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Eric: Brief Star Wars comments

So here's the thing.

Well, first off, I liked Episode III. I am content.

But here's the thing.

Obi Wan Kenobi looked maybe thirty, maybe forty in this movie.

Nineteen years after this movie, Ben Kenobi picks up "Luke" Skywalker and they go off blowing shit up.

Ben Kenobi was about -- and this is an estimate -- one hundred and seventy four years old.

What the hell was he doing for those nineteen years? Chainsmoking, scotch, hookers and crystal meth?

(As of this year, Ewan McGregor is thirty-four. As of 1977, Alec Guinness was 63. But it seems that Lucas was directing his age 'up' for his part, based on all the "old man" comments.)

Posted by Eric Burns-White at May 21, 2005 9:59 PM

Comments

Comment from: JoeFF85 posted at May 21, 2005 10:23 PM

Apparently he was communing with the Jedi spirit of Master Qui-Gon Jin. Didn't you listen to CGI Yoda?

I just wrote it off into the land of "Doesn't matter, don't think about it." Mostly ebcause Ewan McGregor's portrayal of Obi Wan was pretty damn good, and I put his and Sir Alec's portrayals on par.

And I'm so glad he got billed over Hayden Christianson and Natalie Portman in the credits. Sooooo glad.

Comment from: Kate Sith posted at May 21, 2005 10:26 PM

Mos Eisley. ::nods sagely::

Comment from: UrsulaV posted at May 21, 2005 10:38 PM

Hey, living in the desert takes it out of you. All that tanning gets you the white wrinkle lines, and you look like a saddlebag with eyes, as they say.

Crystal meth is also a good bet.

Comment from: Minivet posted at May 21, 2005 10:43 PM

Ties in closely with this peeve.

Comment from: Chris Anthony posted at May 21, 2005 10:51 PM

Ben Kenobi was about -- and this is an estimate -- one hundred and seventy four years old.

This line will have me laughing well into my 40s.

Just so you know.

(It's the "and this is an estimate" that does it.)

Comment from: Brandon E. posted at May 21, 2005 11:03 PM

It was all the drugs that ruined his looks. Haven't you seen Trainspotting?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117951/

Comment from: Montykins posted at May 21, 2005 11:15 PM

It is my theory that living in a cave in a desert on a planet with two suns makes you age a lot faster. Even Owen and Beru look like they've lived a few extra decades, and at least they had a house.

Comment from: admanb posted at May 22, 2005 12:58 AM

I have a feeling you can find drugs quite a bit more potent then crystal meth in some of the worst dives in the galaxy (i.e. Mos Eisley). Places that Obi-Wan seemed fairly familiar with.

Just a thought.

Comment from: JSW posted at May 22, 2005 1:04 AM

Must've tracked down the death stick guy after all.

Comment from: John posted at May 22, 2005 1:08 AM

I just got back from seeing it myself and, in my opinion, it doesn't matter...

because George Lucas JUST WON THE FRICKIN' CINEMA.

That was the stuff of Greek tragedy. But loads of fun too. I am exhausted from laughing at the right moments and being horrified at the rest.

I now have to accept that whatever complaints I may have had about the previous two episodes are indicative of some shortcoming in me rather than in any deficiency in Lucas' storytelling.

Sith will be long remembered and appreciated.

(174 is a good estimate.)

Comment from: Tangent posted at May 22, 2005 1:45 AM

You, sir, have made my night.

That just totally rocks.

Just for the record, as a movie Ep. 3 was good. But as the final movie created of the Star Wars series, it was substandard, with plotholes large enough to fly a spaceship through, dialog that was sophmoric, and fight scenes that were... over the top.

On the plus side, Padme does have fantastic taste in spaceships.

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at May 22, 2005 1:47 AM

Simple. The new technique Yoda teaches Obi-Wan before they go their separate ways is one of those "maybe not the Dark Side, but the Force isn't meant to be used that way" things. And it aged Obi-Wan.

