Sunday, May 4, 2014

Movie Talk - The Original Star Wars Trilogy

While Luke is in awe of Leia, RD-D2 wishes he could tell him that she's his sister.

Well, it’s about time that I got to these movies. Yes, I decided to release this on May 4th which has been dubbed Star Wars Day. It’s like I planned all of this or something! As you can tell, I’m starting the Star Wars movie segment with the original trilogy. It’s the one trilogy that set the world on fire. I’d be shocked if there is anyone under the age of 40 who doesn’t know anything about Star Wars. I don’t have much for a preamble, so let’s get to it.

I can definitely say that these movies have been a part of my life for the longest time. I don’t remember when I first saw the movies. It may have been on TV or the video store. I know that I’ve owned a few versions of the movies. I think had the VHS version that came out before the special editions. I know that I had the special editions on VHS. Unfortunately, I think A New Hope is the only one still around and I don’t know where The Empire Strikes Back VHS is. I know the copy of Return of the Jedi is kaput. I also saw the Special Edition of TESB when they released it in theatres back in the day.

I ended up getting the DVD trilogy when it eventually went on a discount a few years ago. Since I’ve seen them all, I really don’t watch them on TV anymore. I believe Spike TV plays them occasionally. I got the DVDs and I’ve seen these movies enough. Since I haven’t seen them in a while, I watched all three over the weekend. It’s safe to say that this is still one of my favorite trilogies. Still, are they really that perfect? Find out below.

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Star Wars: A New Hope was released in 1977. The story (which takes place long ago in another galaxy) is about how the Rebel Alliance goes up against the Empire. A farm boy named Luke Skywalker gets swept up into a larger world as two droids enter his life. When it’s revealed that the droids have important information for the Rebels, Luke, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and others try to take the droids to the rightful owners. Along the way, they run across a planet destroying space station called the Death Star and Darth Vader, lord of the Sith. After they save Princess Leia (who’s a captive on the Death Star), the group leaves and eventually finds the Rebels. The movie ends as the Rebels face the Death Star in a big space battle.
Chewbacca: Guys, where's my medal? Guys?

The movie’s good. Moving on… Oh, I have to say more, don’t I? Well, just about everything in the movie is good. It has great characters throughout the movie. You have nice heroes like Luke, Leia, Obi-Wan, and Han Solo. You have good villains like Darth Vader and Moff Tarkin. The acting’s pretty decent. You might have a bad line in there, but it’s still good. Everyone just feels energetic and enthused. That is something that I can’t unfortunately say about the acting in the prequels, but I’ll get to those later.

It has a good, concise story. The special effects are pretty good. The music from John Williams is awesome. If there is anything I can say about it that is negative, it would be that it is pretty slow in the beginning when you’re just following the droids. When Luke finally shows up, it starts to move at a better speed. All in all, the movie’s good.

Favorite Quotes:
“We’re doomed.”
“In my experience, there is no such thing as luck.”
“I have a bad feeling about this.”
“The circle is now complete. When we last met, I was but a learner, and now I am the master.”
“If you strike me down, I will become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.”
“He feared you might follow old Obi-Wan on some damn fool idealistic crusade like your father did.”
“I find your lack of faith disturbing.”
“You better watch yourself. I have the death sentence in 12 systems!”

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
TESB was released in 1980. The sequel continues the story of the Rebel Alliance’s struggle against the Empire. After their new base is attacked, our group of heroes get split up. Luke goes to the planet of Dagobah to train with an older Jedi named Yoda. Han, Leia, and the rest are being hunted down by the Empire. When Han and the others get captured by Vader on the planet Bespin, Luke leaves Dagobah at the behest of Yoda and the ghost of Obi-wan. He goes up against Vader and learns a shocking secret about his heritage.
Wow, who knew that balancing a Muppet is part of Jedi training?

