Thursday, June 16, 2005

The original Star Wars were Fun

That's with a capital 'F' in case you didn't get it ;)

My friends and I had this semi-Star Wars-marathon in the weekend, watching Star Wars and The Empire Strikes back and boy, did we have a good time?! Those movies, especially, Empire, were almost like Indiana Jones in space, just jumping from one set-piece to another, without getting weighed down by stupid plot points like trade federations and mitochlorians!

I think the differences between the prequel trilogy and the sequel trilogy is best illustrated by the romances that develop in each one: Consider Empire, when Han Solo is about to be put into deep freeze by Darth Vader - a situation of peril, one might say! Princess Leia chooses that moment to tell him "I love you" to which Han replies "I know!", in classic Han Solo way! Brilliant!

Now take Attack of the Clones! My memory is a bit rusty, but I remember the situation is somewhat similar: Padme and Anakin Skywalker are in a bit of a hiccup and out of the blue comes the "I love you" from Padme. She then follows it up with some sappy " you madly, deeply" and other yadda-yadda! Utterly unconvincing, especially given the chemistry that never existed between the two of them!

Anyhoo, that's my 'dho paisa' on that...

On the same subject: after watching the two prequels, I was almost tempted to buy the 3-pack DVD of the prequels...almost! What put me off (other than the hefty price tag) were the numerous changes His Highness, George Lucas had made to the original trilogy. For me, the most execrable of these was replacing the ghostly image of the original Anakin Skywalker with that of Hayden Christensen at the end of Return of the Jedi, as discussed here in Roger Ebert's website!!! Come on! Imagine how the original actor (whose name is Sebastian Shaw which, I admit, I knew only after reading the above article) must feel! Forget maintaining continuity and all that, Mr. Lucas. What you did here was unfair to Shaw!

Another change that has become a hot-button issue among Star Wars geeks (myself NOT included) is an extra bit added in a scene where Han Solo is confronted by Greedo, a bounty hunter trying to capture him for Jabba. In the original version, Han shoots Greedo as he is talking, following the old maxim of "Don't talk when you can just shoot!". In the 'Special Edition', Greedo shoots first, misses from one foot away and then Han shoots back and kills him! This was done supposedly to show that Han Solo was really a peach of a guy and would never ever, in a million light years, shoot some poor dangerous bounty hunter when all he's doing is talking. In the original version, the point was that we never know until later on what sort of a person Han is.

To me, this change shows how George Lucas is trying to make everything about Star Wars one-dimensional. Characters are either completely good or completely bad; Jedi are good, Sith are evil; Anakin was a nice chappie while Vader is a bad baddie! And so on... He also seems to be saying to the fans, "This is my creation and I'll do whatever the hell I want with it. So there!". Which is all fine, but come on, what's his problem with releasing an unedited original version. Would it kill him to be a little nice? Fingers crossed hoping that the six-pack DVD, if and when it comes, has the option of buying the unchanged original. Then all is forgiven! But, until then...


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