Comment from: Kludge posted at May 22, 2005 2:49 AM

dialog that was sophmoric

Some of the dialog was pretty good, although I suspect they were the bits they took extra care of so that they'd turn up on the IMDB quotes page (you know: "This is the way liberty dies..", "Jealousy is the shadow of greed", etc.).

My one real WTF? moment was the "Noooooooo!" scene. I mean, talk about your "Now Filmed in cliche-vision". They should really have played it in slow motion for the fully buddy-cop-movie effect.

Comment from: MrPerson posted at May 22, 2005 8:43 AM

I liked it, too, even if there was absolutely no chemistry between Anakin and Padme until the very end. Oddly enough, Anakin's acting starts to work the way it should once he turns to the dark side... even though he barely changes. That's when you realize that, hey, he's modelled his speech after Darth Vader.

And yes, the "Noooo!" scene was a bit of an "Eh?" moment. Then again, it does fit in with the rest of the odd bits of clich» thrown in here and there (Anakin and Obi-Wan had an odd penchant for throwing out lines like "You won't get away this time, evil villain's name!", usually followed up by an equally clich»d rebuke from the villain in question).

As for the Han Solo not believing in the force matter... The universe is way frick'n huge. If you've read some of the comics, they deal with how there are millions of worlds out there, and only about a thousand Jedi. A -lot- of places are bound to not even have heard of Jedi in the times when they -were- actually ruling, and once Palpatine took over, he was still concealing himself. By the time Luke got in touch with Obi-Wan, the Force wasn't common knowledge.

Comment from: Kail Panille posted at May 22, 2005 9:33 AM

Re: sophmoric dialogue, I thought most of it was basically par for the course in a Star Wars movie, but the Yoda action hero one-liners bugged the hell out of me. I mean, come on, "Not if anything to say about it I have!"

Re: the Han thing, Han never said he didn't believe in the Jedi. Just the Force. Maybe he never saw a Jedi in action. Or maybe he figures it's just some kind of secret tech they don't share.

Comment from: Brandon E. posted at May 22, 2005 10:27 AM

I'm not generally one to defend a Lucas plot point (as his writing is far from perfect, and I have no respect for the man as a filmmaker) but I think that the Han not believing in the force deal actually kind of makes sense.

The Jedi are all but killed off 15-20 years before Han and Luke (and gang) meet. Han was likely a child or teenager during these events, and assuming he wasn't affected directly by the clone wars, there is no reason to expect a child would follow the war that closely. It also seems likely that 2 decades after the fall of the Jedi, there would be a change in belief of the exact role of the Jedi. It doesn't seem unlikely to think that they would be seen more as a purely political power, and less mystical.

I'm sure the retarded policies of the Jedi Council help to increase the lack of faith in their abilities. I tend to agree with Howard Taylor (read the rant on Schlock Mercenary) that the Jedi order totally had it coming.

Comment from: Psylence posted at May 22, 2005 11:32 AM

Yeah, Han was a street urchin on Corellia before he fell in with a gang of smugglers, so it is feasible that he had not heard of the Force or the Jedi. Corelia is a bit of nexus for fuzzy history anyway, Corran Horn's ancestery comes to mind.

And it is looking like the Jedi are somewhat to blame for much of what happens in that they were a bit too "good" and "pure" for a healthy galaxy.

Comment from: jadesymb posted at May 22, 2005 12:16 PM

My biggest issue with E3 was that all the women in the film just laid down and died.

In E1, Padme rocks. In E2, she fights to win the love of her man. In E3, she just lays down and dies, and so do ALL the female Jedi. It sucked.

In E4-E6, Leia kicks butt.

It felt incongruous.

Comment from: Trevor Barrie posted at May 22, 2005 4:36 PM

[i]Just for the record, as a movie Ep. 3 was good. But as the final movie created of the Star Wars series, it was substandard, with plotholes large enough to fly a spaceship through, dialog that was sophmoric, and fight scenes that were... over the top.[/i]

--------------------------------------------------

That sounds more like the description of a substandard movie but good Star Wars finale than vice versa.

