Star Wars Counterpoint

by Marinda Darnell

Star Wars, one of my favorite created worlds of all time, has finished its theater run. While I was not able to see the first two movies in the theaters when they were released, Return of the Jedi is the first movie I ever saw in the theater. As a little girl, I became fascinated with the vroom of the light saber, and the glorious world of aliens that George Lucas created. I played for hours with imaginary storm troopers, Luke, Leia, Chewie, and Yoda. I even had little girls R2 D2 underwear, bra, and pajamas. Then when the original trilogy was released back into theaters as a special edition when I was in high school, I was finally able to experience all three as they were meant to be, on the big screen. Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, and Aayala Secura have been my favorite characters of all time. I have been a fan girl my entire life.

Even now, as a college student, ex-military, I am still fascinated by light sabers, and Jedi robes, and numerous other aspects of the Star Wars universe. When Episode I was released, I took turns with other sailors standing in line between duty to get midnight theater tickets. While I was disappointed with the acting of Padme and Anakin, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn made wonderful characters, which had the spark and polish of the original trilogy. Jar Jar Binks was a character better left on the cutting room floor. Over all, disappointed was the feeling. I couldn’t help but be thrilled at the beginning with the music, and every time a light saber was activated. John Williams, Ewen McGregor, and Liam Neeson were definantly the stars of Episode I. Episode II, was an improvement over Episode I, but still lacked the epic feel that the original trilogy had. Again John Williams and Ewen McGregor were fantastic. John Williams is proving to be one of the best modern composers.

When Episode III Revenge of the Sith (ROTS) was announced, there was some hope since II improved over I. Maybe Lucas finally got it right. Maybe he kills Jar Jar before we have to hear his stupid voice. Just maybe some of the other Jedi will be seen, and the whiny Anakin would be replaced by some actual acting. Unfortunately, Padme and Anakin are still awkward, and Lucas has shown that he can not write a love story. I decided not to go to the midnight showing of ROTS. Thursday morning, I showed up to a sold out 10 am theater, with much anticipation. The opening sequence riveted the audience with the wonderful music, and then the story sucked us in. Ewen McGregor did a fabulous job, and so did Frank Oz as the voice of Yoda. Lucas excelled at the digital editing and effects, and Jar Jar is only seen at the very end. The movie came close to having the same epic feel of the original trilogy, but in the theatrical release, it missed it by feeling rushed, and as if there were parts missing. Hopefully the extended edition DVD will fill in those gaps, and give the story the grand feel and focus it so deserves. Thankfully the birth of Luke and Leia are covered, along with the splitting of the twins. In the beginning and towards the middle, I began to really feel sorry for Anakin, but then once the Jedi Temple fell, and what occurred inside there, nothing but hate and animosity can be felt for what Anakin turned himself into. This is a movie I would recommend seeing on the big screen, and then again on the small one once the extended edition comes out.

Over all, the fan girl in me is not satisfied, but the hope of the extended edition and more books in the future is enough to hold for me for now. It is sad that such a grand saga is over, but it will be alive for future generations to come through their parents, the movies, the books, and the endless other marketed toys that were created. For something truly fun, check out the Star Wars website, specifically the behind the scenes mini documentaries of creating Obi-Wan Kenobi and the Wookiees. They truly show the challenge of trying to create movies based upon the epic original trilogy. The webcomic Something Positive sums up the second trilogy very nicely in his May 20th comic. Check it out, and you just might find yourself agreeing.

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