WARNING: Uber-nerd-dom to follow:
I am stricken with moral dilemma.
September 16, 2011. That is the day that my childhood arrives on BluRay. Now, people may say they love Star Wars. I too, am one of those people. Those movies raised me. Quite literally. My earliest memories of film involve going to Box Office Video on Kingston Pike down next to where Cat’s used to be. Mom & Dad each picked a movie and I was allowed one movie for myself. Every single time I would pick one of the original Star Wars movies. I’m dead serious. Every single time. To a 5 year old boy, it was the greatest story ever told. The first VHS I ever owned was the box set my grandparents bought for me. I wore those suckers OUT. When they were re-released in theaters in 1997 my best friend and I went to see every one of them together. Seeing Star Wars on the big screen was a dream come true. People can harp on Lucas all they want for the changes he made to the “Special Editions” but he fulfilled (at the time) a lifelong dream of mine. I owned (and still do) a plethora of action figures. I would steal beach towels from the linen closet and safety pin them around my neck so I could be Darth Vader. Underdogs, the force, ancient weapons and hokey religions, redemption, improbable love…I mean, Han Solo is without a doubt the coolest movie character there ever was, is and will be.
So, when the new trilogy was in the works, you can only fathom my boyhood excitement. The Phantom Menace was and probably still remains the most anticipated movie of all time. The stakes were astronomical. The saga of Anakin Skywalker and his inevitable fall from grace to the dark side. Forbidden love, betrayal, murder, revenge, children raised in secret, galactic domination. The story to be told was EPIC. And then this happened…
H’ok. So initially my reaction was good. It did have an ass-kicking Obi-Wan Kenobi and we got to meet Darth Maul right? Cool moments include the race through the planet core, the Pod race and the 3-way lightsaber battle. But the obnoxious Anakin, the idiotic battle droids, Jar-Jar and his entire race of people proved to out “uncool” the cool.
Then came Attack of the Clones and then THIS happened…
I was a little older, a little wiser and the realization that Episode One was in fact kind of a letdown The bar for redemption was set a little high, but my faith in Lucas was assured. He could deliver. Well, he didn’t. He gave us a mulleted Obi-Wan, a whiny, arrogant Anakin v2.0 (a mild step above whiny, obnoxious Anakin v1.0). He gave us Jango Fett, who somehow was was less awesome than his “clone” son. Yeah, you read that. The most mysterious bounty hunter in the entire galaxy was originally destined to be one of those disposable guys in white plastic armor. *facepalm* Furthermore, we had yet to have a whiff of how Anakin was supposed to become the most bad-ass, feared and menacing guy in all of the galaxy. We wanted dark side, we wanted backstory and instead we got what is picture above. Two people rolling around in a grassy field talking about sand in their private parts. *sigh*
After this all out assault on my memories, Lucas had one last chance to deliver. After all, the best part of the story had yet to be told right? Well… *cough cough*
I wanted to launch a campaign against this guy. A “Who is General Grievous” slogan. Because…who was this thing? Oh, you mean I was supposed to watch the cartoon to figure that out? Yep, you lost me. Fortunately cool moments were a plenty in this one. The opening fight sequence, Obi-Wan easily dispatching that thing pictured above, the execution of Order 66 and the final showdown between Master and apprentice. Finally everything will be explained! Oh wait, no it won’t. Here’s how the complicated, struggling fall to the dark side went down.
Palpatine: “Kill him Anakin”
Anakin: “No, he must stand trial”
Palpatine: “No, you should just totally kill him”
Anakin: “Yeah, you’re right, there’s no turning back now”
Palpatine: “Yay! You shall be known as Darth Vader!”
Anakin: “Sweet! Dark side 4 life! Imma go choke my wife to death now!”
– Let’s join together now in a moment of silence for all the original fans –
Long story short, the new trilogy was a complete letdown. As time goes by the Old Trilogy ages so gracefully. They are timeless masterpieces. They revolutionized cinema as we know it.
The new trilogy? Not so much. The older I get, the worse they get. I currently own the entire set on DVD. So now that begs the question…when it comes time to buy the BluRay, do I buy the entire set or discard all the wrongdoing and buy the Original Trilogy only? Think of my future children when they sit down to watch Star Wars with me. What do I show them? What do I teach them? Do I protect them from the horror? Or have them around as educational material?
This next 5 seconds sums up how I feel about the entire Prequel Trilogy while ironically describing the entire Prequel Trilogy…
I don’t know. I have this opportunity before me to completely disown the crap. Much like I did with the 2nd and 3rd Matrix movies. They never happened in my mind. So…what does a man do? Despite my extreme disdain for what Lucas has done, he did give the world the Force, the Millenium Falcon, Darth Vader, Han Solo, and the coolest of them all…Lightsabers. This is such a love/hate relationship.