What I Like About Star Wars

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Tan Djarka

Sr Member
I was looking at the "bashing" thread and wanted to respond, but then I noticed it was locked, and I couldn't add my proverbial "two cents". Feel free to add yours, but please try to keep it positive.

Like many here, I saw Star Wars (and the rest of the OT) when it was released, and in it's original glory (a scratchy print in a tiny theater with mono sound), and I loved it. I was ten, what did I know? Turns out, I wasn't alone, and for the many years that followed, Star Wars was a big part of my life. But then I "grew up" after it ended with ROTJ, and I gave away all my books and toys, and got on with my life.

And then the special editions were released. Did I agree with every change made by Lucas? No. It did enhance some parts of the films, others not so much, but the best part was, I got to see them on the big screen once again. Nothing Uncle George did, or even the die hard naysayers could ruin me re-experiencing the joys and wonder of my childhood.

Flash forward to the prequels. Did I agree with every plot point Lucas decided to pursue to establish Anakin's back story? Once again, no. But I like Star Wars in general and I liked them, warts and all. Best of all, unlike the younger version of myself that decided I was too old for Star Wars, I discovered I'll never be too old for Star Wars.

If it weren't for the prequels, I may have never rediscovered that joy. I found a new hobby, building lightsabers. And maybe, best of all, I found this place.

Star Wars films are like family. There's things about them you love, and there's other things you just can't stand. In the end, life just wouldn't be the same without them.

Here endeth the rant...
 

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Scott Graham

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
What I liked about it from the first time watching it was that it was like watching a foreign movie and getting immersed in that culture of "what the heck is going on here". George makes a good point of this in his commentary for THX. His first three movies all had similar themes to a person wanting to break free of his normal, so so, life and go out and explore. The more familiar and predictable all this got, the less interesting it seemed.

It was fascinating that it was familiar and so alien at the same time. That's what made the characters, the design, the whole movie work for me. And the design work has always interested me so much that I got into industrial design after seeing the movie and the Star Wars sketchbook. Like comic books, I'm much more interested in the art than the story going on though. But without the interesting story it wouldn't have worked either.

That's what I like about it and what got me hooked.
 

Robiwon

Master Member
Gone but not forgotten.
I saw Star Wars on the big screen when I was 10 as well. It seems hard to imagine that I still remember that experience. I have seen hundreds of movies since then and probably have forgotten most at the theater.

I was hooked the minute the Star Destroyer flew by overhead in the opening shot. That same day I painted two thirds of a tree branch red and had my very first lightsaber. The story and the underlying meanings didn't hook me as much as the ships and hardware did. Everything looked so real compared to other space movies before it.

I agree that the movies are not perfect and there are holes big enough for the Titanic to sail thru, but hey, it's Star Wars, not Gone with the Wind!

I wouldn't be here either if it were not for these movies. If George makes another one, I'll be in line. I'm a lover, not a hater!
 

firesprite

Master Member
I was 'too young' to see Star Wars on the big screen when they originally came out (though ironically, my parents took me to see Raiders in the theaters on its first run :facepalm).

Even so, Star Wars was a HUGE part of my life. My brother shared his Star Wars action figures with me and I helped create huge excavations in the yard to play with them. So, when the Special Editions were released in theaters, it was my first time seeing the films on the big screen and I loved them. Were they perfect? No, of course not... but it was still an amazing experience, finally seeing the film on the big screen.

Then came the prequels. Again, I went opening weekend to see each one as it was released and, for the most part, I enjoyed them. As a writer, they're way too indulgent of George and I can definitely see where a strong editor (story-wise) should have given him the proverbial smack upside the head a la NCIS. However, I think that RotS with the culling of the Jedi finally delivered what people wanted to see from Anakin and the prequels.

Will I go see the movies in 3D? Absolutely not. Will I purchase the blurays? Highly unlikely. I have all 6 movies on dvd and there's nothing on the blurays that makes me need to run right out and get them. Would I purchase them if they had the original, untouched trilogy? Eh, maybe, but again, there'd have to be more on them than that to get me to shell out the cash.

Do I love Star Wars? Oh, HELL YEAH! Just because I might say I think George has been smoking too much crack because he can't stop tinkering doesn't mean I don't love the stories. I just think that he needs someone to look at him and tell him no like he had back in the day.

