Monday, April 20, 2015

It’s About Star Wars

This post is about Star Wars. You have been warned.

I might have mentioned somewhere along the way that I am a rather big (in the love sense not in the size sense) Star Wars fan. I am not going to go to any fan conventions and you won’t see me slipping on my “Leia buns” of a weekend….

But I love Star Wars.

And I have a legitimate claim to loving them because I saw Star Wars IV: A New Hope, or as we knew it then, Star Wars, 7 times the summer that it came out. Yes, seven times thankyouverymuch. We saw it the week that it came out and there was nothing else like it. The first time those words came rolling across the screen and the music started, life was never quite the same for me moviewise. And perhaps I saw The Empire Strikes Back just as many times when it came out….plus there was that, cough cough, bootleg copy that I borrowed for a while from a patient of my father’s.

Longtime, legit Star Wars fan. I might have drawn Cartoon Girl into the cult…that cannot come as a shock to you.

So when the “prequels” came out there was much anticipation in our household. How could we not love them. And then we saw The Phantom Menace. What a steaming pile of Bantha doodoo. Really George Lucas?!? Mitachlorians? JarJar Binks??Not even the cool Sith Lord’s apprentice couldn’t overcome the disappointment. Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith were better, barely, but it was decided that George Lucas should never be allowed to write a script for Star Wars ever again.

And then, there was a divergence in the Chez Knit force. George Lucas decided that he was going to digitally remaster the “original” three movies, adding some scenes and tweaking some things. I didn’t really like that idea but those are his works and he can do as he chooses. It sort of seemed like da Vinci saying he didn’t really like how the Mona Lisa turned out and he was going to add some things.

Cartoon Girl had a completely different, and shall we say more forceful reaction. She declared that she would never watch the remastered ones EVER! She owns my original VHS tapes and I am not sure she has ever seen the “newer” versions of them. You will need to ask her.

And now we get to what I really wanted to tell you about. It only took me about 300 words to get there. Not bad I think.

It has been MANY a year since I have watched any or all of the Star Wars ouvre. I just couldn’t think about putting Star Wars I, II and II before the frankly older but better IV,V and VI (using the George Lucas numbering system. Don’t get me started on that one!) But awhile ago I heard rumblings and writings about a different way to shuffle the movies around that actually made better sense. Way, way, way better sense.

The Machete Order.

For a full description of Ron Hilton’s reasoning just click on the link above. It is too involved to sum up here but let me just say that the man is a genius.

This weekend HHBL was at a conference. So once I had done all the things I needed to do on Saturday I decided to indulge myself and watch Star Wars in Machete Order. It took me two days but I have done it.

Why Machete Order? If you look at the order that I watched them in you will understand.

Star Wars IV: A New Hope
Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars II: Attach of the Clones
Star Wars II: Revenge of the Sith
Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi.

What is missing? Why Machete? If you look closely you will see that Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace……is completely gone. Erased. As if the mitachlorians and JarJar Binks had never existed. Well, you have a bit of old JarJar in III, where he is hoodwinked by the Emperor, but other than that you are back to pretty much the basic story.

Treat Star Wars II and III like flash backs after the startling revelations at the end of V and the story flows much better. You still have to deal with some of the stupid dialogue that Lucas wrote. And there are a few inconsistencies that cannot be digitally remastered out. But other than that……

I am a much happier Star Wars fan. Try the Machete Order. It is much better to cut out JarJar that to cut out Star Wars completely from my life.

3 comments:

  1. that is a great idea. As you may remember, I am similarly obsessed with Star Wars, and had exactly the same reaction to the SO-CALLED episodes I, II, and III. We own copies of all of the SW movies except Phantom Menace, which I hope to never see again. I will try the Machete order soon, thanks for writing about it--I must not be keeping up, I hadn't heard anything about it.

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  2. Is it really II and II, or II and III? I'm confused.

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  3. I love your idea! Once again, it shocks me that we never really hung out together in HS--I was as much of a Star Wars fanatic as you were. In fact I even spent a good bit of that summer between Junior and Senior year writing my own imagined "sequel" to the original movie. I am told they call those things "fan fics," nowadays. Drove my dad crazy--he insisted I was wasting my time. Years after that, though, I remember going into Borders and seeing racks of paperback Star Wars "episodes" by various ghostwriters. Oh well. As far as the 3 most recent episodes/prequels, I could barely sit through any of them. I think I turned off the TV about a third of the way through Phantom Menace. What do think about this new one coming out?

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