It’s May the 4th, Star Wars Day, so I thought I’d take a little time just talking about my second favourite sci-fi franchise (Star Trek will always be my first love). I don’t remember exactly when I first watched the original trilogy. I know I saw them in the cinema when they were re-released in the mid-90’s, and then of course the prequels came. I’m a pretty relaxed fan of Star Wars. I don’t approach the prequels with the vitriol of some others and most of the changes made to the OT don’t bother me too much (although I’m still mystified why Anakin’s force ghost is his younger self).
I remember when The Phantom Menace was coming out. I had the sticker book and was very excited, I remember especially loving the Naboo starfighters and Queen Amidala’s ship. They looked so beautiful and sleek. Of course that film was disappointing in some places and annoying in others but it gave us Duel of the Fates which is an incredible piece of music, and in fact I’m going to listen to that right now.
I didn’t watch Attack of the Clones in the cinema, but I was very excited about Revenge of the Sith and that film didn’t disappoint. Of course, now I find it hard to watch individual films. If I want to watch Star Wars I generally marathon the saga or watch them over consecutive nights. My favourite bit of Revenge of the Sith is the Order 66 montage. So much emotion and tragedy captured in that brief sequence, it never fails to bring a tear to my eye. Especially the death of the beautiful Aayla Secura, I hope they work her into the new Star Wars films. Excuse me while I franchise-hop for a moment, but I also hope they use a similar montage in the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past past film. To see Sentinels blasting away our favourite mutants would be awesome. You may think I’m a sadist, but how often do you get to see iconic characters dying en masse?
Another good thing the prequels brought us was Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan. I love his portrayal and I really hope he returns somehow in one of the new projects.
A New Hope is probably the most quotable film of all time. The OT itself is full of quotable moments, and also some great shots. The opening of A New Hope is one of the best movie openings over. It’s mind-blowing when the Star Destroyer just goes on and on and on and on. Another of my favourite shots from The Empire Strikes Back is when the Falcon hides in the asteroid, it’s a beautiful moment where it gracefully swoops up in a loop and descends.
My two favourite characters are R2 and Leia. R2 is really the true hero of the saga. He knows everything, he’s determined, tenacious, brave, badass and the heroes wouldn’t have stood a chance without him. He also had some of the best lines, it’s just a shame we couldn’t understand him.
My other favourite is Leia. I know there’s a lot written about the depiction of women in movies and how there’s a lot of sexism and a lot of stereotyping, and unfortunately a lot of it is true. However, Leia I think is a great role model and one of the best-written women in popular culture. She’s strong and independent of course, but she’s also caring and she doesn’t see that side of herself as being weak. She’s more her father’s daughter though, I don’t see her doing a Padmé and giving up on life when she has two children to raise (that’s probably the one thing that does really annoy me). In fact if I was re-making the OT, I’d reveal that Luke and Leia are siblings earlier, kill off Luke in Empire Strikes Back and then shift the hero’s narrative over to Leia.
I could probably ramble on about Star Wars for a while but I think I’ll leave it there.
May the Force be with us all!