Friday, March 27, 2009

The Force is strong with this one

I love Star Wars. I love the characters, I LOVE Clones, I LOVE the Sith. I collected Star Wars toys heavily for over two years. I indoctrinated my daughter to love Star Wars by giving her some of my toys, and playing LEGO Star Wars with her.

But I haven't seen the movies since before she was born, over two years ago. I guess I got into collecting it so much that I didn't need to see it for a long time. Also, while initially I loved Revenge of the Sith subsequent viewings made the flaws I ignored at first, too hard to continue doing so.

But this year I decided Katie was old enough to really watch the movies. So we sat down and watched them. My Original Trilogy bias shined through as we started with Episode IV, A New Hope, and actually I don't know that I will bother showing her the Prequel Trilogy anytime soon.

Anyway, we finished Episode VI, Return of the Jedi tonight.


ROTJ is a fantastic movie. Obviously, I knew what was going to happen, I know the plot and all the lines. But it's been so long since I've seen it, that I actually forgot how Good it actually is.

My cousin Derek, who's big into movies and such, and is old enough to have seen ROTJ in the theaters tells me that there are people who don't like it. They think it's the weakest of the Original Trilogy, but beyond that actively dislike it.

Those people are stupid.

Sure, I don't really care for the Ewoks, but they were supposed to be wookies, and that really would have sucked. Yes, I admit it, I don't like Chewie. It's really only because he was so freaking useless in the first movie, I don't mind him at all in the others. But that first movie really sours me on him. And don't get me started on Revenge of the Sith, what the hell purpose did he serve in that film? Useless, overgrown monkey.

Back to Ewoks. What really bothers me is that they defeated a Legion of Imperial troops. What good is that fancy white armor, if it can't protect them from sticks and stones? That is really the only thing that bothers me about Return of the Jedi Everything else, is awesome.

Emperor Palpatine is pure gold. He's the best part about the film, in my opinion. Every line is delivered perfectly, and makes you hate him. Take for example, the absolute best line in the entire movie, "Oh, I'm afraid the deflector shield will be quite operational when you're friends arrive.".

Holy Hanna Montana, that is the most perfect delivery. It conveys so much about the Emperor, his complete confidence in victory over the Rebellion, and his enjoyment at taunting Luke. You can't tell me there's a better line in the entire Star Wars Saga.

Again, back to my real point. I enjoyed this viewing probably more than any other time I've seen this movie, and specifically, the last 45 minutes, which are what we saw tonight. In fact, I guarantee I have never gotten envolved in the conflicts as much as I did this time.

When the Ewoks attacked the Stormtroopers, I was excited, when they started losing, and the music got all sad, I actually started getting sad. When Vader taunted Luke about turning Leia to the Dark Side (one of the lines I always quote when watching it), I choked up on the lines and couldn't say them. When Chewie turns the tide of the land battle, I cheered as the Ewoks defeated armored Stormtroopers. When Vader tells Luke that he already saved him, and then dies, I teared up. And I celebrated with Lando and Nien Numb (or whatever his name is) when they barely escaped the exploding Death Star. It was really strange to have gotten so caught up in the emotions of the film, to realize I sympathized with the good guys, which in Star Wars I almost never do, because the bad guys are cooler, and good is dumb. But tonight, I was glad the Rebel Alliance won.

And Katie. I wonder if I got into them so much because she did. She loved these movies. She didn't like the Emporer, she was scared of the Ewoks at first, but warmed to them as Leia befriended Wicket, and she loved the baby Ewoks. She got very concerned when the Ewoks were dying, and she was even more so when the Emperor did the coolest thing ever and shot lightning out of his hands to zap Luke with. I think she thought Luke was going to die, and she liked Luke.

I kid you not, when Vader grabbed the Emperor and threw him over the balcony, she said, "Yay! I like Darth Vader, he's a good guy." I think she decided right then that he was the hero of the film.

It was really fun for me to see her enjoy the movies so much, and really get into them. I do think that it helped me enjoy them more.

We were watching the 2005 DVD version, the enhanced Special Edition, or maybe the Special Special Edition. I like the SEs. I'm just young (or grew up sheltered) enough to prefer them to the origial theatrical version. Sure, there are a couple of changes I would prefer to have left, but really, they don't bother me too much. Except for one. Freaking Hayden Christiansen at the end of ROTJ. Bring back Sebastian Shaw dammit!

I understand why George made the change, but I disagree with his conclusion. Presumably he wanted to tie the two trilogies together more, especially for kids, so when they saw young Anakin at the end of Ep VI, they recognized him from Eps II and III. I didn't show Katie Eps II and III, so when the force ghosts showed up, she said, who's that? She would have recognized old man Anakin.

Remember kids: Your overconfidence is your weakness.


kurt said...

This was an excellent post. I was surprised to find out that you actually don't particularly care for the prequel as much as the original trilogy, because I remember talking to you about this a few years ago and being frustrated that you felt they were equal.

But the best part of this post was that you like ROTJ so much! I agree that it's frustrating that the Star Wars 70's nuts always seem to say they were grossly disappointed, but this one is easily my favorite. I'm a Sith nut like you, but it's mostly due to the great acting of Ian McDiarmid. My obsession with him led me to see all the Shakespeare that he's been in. His talent in ROTJ alone makes this movie great, but there are many other factors that make Episode VI the best.

However, it's disappointing that Lucas put in Hayden Christensen's likeness in the vision that Luke has at the end. I preferred the old guy.

Marissa said...

I really enjoyed this post!

The review of the movie was fabulous, and putting Katie's reactions in there made it priceless.

Also, learning more about you and how you react to things differently is always awesome-sauce.

Bubbashelby said...

As someone old enough to have seen all three in the theatre I have to agree that ROTJ was an amazing film. I still get chills when the Rebel armada discovers that the shields are still operational - and the line "At that range we won't last long against those Star Destroyers :: We'll last longer than against that Death Star!" (I paraphrase of course - I'm not THAT big of a nerd!) is just plain awesome!