There are some films that are required viewing for all who hope to participate in normal social interactions throughout their lifetime. Titanic. Forrest Gump. Avatar. Scarface. Etc.
These are films that are so well known, their stories are ingrained in every part of society, from understanding episodes of Family Guy to knowing the perfect, film-based meme to send to a friend when words escape you.
The Star Wars franchise is an obvious title on the list of must-see-to-be-normal films, but as of last week, I hadn’t seen a single Star Wars film. Not one. In case you’re wondering whether this is because of my age, it’s not. I’m too old to have never made the time and too young to simply accept a life where I’d miss half of the jokes on The Big Bang Theory. In essence, there is no age where it is appropriate to have not watched Star Wars. That includes you, babies.
With The Force Awakens being released today and my sister having purchased tickets to see the film this Sunday, I knew my time had come to join the rest of society and learn the difference between C3PO and R2D2 (one is annoying in English and the other is annoying in beep-boop-bops).
Embarking on my Star Wars journey came with many opinions from friends, family, and co-workers. Watch Episodes 4 and 5, then 1, 2, 3, then 6. Watch 1, 2, 4, 5, 3, 6. Don’t watch 1-3 under any circumstances. Find the DVDs with the newly added CGI. Spend $300 on ebay in order to watch the true originals. Promise your first child to the dark side if it means getting the extended Blu-ray.
In the end, I only watched Episodes 4-6, even though I find Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor to both be stone-cold foxes. I may go back and watch Episodes 1-3 at a later time, but Season 2 of Serial premiered last week and it takes time to Keep Up With The Kardashians.
What started as a mission of two between my husband and I quickly whittled down to a solo endeavor. As a long-time Star Wars fan, his excitement over me seeing iconic scenes was quickly ruined by my know-it-all-ness. ‘So this is where Luke loses his hand? Ben Kenobi is Obi-Wan, right? Now Luke is going to tell Leia she’s his sister? When do we get to see the Ewoks?’ Annoying, I am (pretty good Yoda, right?).
Living with three of the most famous movies of all time as the inspiration to so many pop culture references leaves little to be spoiled when the films are finally viewed. I think the final straw came when the AT-ATs first appeared and I nonchalantly remarked that I had already seen them in real life at Disney World. From there on out I had the couch to myself.
When telling people I was finally going to watch the three original Star Wars films for the first time, the initial reaction was utter and total disgust. That is, except for a few friends who shamefully admitted they too had never seen the films. This was quickly followed by them unfriending me on Facebook and IRL, because once you know that kind of secret, you can’t be trusted to not throw them under the public shaming bus currently rolling over you. With the questioning and overall judgment of my life choices complete, many Star Wars fans quickly tried to sway me away from saying that the effects were cheesy. ‘It was the 1970s! This was groundbreaking!’ People get really defensive about Star Wars (duh).
Imma stop y’all right there. I have no issue with the special effects from Episodes 4, 5, and 6. I thought the chase scenes on the Stormtroopers flying motorcycles were incredible and frankly better than watching Bella and Edward running through the forest in Twilight (yes, I’ve seen Twilight and not Star Wars, let’s move on). Sure, some of the green screens were obvious and a few of the falls happened much slower or faster than necessary and every scene change gave me flashbacks of PowerPoint presentations in high school (swipe up, swipe down, star formation). Still, it’s easy to see how incredible the Star Wars franchise was right from the beginning and why it paved the way for future filmmakers.
The effects themselves aren’t cheesy, but it’s difficult to take the dialogue seriously. Again, this isn’t the fault of Star Wars and George Lucas. The same thing happened the first time I watched Casablanca. I was excited to finally experience one of the greatest films ever made, but I never expected it to be…kinda painful.
Let me clarify that I really loved the trilogy. But with every show, film, comedian, commercial, marketing campaign, novelty sweatshirt and more continually parodying this iconic series, it’s difficult to watch the original without jaded eyes. How can I remain in the moment for scenes with the badass and intimidating Darth Vadar when an English captain refers to him as Lord Vadar and this is all I can hear? Also, don’t watch Space Balls before seeing Star Wars. If only I could go back in time and tell my eight year-old self to watch Star Wars first, but who likes a prequel, right?
