Confessions of a First Time Star Wars Viewer

You all might remember, back in February, that I was going to watch the entire Star Wars saga with my friend who had never viewed it before.  She wanted to see what the hype was in regards to TFA and get all 6 movies done prior to December.  I solicited advice and questions to ask her after watching ANH.  Both Star Guy and Mei-Mei were kind enough to throw in some questions and I had a list as well.

Instead of asking her after ANH, I decided to wait until we completed the entire saga, which happened last month.  She was kind enough to give a thorough answer to all my questions.

Be prepared for some surprising answers that might make you think about Star Wars in a new light.  This has not been edited by me!


 

1. What was your favorite movie out of the saga (all 6 movies) and why?

My favorite movie out of the saga was “Return of the Jedi.” I’m not sure I have a specific reason, but some of the things that I like are: the Ewoks, the redemption of Vader’s/Anakin’s character, and Leia’s infiltration of Jabba’s lair disguised as a bounty hunter.

2. Least favorite and why?

It’s probably a toss-up between “The Phantom Menace” and “Attack of the Clones.” I know real fans’ least favorite is  usually “Attack of the Clones,” (My note: I believe most fans least favorite is TPM but this girl has been hanging around me a lot, which may be why she thought AOTC) but I actually kind of enjoyed it, other than maybe it was a little long, and the romantic scenes with Anakin and Padme were so bad! But on the other hand, the romantic scenes were at least entertaining because I found them comical :). Alternatively, there were definitely parts of “The Phantom Menace” that I really liked. I enjoyed the building of the “backstory” for Anakin, and of course the legendary Qui-Gon Jinn, but to be honest, I fell asleep during some parts of this movie :-\ so it obviously didn’t really capture my attention that well… [And I don’t care what anyone says about Jar Jar Binks – he’s ok in my book! :-P]

3. Favorite character?  Least favorite?  Why?

I think my favorite character is R2D2. He just seems like he knows “what’s up.” For a character that doesn’t talk / you don’t know what he’s saying, r2 and ewokhe has an integral part in all the movies. He’s intelligent, has a great sense of humor, is often saving the day, and is an all around reliable pal and good guy to have around (I’m attributing the masculine pronouns…but I suppose a robot would be agender?).

Would it really upset Star Wars fans everywhere if I said my least favorite character is Luke? I have to say that I find him a bit one-dimensional. He’s a real “goodie-two-shoes,” if you will. I prefer the characters with more depth and ambiguity, like Han Solo or even Anakin. As bad as Hayden Christensen’s acting is, at least the Anakin character has real internal conflict. The big turn might have been a little out of left-field/ sudden onset, but it was there none-the-less (and they definitely used lots of obvious foreshadowing to try to back-up the sudden shift that came at the end).

4. Was there anything that surprised/you didn’t expect about the movies?

I don’t know if there was anything that surprised me, but most of my previous impressions/knowledge of Star Wars was related to the older movies, so I didn’t really know what to expect from the newer ones. I knew that Natalie Portman was in them, but I didn’t know much about the story line/characters, etc. So, I guess I didn’t realize that I was going to find out about the whole “pre-Luke/Leia” story and the development of Darth Vader.

5. Do you think Star Wars is relatable to our lives?

In the sense that all art is a reflection of life in some form, yes. Will I take from it real lessons to apply to my own life; probably not.

6. Do you have any questions about the movies that you don’t think was explained enough in depth?

Not really, but I’d love to know more about the Ewoks! 🙂 Well, I guess ewok wicketwhile we were watching the movies, I was sort of confused about the age difference between Padme and Anakin, but we already addressed that in conversation. With that said, I’m sure that there are plenty of nuances that I missed. I’m sure I’ll need to watch the movies several more times in order to catch everything.