The movie is really good. It continues to grow our characters. Luke starts to train in becoming a Jedi knight and Han and Leia start to get really close. Vader has more of a menacing presence in this movie. I also like the new characters like Yoda and Lando Calrissian. The movie in general feels a little darker. Stuff happens to our heroes and you don’t know if they are going to make it. The movie also has a bit of a down beat ending with Han being shipped back to Tatooine and Luke finding out that Vader is his father. The acting and dialogue are pretty good here. It’s better than its predecessor.

Everything else in the movie is good. The music is phenomenal and it’s probably my favorite score from the six movies. The effects are also better this time around. The action pieces are also good. The battle on Hoth is awesome and the fight between Luke and Vader on Bespin is pretty awesome. I don’t think I can find anything negative about this film. There is probably something about it that doesn’t make it perfect, but I haven’t found it yet. It’s purely awesome.

Favorite Quotes:
“Do or do not. There is no try.”
“No, I am you father.”
“No! That’s not true! That’s impossible!”
“You must unlearn what you have learned.”
“The Force is with you, young Skywalker, but you are no Jedi yet.”
“You like me because I’m a scoundrel. There aren’t enough scoundrels in your life.”
“Why you slimy, double-crossing, good-for-nothing swindler!”
“Why, you stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking Nerf herder!”

Star Wars Episode VI: Return of The Jedi
ROTJ was released in 1983. It concludes the story of the Rebellion’s fight against the Empire. The movie starts off with Luke and the rest saving Han from Jabba the Hutt. Afterwards, Luke heads back to Dagobah to learn more about Vader being his father. He then rejoins the Rebellion who is going to stage one final assault on the Empire’s new weapon, a second Death Star. While the Rebels get help on the moon of Endor from the Ewoks, Luke has to face his father and try to bring him back to the good side of the Force.
Obi-Wan: Yes, we've finally beaten... Wait, what the he--?

While this movie is good, it’s not the best of the trilogy. I still say that it is a good conclusion to the trilogy. Everything gets concluded well. We finally see the end of Luke’s journey in becoming a Jedi knight. The struggle between Luke and Vader at the end is the easily the best thing about the movie. I also like that we finally get to see the Emperor in all of his dark, creepy glory. The rest of the heroes get used to good effect. The effects are awesome and the fights in space, on Tatooine, and on Endor are good.

The music is still good. It’s not as epic as the previous movie, but it’s good. While the Ewoks are cuddly, they were a weird ally to the Rebels. It’s also ludicrous that they were able to kick so much Stormtrooper butt. I also thought the revelation of Luke and Leia being siblings kind of comes out of nowhere. We had Leia smooching Luke a lot back in the previous movies and the revelation just comes off as a little icky. I also didn’t like some of the changes that came with this Special Edition. My main gripes were the new music sequences and the fact that Hayden Christensen has replaced Sebastian Shaw at the end. Still, this isn’t a bad movie. It’s a good conclusion to an awesome trilogy.

Favorite Quotes:
“What I said was true… from a certain point of view.”
 “I'm rather embarrassed, General Solo, but it appears that you are to be the main course at a banquet in my honor.”
“He won't turn me over to the Emperor. I can save him. I can turn him back to the good side. I have to try.”
“Good, I can feel your anger. I am defenseless. Take your weapon. Strike me down with all of your hatred and your journey towards the dark side will be complete!”
“I'll never turn to the Dark Side. You've failed, your highness. I am a Jedi, like my father before me.”


Overall, this is a fun series of movies. They may have their bad moments, but the pros completely outweigh the cons here. If you haven’t seen the Original Trilogy, then what the in the name of Qui-gon Jinn have you been doing? Get out there and watch them! I don’t know how the new trilogy is going to be. Since JJ Abrams (yes, I know) is mixing the original cast with new faces, I don’t know what’s going to happen. All I can hope is that the movies are at least as good as the originals and better than the prequels. Well, guess what’s coming next week? I’ll just say it is a not “a tale told by an idiot, full of fury signifying nothing.” Still, there are times where you really can’t tell. Peace, God Bless, and May the Fourth be with you.

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