Friday, January 30, 2009

Star Wars, an Updated Perspective

I was sick this week so I stayed home and watched the (original) Star Wars trilogy (and the Holiday Special!) over the course of a couple days. Over the years, I've rewatched these films quite a bit, but it's been years since I've actually sat through them all in such short order. Anyway, here are some completely random, unrelated thoughts from a jaded, aging, sick Star Wars fan:

1. These films are a lot better than the prequels. Maybe this goes without saying, but I've long thought I preferred the prequels. I'm a sucker for CG and the prequels are chock full of the sweetest CG effects ever. Most people will tell you they have too much CG, but I think those people are crazy. But what they don't have are good stories that make any sense.

2. Why didn't Chewie mention in A New Hope that he also fought in the Clone Wars? With Yoda, no less. When Luke went to Dagobah to train with Yoda, why didn't Chewie tell him to say hi?

3. It takes Palpatine 3 whole movies and almost twenty years to seduce Anakin to the dark side of the force. He starts schmoozing him when he was just a kid, slowly turning on the charm over the years, and preying upon his fears and weaknesses until Anakin thought that Palpatine was the only friend he had. So why does Palpatine think he can turn Luke over the course of an hour or so just by being a huge dick to him? What changed?

Also... how does the Dark Side work anyway? According to the prequels, Anakin already had a predisposition toward being angry and violent, and even he had to be coaxed and seduced and tricked before he turned evil. But according to Palpatine in Return of the Jedi, all Luke had to do was kill Vader (in a fair fight no less!) and he would turn evil. Huh? Even though killing Vader in combat was exactly what Yoda and Obi Wan told Luke he had to do in order to become a Jedi?

So let me get this straight... in order to become Jedi, Luke has to kill Vader. But if Luke kills Vader, he turns to the dark side? That makes no sense by any standard or stretch of the imagination. 

4. What's this nonsense about the prophecy of the Chosen One anyway? Apparently some "chosen one" is going to come along and rid the universe of the dark side of the force. And, yet, at that point in the story... there is no Sith and nobody who appears to be under the influence of the dark side. In fact, when Qui Gon finally does meet Darth Maul, the Council at first doesn't believe him, because they thought the Sith had been extinct for centuries.

So wouldn't they have naturally assumed that the chosen one had come and gone and done his thing way back when the Sith actually were presumed dead and gone?

5. Can anybody try to explain to me why Obi Wan and Yoda are in exile again when there's a Rebellion going on to stop the Empire? At least Obi Wan agrees to help out when the Rebellion comes calling. Also, if you've read any of the novels or comics from the Expanded Universe, you've learned that the Jedi who survived the great purge at the end of Episode III are a dime a dozen. So why is Luke the only hope for the galaxy?

But whatever. I still love these movies. They're just good fun. 

2 comments:

aak said...

Does Obi Wan literally tell Luke to kill Vader? I thought Luke was told that he must face his father (and win). Luke certainly won, and without killing his dad. Thereupon, he became a Jedi.

That's how I always took it.

As to how the Dark Side works: it makes a difference how you kill someone. If you're righteously killing people (fighting for good, defending people, yourself, etc.), then you can still be on the good side of the force. But if Luke had given in to his hatred, he would've been murdering in anger, and that would make him turn to the Dark Side.

Finally, you can't trust what Palpatine says. If Luke had given in to his anger, the Emperor would've tried to convince him that he was evil. "Of course you're bad now--YOU KILLED YOUR FATHER, you asshole."

Donald W. Pfeffer said...

Hmmm.

Yeah, ok. Good points.