Jeff Hates: Star Wars

By Jeff Shedden
[email protected]

Two very important things happened in 1977. First, the Star Wars franchise was born, and second, my father took me to see my very first movie. I was too young to remember any of it, but something must have invaded my subconscious.

The best time to be a Star Wars fan was from 1977 to 1996 which is surprising, because we got very little in the way of content. There was the original trilogy, a few books, some amazing radio dramas, the best toys ever licensed and trading cards featuring a possibly aroused C-3PO.

Star Wars fans were thrown a bone after many years with the “special editions” of the original trilogy. These were supposed to be the old movies with some new digital effects. Instead it seemed to be the start of George Lucas getting revenge on all of the studio execs who changed around his original, corn-laden vision of the trilogy.

At least we were getting three new Star Wars movies almost back to back, right? Well, since Lucas got to be in total control, instead of an action-packed story of the rise of one of the most recognizable villains in movie history, we got one movie about trade negotiations, and two about a sulking, whiny, gullible, unsympathetic butt-trumpet.

I could, of course, mention the tragedy that is Jar-Jar Binks, but I won’t, except to point out that at one point in “Phantom Menace,” Lucas thought that it would be funny to have Jar-Jar step in doodie. It was so hilarious that I ripped the armrest off of my seat and bludgeoned myself in the groin until the credits rolled.

If you need further proof that Lucas has nothing but contempt for his audience, “Attack of the Clones” was to feature the group N*Sync as Jedi, simply because his daughter was a fan. Once this little nugget smeared its way onto the internet, the nerds revolted. N*Sync was cut from the movie, but their scene was still filmed, and I bet Lucas is just waiting for the right time to sneak them back in.

The entire reason I’m even hating on Star Wars in the first place is the new release of all six films on Blu-Ray. Lucas can’t stop himself from obsessively tinkering with the films and trying to fix what was never broken in the first place. So the Blu-Rays add yet more idiocy spooned out of a diaper found in a Walmart parking lot and troweled directly onto the raw film.

For starters, Lucas can’t make up his mind how he wants to scare off the sand people in the original Episode IV. He’s changed the sound from Obi-Wan making the sound of a dragon, to the sound of a dragon giving birth to a refrigerator in the DVD release, and now to a chipmunk giving birth to a Peterbilt.

Lucas either doesn’t understand subtlety or he assumes his audience doesn’t. In “Jedi,”  Vader wordlessly saves Luke Skywalker from the wicked Palpatine in a climactic scene of redemption. But since we’re too stupid to even feed ourselves with a spoon, Lucas decided that now Vader needs to shriek “Nooooooooooo!” as if he were a 17 year-old girl and the Emperor was grounding him before prom.

In a perfect world, George Lucas would be fitted with a codpiece that administers a zap to the danglies if he even thinks the words “Star Wars” or “Indiana Jones.” When Lucas sits in the back seat, the worst that can happen is “Howard the Duck.” Hand him the reins and instead of a generation of kids who want to be Jedi, they want to be chartered accountants instead.