Right before Christmas, we saw the end of a long journey, the nine movie spanning vision from George Lucas for his creation – Star Wars.
I jumped on this train at 13 years old back in 1977, and after 42 years, we’ve finally reached the end. (Of the main original concept, anyway!) 😛
It’s mind boggling, the way this universe and these characters have become so meaningful to so many of us over the years. Let’s not forget the music, either, as I believe John Williams is a BIG part of Star Wars’ success. Yes, not all of the films have been good, not all of it has been consistent, yet the plan (whether in its original form or not) has come to pass. It’s a testament of how much it has affected so many, that it survived long enough to be completed. Science Fiction and Fantasy weren’t considered as worthwhile in the movie biz back then. Star Wars opened the way for change.
1977 – Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope – The beginning! Super thrilling, exciting, a look at what Science Fiction could be. Thanks to John Williams, a deep love of background music began for me. It showed music could bring a new dimension to films that were as important as the special effects, the actors, the story. Peter Cushing from the Hammer Films! (Awesome!)
1980 – Star Wars Episode V The Empire Strikes Back – This one is my all time favorite. We learned more about the Force and the Jedi. Leia and Han Solo fight against the attraction they feel for each other despite their very different backgrounds. We discover Luke’s relationship with Darth Vader. (They published the book before the movie release. I still remember sitting at the couch reading the novelization and the utter shock at the revelation that Darth Vader was Luke’s father!) I waited in line for hours on opening day to get to see it! Squee! (Super Awesome!)
1983 – Star Wars Episode VI Return of the Jedi – The culmination of the trilogy (already the news of Lucas’ vision for 9 films, 3 set before and 3 set after had everyone excited – even if the chances of them being made was slim.) Ewoks were introduced (So cute!), more awesome music by John Williams, Han and Leia reunited. The Emperor! Hardship and Victory! (Awesome!)
Then we hit the long gap of waiting… Would we ever see the 6 films promised? (There were a lot of other Star Wars things in between – books, comic books, the never to be spoken of Ewok Christmas Special, games, and more. But the films…where were the films?!)
1999 – Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace – They were back! Yes! More John Williams music, woot! Awesome special effects, but something was lost, the realistic, gritty part so successful in the first three films had disappeared, giving way to CGI. The reinvention of the Force and the introduction of Midiclorians. Trying to turn the mystic into science – even though this is a prequel! What? But who cared, Star Wars was BACK! YAY! Young Obi-Wan – woot! (And the introduction of Jar Jar Binks – I like him in this film, but so many people did not. Oh, the hate. Don’t give in to the Dark Side!) (Pretty Good! Starwars is BACK!!!!!)
2002 – Star Wars Episode II Attack of the Clones – Build up, setting more things in place to bring us toward the future we learned of in Episodes IV to VI. Anakin and Padme, more Obi-Wan. Christopher Lee – squee! But hold on, who the heck thought putting Jar Jar into politics and have him help mold policy was a good idea? Nice guy, but ‘hello?’ are you all nuts? (Decently Good?)
2005 – Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith – WTF? You changed the fighting style after 5 previous films? WTF? Instead of the most glorious Anakin vs. Obi-wan battle we get “but I hold the higher ground?” WTF? You have the Force, higher ground means nothing! Yoda gets turned into Dragonball’s Goku? (He even does the Kamehameha!) WTF? Unequivocally the WORST Star Wars film – EVER! I almost went to the Dark Side due to this one. I even rewatched it a few years later to make sure of the flaws – made me want to strike them down even harder! Ugh! I could rant on this one for hours, HOURS! (Though the lizard mount was super cool!) I waited 28 years for this? Bleah! (Horribly bad!)
2015 – Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens – Disney brought the franchise! They went back to having more physical objects, so the feel of the originals was back. Disney has money, Disney will pay someone to make a super awesome script and bring Star Wars back with a BANG! WRONG! 🙁 Instead, someone mushed together pieces of the first three films somehow thinking that was the recipe needed for success. Think again! Luke was back, Leia was back, Han Solo was back – yay! But wait, Han reverted to a five year old. Kylo Ren is godlike in his abilities. He can bend light! Mess with time! What? (Plus, there’s no way Darth Vader’s helmet survived! Not the way that ship blew. Oh the humanity!) Plus the hints about Rey’s parents? Totally ignored in the later films! Sigh. Oh, and a trash worker stormtrooper is part of an elite commando unit? Right… (Mostly garbage, but still better than Episode III!)
2017 – Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi – It was Star Wars so I went, but expectations were low. So in some aspects, I was pleasantly surprised, others not as much. Kylo Ren still way overpowered. Hints from Episode VII were totally discarded as if they’d never been. Disney is still not using their might to find a decent scriptwriter (that or there were too many hands in the pot). (Mostly Decent?)
2019 – Star Wars Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker – Still no decent script, and loads of backpedaling, which made for a bigger mess. Tons of nostalgic moments. Several stupid ones. (If Rey can jump high enough to go over a super tie fighter, she should be able to leap around a shipwreck instead of tedious climbing it.) Rey is now showing godlike powers. Ugh. (How was there even a wreck? The whole facility exploded from the core!) (Oh and Force skills are NOT hereditary! Ugh.) A super secret Sith map – so make a dagger hilt in the shape of the wreck that is only about twenty years old but the map and knife are ancient? And the wreck has power? What? Oh and out of nowhere, let’s make Leia a MASTER JEDI in her youth! Yeah, like she’d have the time to become a MASTER? Some training sure, but a MASTER? So glad I did not have high expectations. Still, I got teary eyed, nostalgic, pumped by the music. I have tried my best not to look at it too closely or who knows what will happen. Heh heh. I will not give in. (Super nostalgic, but not good.)
The nine film journey is over. Huzzah!
Even with the crap, it is still an amazing achievement. I’m glad I survived in the world long enough to see it through. Though not all of those involved got to get to the finish.
I love the Star Wars universe, so, yeah, I’ll keep watching. I am sure this cash cow will be milked for years to come. Who knows, eventually the Force might be with us, and some awesome films will come our way again. 😛
There’s always hope. May the Force be with you, always.