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Skywalker

Posted on Saturday, May 26th, 2007

Dave!I remember it as if it were yesterday.

I did not see Star Wars in a theater when it was first released. I saw it at a drive-in later that summer. This was kind of a bummer because the picture... and especially the sound... at a drive-in is pretty crappy. But it was still Star Wars, and I remember being completely and totally absorbed from the moment that Star Destroyer crossed the screen. It was more than my 11-year-old mind could fathom, and my life (like so many others) had just been changed forever.

Princess Dave Organa
Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope...

To say I became obsessed with Star Wars is an understatement of epic proportions.

I bought everything Star Wars I could afford from my allowance or beg out of my parents. I collected the action figures and toys (when they were eventually released the next year). I devoured the comic book adaptation. I started drawing Star Wars stories of my own (Dart Vader lives!). I even made my own Star Wars films using stuffed animals, a 16mm movie camera, and time-consuming stop-motion photography. I was a pioneer in special effects, using a magnifying glass and permanent markers to draw laser blasts and lightsabers directly on the film. My world revolved around Star Wars, and once I rented the movie on VHS for the 100th time, I didn't want my old world back.

But it was three years later that my obsession would be rewarded with one of the greatest movies of all time: The Empire Strikes Back. Everything that made Star Wars such an incredible experience was doubled. The action was intense. The special effects were mind-blowing. But most important of all, the story was brilliant. It was everything you hope for in a sequel, but rarely get. It was... it is... the perfect film.

Sadly, things took a drastic dive after Empire, but that did nothing to diminish my enthusiasm for all things Star Wars, even to this very day.

I lived through the heinous embarrassment of the Ewoks and Jar Jar Binks. I survived all the inane burp and fart jokes that all but destroyed Star Wars credibility. I endured through the devastating "acting" of Jake Lloyd and Hayden Christensen in the awful, awful prequels. I remained faithful as Lucas butchered his original brilliance in "special editions" where Greedo shoots first. I stuck it out as serious science fiction was degraded for the sake of making toys. But despite it all (or perhaps because of it all?), I still love Star Wars.

Star Wars Logo

Which is why today, in celebration of 30 years of Star Wars, I am re-watching all the movies on DVD while I get some work done.

Hmmm...

Boy was Luke Skywalker a whiny little bitch back at the beginning! I still wince when I hear: "But I was going into Toshi's Station to pick up some powerrrr converterrrrrrrs!" or "Uncle Owennnnn! This R-2 unit has a bad motivatorrrrrr!" and most of all "It's just not fairrrrrr!" I can't believe that Han never bitch-slapped the little whiner. Hard.

Oh well. I guess it all turned out okay in the end.

At least until George Lucas had Hayden Christensen show up as a Jedi Ghost at the end of Jedi and screwed it all up.


Categories: Movies 2007Click To It: Permalink
   

Comments

  1. stephanie says:

    Empire Strikes Back remains my favorite of all six films. And, I can remember standing in the longest of all mf’ing lines waiting to get into the first movie, watched it from the first row (the only seats left in the theatre) and it still remains one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

    Star Wars ROCKS!

  2. Tracy Lynn says:

    Those first three Star Wars movies were an amazing and life changing experience for me as well, and I would like to shove an ewok up George Lucas’ ass for his destruction of something so timelessly perfect.

    Bastard.

  3. Good grief. 30 years ago? I thought it was newer. Because that would have meant I was 5 when it came out. That can’t be right? I mean, I trust you that it is, but somehow I remember seeing this movie for some reason.

  4. CiCi says:

    All 6 films have been showing on cable lately, so I have been gorging on all things Star Wars too. I remember seeing it with my mom and her little brother, who saw it, came home and told us “You’ve got to see this movie.” He took us to see it and the rest is history. I saw it at least 2 more times that summer with my cousins, ended up with a few action figures, and a never-ending love for the movie.

    I think it’s a family obsession now. My mom loves the movies too, and one of my cousins actually works for Industrial Light & Magic creating special effects. He even got to work on the movies, both old and new. The only thing is my little sister – she ust doesn’t get it. She was born just a few months after Empire was released – my aunt said she looked like Yoda – and has never cultivated the love my mom and I have. I still hope to convert her one day.

  5. CiCi says:

    All 6 films have been showing on cable lately, so I have been gorging on all things Star Wars too. I remember seeing it with my mom and her little brother, who saw it, came home and told us “You’ve got to see this movie.” He took us to see it and the rest is history. I saw it at least 2 more times that summer with my cousins, ended up with a few action figures, and a never-ending love for the movie.

    I think it’s a family obsession now. My mom loves the movies too, and one of my cousins actually works for Industrial Light & Magic creating special effects. He even got to work on the movies, both old and new. The only thing is my little sister – she ust doesn’t get it. She was born just a few months after Empire was released – my aunt said she looked like Yoda – and has never cultivated the love my mom and I have. I still hope to convert her one day.

  6. DaisyJo says:

    Are you tuning in for Star Wars, The Legacy Revealed on the History Channel on Monday?

  7. claire says:

    omg, L-O-V-E Leia-Dave.

    I saw Star Wars in the theater when I was a wee lass and just loved it. Little Chewie, Obi-Wan, and a Jawa action figures from 1977 are sitting in front of my computer right now.

