It’s a rather unusual Friday and a very special occasion in that a movie from 13 years ago is being re-released tonight in 3D (for better or for worse), and yet I am just as excited, if not more so then I was the first time it came out.
Episode 1: The Phantom Menace was honestly the only good prequel to Star Wars. Episode 2 was a total flop, with Episode 3 offering just enough paltry entertainment to keep me interested. They really lost me at Franken-Vader… so tragic. However, it didn’t ruin the original trilogy for me because the originals are just AMAZING. Episode 1, however, does a good job of offering everything Star Wars fans know and love so well. Sexy dames, epic lightsaber battles, high speed chases through the dessert, Ben Hur-esque pod races at blistering speeds, and a new bad guy that will last through the ages. You honestly can’t compete with a face tattoo and a double-edged lighstaber…
The experience of going to a movie opening day isn’t quite what it used to be. In 1999, it was a special treat and a HUGE deal that my parents would even consider taking me to see it. Now a days, it’s almost expected. Actually, I still have my Episode 1 poster and original ticket attached! I’ll have to go digging through my piles to find it…
Really, when it comes down to it, Star Wars just cannot be outdone. Other movies may be more visually stimulating (doubtful), have a better story (unlikely), or use far more CG (probably won’t happen).
Many people may argue that Star Wars is a generational thing. Well, false! My parents love it, I love it, the people younger than me love it. My grandparents are even all about it! Others may argue that it has to do with your age when you’re exposed to the awesomeness. Once again, false!
My mom freaking waited in line around the movie theater to get into the theater in 1977! I went to a midnight showing seven years ago, (holy crap how has it been that long?!) and kids these days are still running around with Star Wars Legos. (Thank you Klingenberg’s for putting my collection to good use!)
These are in reverse order of total badassness:
- Career Inspiration – In a time of economic strife, it’s always encouraging to know that there is job security in joining the Empire and pursuing a misfit group of adventurers. Plus there’s good perks (such as space travel, private spaceships, and squeaky white uniforms). However, there is the danger of working for a boss that kills people when he gets pissed… maybe not such a wise career move after all. For the passively-minded, moisture farming is also a legitimate option. Jessica, what do moisture farmers do!? Haha… (Coach and Phillip, I’m also thinking of you both).
- Family Togetherness – Again, one of my favorite memories was first being introduced to Star Wars with my parents oh so long ago. It was, however, in this galaxy… Aside from being set in space, the story and characters can be related to by anyone, and what better way to enjoy some Jedi hack-and-slash than with your people?
- The Story of Struggle – The characters in Star Wars did not have it easy, definitely something we can all relate to. It’s a lot of pressure and stress trying to win podraces, rescuing princesses, defeating Dark Sith Lords with face tattoos, blowing up not one, but two Death Stars, being a death stick vendor, ruining Darth Vader’s plans for the galaxy, attempting to not stab yourself in the process of traveling trans-planet with Jar Jar Binks, and almost marrying your sister! All in a days work I suppose…
- Romance – Just to be perfectly clear, Star Wars is not a chick flick (neither is Top Gun… long story), but it has enough romance to keep you emotional people engaged. The romance in the prequels is sketchy at best, forced at other times, however, the original Star Wars movies do a great job of playing Han and Leia off of each other. Who wouldn’t want them to get together?!
- Adventure – Along with Indiana Jones, Star Wars is just an awesome adventure movie! Traveling between multiple planets while still managing to save the galaxy concurrently is pretty impressive. Throw in sweet spaceships, Destroyer droids, and innumerable alien species and you’re good to go!
- Space Battles – One of the best parts of Star Wars is the epic space battles strewn throughout the six movies. Whether it’s small ship to ship battles, large capital ships tearing each other apart with scorching laser fire, or the Millennium Falcon coming to save the day while Luke nukes the Death Star… it’s got it all!
- Princess Leia – BAM! A rich princess you’re just dying to take home to mom. Case closed!
- Villains – Darth Vader is probably one of the coolest and most iconic villains in movie history. Not only is he recognizable, cruel, cold-hearted, disheartening, and badass, but he kills all who stand in his way (his own men included). Throw on top of that stormtroopers, Darth Maul, Boba Fett, and a smattering of miscellaneous other side kicks and you’ve got yourself a movie! Tri-color Vader anyone?
- Lightsabers – It would be ignorant and naive of me to ignore the coolest and life changing weapon in recent times. Who hasn’t dreamed of running around slashing your enemies to pieces with a beam of light so powerful it can melt through blast doors?! With great power comes great responsibility, and with great lightsaber use comes great battery consumption… Jedi responsibly!