Thursday, March 21, 2013

Star Wars just isn't for me

There are several movies and television shows that have inspired a mind-bogglingly large fan-base. Examples would include Star Trek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and perhaps The Godfather. And of course, Star Wars. Star Wars is such a vast universe with the philosophy of the Jedi spilling into real life, there are websites that actually talk about the order in which to show these films to their children. There are debates about "Han Shot First", "The Nature of the Dark Side" and of course the revelation of Luke's parentage. So what's my opinion on Star Wars? I hadn't seen Star Wars until yesterday. Shocking, yes. How is it possible you might ask that a child of the late eighties hadn't watched The Phantom Menace, The Clone Wars and The Revenge of the Sith? How could I have not have not heard of the Force- the field that penetrates all of the land, the water and sky? Well, believe me; I'd watched Star Wars and while I respect the imagination and the special effects, some details are hard to overlook. I'll mention a few; some of them are quibbles on my end and not really faults per se.

1. Chronology: The events describing the Death Star, Luke and Han Solo are filmed first and the events describing Anakin's life come thirty odd years later. So, CGI Yoda, awesome lightsabre battles in vivid colors take chronological precedence to the papier-mâché looking Yoda puppet. Although this is a genius move, it makes the series a little difficult to grasp, given our mindset that chronology follows filming order.

2. Philosophy: The Light and Dark Side of the Force seems to be representative of the war between good and evil. Is the Force itself a neutral entity and our thoughts alone shape the nature of its manifestation? I find that to be a good icebreaker, but otherwise the Force may be overly depended upon to explain the nature of the Sith and the Jedi. The Force can also manipulate objects, weak minds and turn people into Electro can manifest itself as Force lightning. The Force can even be sensed so acutely by Jedis that a killer worm in a sleeping woman's quarters can be detected while the Jedis are jesting about the weather. Right.

3. The dialogues: If I hear "Search your feelings; you know this to be true" one more time, I am going to rage flip a table. So Darth Vader was told by Darth Sidious that Luke was his son. Darth Vader rightly asks for evidence...you know, a Jedi Parentage test, a sampling of Luke's Force signature...anything at all. But Sidious asks Vader to search his feelings. And in an instant Vader is like "Oh yeah, Luke's my kid." Lazy writing or not, Vader employs the same approach on Luke. Evidence? Oh no, just search your feelings, Luke, and you'll realize this.

4. The acting: I don't know about the other fans out there, but I think there was absolutely no chemistry between the actors portraying Anakin and Padme. Not to mention, I was creeped out by Anakin's wooing. Heck, even Padme asked him not to look at her in a way and he stills looks creepily at her. The two of them discussing Padme's baby while standing at the terrace is one of the most loveless scenes I've ever witnessed in a movie.

5. Lolwat? moments: Anakin attempts a Yoda flip and gets de-limbed. Then he spontaneously combusts. So the whole while while they were battling inches away from lava, they're fine, but once they stop, they burst into flames? The prophecy: Oh god, why must every storyline have a prophecy with a saviour in it? He who will save us from the Sith and bring balance to the Force. He who will be born in September and will defeat the Dark Lord. He who will save Zion. Pretty much the attempt to fulfill the destiny fucks it up. Anakin tries to save Padme from Death and negates the prophecy. Voldemort tries to fulfil the prophecy by killing Harry and he dies instead. Neo chooses to save Trinity and sacrifice Zion. And one thing that really bothers me: when technology is so advanced that they can save a severely burnt, amputated Sith and bring him back as Vader, why can't medical technology do anything to save Padme? Don't tell me...she chose not to live? Please. Here's another: if a Jedi can talk with dead people and literally seek advice from them as if they are still around (Luke pleading with Obi-Wan's ghost during Empire Strikes Back), why can't Anakin simply use the Force to chat with Padme's ghost? Even the threat of death would not sever them; he can use the Force! And speaking of bringing balance to the Force: if the Jedi outnumber the Sith, theoretically, isn't the Force abundant in Light side than in Dark Side?

Of course, sci-fi cannot be completely dissected because that would take the fun out of watching it. I'm not going to say that no one can hear a damn thing in outer space. But sometimes poor choices in dialogue, bad acting and lapses in logic can ruin a movie viewing experience. I understand fully well that the series is a bold and exciting visual treat and credit is given where it's due for its in-universe characters, but for me, finally watching the series left much to be desired.

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