Star Wars – A Newcomer’s Perspective

I have never had much interest in Star Wars. It never caught me as a child and as an adult everyone tends to look at you a little differently after admitting it. I didn’t go out of my way to avoid it, nor did I hate it because it was popular. But it took one person calling me a “filthy millennial” for me to decide this had to change.

In this day and age, Star Wars is huge. There are references and jokes towards it all over our culture. I thought I had a pretty good grasp on what Star Wars is about. So I have split this article into two parts, in part one, I’ll explain what I think Star Wars is about, from what I understand. Then, in part two, I’ll discuss my thoughts on the movies after seeing them.

I have been explicitly instructed to watch the films in the following order: 4, 5, 6 THEN 1, 2 and 3. I don’t fully understand why this order, from what I gather the last three are worse, not sure if this is due to nostalgia but I’ve been told that they have Ewan McGregor and Samuel L Jackson in, so I’m looking forward to that.

Also, it’s worth saying…. Potential spoilers to follow. SPOILER WARNING

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Part 1: What is Star Wars?

From what I understand, the galaxy has been taken over by space Nazis, they, with their army of storm troopers, who are robots. The fate of the galaxy rests in the hands of Luke Skywalker his friend Han Solo and his bear-dog thing called Chewwakka, as they try to rescue a princess from some bad guys. With help from an old wizard man, they learn telekinesis and other magic. Some people also fight with light-swords, which are colourful and look like glow-sticks.

Han then meets Yodl, who is an alien who sells them Light-swords so that they can kill the leaders of the Nazis (Space Hitler?). He also sells them a space ship, that I can’t remember the name of right now, but everyone says is super cool and it actually breaks down all the time.

Also there is a guy/alien, called Boba Fett, who everyone likes. Not sure if he is a good guy or a bad guy, but I’m pretty sure his head gets cut off.

Luke then (I guess) goes a bit mad and becomes Darth Vader, and kidnaps the princess again.. who is his mum. And then she dies and he is defeated by Han Solo – I assume, because it’d suck if the bad guys win.

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Part 2:

Anyway, on to the films.

Star Wars: Episode 4: A New Hope

I told myself I wouldn’t judge the films on their special effects, because that is a low blow on a film that is nearly 40 years old. But I was actually surprisingly impressed, some of the models looked really interesting and the style of the film as a whole was pretty stunning, even to this day.

Overall I thought it was okay. I have a lot of questions. But I am already worried at how many people are going to get annoyed about Part 1, I’m already realising that I’m way off with my estimations of the films.

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So the opening text, I paused it so I could read it all. So in this period of civil war, the rebels have won their first victory and have managed to steal the plans for the Death Star, then the film cuts to the empire breaching the ship that has the plans they stole… as the rebels were escaping.

Not sure if I’m thinking too much, but I’d say the opening text was declaring that win a little pre-emptively. Then the robots get away in an escape pod which isn’t shot because “there are no life signs detected”… These are the same guys who have robots everywhere doing all kinds of important jobs for them AND the same guys who blow up a planet just to prove they are evil. I really hope that guy got some poor feedback in his yearly performance review.

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So the robots land on a desert planet and are sold to Luke Skywalker and his family. He then sees a message from the princess and takes the robots to Obi-Wan, he then explains he’s a Jedi (wizard) who can do awesome stuff… Then gives him a light-saber, which is just irresponsible as Luke’s about 15 and has just been given him a ridiculously powerful weapon because he knew his dad? Also, I thought Luke’s dad was the farmer guy, but I only realised he was his Uncle AFTER he got killed… And who did the killing? He just came home to some dead skeletons. Was it the empire? Or did his Uncle and Aunt put some metal in the microwave?

I liked the introduction of Han Solo, I thought the DVD skipped slightly when he killed the green guy, but Google has informed me that’s supposed to happen. The rest of the film was fun to watch and I had a good time watching through, it had suspense.

However, when Obi-Wan died, I have a big problem with. Why did he give up? If I were in a duel with Darth Vader (which, considering Luke was also in the room, I’m starting to think he isn’t Darth Vader… Haven’t ruled out time travel yet) I’d be trying my hardest not to die. If it were to show how bad the empire was, they proved that by blowing up Alderaan. If it was to prove a point, I missed it. If it were to buy time for the others, surely fighting back would have given them longer to escape.

Although I’ll give it credit. I enjoyed it far more than I thought I would.

Star Wars Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back

Everyone told me I’d like this one, and they were right. I thought the battle of Hoth was amazing. I loved the look, the atmosphere, everything. It definitely gave the feel that the rebels were on the run and literally hiding in every hole they could find. I feel the empire could have done a bit more than slow walking camel robots, like maybe their own jets or maybe bombard the area from orbit. Even though the rebels were on the run, they were still pretty obviously there.

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Also, the camel robots, what a terrible idea. They blow up if they fall over and are so slow they can’t adjust quickly. Why build them so high? You have jets, build a tank vehicle… Do wheels not exist in this universe?

So then Han and co go off and get eaten by a giant worm, which I can’t really explain why a worm lives on an asteroid. At the same time, Luke crashes in the everglades planet and it taught by Yoda (Not Yodl) in the ways of the force – which appears to be mainly yoga and piggyback rides. Can we quickly take a moment to address the fact that planets don’t just have one type of environment; we’ve seen desert planet, snow, and swamp. I swear if they have like a city planet or a planet made entirely of grassland, I’m going to get very frustrated.

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Boba Fett turns up, he’s a bad guy and literally does nothing but stand around for the whole film – I must be missing something here.