(Which I hope doesn't make me sound like a rabid Star Wars basher, because I liked the movies just fine. But if you made a list of the things Star Wars did write, would tight plots, sophisticated dialogue, or realistic fight scenes place anywhere near the top?)

Comment from: Trevor Barrie posted at May 22, 2005 4:51 PM

Errk, let's try that again:

Just for the record, as a movie Ep. 3 was good. But as the final movie created of the Star Wars series, it was substandard, with plotholes large enough to fly a spaceship through, dialog that was sophmoric, and fight scenes that were... over the top.

--------------------------------------------------

That sounds more like the description of a substandard movie but good Star Wars finale than vice versa.

(Which I hope doesn't make me sound like a rabid Star Wars basher, because I liked the movies just fine. But if you made a list of the things Star Wars did right, would tight plots, sophisticated dialogue, or realistic fight scenes place anywhere near the top?)

Comment from: quiller posted at May 22, 2005 5:28 PM

Well, the one that got me was the scene with DV on the Imperial Star Destroyer, and the beginning of Death Star construction. As far as I could see the movie just skipped forward 10-15 years and then skipped back again. Unless you think that they already had imperial star destroyers, uniforms and that the Death Star took 20 years to build with the amount of resources that the empire has. (And that they managed to keep the construction a secret for that long)

But I enjoyed the movie. Maybe I'll actually get around to seeing Episode 2 now, since this has washed some of the taste of Episode 1 out of my mouth. The whole business with the prophesy and with Anakin's vision reminded me of the old greek tragedies, which in turn reminds me of the original trilogy being likened to the Hero's Journey.

It is kind of sad that there couldn't be more chemistry in a romantic relationship that brings down an entire empire. But in some ways fumbling dialogue that doesn't really express your feelings is more true of real relationships than that of most romantic movies. And there are plenty of Hollywood romantic comedies that are just as bereft of chemistry.

Here's an original trilogy plothole for you. If Leia had a similar force potential to Luke, how come Vader didn't sense it when he was interrogating her on the Death Star? I can actually come up with several different explanations, but I have to think it mostly comes down to not spoiling the surprise.

Comment from: hess42 posted at May 22, 2005 6:49 PM

ROFLMAO. 174 seems a good guess to me, but it's good that you made it clear that it was just an estimate.

As an earlier commenter noted, the fact that the Death Star seemed to be under construction for, like, 20 years is a bit bizarre, particularly since it came as a total shock to the rebellion. Also...damn, Leia is a YOUNG senator if it's only been 19 or 20 years between Episodes 3 and 4.

My big "Hm...." moment had more to do with the feel of the story. It didn't really percolate till I was getting ready to see the last one, but doesn't the original trilogy at least give the impression that the Big Bad Empire has been around for, you know, a long time? I mean, if the Jedi have been the champions of peace and justice for 10,000 generations like Obi-Wan says in ANH, wouldn't the Empire just be a blip on the radar by comparison? Hell, if you look at how long the Republic was apparently established before Palpatine took control, it seems more accurate to call the EMPIRE a "rebellion" than anything.

Still, Revenge of the Sith was to me MUCH better than the other prequels, and probably #3 overall in the saga (behind Empire and A New Hope, and ahead of Jedi).

Comment from: Aerin posted at May 22, 2005 7:32 PM

I saw a proposal that I rather liked for a different structure for the first trilogy that would have made things a bit less cringe-inducing overall: start with Anakin as a teenager and combine the relevant information from Phantom Menage with Attack of the Clones to make the first movie, make Revenge of the Sith the second movie (and make it at least half an hour if not an hour shorter), and make a third movie about the beginnings of the rebellion. The structure would more closely parallel the first trilogy, and it would give Padme more chance to kick ass and Anakin more of a chance to settle in to his evilness. Just to throw that out there.

