Monday, February 15, 2010

Star Wars Rewatch: A New Hope Part 1

Since I've seen these movies FAR too many times, I'm not going to act like I haven't seen them and know how it all turns out (Dorothy was dreaming the whole thing, right?). But since I am watching them in the order of release, I'll adopt what literary critics call "Inconsistent Omniscience", where I act surprised by events when I think it's funny. And there's no spoiler alert, since these movies have all been out for 5 years or more.

0:00 - The drumroll for 20th Cent. Fox still gets me excited.

0:01 - "Long ago..." is a much better intro than "Don't pin me down on dates or places"

1:30 - Woohoo! Go peace and freedom and bizarre hairdos!

2:40 - Hey, look, robots! It's hard to remember that they were actually unusual back then.

3:05 - Why is the rebellion populated entirely by white guys? Or is it just segregated? Either way, uncool. And, dude, trim the eyebrows.

4:00 - Are these the only competent stormtroopers left in the Empire? Because this is definitely the only group that manages to not suck. The rest were apparently cloned from Curly Howard.

5:12 - Aaaaaand, my first true love appears. She pretty much set the standard for women for me. Hard to believe I'm still single, huh?

5:50 - This Vader guy seems like a badass.

10:30 - Threepio doesn't waste much time before he starts acting like a complete jackass, does he?

12:10 - Do they make glowing contacts to have Jawa eyes? THAT would be cool.

13:15 - I was just thinking, "wow, that scene of the Jawa ship at dusk is cool" when I realized it was TOO cool. Now I've switched to the original version.

15:20 - "Look sir, droids!" This is my favorite line in the entire saga, because the guy acts like he's just split the atom instead of finding a piece of metal. But you have to a respect a guy who enjoys his work.

17:30 - What a cyber-suck-up Threepio is. Artoo has seen this before and is disgusted.

18:00 - Do you think Luke's whining is so strong because of his connection to the Force?

19:05 - Even the annoying kid knows when Threepio is overselling. Had he not been waived off, I'm pretty sure Threepio would have claimed that Artoo could fly, pilot spaceships or fix hyperdrives. And that would just be lame.

23:30 - Luke's apparently too young/stupid to catch The Pointed Look or The Just-Drop-It-Grunt.

25:00 - "That's what I'm afraid of" Cryptic referrals to fathers don't get much more ominous than this. Then again, maybe his father also had a habit of striking dramatic poses at sunset?

26:50 - I'm beginning to think "A New Hope" isn't as good a secondary title as "Lots of Fing Foreshadowing"

27:25 - Bye-bye, Owen & Beru! See you in 4 movies!

28:30 - First, Luke is about as useless as the come. Next, were the Sand People going to drag Luke off and eat him? Or did they want a witness to their vandalizing.

30:00 - OK, I guess Obi-Wan does recognize Artoo. Hadn't picked up on that, though he could just be annoyed. Spending 20 years in a hovel in the desert will do that to you.

32:10 - "We should be on the move?" C'mon Kenobi, the last time we saw you, you were kicking Anakin's ass. Are you lazy or just too modest to show off in front of Junior Skywalker?

33:50 - That's the story? You've had 20 years to get ready for this moment and you just decide to claim Darth was a different guy? Weak, Obi-Wan, weak. Also, worst poker face in the galaxy. He looks like Nixon in the Kennedy debates here.

34:20 - "The Force" Apparently it's the galaxy's best way to change a topic. Forget your dad's murder, let's talk religion!

35:40 - Luke's right to weasel out of Alderaan. After his debut against the Sand People, Ben's gotta be thinking that the apple has fallen very far from the tree. He also seems not that disappointed to learn of Luke's weaseling.

37:00 - Say what you will about the Death Star, but it does have one bad-ass meeting room. Of course, if it were set in this galaxy, Vader and Tarkin would be typing away on their Blackberries instead of listening to Admiral BowlCut* drone on about how great the Death Star is. His speech should've been much shorter, "Two words, Death Star. That's how badass it is -- we are actually going to call it the Death Star."

38:30 - How'd the one guy get the pimp white uniform? He looks like an older Ricardo Montalban.

39:30 - "No, wait, Luke! It's too dangerous!" But not, apparently, dangerous enough for you to actually do something.

40:20 - How desensitized are we to violence? Charred skeletons were pretty extreme back in the day. This did, however, guarantee that I didn't touch the hot stovetop.

41:00 - How is a floating syringe more terrifying that Darth Vader?

42:00 - Well, maybe not a Jedi EXACTLY like your father.

42:20 - MOS EISLEY = NEW JERSEY. Same number of letters. Both widely considered the most wretched hives of scum and villainy in their areas.

43:20 - How huge were the effects in the movie? The scene of the landspeeder is OBVIOUSLY retouched, yet at the time it was soooo cool. Also, Threepio has moved from cowardice to specism for his defining characteristic.

44:00 - The cantina, or "This scene should be enough aliens for one movie", as Lucas refers to it

46:00 - Is it just me, or is it hilarious that the guy trying to PREVENT a bar fight is the one with the British accent? This has not been my experience.

47:00 - Are Chewie's eyes glazed over because he's tired of hearing Han drone on about the Falcon's speed?

50:00 - Han Solo, you rogue! At least he's a good tipper.

51:00 - And those are the stormtroopers we all know and love -- "It's locked, this armor is hot, fuck it."

53:00 - I like the seat-buckling. This was a big issue in the late-70s. In, you know, a galaxy far, far away.

53:50 - "I know a few maneuvers, we'll lose 'em." Apparently, these "maneuvers" consist entirely of moving in a straight line, then going really, really fast. But, you know, it's not like dusting crops, boy.

54:50 - "I should've recognized your foul stench when I was brought on board." Heroines in the 70s had moxie, didn't they?

57:00 - "As if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced." ... "Or it might just be my rheumatism acting up. You keep getting your ass kicked by the drone, ignore me."

57:54 - How did Chewie go from complete bully to lovable pal by the end of the movie? Of course, Threepio's solution is to cave as quickly as possible.

1:01:20 - How does hermit Kenobi know the difference between short and long-range fighters?

1:02:20 - How do we know there's a tractor beam? The classic Trek cockpit-shake. Which is illegal in Georgia.

Aaaaaand with that, the 1st part is done. Why break it up? Because I've got blogger's block. Sue me!

* Seriously, his haircut makes him look like an extra in "The Name Of The Rose"


Chad W said...

Sooooo... where's part 2???

Halitzes: Gollum's version of what you put on the sidewalk in the winter*

*: if you live in a place where it stays cold enough to bother.

Steve said...

Dangit. Wasn't this my idea?

backies - a pejorative term for Australians

Albert said...

My son, Nate, has started to get interested in the Star Wars. You quickly realize what a confusing mess it is to explain a complete fictional universe to a 6 year old. Every answer is followed by another question about a completely made up world. Usually after about 5 minutes I try to end the conversation with "its a made up world, it doesn't have to make sense"

jtingermany said...

King Wally, You might've suggested it after I finished LOTR. Several people did! You snooze, you lose!

Albert, you should try "Oh, Jebus did that". It explains most things.

Albert said...

He's going to a Catholic school. So, that doesn't work. It just brings up more questions....