Star Wars – My Space Odyssey

In Commentary, FILM, THEATRE & TV, HOME by Sam Prance

I’m sure there’s no shortage of people who would like to spend most of their time “in a galaxy far, far away”. I’m just not one of them. In my 22 years on this planet (note the italics), I have actively avoided watching anything set in space, and, with the exception of a reluctant watching of Back to the Future, have also managed to dodge all films from the 80’s. Clearly, for this reason alone, the Star Wars saga was going to be somewhat of a challenge.

Admittedly, my living room isn’t really the space in which to watch a marathon usually undertaken in dark basements by teenage boys with personal hygiene issues. I’ve got a fluffy fur throw. Large amounts of Cath Kidston. And too many fairy lights. But I was not to be defeated at the first hurdle. Blinds drawn, popcorn bulk-bought, and my floor transformed into giant duvet nest, I settled down in front of the TV, and resigned myself to the fact that this would be my weekend.

Episodes I-III

688ea70b707e55d1280d0a3be4bbe2bcb8e489dbEpisode I – The Phantom Menace

Yeah. I started at the beginning. A decision which has been criticized by many, and in hindsight, probably a bad decision. But hey, with a cast featuring Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman, you surely can’t go far wrong. 10 minutes in and I’ve finally understood the voice people were doing in 4th Grade. It’s JaJa Binks. Only 14 years late on the joke. Unfortunately, I’m now too old not to find this slimy Jamaican-y man-fish incredibly annoying. Plus my copy of Episode I doesn’t have subtitles, so I actually have to try and decipher what this idiot is saying. Not a great start to a film that I’m less than psyched about in the first place. There’s also the fact that I’m having to sit through an economics lecture, as Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor discuss Trade Relations, some kind of Senate, embargoes and barricades. As if AS Economics wasn’t boring enough, they had to set it in space. Eventually it becomes too much. I switch off and watch the pretty CGI while playing Candy Crush. Somewhere along the line, Liam Neeson died. I passed 5 levels. Winning.

Episode II – Attack of the Clones

Yet more style over substance. At least Hayden Christenson has appeared to play the now-matured devil-child featured in the last film. It’s not long until he falls for Natalie Portman, which would be hot if a) they had a sex scene (no such luck) or b) there wasn’t some kind of incestuous cougar-type thing going on. A great deal of rolling around in Lake Como eventually sees them getting married, and then there’s some mention of a Sith or something, I really wasn’t concentrating. Hayden loses his hand. Sad face.

Episode III – Revenge of the Sith

Two films down and I’m regretting ever starting. My ass has gone to sleep, and it’s probably only a matter of time before I do too. A Minority Report-style futuristic car chase starts things off, which, I will admit, has been the highlight of the films thus far. Things are finally starting to pick up speed – I haven’t even thought about playing Candy Crush. I actually find myself enjoying the whole planet-hopping, light-speed stuff, which makes me feel somewhat sheepish. The end is, I admit, pretty epic. But only about as epic as Twilight. Twilight. I didn’t sit through hours of space continuums and planet politics to get to Twilight. George Lucas: go fuck yourself.

Episodes IV-VI

688ea70b707e55d1280d0a3be4bbe2bcb8e489db (1)Episode IV – A New Hope

It better be a new hope. We have now moved into what many fans call the ‘original’ Star Wars. Apparently this means it’s better, but as I settle down to a distinctly lesser-quality of film and graphics, I have my doubts. Half and hour in and I’m surprised that the production values are not annoying me. I’m actually interested in what these characters are saying, what they’re doing. Hey, this is actually pretty good. Indiana Jones turns up to join the party, which is pretty cool, and he has some funny banter with Luke, and there’s an are-they, aren’t-they thing going on with Indie and Leia, and some weird relations with Luke, which is going to be super awkies when they find out they’re twins (Spoiler?). Darth Vader also turns out to be the voice of Mufasa. Small world.

Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (Or it’s alternative working title – Nazis: In Space)

The film opens on Luke and pals’ school ski trip to Chamonix, with antics that wouldn’t look out of place on an episode of ‘Snow, Sex, and Suspicious Parents’. That’s a pretty accurate summary of the whole film, actually. Stranded on the icy wasteland of Hoth, with only sex to keep you warm (giggedy giggedy Leia and Hans), while being followed round the galaxy by your suspicious parent – aka Darth Vader. Can’t wait for the end when he pops out of a bush and surprises Leia and Luke. Gonna be so lols. In the meantime, Luke gets taught by a small green puppet how to stand on his head and move shit with his mind, Uri Gellar style; Leia keeps planting wet kisses on Indiana jones; and Chewie has clearly had enough because he keeps yawning. What should have been the dramatic twist at the end when Luke finds his real father (Daddy Darth) wasn’t so surprising seeing as I’d already gone through all the hellish backstory with Hayden and Nat. Gosh darn it.

Episode VI – The Return of the Jedi

Now considering having the Star Wars theme tune as my ringtone. The first half hour flies by: Leia’s working it in a metal bikini, Jabba the Hut (‘a vile gangster’) gets strangled, and Luke and Indiana Jones are ‘Bad Boys for Life’ (song would have been so appropriate). For a finale, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed – unlike Episode III, there are no big explosions, no lead up to any main event. Maybe we’ve become lazy in terms of ‘connecting’ with films, but everyone seems, well, just a bit…laid back. Like it’s the last day of term and your teachers are giving out candy and playing hangman. In the end, school’s out with a pretty epic finale with Darth finally making up for the lack of child support and saving Luke from the Emperor’s electric wrath. I’m almost emotional. Almost. The fact is, even after 13 gruelling hours, I just don’t care enough. Darth’s a dick, Luke’s a wet flannel, Leia’s annoying, and the rest of the crew are – while iconic, no doubt – are just a bit…meh. Don’t get me wrong, there were times I completely forgot about playing Candy Crush. And yes, I do agree with those who say the originals are the best. I just wouldn’t – ever – watch them again.

May the force be with you, bitches.

Love, Belle x

Belle, who took her name from watching too many Disney films, is a reluctant graduate from the University of Manchester. Amazingly, neither majoring in History of Art nor living in Never-Never Land have prevented her from getting a job; she currently splits her time between Bristol and Wonderland. She also blogs rather well. Said blog can be found here.

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