My anger over the prequels stems more from the knowledge that they COULD have been so much better. The strongest parts of RotS (my favorite prequel) were those where you could see Steven Spielberg's influence on the film because it was more subtle and the performances were better (Obi-Wan and Anakin facing off for their final battle, in particular).

Empire (the movie out of the OT that most people claim as their favorite) was less a result of George's own abilities than the collaboration between him and the people in his life who were also creative and strong enough to tell him that an idea sucks.
 

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Solo4114

Master Member
I first saw Star Wars at age 4 on a VHS recorded off of Prism (old HBO equivalent) that some friends had given my folks. I remember playing with these big blue and red tinkertoys (the really big plastic ones) with my dad and playing lightsabres after seeing it. From then until I was probably about 11-12 or something, I watched that Star Wars tape every Sunday morning (we weren't religious and I wasn't interested in the "fake preacher" shows as I called them). It got to where I could recite R2's bleeps and boops from memory.

I grew up playing with the toys (although I eventually graduated to G.I. Joe, but still kept the AWESOME Star Wars vehicles), too, had the storybook records, etc. I also remember listening to the NPR production of The Empire Strikes Back at age 6. Eventually I got kind of tired of the old stuff (as I said, was more into G.I. Joe and such).

I was in my teens when the Star Wars revival really hit. This would've been around 1991/1992. LucasArts started putting out TERRIFIC PC games (X-wing, Tie Fighter, Dark Forces, etc.), and I loved 'em all. Even Rebellion! I still do, actually. Also, Timothy Zahn's books had come out. All that together really got me to fall in love with the franchise again, and with this expanding universe of cool additional stories, I was hooked.

I was super excited for the prequels but was ultimately disappointed by them. I remember feeling sort of dazed and numb after leaving Episode I. I couldn't process it and didn't know what to make of it. Eventually that turned to a real dislike, but I was hopeful that things would improve. I enjoyed the action in Episode II (I still do, actually), but was frustrated at how the Clone Wars seemed to keep getting ignored. When were we going to get to that?! By the time Episode III came out, I was thoroughly frustrated. I'd gotten burned out on the older stuff with the SEs and Lucas' continued tinkering, I'd been burned by playing Star Wars: Galaxies, and everything that was coming out was all-prequels-all-the-time.

I still love the original OT, and some of the older stuff in the franchise, but these days what I love is less the films and more my memories of growing up with them. When I eventually have kids, that may change, although it may depend on what versions are available by then.
 

E Q

Active Member
Age must have something to do with SW. I saw it as an adult and found it a simple story with Aliens that seemed like rejects from 70s sci-fi shows on tv. My guess is if you saw the original 3 as a kid you really liked it. It seemed aimed at kids, now those kids are adults and it has that nostalgia effect. What I like about Star Wars? It keeps people who may buy the stuff I want occupied and makes it easier for me to get the items I like. Especially since no one can collect it all, and money only goes so far. :)
 

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Crank729

Sr Member
The thing I like about star wars, other than it being completely awesome (prequels included ) Is that it never gets old. 40 years later from the original movie and we are still nit picking every little detail, watching them over an over and still buying the stuff. They are the biggest movies in the world, and I think they will always be.
 

Timmythekid

Sr Member
+1
My three year just demanded to see ESB yesterday and I was catching bits and pieces - it hasn't aged AT ALL. It looks just as good, feels just as timeless as it did back in 1980. An AMAZING feat.
 

Zombie_61

Master Member
I saw Star Wars on the day it was first released here in California. For as long as I can remember I've been a fan of sci-fi television shows and movies, and would (and still do) watch them as often as I could. But Star Wars was unlike anything I had ever seen before. Like many, I was hooked from the moment the Star Destroyer began that "it seemed to take forever" shot across the screen. Yeah, the story was rather simple and some of the dialogue was...unusual...but it was pure fun! Interesting characters, honest performances (particularly Mark Hamill's and Alec Guinness'), good action, John Williams' brilliant score--what's not to like?

BTW, I was 15 years old at the time; not quite an "adult", but not exactly a kid. Star Wars was released two months before my 16th birthday, and I drove to the theater without a valid driver's license (learner's permit only) because I'd read all of the Starlog magazine articles prior to the movie's release and nothing was going to stop me from seeing it if I could help it. And, I would later find out, I was nursing a case of atypical pneumonia (a.k.a. walking pneumonia) at the time.

