Thursday, January 19, 2012

Star Wars News - Lucas to Retire

I see you sitting over there, thinking "George Lucas said he is retiring!  NO WAY!"

All right, you probably aren't sitting over there, and that is most certainly what you are not thinking.  I am sitting right here blogging on the subject, and my mind continues to wander off about the coffee I have yet to drink this morning. 

Boba Fett's Senior Picture
According to this link right here (click it!), George Lucas blames critics for his retirement.  You would think that after creating the Ewoks, he'd have developed a fairly thick skin.  Apparently not.  Lucas is responsible for bringing us cool characters like Boba Fett, the Darths Vader and Maul, Han Solo, and Slave Leia.

What about cool moments?  The space battle in A New Hope, Han SHOOTING FIRST, the destruction of the Death Star, almost all of Empire, the Tatooine rescue in Return of the Jedi, when they showed Ewoks dying, and the turn of Darth Vader as he rescues Luke.  Oh yeah, ANY TIME the Millinium Falcon is onscreen.

All of those moments above were awesome moments for a generation of nerds like me.  They were fun to watch way back in the day, and they are still fun to watch.  In the original trilogy, there were minor annoyances, like Luke whining about power converters, Luke whining a lot, Ewoks, Luke whining some more, dancing with Ewoks, and incestual kissing.  I still feel the amount of "awesome" outweighed the cheese.  At least Harrison Ford wasn't in a nuclear blast and thrown in a fridge about a million feet, only to walk out unscathed.  Different movie, I know.

In the prequels, something happened.  The visuals were amazing, the acting was horrible, and the cool moments were not at all outweighed by the awesome-factor.  Don't get me wrong, there were definitely some great moments, but as much as I wanted to like the prequels (and each film did get better, in my opinion), the amount of Jar Jar in Episode 1 really was difficult to come to terms with.  A team of counselors and all sorts of medication didn't help.  It wasn't until I saw a Salma Hayek nude scene did the world start feeling right again.

Back to Lucas retiring, I honestly feel like he had to have had a bunch of "yes men" surrounding him throughout the prequel era.  People who thought that a villain who was a Revolutionary War vet (I'm looking at you, Count Dooku) was a good idea.  People who told Lucas that wooden acting and forced dialogue really seemed to work.  People who told him that everything about Jar Jar was okee-day.

Sometimes people wish the Star Wars series was "darker' in tone.  In Episode 3, Anakin killing a slew of Jedi children is pretty freakin' dark.  The problem for me, is Anakin got more whiney as the prequels progressed.  Turn him to the dark side using his anger and hate, but don't turn him into a Sith badass through a mountain of crybaby dialogue.

Anyway, to George Lucas, I thank you for all the great Star Wars moments.  I also thank you for some of the excellence in regards to the expanded universe (comics, novels, video games).  You have to sign-off on those things, and some of it is truly incredible.  Timothy Zahn, anyone? 

As for me, I am going to watch the prequels again, but with the Rifftrax.

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