Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Star Wars Saturday: Machete Edition

We're only a couple of weeks from Star Wars: The Force Awakens! To prep, we've started watching the previous flicks but not in release or chronological order. You see, there's this thing called Machete Order where you watch Episode IV, V, II, III then VI while not bothering with I. This way, you get more to the heart of Anakin's path to Darth Vader while then following son Luke to figure out what happened to his father before realizing, Darth Vader is his father. The theory excludes Episode I: The Phantom Menace for various reasons like many of the characters dying or not appearing later, not seeing Jake Lloyd as Anakin and much less of fan non-favorite Jar Jar Binks. We did it a little different and started with IV: A New Hope then V: The Empire Strikes Back but went back to I and then II: Attack of the Clones. Fueled by turkey, Chinese food, whiskey and Death Star shaped ice, it was time to go back to "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...":

- Using John William's epic score then the Star Wars title card and scrawling text starts each movie in a fantastically grand manner. I can only imagine what the response will be if J.J. Abrams uses the same opening. Lightsabers, popcorn and human fluids are sure to go flying.
- Star Wars is Star Wars, a great adventure that brings together a crew of memorable characters, puts them in precarious situations then celebrates their victory. Where's Chewie's medal?!
- Empire Strikes Back, this is how you split up parties. Watching Han, Leia, Chewie and C-3P0 evade the baddies while Luke trains with Yoda keeps you interested throughout. Unlike say Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers where you could give a shit what Sam and Frodo are doing while Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas run around kicking ass.
- Frank Oz as Yoda is my spirit animal. What a performance, via a puppet no less.
- The Phantom Menace, I had not seen this movie in it's entirety since 1999. Liam Neesons is cool, Ewan McGregor is so young, Jake Lloyd isn't horrible, he's just a kid and the score is top notch. Jar Jar binks seems like the alien version of Michelle and Stephanie from Full House, "how rude!".
- The end lightsaber duel with Darth Maul is one for the history books.
- The podrace scene and Jar Jar's underwater city made for great Star Tours sequences.
- Podracer Clegg Holdfast's brief introduction is more entertaining than all of Attack of the Clones.
- Attack of the Clones sucks. It looked fake as hell in 2002 and even worse today. Plus it's long as shit. Why would Natalie Portman fall in love with Hayden Christensen? He's such a whiner. The fan theory that Padme and Obi-Wan had an affair adds much more drama and interest to the deal.
- Ewan McGregor's mullet is BLEEP-ing phenomenal. Jesus Christ phenomenal.
- Yoda-Da Man! Remember those commercials? Phew, flashbacks!

Well that was a good use of a long weekend, two more movies, maybe a holiday special and an Ewok flick on deck. It was recently revealed that George Lucas asked pals Steven Spielberg, Robert Zemeckis and Ron Howard to direct the prequels but none of them wanted to be the follow up act and urged Lucas to direct himself. That didn't quite work out the way we all hoped but hey, he built a world and furthered technology so give him a break. And take it easy on Jake Lloyd, he was just a kid and he's a human being. Plus he was in Christmas movie masterpiece Jingle All the Way, what'd you ever do?!

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