehand, I had been wondering if the movie would have aged well – after all, some special effects that are cutting-edge at time t are not necessarily years later. No worries here. Apart from one scene in the last movie (the chase in the forest) everything is as new today as it was then. Granted, the costumes are a bit outdated but given the context it is fine! You will have to wait for the third episode to see Princess Leia in her alluring costume – the one Ross refers to in Friends, season 3. Whatever their age, seem men still fantasize on her! Did not realize until the end of the first episode that the actress, Carrie Fischer, is also a character in When Harry Met Sally - what a transformation, her role there was not as impressive or sexy.

I liked the subtle humour throughout the movies, not blatant, more implicit. Han Solo (Harrison Ford) is one that makes it possible, especially in the first Episode A New Hope: he is cool, he is smooth, he is rude, he is hot, and as such is a natural magnet for women. The scene in The Empire strikes back (Leia: I love you Han Solo: I know) summarizes his character. I am a fan - therefore, most of my favorite quotes involve him!


Han Solo: Get in there, you big furry oaf! I don't care what you smell!


Han Solo: Look, Your Worshipfulness, let's get one thing straight. I take orders from just one person: me.

Princess Leia: It's a wonder you're still alive.

[Pushing past Chewbacca]

Will someone get this big walking carpet out of my way?

Han Solo: No reward is worth this.



Princess Leia: It's not over yet.

Han Solo: It is for me, sister. Look, I ain't in this for your revolution, and I'm not in it for you, Princess. I expect to be well paid. I'm in it for the money.



Han Solo: Well Princess, it looks like you managed to keep me here a while longer.

Princess Leia: I had nothing to do with it. General Rieekan thinks it's dangerous for anyone to leave the system until they've activated the energy shield.

Han Solo: That's a good story. I think you just can't bear to let a gorgeous guy like me out of your sight.

Princess Leia: I don't know where you get your delusions, laser brain.

[Chewbacca laughs]

Han Solo: Laugh it up, fuzzball.


Loved the little teddy bears in the last episode, they were so cute – although this last film was not as good as the other two, I found. We had a little gamble going on: episode 4, the first one of the original trilogy, Luke is quite taken with Princess Leia. As it becomes obvious she is going more for the bad boy Han Solo, and given that in movies where there is a love triangle one couple makes it and something happens to the third one, well, it was an easy way out to suddenly make Leia Luke’s twin sister. I did not really see that coming but thankfully I was with someone with more insight.

Some quotes have made it to the everyday life, such as “May the force be with you” or “I am your father”. Darth Vader being Luke’s father is a twist in the plot but I watched the movie more as a thrilling sci-fi movie than as a psychological reflection on good/bad, father/son relationships etc…. That said, if you only watch one part of Star Wars, this is probably the scene:

Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan is fantastic, even though he appears fairly little. I have a feeling Obi-Wab might have inspired the role of Priest Cornelius in Fifth Element and, to go even further, I have a feeling Han Solo may have inspired the character of Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis). Tiny Master Yoda is also an interesting character, it took some time to get used to his weirdly structured sentences, I was just a bit disappointed we did not see him more – and is death happens at a time that is a tad too obvious. But I had a great time and really enjoyed it. So yes, maybe I’ll watch the new trilogy one of these days!

1 comment:

  1. Class act! Those little teddy bears are my first ever movie memory and they still ROCK. Films like Toy Story and Bladerunner would never have been made