In Cloud City – which judging by rest of this film, is probably above cloud planet. Han, Leia and Chewbacca meet Billy Dee Williams playing Hanzo (I think). He appears to be friendly and chatty, right up until he betrays them and passes them over to Darth Vader. Then again, it’s Billy Dee Williams, I can’t stay mad at him. Darth Vader plans to trap Luke with a plan that required Han Solo to be made into a fossil – I’m sure it was a great plan.

Luke sees this going on, or a vision – and wants to help. Yoda, who I’m assuming should know best – doesn’t try to stop him, by like using the force or something. Luke confronts Vader, and in a pretty awesome light-saber battle, Luke loses an arm. Vader then says his immortal line “Luke, I am your father!” and my head exploded… well not really, actually, it made a bit more sense and I realised that my prediction of Vader being Luke from the future now sounds really stupid. Either way, Obi Wan lied in the last film – not cool, man.

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Luke jumps off the platform, possibly in search of his arm, and somehow despite falling hundreds of stories, finds a convenient tube that shoots him out onto a TV antenna, causing some poor guy to loose BBC 2.

Lando is now a good guy (well done Billy Dee) and is instantly forgiven for the whole betrayal thing. Him and Chewbacca go to find Han; Luke gets a robot arm and everyone else kinda stands around awkwardly.

I think this was my favourite of the series – purely because I loved the size and the scale of the Hoth battle.

Star Wars: Episode 6 – A Return of the Jedi

Man, the stakes are high – Luke’s on his way to becoming a robot, Han’s dead, Vader’s en route to being the worst dad of all time and Leia’s probably doing something equally as tense. So Jabba the Hutt (Or Sluggly McSlugface as I call him) has Han Solo’s fossil and he doesn’t really wanna share it. Leia sneaks in disguised as a soldier to free him because he’s apparently NOT dead – which confused me, but apparently side effects of being dead/fossilised involve temporary blindness and getting involved in some kinda cliché romantic moments.

This is cut short by Leia being captured and forced into a bikini (for torture?). Luke turns up and is tricked into falling into a hole… Which begs the question, can the force make you fly? Or hover? Because I feel this could have been avoided.

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Anyway, Luke then has to fight a T-Rex, which although stop-motion, didn’t look as terrible as the idea should. So he kills Godzilla by using the force to pull the door down on his head. Which I’ll admit, was pretty cool. After this, Han and Luke are sentenced to death for killing Barney. Chewbacca’s also there, although I don’t know why, and joins in because I guess death by tentacle squid thing looks fun.

The escape plan begins and kind of tense battle ensues. Boba Fett gets hit by a blind Han and accidentally falls into the monster and is killed, the only way his death could have been more slapstick would have been if he slipped on a space banana at the same time.

Luke then travels to the everglades planet again and finds a very nearly dead Yoda. Who explains that Darth Vader is his dad and he wasn’t always evil – I guess navigating around that lie Obi Wan said to Luke. Luke gets warned by Obi Wan’s ghost to stop having temper tantrums otherwise he’ll become like his dad. He also advises that Luke has a sister who also knows magic and the force. Obi Wan finally has the greatest idea in the history of film – defeat the bad guy.

Meanwhile, Han and Chewbacca land on a forest planet to destroy a generator for the new Death Star. Surely having the generator on the Death Star would be more useful. So it can move around… This idea seems to be the equivalent of having an awesome tank, but the fitting the engine to a caravan behind the tank. I don’t know how the death star moves, but it basically has to tow a planet behind it now.

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Then there are the Ewoks – who I thought were Chewbacca’s children for a while. But they were literally designed for one reason – to sell toys. How do they remotely stand a chance against an army? Well, due to film. They do, without a single casualty. Guess you can’t kill cute things. [Editor’s Note: They do die, filthy millennial!]

At this point I just want to mention how awesome the hover bike storm troopers looked. I love the design of them. Even if they can’t drive.

A large battle ensues on the woodland planet and most of the storm troopers are defeated. Lando, in Han Solo’s ship, leads the rebels on an attack of the Death Star. But I guess someone forgot to turn of the shield thing on the forest planet because it’s still up. Some fish guy then shouts “IT’S A TRAP!” and now I understand where that meme comes from.

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Luke then gets taken by Vader to meet the Emperor, who is either Darth Vader’s boss, or his dad. He’s like the most evil of evil because he wears a hoodie, like one of those youths he tempts Luke into fighting his dad – but for bad reasons. Luke gets mad (Obi Wan probably tuts in disapproval) and cuts off Vader’s hand (what is with these guys and cutting off hands – it’s just a d**k move). Someone on the planet finally remembers to flick the off switch to the shields and the final battle begins.

The Emperor tells Luke to kill Vader, but Luke resists. And so the hoodie guy then decides to shoot lightning out of his hands… Which begs the question, why didn’t Yoda teach Luke that? It could have been useful for pretty much all of the fights in the series. MVP has to go to Vader on this one; he picks up Darth Pikachu and throws him off the platform. Which must be really tough due to only having one hand? Luke then removes Vader’s helmet and a very touching scene is ruined because I started giggling because Darth Vader appears to have a harmonica over his mouth. Darth Vader then dies peacefully without so much as a tune.

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The death star gets blown up by Lando and his weird pet friend and Luke flies down to burn his father’s body. Leia explains to a jealous Han that Luke is her brother – which makes me wonder why she did no force stuff throughout the whole film. Luke has a conversation with Yoda, Obi Wan and some young guy (I think that’s Darth Vader). Everyone’s happy, the war’s over. End of film.

Hold the fudging phone, if Luke and Leia are siblings – that means there’s some twisted incest love triangle going on for the first two films… Man, 80’s films were bold.

The Prequels

… I wish I hadn’t gone through that.

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