I took it upon myself to watch the entire Star Wars trilogy over this past 4-day weekend.
I find that as I’ve grown older, I don’t actually watch Star Wars as much as I used to. There are other movies that I want to see that take precedence and my thought mentality always goes something like, “Well, I’ve seen these movies a bunch of times, I don’t need to watch them again.” It’s a bad trap to fall into because watching them a lot when you were younger versus watching them now is not the same. I have more life experience now, so the situations in Star Wars mean something different to me. The moments and plot lines I pay attention to are different from what held my attention in past years.
It’s also a problem because you can get so caught up in different EU aspects of Star Wars that you forget that the OT is at the core of Star Wars and what drew us to love it in the first place. I meet and know quite a few Star Wars fans and though Star Wars penetrates us and binds us all together, I am strongly inclined to ask when the last time was that they actually watched the movies. I do realize that this is slightly hypocritical, as I just mentioned above that I do not watch Star Wars as much as I used to.
Lastly, and this is just a major confession on my part, I got knocked out surprisingly early when I participated in the Star Wars trivia challenge at SMF. I didn’t go with my gut feeling on one of the answers, instead I went with the crowd’s opinion, and got out. I guess I wasn’t stretching out with my feelings, as Obi-Wan would say, but it was kind of the deciding factor in realizing that I needed to rewatch these movies.
And so, with that brief introduction, here are my latest thoughts from this weekend’s viewing.
At the end of ROTJ, Yoda tells Luke that his training is complete and he doesn’t need anymore. What a change from the Prequels! Younglings used to have to go through years of training, plus a trial. Furthermore, they would have never accepted Luke because he is way too old (which Yoda does allude to in ESB). If they thought Anakin was too old, they would never have taken on Luke no matter how strong he was with the Force.
But, knowing what we know about Luke, I began to think about why Yoda was so reluctant to take him on as a pupil or apprentice. I don’t think it has to do too much with the above reasons of sticking to the rules of the Old Republic and how Jedi were trained. Though Yoda feebly bleated out those excuses, the reasons were much deeper. I believe that Yoda was scared. Yes, I think Yoda was actually frightened about taking on another Skywalker. He had given way to Qui-Gon’s dying wish in TPM and look where that got him: a government destroyed and the Jedi wiped out. Now Obi-Wan is pressuring him again to take on Luke, and frankly, I’m not sure I would want that responsibility either. Easy for Obi-Wan to say now that he’s in the happy land of the Force and only comes back when needed. Yoda would be taking on a huge gamble by training Luke. Either Luke succeeds and brings down the Emperor and Vader, or he fails and then there are three powerful Sith controlling the Empire…or more likely, two: Vader and Luke because I think they could easily overthrow the Emperor. Can you imagine how powerful Luke and Vader would be together, ruling the galaxy “as father and son”? I actually think that would be worse than the current situation of the Emperor and Luke. That’s an effing big gamble for Yoda and I wouldn’t want to take it on either. No sirree.
After this brief analysis in my head, I kind of felt more respect for Yoda. I’ve always had trouble liking him. Sometimes I think he’s wise and a great mentor and then sometimes I struggle with his notions and how inflexible he is. But this made me rethink him and give him props for taking on a challenge that could bring huge changes for the entire galaxy, good or bad.
What a difference a real set makes versus all the CGI from the Prequels. Even though there are parts of the Prequels that I love – you can’t deny the nitty, gritty, real feel that the Original Trilogy has. Watching Luke battle Vader on an actual set of the Death Star? So cool. Seeing Han and Leia destroy the bunker amidst the redwood trees of California? Can’t replace that. You can tell when something is real and it speaks volumes to our brains. That’s why the scene where Anakin is trying to woo Padmé with talk of sand (though I hate that scene at the same time though) is undeniably beautiful. Our brain registers that it’s a real place and you just can’t replace nature with CGI, and the Prequels are a constant reminder of that. Kathleen Kennedy did seem to hint at the fact that they are hoping to utilize more on-location shots and sets, so I’m hoping that’s true.
This was kind of amusing to me – but what if Boba Fett and his manner of death were just an amusing joke to George Lucas? People had latched onto Fett after ESB came out and thought of him as this cool, badass bounty hunter. Maybe Lucas thought that was funny and decided to play with people’s notions a bit and created him to be super lame in the actual fight scene. Watching it again, all I could think was, “Really? Really? Why do people like him so much? His whole façade is blown to pieces in the Sarlacc scene.” Maybe George just thought it would be a great joke to make him lame.
And finally, I saw that the rebel insignia shows up blue most of the times in the movie. It only appears red on Luke Skywalker’s helmet and so I assume that’s why we take it as being red. But if we take it contextually, my guess is that it started out blue and as Luke emerged as a leader, it became red, because that is the color that was always on his helmet. (However – I THINK I noticed a blooper: when Luke gets into his snowspeeder for the Battle of Hoth, the insignia is red on his helmet. After he crashes, I’m pretty sure it’s blue. I meant to go back and check but never got the chance. Something to keep in mind for future viewings. Yes, I dissected this too much.)
Hope everyone else had as much of an enlightening Thanksgiving as I did.