What did/do I like about it? Pretty much everything, warts and all. (I'm referring to the original versions of the Original Trilogy movies, not the not-so-Special-Editions.) The Prequel Trilogy...those movies could have been much better, no question, but I've come to accept them for what they are.
 

Colin Droidmilk

Sr Member
For me, aged ten in 1977, it was the spaceships, the robots bickering in the desert, and Han Solo that carried the day. Plus the concept of the events being a fairy tale taking place a long time ago in a different galaxy, with planet Earth being simply disregarded. This idea blew my mind. Nowadays I like it for a lot more reasons too, not least the amazingly seamless blend of film genres and references (I'm still finding new ones), the blend of 30s nostalgia (Leia's hair, TIE/Falcon windows) with futurism and so on, a quality which was dissipated even by Empire. I also really admire Hamill's performance more and more.

A lot of comments here about playing lightsabres on coming out of the cinema. Not me, I never wanted a lightsabre toy or a SW costume - all I wanted were model kits of the ships. Even today I can't relate to half this board - all the costume and lightsabremaking, lol... what IS that all about? LOL
 

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Rivera

New Member
My first memory off going to the movies is when esb was showing in theatres when i was 4-5 years old.
Star Wars branded me, and I collected the toys, read the comics, and had my mom sow me up a black cape, and my father made me a stick lightsaber coloured with a red marker.
The movies has followed me allways, but as others has stated, the chance to see the movies on the big screen fuels the magic to no end.
And thanks to a friend, I got introduced to the 501st legion some years ago, and now I have costuming as my prime hobby, making friends, learning new skills, and doing good in the process.
I might not agree with everything Uncle George does, but damn I like Uncle Georges stuff.
 

The Wook

Master Member
As a boy in that magical summer of '77, I saw Star Wars about 30 times...20 of those viewings in the first two weeks. My dad would drop me and my buddy Kevin off at the Eric Twin Chestnut Hill at around 11 in the morning and come back and pick us up around 10 at night. One day I convinced Dad to watch the picture with us, even though he hated Sci-Fi. I knew of his love for Westerns, so I told him it was a Western in Outer Space. He capitulated, and sat silent the whole movie. As we walked into the lobby, I tugged his shirt sleeve, and said, "Well Dad, what'd you think?". He answered glumly, "That was no Tom Mix.". But he was happy I'd found something that I loved.

The film resonated with me in so many ways, but unlike some of you who fashioned light sabers out of sticks, or my bud Tom Spina who instantly knew he wanted to some day fabricate those wacky creatures in the cantina, I was touched mostly on a philosophical, spiritual level. The Force, is what grabbed me most. It opened my mind to...well...forces, beyond the Christian orthodoxy in which I'd been raised. People are surprised to hear that it was not the mighty Chewbacca, who would later become such a big part of my personal and professional life, nor the gunslinging Solo, nor the young farm boy turned hero Luke (who was closest to my age) that I gravitated most closely to, but rather, it was the old master of the Force, Obi-Wan Kenobi, who stoked my imagination most of all. Sure, I loved ALL those other characters, and I could not get enough of the opening Star Destroyer shot, the imposing Lord Vader, the dual sunset, the cantina scene, the hyperspace jumps!, the light sabers (which I thought were called "life savers" :lol at first), and the Falcon turret battle against those evil Tie Fighters. But *nothing* in Star Wars inspired me like the Force. Then, or now.

When I first saw ESB, I was initially disappointed by the film, because it lacked the triumphant ending of Star Wars. Of course I saw the film over and over again, and loved the AT-ATs and Yoda and all the screen time given to Lord Vader and his badass-ness. But the ending was a buzzkill for me every viewing. And I'd leave the theater frustrated by the knowledge that I'd have to wait 3 whole years--an eternity when you're that age--to see my heroes, and the light side of the Force, prevail. And yet, ESB was Star Wars, and had so much great about it up until the anti-climactic ending, that I still loved it. Just not as much as Star Wars. Then, or now. Although now, I'm not bothered by the abrupt ending. Still, nothing matches the first Star Wars film for me. Not Empire, not any other film ever made.

Here are some excerpts I really like from an article, which I believe was posted here last year, about one man's opinion on why Star Wars is better than Empire.

