Sunday, December 27, 2015

I never liked Star Wars

I was in junior high when the first Star Wars movie came out. I mean the first one ever made. I was in the target audience. I thought I liked science fiction, but then I tried reading science fiction and I realized I just liked guys in costumes murdering each other with futuristic weapons. The movie should have been perfect for me, but I never liked it.

At school, we all loved it. We drew space ships in art class. I was in a class that painted a mural in the cafeteria, and they had to tell us it couldn't have space ships shooting at each other----it had to be a nature scene. So we painted a nature scene but, at the very top, the blue sky fades to black and there were a couple of satellites up there.

But even then, we'd be standing around gushing over Star Wars and once in a while some kid would comment that the thing really didn't have much of a plot, and the acting was really bad. Junior high kids aren't the most discriminating movie goers, but, yeah, we all agreed.

Then there was a teacher who told us how clever Star Wars was, because all the gun fights in it took place with the guys standing out in the open, shooting and shooting and shooting without ever hitting anything. This was a reference, the teacher thought, to the old 1930's B westerns where they kept shooting and never ran out of bullets.

None of us at the time had ever seen a 1930's B western. No one under 50 had ever seen one. What's the point of doing a parody of something nobody had ever seen? I have seen a few of them since then, and the cowboys would at least duck for cover.

I don't think it was intended as a reference to anything.

It had the least energetic sword fight I think I've ever seen in a movie, and that includes the "realistic" ones where the guys are really tired and are mostly leaning on things, flailing ineffectually with their swords.

Was this Alec Guinness's first movie sword fight?


Here's my theory: George Lucas was fairly open about the fact that he didn't write very well. Francis Ford Coppola tried to help him. I think Lucas made the first movie as a chapter in a serial to explain any shortcomings in his script. If there's anything you didn't understand, it's because you didn't see the other chapters.

He did something similar in THX 1138. He explained that it wasn't a movie ABOUT the future---it was a movie FROM the future. Anything that didn't make sense to you would make sense to the hypothetical audience of the future.

I have no curiosity at all about the new movie.

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