Comment from: gwalla posted at May 22, 2005 9:20 PM

Vader's breaking out of the restraints, his Frankenstein step, and the "Nooooooooooo!" was comedy gold.

The plot concept for ROTS was basicaly sound. It was just ruined by Lucas' hamfisted direction and lack of any understanding of how people behave. The political machinations only work because the politicians seem to have no concept of politics. And if the Jedi Council masters were so wise, why did they act like such schmucks?

Comment from: Eric the .5b posted at May 22, 2005 10:14 PM

but doesn't the original trilogy at least give the impression that the Big Bad Empire has been around for, you know, a long time?

Well, remember that the Imperial officers talking in the meeting on the Death Star in Star Wars (I will never call it "A New Hope") discussed how the Emperor had finally dissolved the Senate and how all local power would be under Imperial governors who would answer only to the Emperor.

Actually, looking at it that way, it seems downright weird that it would take about 20 years for Palpatine to consolidate the Empire.

Comment from: Lelldorin posted at May 22, 2005 10:24 PM

Well, the one that got me was the scene with DV on the Imperial Star Destroyer, and the beginning of Death Star construction. As far as I could see the movie just skipped forward 10-15 years and then skipped back again. Unless you think that they already had imperial star destroyers, uniforms and that the Death Star took 20 years to build with the amount of resources that the empire has. (And that they managed to keep the construction a secret for that long)

Well, if you go into the expanded universe, at least two prototypes of the Death Star were built before the actual station was - the Death Star Prototype at the MAW installation, and the experimental Eye of Tarkin that remained in use until the Rebellion took it down in an adventure involving Tarkin's wife(or lover; I can't remember which...). So one possibility is that the Death Star we see is not the final one, but perhaps one of the prototypes.

Or maybe the Empire suffered from repeated strikes by the Wookie Slave Union.

Comment from: Sundre posted at May 22, 2005 11:40 PM

Um. As Earth isn't in evidence, whose years are we talking about here?

*ducks*

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at May 23, 2005 12:42 AM

http://www.shortpacked.com for May 23. Go now. :)

Comment from: Christopher B. Wright posted at May 23, 2005 8:33 AM

Saw it yesterday. Then we went home and watched Episode 4.

Um... so Ep III was a better movie than I and II. But... eh... that's about it. Good fight scenes. Obi-Wan was excellent. I did notice that pre-dark side Anakin and Luke Skywalker are pretty much the same kind of whiner... which actually makes a lot of sense.

The dialog in Ep IV, after watching it, isn't much better than Ep III. The difference? Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher. They ooze charisma. Hamil isn't horrid, or anything, but Ford and Fisher just oooooooooze charisma on screen. Even though, in the remastered version, Han shot second. *sigh*

Then we watched Ep V. That movie just kicked ass all over the place.

Um. I don't know where I'm going with this.

Comment from: UrsulaV posted at May 23, 2005 9:02 AM

Maybe I'll actually get around to seeing Episode 2 now, since this has washed some of the taste of Episode 1 out of my mouth.

NO! God! No! As a public service, if you now have an even slightly positive view of Star Wars after this, cling to it like grim death and DO NOT see Episode II.

Trust me on this one. If you don't want to spend the rest of your life thinking that Darth Vader was like some freaky teenage Jedi stalker, about ten minutes from writing Padme notes written in blood and killing her cat, stay awaaaaay from Episode II. The romantic dialogue is beyond agony.

I rather liked Episode III, and in order to continue liking it, I'm pretending Episode II, like Highlander II, Never Happened.

Comment from: quiller posted at May 24, 2005 7:36 PM

But, at home there is mute and fast forward! Perhaps I'll get it from a library. That way I can stick to my guns about only seeing it if I don't have to pay a red cent for it. Of course, if the only truly good part of Episode II was seeing Yoda kick ass then Episode III serves just as well for that. Hmmmm.

Comment from: quiller posted at May 24, 2005 7:37 PM

Oh, yeah, and I totally agree that there is no such movie as Highlander II.

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