    The prequels sucked so much they tempered my adoration somewhat.

    Still… the best thing ever was seeing a double-feature of Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark at Lincoln Center in 1992 in 70 mm with remastered sound (but before those other abominable changes). It was then that I too realized just how whiny Luke was. Excellent time.

  8. Dude, even I saw Star Wars in the theater…and I was 4 years old. My mother was worried that it would scare me so she kept asking me if I was okay. To which I’m told I responded, “Shhhhhhh mother, I’m watching the movie!”

    Ahhh, good times. Too bad I don’t remember them.

    I still have a quite a few of the original action figures in their original Darth Vader’s head carrying case – far cooler than Barbie. And watch what you say about Luke, dude – he was MY MAIN MAN when I was a little girl (you could keep your silly Han Solo). ;-)

    I may have to drag out my old VHS tapes – I refuse to buy the DVDs.

  9. shari says:

    I’m going to confess here: The only reason I’ve seen any of the StarWars movies at all is because when my brother was going through his divorce, he wanted to go see “Return of the Jedi” and who was I to deny him such a small measure of comfort? So I went too. I vaguely recall some enormous, disgusting, toad-ish creature snacking on smaller creatures and drooling. Sorry — does this negatively impact my Dave number?

  10. Sheila says:

    Every time I see the movies on TV, I have to stop and watch them. I knew I liked Star Wars, but didn’t know how much until I saw the ‘Special Editions’ and cussed throughout them because of how they differed from what I watched as a kid!

  11. ajooja says:

    I felt the same way about Luke when I rewatched them all recently too. Luckily, I don’t remember being a whiney bitch myself when I was that age. :)

  12. Avitable says:

    Mark Hamill was just as bad of an actor as the actors in the prequels. Of course, I still love the originals much more than the new ones. I was only 4 months old when the original came out in theaters, but I’m glad that at least I got to see the Special Editions in theaters.

    I think you need to find that movie you made and post it.

  13. sandra says:

    I have a confession to make: I’ve never seen Star Wars.

  14. Dave2 says:

    Stephanie: Indeed it does. I can think of no other film that had such a profound effect on me. Except “Debbie Does Dallas,” of course, but that’s for an entirely different reason.

    Tracy Lynn: Unfortunately, you couldn’t fit an Ewok up his ass… his every orifice is packed with money.

    KG: Yep, 30 years. It does seem unbelievable… and makes me feel old!

    CiCi: Different people have different reactions to the films. One of my good friends hates the Star Wars films with a passion simply because they are science fiction, and she has made up her mind to hate all sci-fi. No amount of convincing will work.

    Daisy Jo: My TiVo is already set! :-)

    Claire: Apparently George Lucas is reworking the films to be shown in 3-D! Can you imagine what THAT is going to be like?

    CL: The December 2006 edition of the DVDs have the original movies as “bonus features” that are the same as the LaserDisc versions (which I own). This is good if you want to experience the originals, but it’s pretty shitty that they didn’t use any cleaned-up footage and sound. I guess Lucas WANTED them to suck?

    Shari: Much of “Return of the Jedi” was forgettable. There were excellent bits (like the lightsaber duel, Leia in a gold bikini, and the space battles) but a big chunk was teddy bears and burp and fart jokes that even I don’t want to remember.

    Sheila: Lucas made changes nobody wanted. Why he didn’t just clean up the picture, fix the special effects, and leave everything else alone I will never understand.

    Ajooja: Back then, I was so shell-shocked that I didn’t realize it either. But there’s no denying it, Luke was a whiny little bitch!

    Avitable: I wish I could find that movie… I remember very little about it except that I had some stuffed frogs that I made costumes for using felt, and all the props were made from clay. The Sharpie marker special effects were pretty sweet though!

    Sandra: You know they can revoke your US citizenship for that…

  15. Hilly says:

    You know, I almost got sucked into going to some Star Wars 30 Year Celebration here in Southern California. But then the friend that wanted to go had an aneurysm and ended up in surgery. Needless to say, he stayed home in Seattle.

    Somehow that story is not as fun as I hoped it would be ;).

  16. Dave2 says:

    I’d make a joke about rather having an aneurysm than having to hear Jar Jar Binks say “WEESA GONNA DIE!!” ever again, but something tells me that wouldn’t be as funny as I would hope it would be…

  17. Amy says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. And, unlike Pirates 2 – the cliffhanger at the end of Empire (with Han being frozen) was gut wrenching!!

  18. Laurence says:

    I love Star Wars ! And I love more Lil’Dave in Princess Leila ! :-)

  19. Bec says:

    Star Wars. Me love! And bank holiday Monday tomorrow is the perfect time for an all day Star Wars fest. Only problem is I lent my original trilogy copies to someone so will have to do it with (NOOOOOOOOO) the remastered ones.

    ARRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHTINI!

  20. Karl says:

    Man, I just watched a Star Wars special on the History Channel last night and it only rekindled my love for the series. Sure, eps 4, 5, and 6 were superior. But I enjoyed the first three, too. (Despite Jar Jar Binks.)

  21. Attended the 30th Anniversary celebration at the Los Angeles Convention Center yesterday and it was super fun… You would have loved the Vader Project!

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