Still, I gave Star Wars my (mostly) undivided attention (my newly painted nails look great, btw) and watched all three of the original films. Here are my thoughts while viewing Episodes 4, 5 and 6.
Episode 4: A New Hope
Why does C3PO have an English accent? Is this supposed to make him sound smarter?
How does R2D2 go so long without a charge when I can’t FaceTime for more than 30 minutes without plugging in?
Half the dialogue is grunting and booping. Literally half.
I always thought it was ‘Hans’. Not ‘Han’.
Carrie Fisher looks a lot older than Mark Hamill, even though they’re supposed to be twins.
No one warned me Luke Skywalker, dude with the coolest name in the galaxy, would be such a whiner.
I hope C3P0 and Han Solo got paid more than R2D2 and Chewbacca. They spend the entire movie repeating the other person’s questions and then answering them.
Why was Ben Kenobi, the hilariously ordinary short form of Obi-Wan Kenobi, the only person who could help Princess Leia? All he did was tire Darth Vadar out with a few lightsaber swings and then let himself get killed.
R2D2 is essentially the most important character of the film since he holds the plans to the Death Star, but no one ever so much as glances over their shoulder throughout the film to make sure he’s still with the group.
Why can R2D2 plug into literally any ship and I have to get a new iPhone charger every time a new model comes out. George Lucas needs to talk to Apple.
Like, so much whining.
I have a newfound respect for Harrison Ford, super cool dude.
Are we sure it’s not ‘Hans’?
Why does R2D2 do his waddle walk? He should just slide everywhere.
Carrie Fisher is six years younger than Mark Hamill. Thank you Google. Damn you genetics for always making women look older than men.
100 per cent definitely Luke Skywhiner.
100 per cent not ‘Hans’?
I don’t get what ‘the force’ is.
Episode 5: Return of the Jedi
First thoughts on opening scene: the budget for this film is about ten times what it was for A New Hope.
The camel-thingys Luke and Han ride look like the Falkor from The Neverending Story.
So that’s where ‘I’ll see you in hell’ comes from.
Whose feelings are more repressed? Leia for Han or C3P0 for R2D2?
Also, can drones have sexy feelings?
I need a break from C3P0.
I also need a break from Chewbacca.
The winter uniforms for Stormtroopers look like KKK robes. Was this a political statement or just ‘white hoods = easy evil costume’?
What events need to transpire for Darth Vadar to speed his walk up past a strut?
Yoda is the coolest. He may be cooler than Han.
Luke is at his peak whininess with Yoda. Not cool.
So, Jedi training is handstands?
R2D2 can stand in the rain and fall in a river and be fine, but I get a little water on my iPhone…
Lando Calrissian had the first Apple watch.
I still don’t get what ‘the force’ is.
Episode 6: The Emperor Strikes Back
Can Jabba The Hutt actually have sex with the women he chains up? Nevermind, I don’t want to know.
Is ‘patience’ the only advice old people can give to young people in all three movies?
It’s very convenient that Luke arrives just in time to see Yoda die.
Ben is a super casual ghost. He just chills on a log and gives advice like he’s on his smoke break.
We’re three movies in. What does it take to mess up Leia’s lipstick/eyeliner/terrible hairstyles?
So that’s where ‘Rebel scum’ comes from.
I still need a break from C3P0.
I also still need a break from Chewbacca.
R2D2 isn’t far behind on that break request.
I wish C3P0’s explanation to the Ewoks about the last two movies was in English so I could understand what is going on.
Ewok’s are hella cute.
Seeing a dead ewok is hella depressing.
Is there some significance to Luke and Darth Vadar both losing their hands? I feel like this means something.
Why doesn’t the Emperor use the force to suck himself out of the giant hole and back into his seat from the set of The Voice?
I still don’t get what ‘the force’ is.