In 1977, I was a skinny little geek of the 3rd grader when this new movie called Star Wars came out. Suddenly, everyone at Vista Elementary School were wearing these tee shirts that had a picture of a guy in this bathrobe kind of shirt holding a sward of light straight up over his head, or had some kind of black death mask fading into some kind of big gray ball. I had no idea what these shirts were all about, and had no idea who this “Dark Vader” was that everyone was talking about, but I was bound to find out.
I was the last one in Miss Hall’s 3rd grade class to go see it. One day, and I don’t really remember why, my Dad packed up my younger sister and me, and off we went to see Star Wars. We drove to the old Center Theater in Salt Lake; because that was the only place you could see it in those days.
In the dark of the theater, with the Star Destroyer going over my head, the only thing I could think, feel or say was… Wow! This is the greatest movie ever!
I’ve grown up a lot since then, I’ve read and analyzed more works of fiction than I care to admit, and I’ve come to one conclusion that just seems to piss off everyone that I’ve ever told. That conclusion? Ok, if you really want to know…
George Lucas created a brilliant world in which to tell his story, and then he told a sucky story, full of sucky characters, who were played (mostly in episodes 1-3) by sucky actors.
Before you crucify me, and burn my body on the geek alter… please allow me to explain.
George Lucas was a brilliant writer and director. THX-1138, although I hated it the first time I saw it as a teenager, I have since become far more Dytopian savvy and have watched it again and all I can say is that THX-1138 is… brilliant. The same can be said for American Graffiti with its documentary style (way overdone these days) and continuous “doo-ap” soundtrack was absolutely delightful.
Then came Star Wars, which amounts to nothing more than a story of Swords and Sorcery… with rivets, not necessarily bad… but… I have to honest here, I liked the original 1977 Star Wars, Episode 4, (the one in which Han does, in fact, shoot first) with it’s never before seen special affects and sound. Things in the story made a bit of sense as well, even if there were sounds and aerodynamics in space. It’s the only one of the series that is even marginally watchable, followed very closely by Empire Strikes Back and then Return of the Jedi, even with those damnable killer teddy bears. As for Episodes 1 thru 3… well… all I can say is that if you were to dry them out and then grind them into a fine powder… you could, successfully, fertilize your garden.
Now… he’s come out with this new Clone Wars animated… thing. …Sigh… Even J. K. Rowling knew when to stop… about 9 books to late… but still.
George Lucas used to be a talented director, but he stopped using that talent, and has lost it. Now he’s just a shameless recycler of the same old song and dance. And I pity him.