"There's a lot of talk in [Star Wars], but that dialogue is not deployed merely for exposition, as it often is in the Star Wars films, but rather for fostering a feeling of place and community within the picture. Its overall look is rougher, with less chrome and gloss, and more dirt and ash. But that griminess lends the film a mood that—despite the triumphant climax—infiltrates you, rather than pumps you up.

But the film reveals its characters' personalities in more subtle ways, as well. People hang out a lot in Star Wars. Luke and C-3PO get to know each other in a glorified tool shed; Luke and Ben bond in the latter's hut; space chess and early Jedi training occur simultaneously as our plucky band travels from one spot of adventure to the next. We understand these individuals because Lucas had the courage to simply show them together, during their downtime. Viewed in relation to the rest of the franchise—especially the prequels—[the first Star Wars film's] restraint seems radical.

[Many films] rely on spectacle as spectacle; [Star Wars] uses spectacle to create meaning. Its loud, splashy moments turn to foster quiet, personal scenes. After Darth Vader strikes down Obi-Wan Kenobi, we see Leia consoling Luke in a hushed, almost maternal manner that pulls the viewer into the screen as we note each gesture, each word. You start to feel like you're riding along with these characters, invested in a way that you weren't previously.

And as much as we enjoy being thrilled by on-screen action [that moreso characterizes The Empire Strikes Back], and pulling for one side over another, there is nothing like feeling as though you've been rendered invisible and inserted into a film, relegated to stand just out of view, but privy to every breath and whisper. That's what movie magic really is, and few films put it on display better than the first Star Wars."

As some of you have expressed, Star Wars never gets old. Our initial impressions of the film are so strong, so vivid, and so deeply embedded in our minds and spirits, watching the film(s) today, for the God-knows-how-many time, we are magically transported back to our wide-eyed, wondrously carefree, lazy days of youth.

I'll have to leave it there...I've got to pay bills, work on my taxes, fix the leaky faucet, walk the dog, and go to work.

The Wook
 

Scott Graham

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
That was nicely summed up! It's really the original movie that still revs me up. I love the intentionally funny dialogue too and the looseness - before it took itself seriously. Pure fun. Like there was nothing to lose and not many people besides George could understand the vision of it all. It really came together well. I was 11 at the time and it was a perfect escape from the downer and reality of much of the 1970s at the time. Just as American Graffiti was, but I was too young to get into that movie at the time it came out.
 

Jodo

Sr Member
I think my favorite memory of SW was as a 10 year old waiting for my grandpa to bring home what he bought me at midnight madness for TPM. He in no way has/had anything to do with Star Wars, but he went to MM for me, and bought me one of almost everything they had. He even picked me up for lunch at school the next day, and we went to Walmart and K-Mart to check if they had put anything else out (Where we cracked open a case of Naboo fighters that was still sealed).

It's not really even the movies that make me enjoy SW, it's just the joy that was brought along with them. SW definetly made up most of my childhood, until I was about 14. I did enjoy the movies, but I will never forget the year or so waiting for TPM to come out. Recording the trailers as they came on TV, and playing them over and over again. I actually was just thinking of that first trailer they had for TPM, and how magical it was for me that I had it recorded on a tape.

After TPM was released, my friends and I even started a Jedi training deal, and we kept up a book of missions we had gone on,etc. So really, when I think of Star Wars, I don't really even think of the movies. I think more about the memories that went along with the entire thing, and how that was probably my most favorite time of my life.
 

Timmythekid

Sr Member
I'll add that as a 4 year old in 1977, SW WAS going to the movies. And going to the drive-in (man I miss drive-ins). Then in 1979 seeing that insane teaser on TV that said there was MORE to the story?! Holy crap, what were those robot dinosaur things?! Then that agonizing wait between 1980 and 1983 to find out what happened next? Jesus, I'm not sure how my little heart didn't explode sometime during those three years.

Forget any pseudo-intellectual examination of the films - for a whole generation it was the perfect synergy of our ability to comprehend a storyline at that age, be blown away by visuals, and the emoptional complexity advanced at pretty much the same rate we did; heroes win (duh!), no massive consequences to deal with in SW, then things get really dark and complicated, the heroes are totally failable in ESB, then you end up ACTUALLY CRYING WHEN THE BAD GUY FINALLY GETS WHAT'S COMING TO HIM in RotJ! It grew up along with us perfectly.
 

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