Her Cocktail – by Kelsey Guerin
My housemates and I were watching TLC while getting ready for the start of our weekend when a woman with a Princess Leia hairdo came on “Say Yes to the Dress” looking for a wedding gown fit for intergalactic royalty.
My only thought: I don’t get it.
It’s not that I think “Star Wars” is bad. Thanks to the set of six-year-old twins I babysit back home, I’ve seen all of the movies — even the one they’ve dubbed “gross” because Anakin and Padme kiss.
The movies are entertaining enough. The villain is pretty cool (since he is voiced by James Earl Jones), Han Solo is sufficiently snarky and Princess Leia certainly kicks some butt.
But if we’re going to talk about awesome females, let me point you in the direction of Sarah Connor, who probably would have broken out of Jabba the Hutt’s lair with a club stolen from an orderly, a single needle and some cleaning solution. And if you value the bones in your hands, don’t even think about putting her in one of those slave bikini outfits.
As for a stellar villain, look no further than the animated classic “The Lion King.” Scar may not have had a long run as king of the pride, but he will always remain the king of sass in my book.
I guess that my complaint with “Star Wars” is this: I want to be blown away by a series that retained enough popularity over nearly four decades to inspire its own religion (yes, Jediism is a thing), and I’m not.
I have no desire to buy a light-up stick. I don’t want people to make loud, warbling noises at me in their best Chewbacca impression. I never feel like putting on metallic paint and going to Comic Con dressed up like a robot. And I guess Harrison Ford is pretty attractive, but let’s be real — after seeing any movie with Ryan Gosling, every other actor is just a disappointment.
Joseph Campbell, one of the world’s leading authorities on mythology before his death in the late ‘80s, frequently used “Star Wars” as the epitome of the perfect mythological story; the original trilogy possesses all of the characters and themes of mythological tales, and it follows the story arc of the hero’s journey to a tee.
The problem is Campbell’s analysis didn’t make me think of “Star Wars” as a work of genius. Instead, it confirmed the suspicions I felt while watching the movies for the first time — I’ve seen all of this before.
Perhaps part of the problem is “Star Wars” is so much a part of our culture that everyone has been copying it for decades. While the original series might have been groundbreaking in the ‘70s, it has been done to death in everything from “Family Guy” to “Toy Story 2.”
Regardless of the exact reason, I don’t understand the hype around “Star Wars,” and sometimes I wish the whole series had been forgotten a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.
His Beer – by Martin O’Sullivan
If you’re about to argue against the greatness of a movie, best not to start with any reference to TLC. Ruins your credibility, but maybe that’s just me.
Now, to talk about “Star Wars.” And to be clear, I mean the movies that were released between 1977 and 1983. Any other films don’t exist to me.
Before I begin dissecting Kelsey’s argument, let me explain why these are some of the greatest films ever made. “Star Wars” is the perfect story of the anybody who, in realizing that he has the power to become the ultimate hero, must also battle the urge to become an even greater villain. It has the most epic moments in film history, like the main character discovering his father as his nemesis but also a clear example of his potential. When you break it down to its most basic elements, it’s a movie about space ninjas with laser swords … how does this not make sense?
It is the pioneer of special effects. While this may have influenced many subsequent filmmakers to replace actual plot with CGI (I’ll admit, this includes George Lucas down the line), special effects are important on more than just the entertainment level. It inspires so many people to dream big, and a select few will be the ones who make fiction reality. Obviously, I’m not saying they’ll invent lightsabers, but notice the presence of bionic limbs in these films. Guess what was done successfully in 2012? New technologies allowed a paralyzed woman to make a robotic arm pick up items in her immediate line of vision by simply thinking about it.
Additionally, “Star Wars” paved the way for science fiction to become a leader in the film industry. So is it a coincidence “Terminator” was released in 1984, a year after the conclusion of “Star Wars”? Sarah Connor may be awesome, but she owes her continued existence in part to George Lucas.
I don’t want to even address the comparison of Darth Vader to a talking cartoon lion. However, I have to point out that the basis of Kelsey’s argument is that “you’ve seen it all before” – yet one of the films she references is the “The Lion King,” a clear rendition of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” Really?
You feel cheated that none of this is new to you, in part because “one of the world’s leading authorities on mythology” called it the “poster child of the perfect mythological story.” I’m sorry, how is this supposed to convince the reader it’s not the greatest trilogy?
Yes, it’s permeated every medium of the entertainment industry. And granted, some tributes might not be for everyone – “Family Guy” can get annoying, I get it – but why should the quality of the recreation affect the original? Do you like “The Odyssey” any less because you didn’t enjoy “Ulysses,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” or “Big Fish”?
All I can say to Kelsey is this: Blame your parents. They didn’t show you these movies before you had become bored with second-rate references in pop culture. When you’ve seen several movies that make fun of Vader being Luke’s father, seeing the original scene for the first time isn’t as cool. Your loss, dude.