Originally published September 12, 2013 at 7:45 am
There’s no easy way to admit this, so I’ll just get it out and prepare for the hail of stones headed my way. I’m not a fan of Star Wars. I’ll go a step further and say outside of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, I don’t like the series.
Yes I mean Episodes 4-6. You’ve all come to mean so much to me here on talkbacker, that I have to be honest. It has nothing to do with having grown up on Star Trek and identifying with that more; nor does it have to do with my being more of a horror fan. No, what it has to do with is writing. Specifically, good writing and the lack of it in the original trilogy. To avoid any confusion, I’m only going to talk about 4-6. The new abominations aren’t worth the carpal tunnel flare up I’d incur writing about them.
A NEW HOPE, or as we called it back when I saw it in 1977, STAR WARS, should have been the movie equivalent of a wet dream: I was the target audience, a 12 year old boy who saw the possibilities of space travel by watching man land on the moon. I was (and still am) a voracious reader with a penchant for genre material. There couldn’t be a better fucking demographic than myself.
…after the medals were handed out at the end, and as the credits rolled with John Williams magnificent score blasting, I was underwhelmed. There were certain scenes I really liked, but on the whole it wasn’t everything it could have been. I think part of it is (get ready for some old fart reminiscing about how things were back in my day), I’d seen it before. Certainly not the tie fighter dog fight, but chases certainly. They’d gone from horses to space ships. There really wasn’t anything new story wise. And outside of Darth Vader and Han Solo, I didn’t care for any of the characters. Luke is a whiny brat, and to be honest Mark Hamill was never what I considered a good actor (his role as the elephant man on Broadway aside). It all seemed hokey and a little-dare I say childish.
Still when THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK came out three years later I was in line to see it. I will say that the opening scenes on Hoth are some of my favorite scenes in any movie. Irving Kirshener did a phenomenal job with directing Episode V. In fact, TESB is one of my favorite SF films, thanks to a sterling script by the ridiculously talented Lawrence Kasdan. The light saber fight between Vader and Skywalker, the revelation during that scene-all encompassed the things missing from the first.
With as much excitement as I could muster – which was a lot as I’m a huge fan of the second film, I actually stood in line for 6 hours to see RETURN OF THE JEDI in ’83.
And I’m still pissed about that. To say I was disappointed is a massive understatement. I hated, I mean literally hated, RotJ. It was apparent that even though Lawrence Kasdan was credited as a co screenwriter with Lucas – this was all Lucas. It took the dark and edgy feel of EMPIRE and took a big hairy, rainbow encrusted shit on it. Ewoks? Dancing Ewoks? Where’s my light saber? I’ll mow those fuckers down.
With Disney now owning the franchise, I’m almost interested in seeing what they do with Episode 7. Almost. This brings me to a question though. What highly regarded, classic in the eyes of most people, do you not like? Feel free to let me know in the comments!