I am Star Wars today...

>> Thursday, October 18, 2007

Andrey Summers has an interesting observation: that Star Wars fans hate everything about Star Wars, but we love the idea of Star Wars.

Okay, he sort of has a point. He succinctly summarizes practically every complaint ever made about Star Wars (though I have not yet met a Star Wars fan who didn't love the first Knights Of The Old Republic.) We fans do spend a lot of time complaining, and pinning the blame on Lucas, and moaning that this or that author failed to get whatever right or that he managed to contradict some comic book or videogame cutscene. And his final comment is dead-on: the reason we continue to shower adoration on the series no matter how our hearts get broken is the fact that the essential coolness of the Star Wars universe is a helluva lot bigger than George Lucas' oft-constipated imaginings.

But maybe he overstates his case, too. There are a moments of brilliance in the movies, even in The Phantom Menace and Return Of The Jedi. (And yes, I am putting those movies together in one sentence: I actually re-watched Jedi about two nights ago. You know what? A lot of the love we showered on that movie was the result of us being 11 when it came out, and the fact that it closed out a momentous event in our lives; it's really a pretty bad movie on a whole bunch of levels--the gaping plot holes, the phoned-in acting, the stilted dialogue, the bizarre moral compass....)

(And now I sound like a Star Wars fan who hates Star Wars. Quod erat demonstrandum. Damnit!)

Where was I? Oh, yes: but there are moments of brilliance, even in Menace and Jedi. Moments where everything comes together and is beautiful, epic, heroic, stirring. I will always love the scene in the first Star Wars (it will always be called that in my head, but I'm talking about "Episode IV") where Luke walks out and sees two suns setting on the horizon: a ridiculously simple effect, but one that poignantly says "we're not in Kansas anymore." And the effect is only enhanced by John Williams' score.

Also, and no real disrespect meant to Mr. Summers, whose column really is fairly good and contains some trenchant comments, but: screw him, Jaxxon is the awesomest Expanded Universe character ever.


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