The Only Star Wars Trilogy that Matters

So you may have heard that my darling husband Sean has used my recovery from back surgery as the perfect excuse to finally induce me to watch the very thing I’vimagesCANZSY7Ve spent my whole life avoiding – Star Wars. No, I hadn’t seen a single one, and no, I never wanted to. And believe me, going 30 years in North America without seeing Star Wars is like going 30 years without a pregnancy scare: nearly impossible, and not without effort (I did both, and if I had to break the seal on one, damn right I’m glad it was George Lucas’s baby and not Sean’s).

Sean successfully dragged me to see The Force Awakens back in December, and I had to admit I didn’t hate it. I thought it was fun, and I knew that with a little oxy in my system, my resolve would crumble. And it meant so much to Sean, well, fine: let’s call it one of those marital compromises I usually think are a load of bullocks (after all, compromise usually just means you’re both a bit disappointed – might as well just make me happy, right, dear?).

First we watched the prequels, Episodes I-III. I can’t say I was inspired to go on with Star Wars OG, but you all were nearly as persistent as Sean, and so with minimal doping and only a little more whining, we did.

Did I love them???????

No.

Sorry, guys. I don’t know why I’m apologizing. I just know these films are beloved. They mean something to people, Sean included. They were part of his childhood. He was once a little boy who looked at the stars differently after this movie. Han-Shot-First-meme-Star-Wars-BlogThey informed the way he’d watch movies for the rest of his life, the way he’d tell stories, even, the way he knew good and evil. Fuck.

But me? I’m an old lady with half a back who’s watching them for the first time with my 2016 eyes. Which is not a comment on the technology. I think the prequels versus the original trilogy makes a strong statement in favour of practical effects. No, what I mean is: I’ve been living in a Star Wars-soaked world my whole life. They debuted before I was born. Our popular culture is not just influenced by these movies, but built around them. Never having seen the movies, I could still tell you what sound a light saber makes, or at least the sound young boys (and let’s face it – young men) make when they pretend play them.

So I know who Darth Vader is. SPOILER ALERT! I know he’s “the greatest villain ever.” And I know he’s the father. I know the iconic music John Williams wrote for him. And I know he was a socially awkward, whiny emo kid with weird, murdery impulses and an inability to talk to women. See how I said “spoiler alert”? That’s like, something that’s evolvdarthvader_starwarsed in the last 3 years, not the last 30. This stuff has just permeated culture at large. But in real life? Darth Vader doesn’t seem all that scary to me. I mean, Vader elevated the game, sure. But I’ve only ever exited in this elevated world. You got to compete.

But also: everyone complained about how Jar Jar Binks was so damned annoying in the prequelsc3po, but hello – isn’t he just the new C3PO? I wanted to find a wrench and beat his arms straight with it. Shut up  you insipid, whining good for nothing sorry excuse for a robot (any droid built by Anakin would be whiny though, wouldn’t it?).

And Luke? What a wimp. How is it possible that the Skywalkers are constantly called upon to save the galaxy, or the Jedi way, when in fact the male lineage in that family is so damned lame (props to the ladies – Leia and Rey are tough as shit)?lukeleia They whine and bumble and it makes me feel like the Jedis aren’t  super-cool badasses like I’ve been led to believe, but a group of guys probably living in their parents’ basement, meeting up to wear costumes and braid each other’s hair and play magic card games and pretend that not getting laid is a “code of honour” when it’s really just “never gonna happen” and “beyond their imaginations” anyway.

star-wars-9gagSo yeah, if you were 9 when you first saw this, I get it. Super cool space ships, weapons just aching to be turned into toys, and practically no kissing. Heaven! Or, you know, hell if you’re me.

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32 thoughts on “The Only Star Wars Trilogy that Matters

  1. Carrie Rubin

    I think you know I feel the same way. So nice I can finally come out of the Star Wars closet. But I wish I could say the first one debuted before I was born. Let’s just pretend it did.

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  2. Jordan Dodd

    This was such an enjoyable read Jay, mainly cos I agree with you! I’m almost 30 and watched the originals for the first time late last year, and I couldn’t get into it. The story was kinda fun, but pretty much everything you said I agree with! My favourite part was this “(any droid built by Anakin would be whiny though, wouldn’t it?).” haha!!

