Friday, February 27, 2009

Star Wars: A New Hope

Everyone's Favorite
Originally uploaded by Kiel Bryant
The whim came over me yesterday to watch Star Wars, not just any Star Wars but the version of A New Hope from my childhood – you know the one where the blur at the bottom of Luke’s landspeeder was created by putting vaseline on the camera lens. As much as I appreciate Lucas’s desire to “complete” the things he did in the original trilogy, I must say that I don’t think they needed it. The original Star Wars movies have always been perfect in my opinion and to this day the special effect completely hold up with things being produced by effects studios that have almost 30 years on Lucas and his garage effects.

The first and foremost thing that is right with the original edition – Han shoots first! I’m sorry, Greedo doesn’t shoot at Han who then fires back, or they both shoot at the same time – Han is the badass that knows he has to shoot first or die first, and that is the PERFECT set up for his character versus the rest of the more sheltered main characters in the film. Luke is naive, Leia is powerless and Han gets the job done.

I must also say that the prequels must be ignored to truly enjoy the original trilogy. If you actually think about metichlorines, whiny little Anakin, the old republic, or the way Revenge of the Sith ended, you will sit puzzling at how nothing actually fits together. And I’m sorry, the force is so much cooler when you don’t know it’s little organisms in your blood and body that control it. I could have lived without that knowledge – all I needed to know was that it “surrounds us” and I was cool.

Star Wars is the corner stone of the entire franchise, and I have to say that in the filmography of George Lucas it is his best directorial effort. One major element of this is the cast he chose; Lucas put a great deal of emphasis on casting, and wanting to make sure that his main characters had chemistry – he actually did group auditions for the three leads and I have to say that paid off.

Director & Writer: George Lucas
Luke Skywaler: Mark Hamill
Han Solo: Harrison Ford
Princess Leia: Carrie Fisher
Obi-Wan: Alec Guinness
Darth Vader: James Earl Jones

Obi-Wan: Your father's light saber. This is the weapon of a Jedi Knight. Not as clumsy or random as a blaster; an elegant weapon for a more civilized age. For over a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times...before the Empire.