C-3PO: I would much rather have gone with Master Luke than stay here with you. I don’t know what all this trouble is about, but I’m sure it must be your fault.
[R2D2 beeps an angry response]
C-3PO: You watch your language!
I owe the Rankatronians out there an explanation. I had started the Ultimate Rankatron as a means to emerse myself into the silver pool of movies. I’ve made myself a promise of two to three movies a week barring distractions. The past couple weeks? Distractions. Without going into too much, let’s just say that the Death Star will be sold off to the Rebellion and there were many Storm Trooper stains to clean off of counter tops and such. Plus a fresh coat of paint in the war room.
During this time, I’ve made a bit of time to watch Star Wars: A New Hope (Episode IV).
It’s no surprise that the Force, Wookies, and Lightsabres have made it into the modern lexicon of today. Even if you’ve never watched the movie, you’ve no doubt been influenced indirectly by this movie in some way without even realizing it (Big Bang Theory, X-Files, Fringe). It’s no surprise that the technology that you hold in your hands right now (cell phones, the Internet) germinated by some scientist who’ve watched this movie and thought “THAT’S SO FREAKIN’ COOL! WE SHOULD MAKE THAT!” Between this movie (and the subsequent Trilogy) and Star Trek (I realize using both references in the same sentence could cause a rip in the time-space continuum), most things you see in the world that you geek out on was made by some former pimply-faced 20-something who fell in love with Star Wars.
Does this prove that Star Wars is influential? I give that a “Roger Roger”. Does this prove that Star Wars is a great movie? What do you say Darth?
Of course, Lord Vader. You’re right.
Think about it this way? A movie that, even after 33 years, can still feel fresh with intense action sequences, an epic story, breathtaking scenery and littered memorable characters that make you chuckle. This combination is a recipe for longevity. But I wanted to go deeper. I wanted to discover two things about Star Wars: 1. What exactly makes it timeless? 2. What chinks can I find to tear it apart?
Surprisingly, both are easy answers but one will take a little longer than the other to explain.
Skip the next paragraph if you wish to remain untainted by religious jibber-jabber. And I will pre-text this to say that though I don’t exactly call myself an atheist or an agnostic, I don’t subscribe exactly to any religious sect but I do respect them. I would classify myself as more of a “realistic spiritualist with an open mind”…for the sake of clarity, let’s call me a Jedi.
The reason this story speaks to so many people is because we’ve heard it before. Anyone who’s had the most rudimentary religious background has heard it before. Strip away the lightsabers, the Millenium Falcons, and the Empire. Replace the planets and space with some locale in the Middle East. Take away the fancy names like Hans Solo (giggle), Princess Leia (giggle), and Luke SkyWalker (Kevin Smith giggle). What you’re left with is the allegory of Jesus. But let’s go a step further and take away the name Jesus just to make this an even playing field no matter what religious team you play for. What you’re left with is an underdog (Luke) who’s unsure of themselves but finds the power (The Force) to rise above evil (The Empire) and vanquish the bad guy (Vader) against all odds. This is the story heard in Superman, in Batman, in the Matrix, in Lord of the Rings, in Austin Powers, in Avatar, in almost any movie or tv show that you can name. The basis is timeless…now put back all the fancy bells/whistles/Death Stars/droids and you’ve got yourself an attractive mix that people will eat up. The fancier the extras the more it will be eaten up…as long as the story is timeless. Hence, Star Wars lives on.
END RELIGIOUS RANT
Now what kind of holes can I find in the movie’s force field? Simple.
It only takes the first line Luke utters to see it:
Did you hear it? Go back. Close your eyes and click play again. Get it that time?
Bad line delivery. Bad acting. All over the place.
This could either be attributed to the actors or the writer who wrote the incredibly cheesy dialogue (Lucas). The best actor in the movie who consistently shows subtly isn’t even human. I’m talking about the little squeaks and squawks of R2-D2. R2 became the model on how to express non-human characters from E.T. all the way to WALL-E. If the rest of the cast possessed half of the emotion portrayed by that little rolling garbage can, this movie would be the greatest of all time.
Don’t agree with me? Ask yourself this. Other than Harrison Ford, none of the cast has done anything remotely as significant as when they appeared in this movie. This isn’t bad.
The beauty of Star Wars: A New Hope is the combination of their parts and not it’s individual components. And the combination is enthralling…(waving hand slowly in front of face)…this movie is enthralling…(waving hand slowly in front of face)…geeze…this never works for me. Obi-wan!
8.9 X-Wing fighters out of 10