Letting Go Of Star Wars

I just made my wife watch Star Wars.
We stayed quiet for most of it, her probably bored, me waiting for the sucker punch moments that affected me before so many times.

There were a few touching moments while the CGI jiggery-pokery pokery from 1997 was one part effective and two parts annoying.

One of the great things about Jaws was Steven Spielberg lacked the technology to make the shark appear for the bulk of the movie, and that ‘less is more’ approach worked a treat. The same was true of the original Star Wars, but then it all changed. Annoying robots here, more aliens there, too many storm troopers the next minute.

It’s years since I’ve sat through the entire movie and it still held together remarkably well. Though it’s impossible to convey how fresh and innovative that movie was when it first appeared in the late 1970s. Like the first time fire was created on a dark night millennia ago.

Truth is Star Wars: Episode 4 is a good not great movie. The ADR is often awful, the 1997 CGI additions intrusive and the lack of reaction when Luke first kills a storm trooper is lost in an orgy of gunfire. Yes, it’s petty to address such things in a fairy tale but a slight reaction wouldn’t have hurt.

Thankfully John Williams’ score hasn’t dated a jot. It’s as glorious as ever, but after 37 years of imitators, it was bound to be overshadowed by the very films it inspired.

By the time episode 7 is released in December 2015, it will be compared to six other movies, at least three of which were any good.

We all know JJ Abrams will knock this baseball out of the park; he’s just a better film maker and better storyteller. And when that happens, the childhood ties which bind me to episode 4 will fray a lot more.

Will I ever watch it again? Maybe, but like an old girlfriend, some ties are better being severed. They can do you more harm than good.


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