7. Why do you think Star Wars has such a large following?

It’s a cult classic. What’s not to like about spaceships, interesting planets, unique creatures/aliens, robots – excuse me – “droids”, the struggle between good and evil, and a little bit of romance thrown into the mix for good measure as well? Not to mention a little play on incest… [just to be clear, that was a joke. I don’t want your readers to think I am some sort of sicko!]

8. Do you think the movies are catered to children or adults?  Why?

I think they are catered more toward adults because of the themes and more adult nature of the plot lines (and the violence too, I guess). However, I think it makes sense that kids like it too in terms of the fantasy, characters, and of course all the toys/marketing :).

9. Do you think the movies are catered more for men or women?  Why?

I think that they are catered more toward men. In each of the series there is really only one major female character (Leia in the old ones, Padme in the new ones), so men definitely dominate the saga. I also think the earlier movies are particularly objectifying of women (i.e. Leia as Jabba’s prisoner…). While Leia and Padme are both strong female characters, they obviously need the help of the men to survive. And Padme’s not strong enough to live on once Anakin has gone to the dark side? And no female jedi? I suppose the romance was probably added to appeal to the female nature, but as mentioned above, it is laughable and largely unbelievable.

10. What sci-fi elements did you like?  Dislike?  Why?

Is it cheating to say all of them? 😛 I really don’t have an answer to this question. Of course “The Force” has to be a likable element (unless you outright dislike the movies), and all the different planets and creatures, the droids, and ships. I can’t think of anything I particularly disliked.

11. What action scenes did you like?  Dislike? Why?

Again, I’m not a huge “action” scene person. The one that sticks out in my mind is the one where Anakin, Padme, and Obi Won are tied to posts in aobi wan geonosis colosseum and have to fight the creatures that are sent out to kill them. Though, I’m not sure if that’s just because it’s from one of the movies we saw more recently. Oh and if you can count the scene where Anakin and Padme are “frolicking” in the meadow and Anakin gets up and rides whatever that creature was – probably doesn’t count as an action scene, but I love it for the pure comedy! 🙂 For real, though, since I love the ewoks, my favorite action scene probably has to be when they come to save the day in “Return of the Jedi.”

12. What did you think about Star Wars prior to watching the saga?  What do you think now?

My thoughts about Star Wars before watching the saga were that it was a sci-fi classic with a cult (dare I say “nerd”) following [and I don’t mean that offensively – while I am not a Star Wars “nerd,” I do consider myself a “nerd” in many other respects]. I’m not sure that my thoughts have changed that much, other than that the plot lines were actually much more simplistic than I thought they would be, which does not detract from it’s greatness, as there are many other factors that make the saga complex including the various species of creatures, planets, characters, etc., which would probably take actual study to fully know and understand.


 

I’d like to say that my friend actually really enjoyed Jar Jar and couldn’t see why everyone disliked him when she first watched TPM.  I wish she put more of that in there because I thought that was really fascinating.  Jar Jar is basically the symbol of hate for many people regarding the PT…and yet my friend thought he was funny and liked his character.  Same with the ewoks…some of her favorite characters were those that people disliked the most.

Another interesting note – her choice of action scenes.  The PT does excel at action scenes over the OT, especially if you are watching Star Wars for the first time.  The PT is closer to what we see and expect in movies nowadays.

Anyone else find anything interesting?

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3 thoughts on “Confessions of a First Time Star Wars Viewer

  1. I think the reason she was so surprised by the simplicity of the movies is because the extended universe and Clone Wars cartoons added a lot more depth to the Star Wars universe. To an outside r looking in on this Fandom, they will find a lot of speculation, theories, and non-movie information.

    • I kind of like the simplicity of it though. The simplicity is what allows for fans and others to create a larger universe. If Lucas tried to flesh it out too much in the beginning, people would have probably been turned off.

      Instead, he just plopped us in the middle of this galaxy, in the beginning of a war, and expected us to go along with it. He didn’t provide any explanation of the universe, droids, Rebellion, Empire, etc., and it made the story amazing.

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