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  3. John Charet

    Great post 🙂 Truth be told, I was never as much big into Star Wars as I was with The Indiana Jones Series. The strongest of the Star Wars films is easily The Empire Strikes Back and the less said about the prequels, the better. I was not big into The Force Awakens either, but it was not bad. The Indiana Jones films are very good, but the excellent one is easily (in my opinion) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

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  4. Marta

    I see your point Jay (and hilarious write-up btw). I’m a big fan of the original trilogy and the outrage at Jar Jar Binks is that he’s meant as a substitute for Han Solo…argh…so no,no no!

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  5. Holly

    Over Thanksgiving, my son and niece decided to rewatch almost all of the movies in some order they found online in anticipation of seeing the new movie:

    New Hope
    Empire Strikes Back
    Attack of the Clones
    Revenge of the Sith
    Return of the Jedi

    So, essentially, you get the beginning of the Luke/Vader story, flash back essentially to the origin of Vader, and then end with the resolution between the two. No need for Phantom Menace…as it should be.

    I would say at least Threepio was funny at times and had a Martin-Lewis thing with Artoo to play off of with him being the uptight protocol droid to the astromech droid’s sassy beeps. JJB by himself was just “lookit at-ah me-ah” with no style other than loud.

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  6. Brittani

    Aww 😦 It always makes me sad when people don’t love Star Wars, but that’s okay. We all can’t be the same, and it probably is different for those of us who started so young.

    I knew the father thing first as well. I actually watched the original series backwards because we couldn’t find our VHS tapes at the same time. That made for interesting viewing.

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  7. BunKaryudo

    I was ten when the original Star Wars movie was released so I was the perfect age to enjoy it. I loved both it and The Empire Strikes Back. Every one after that — especially the three with that almost comically whiny Anakin Skywalker — I found boring, although my kids liked them. I did enjoy the latest one, though. I went to see it with the family recently and we all thought it was thoroughly entertaining.

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  8. Christopher

    I was prepared for this and I understand where you’re coming from. If you’ll forgive me I’ll fall back on something I said previously. I told someone from the generation before me that Star Wars was so amazing to me because I’d never seen anything like it. And she replied, “Neither had anyone else.”
    Imagine sitting in the theater and seeing the stormtroopers for the first time and asking yourself, “Are these the good guys or the bad guys?” Because you honestly don’t know. Things don’t even begin to make sense until Darth Vader walks in and you’ve never seen anything like him before but the fact that he radiates evil starts to put things in perspective.
    When something is that staggering it’s easy to overlook its weaknesses–the clunky dialogue, the annoying characters. And it helped that there was obviously this huge backstory that we can only now say we were really better off not knowing.
    To sum up, I can understand why we all loved it at the time, but I also understand that if you’re only watching Star Wars now it has to be at least a little bit of a letdown.

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  9. tubularsock

    Jay, Tubularsock is with you on this. The only character I enjoyed was Hans Solo and that was because of his universe “street smarts” and his attitude. The rest of them I agree are rather lame. I’ve heard that Hans bites the dust in this new one but his paycheck was huge.

    Tubularsock hasn’t seen this new one but will at some point.

    Tubularsock has never had a pregnancy scare . . . a relief when thought about.

    And have a sound recovery with your back issue ….. sounds awful!
    The force IS you!

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  10. calensariel

    a group of guys probably living in their parents’ basement, meeting up to wear costumes and braid each other’s hair and play magic card games and pretend that not getting laid is a “code of honour” when it’s really just “never gonna happen” and “beyond their imaginations” anyway. Ok, ok, I was disappointed that you didn’t like them, but I was laughing SO hard that it didn’t hurt too much. 😀

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  11. Divorce With Me

    This was hysterical. Star Wars to me is fun. I’ve never been obsessed but can see how others would be. But I did walk out of the one in the theater this time and walked out wanting to be Rey!

    It’s nice that you appreciate its influence and significance on pop culture but still tastefully and respectfully decline to share in the obsession. Oh, and watching these now makes you more credible as a movie critic to several, I’m sure.

    Hope you’re feeling better… Xo

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  12. Wendell

    I’m proud of you for at least giving them a chance, even if you didn’t like them. I so wanted you to love them. Sigh. I’ll sob through the night, but I’ll be okay in the morning. No, really I will

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  15. StephLove

    You know what? I was 10 when the first Star Wars movie came out and I did see it in the theater (twice) but after that I wasn’t much into it. I saw part of the second one and stopped there. Beth and Noah have been watching the whole series (his first time at 14) because he got interested when the new one came out. They’ve seen the original ones and maybe all the prequels. I’m not sure. But I did have a pregnancy scare once (in high school) so I guess I’m not completely abnormal.

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