Revenge of the Fifth
I wanted to take the time to talk about Star Wars on this glorious holiday. Star Wars is very much more than just a movie or franchise. It’s an uncontrollable entity that takes over once it has hold of you. I don’t remember the first time I watched Star Wars, just that my family has always watched it, loved it. I know somewhere in my home is the first trilogy in the special 3 VHS Darth Vader case. Of course, I asked my mother and she said that I could have been 5 and I could have seen it with my grandfather or with her, but even she wasn’t sure. Apparently, I am a third generation Star Wars fan and by fan, I mean people that enjoy excessively.
I could sit here and break down every aspect of all 7 Star Wars movies and tell you what I thought could have been done differently and look at them critically but not today. I’ll do that in another article. Instead, I wanted to talk about how much I love Star Wars.
Overall, the Star Wars movies have amazing music scores composed by John Williams. Many fans can tell just by listening what movie the piece is from, what scene, and what characters are connected to it. It’s not surprising that the music in Star Wars is one of the most iconic things about it.
Let’s start off with the original trilogies. My first love affair with Star Wars. The cinematography and practical effects are amazing. I know over the years my mind has taken the liberty of romanticizing how good the effects actually are (especially if you compare them to today’s effects) but it doesn’t take away from the plot. Honestly, I wish everyone who’s ever seen anything Star Wars will give the original three movies at least a chance. All of the original movies run a little over two hours and when I was little, I felt that. I used to get a little bored in the middle, but I was young and attention spans are fleeting. But now I know that Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, have spoiled me. They took the time it needed to develop a story. To craft and to slowly reveal it’s secrets. I feel movies now don’t take enough time for their character developments and the Star Wars world is the reason why. I challenge you to look at the next movie you watch and think about how fast a character changes in the story’s timeline and time onscreen. Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, and Han Solo had three movies for their character developments and it was phenomenal. I wish more characters were treated with that much attention.
Now, I know everyone hates the second trilogy. I’ll be 100% honest, I still enjoy these movies because they are a part of Star Wars. I was at there every opening weekend. Yes, they lacked in some ways and the fans let everyone know about it, but let me be the first to say publicly, I loved them when they came out. In 1999, when Star Wars: Episode I was released in theaters, I was ten years old. It was new, the special effects and computer generated effects were getting better. The colors are more vibrant that the original. Of course, that was because of technological advances but still, all that color was mesmerizing. I was in the same awe that I was in when I was 5. Even with Jar Jar Binks, when I was ten, I thought he was funny, like every other ten year old. Fans forget to appreciate the movies in the capacity of time it was made. Episode II was released three years later, I was in that theater. And three years after that, for Episode III, I was there too, sitting expectantly to watch the end of a story. Now that I’m older I see the flaws. I see the scenes seem forced at times in both Episode IIand III. I will say that Episode I is the strongest of the three but I think everyone should watch the second trilogy at least once. Even though many people hate them, you get the main idea of Anakin’s story, how he affects the people around him, how people around him affect him, and his effect on the Force and the Star Wars universe. Watching these 2+ hour movies, and I never noticed they were two hours. Perhaps it’s just me.
No one can compare the six predecessors to The Force Awakens in terms of technological tricks. The characters are new. Our first Star Wars movie with a female main character and two POC in the main character roles. I was thrilled when I found out (although, I would have been interested to see two female characters and one male character in the trio, but I digress). The plot was old. It was definitely reminiscent of the original three movies. I thought it was maybe too reminiscent, too parallel to Star Wars. It is a Star Wars for the new generation, that is for sure. The amount of action and the fast pace of each scene clearly shows that Star Wars is adapting to the time of instant results. It captivated and amazed every generation of Star Wars fans. It is the perfect movie to bring in new fans and remind old ones of the world they love. This movie is 2 hours and 15 minutes long but when I watched it, it only felt like 1. Even though it can be closely compared to Star Wars, it definitely transformed the old themes into something that could stand on its own.
Unfortunately, I haven’t watched any of the animated series but I hear nothing but good things about it.
Star Wars fans have also been discussing ways to watch the series since the second set of trilogies were released. Personally, if you are giving Star Wars a first watch (or introducing Star Wars to someone who’s never seen the movies before), I would recommend either watching them in release date order OR the recently discussed order (and one I love) 4, 5, 1, 2, 3, 6, and 7. However, the best thing about the movies is that you can watch them in whatever order you want to. That is the best thing about Star Wars is that it’s organic. It is an ever growing and adapting idea. The Star Wars movies transcend time, and space, by having a relatable main character. A young person craving adventure and finally going on one. I know I’ve always dreamed of it. Where are you Obi-Wan? I’m ready to become a Jedi.
Star Wars is an experience that I think everyone should have. I’m biased, I will admit. Even so, I am curious about what you guys think about it. What do you love about the movies? Do you have any experiences with Star Wars that have impacted your life? Has it been a long time since you’ve watched the movies? When was the last time you watched them? Which are your favorites? Anything else you want to share about Star Wars? I am always looking for an excuse to talk about Star Wars, so here is yours.