When you hear of a ‘movie buff’, what do you think of? You’ll probably think that person has seen all of the classics. While this can be true, it isn’t for me. I am a movie buff, but I just saw the Star Wars movies for the first time this past month. Let’s have a little background:
There’s no doubt that I like movies. My movie collection is tucked away nicely in the corner of the room. Scores of DVDs and VHS movies line the shelves of my hand made movie cases. On one wall is the very wide and tall VHS shelf, sporting around three hundred of the fat and now out-dated film medium. On the adjacent wall, a thinner, but equally tall shelf now overflows to the ground in front of it with over two hundred DVDs. Yeah, I guess you could say I like movies. I try to buy the most special edition versions I can, and display those special boxed sets on a check mark shelf I bought at Ikea.
Still, I hadn’t seen Star Wars. Not even a minute of it. Sure, I knew a lot about the story. People just expect you to have seen it, so they let all manner of plot points slip during dinner or social gatherings. Thanks, pals! Now I know who Luke Skywalker’s dad is!
I had opportunities to see the original Star Wars trilogy, but those plans never came to fruition. My brother, who happened to be a very big, action figure collecting fan of the movies always talked about us watching the original trilogy together. It never happened.
What got me to finally watch them? Netflix, and a little coaxing from my boyfriend. I always planned on watching the movies; I just needed a little push. So in the past month, we rented, through Netflix, all the Star Wars movies in order of release date. That means we watched episodes 4, 5, and 6 of Star Wars first.
Having finally seen these movies, and with the fresh eyes of a movie buff, I have compiled a list of thoughts on the movies. Warning! There will be spoilers in the remaining half of this article. If you haven’t seen any of the Star Wars movies, stop reading, and go rent them.
When I say something like ‘first three movies,’ I’m referring to episodes 4-6. Confusing, I know.
Anakin Skywalker versus Luke Skywalker
While watching the first three movies, it seemed like the series was all about Luke Skywalker. Then, when watching the last three you realize, no, Star Wars is about Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. When I realized this and looked back on episode six when Darth Vader dies, it all seemed so unimportant to me. I figure that the real star of the movies should have a much more spectacular and monumental death than he did. This leads me to question when George Lucas even knew where the story started and what it would become when he began production on the movies.
Jake Lloyd versus Hayden Christiensen
Before I watched the movies I heard a lot about how the actor who played Anakin in episode one was such so horrible. When I actually watched that movie, I couldn’t disagree more. Maybe I was expecting something horrible because of how much everyone complained, but I though Jake Lloyd did a great job. He was animated and acted just like a kid would in those circumstances. Now Hayden Christensen, who played the same character in episodes two and three, did a horrible job in comparison. Why don’t people complain about him? His parts were horribly annoying, especially in episode two when he was practically melting in front of Padme Amidala all the time.
The love of Padme and Anakin
The most annoying and unrealistic thing about any of the movies was the romance between Padme and Anakin. It was so hard to watch their scenes together. In episode two, Anakin acts like a love-sick teenager (which he may well be, but it doesn’t make it any less annoying). It seems unlikely that the sophisticated Padme would every fall for his cheesy lines. Then in episode three, once they’re married, it just never seemed realistic to me. They really didn’t work. Natalie Portman as Padme did a great job, but her romance wasn’t good.
The love of Han and Leia
It seems that George Lucas just isn’t good at writing romance. The love between Han and Leia always seemed unlikely, although it was better than Anakin and Padme’s. I totally get the whole love-hate thing; they just needed to show more of the love. I ended up thinking, ‘umm, why do they like each other again?’
The very awesome Yoda
I realized toward the end of this series how great Yoda is. It’s funny because throughout the movies you hear people talking about how they think they’re better than him (Anakin, for example), but they never are. It’s easy underestimate little Yoda, but when you get to see him in action, you realize the folly of your ways. Yoda’s fight with Chancellor Palpatine in episode three was one of the best.
Okay, I’m going to turn into a giddy twenty-something girl for just a second and gush over the cute guys. I figure it’s okay because of how extensively men talk about bikinied Laia. I may be weird, but I didn’t have a thing for Han Solo, it was all about Luke Skywalker. He was so innocent and cute! Also, young Obi-Wan Kenobi, played by Ewan McGregor, is very attractive. He can use his light saber on me any day.
I have a background in 3D modeling and animation, so this is something that I actually have a professional opinion on. They used 3D models way too much in the last three movies. They completely modeled the clones, when they could have just created a few real costumes and duplicated them. I think it’s very wasteful and silly to model things that you can easily and cheaply do with real material. They did a great job with yoda, but they didn’t need to model half the stuff they did. They even modeled a sand dune in episode two! Couldn’t they just go find a real sand dune?
You know, I liked these movies. I especially liked episodes one, five, and six. My least favorite was episode two, largely because of the painfully annoying love scenes between Anakin and Padme. Would I watch them again? Yes. Heck, the Star Wars movies might even join the other movies of legacy on my check mark Ikea shelf.
After finally seeing the Star Wars movies, I feel a little more complete. Now I don’t have to endure the shocked faces of people when I reveal that I hadn’t seen them. Now I’m just like everyone else! I just need to see the Godfather movies and I’ll finally be whole.