Wednesday, 6 October 2010

The Jedi are extinct, their fire has gone out of the universe. You, my friend, are all that's left of their religion

No 22 - Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Director - George Lucas

I had a serious ponder as to what order to watch the Star Wars films. Should it be 1,3,4,5,6 or 4,5,6,1,3 (2 didn't make it into the list.....) - in the end I chose to pick with the order they were released, and I'm glad I did.
I promise not to moan too much about the re-issue, and the constant fuckery that George Lucas does with these films (The Incredible Suit did it much better here), but what I will complain about is that if I wanted to watch the original film I had to trawl through the special features to find it. Also, the film was exactly as it was in the 70's, which meant that it had had no digital remastering. So I ended up watching a copy with worse sound and picture than my old VHS copies. But it was worth it not to get all the bullshit added stuff.

Don't get me wrong - I can see the appeal of making the lightsabers slicker, or making the explosions better, or making the battles more epic.... it is when you use CGI to pad out scenes with unnecessary showing off.... or CHANGE THE FILM ITSELF! that is becomes unforgivable.

Anyway, whine over.... lets talk about the film.

The first thing that caught my attention upon this viewing (and which I found interesting as I'd never noticed it before) was how faceless the opening sequence is. there are only a few fleeting humans, normally busy firing blasters or being shot. Even our first glimpse of Leia is pretty fleeting.
Instead, we get R2D2 and C3PO (both pretty expressionless) being chased by stormtroopers and their leader Darth Vader (again, pretty expressionless). They escape and are immediately ambushed by the Jawas.
So, Kudos to Lucas for managing to make entertaining and fully formed characters from nothing but movements and atmosphere. In fact throughout the serious, many of the characters that people love don't really speak at all. Showing that you don't NEED dialogue to create an emotional attachment. Just look at Chewbacca.


My dad's friend Stephen is a costume historian who works in a lot of films. When he was in his early days on the job.... he helped KNIT CHEWBACCA!
That is pretty much the coolest thing I have ever fucking heard.

So amongst our galaxy of non-human entities, we have our human leads. This is not attempting to be a clever film, and so the characters are little more than stock characters, almost straight out of medieval or Arthurian tales. We have Luke: The Naive farm hand with aspirations to be a knight. Ben Kenobi: The wise and powerful mentor. Han: The cocky matinee hero and Leia the damsel in distress. However she does a lot more than merely look pretty (Carrie Fisher is stunning in these films - incidentally, she is a really very funny woman) - here she has more courage and derring do than any of the men and she creates a love triangle which is severely weighted on Han's side (after all, their sparring of wits is far more romantic than Luke's puppydog eyes), even before you learn about the family tree.

There doesn't seem to be much need to discuss the actual ins and outs of Star Wars as you've either seen it, or you never plan to see it.
However let me leave you with a fabulous link and an odd little question.

LINK - As I watch the stormtroopers milling about, my mind naturally turns to the Little Stormys. And if you aren't regularly watching those little scamps, you are missing out.

QUESTION - As this film is before the idea of the Emperor, and before Lucas had really ironed out a lot of his world (after all Vader is referred to as Darth.... as if Darth is his first name) - let me ask... is Vader working for Grand Moff Tarkin? Whats going on?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Chewbacca is knitted?