Star Wars

Unlike practically everyone else in the entire universe, I had not, until recently, ever seen any of the Star Wars trilogy.

I was 2 years old when Star Wars was released and apparently I wasn’t really into movies at that age. In 1980, the year the Empire Strikes Back was released, I saw “Can’t Stop the Music”, starring the Village People.

I have no memory of those two films existing at the time, but I do remember Return of the Jedi. My brother saw it, and I remember him telling me about the unmasking of Darth Vader. We were on holiday in Paraparaumu in the summer of 1983-1984. There was some promotion that was giving away masks of various Star Wars characters. My brother and I put Darth Vader masks on the windows of the tent (I think I saw it as a means of scaring away mean people), but all I remember happening is some kids stopped and looked at it and thought it was Darth Vader’s tent or something. I also remember going to a department store in Wellington that had a thing that you could listen to and hear Darth Vader’s breathing. Wooooo.

I never saw any of the Star Wars films, but I knew what they were all about. I remember when I was about 5 years old there being a big debate amongst my friends at school about how long Princess Leia’s hair was when it was loose. Someone said it went down to her feet, but someone else reckoned it was only down to her shoulders.

On the great ’80s tv show “That’s Incredible” there was a kid who had written a book of questions about Star Wars that was so detailed that practically no one could answer it all. Which means that I’d probably get one question right.

My cousins, who I imagine have probably seen the trilogy about a million times, had a good selection of Star Wars figurines and various craft. I was intrigued by what appeared to be Chewbacca’s flares. I used to make Leia kiss Han and turned Vader into a high fashion model.

I went through life being a Star Wars virgin. When I was studying film production at tech I there were a couple of guys in my class who were hard-core Star Wars fans. They were pretty shocked when I revealed that I’d never seen the trilogy. I didn’t get invited to the Star Wars video evening they had.

Then the special editions got released and I thought, oh why the hell not. Playing just down the road from me in digital stereo was the Star Wars trilogy, so I saw it.

Star Wars

When Luke comes to rescue Leia from the imperial forces she looks more like someone who’s getting ready to see Darth Vader’s shiny black helmet up close than someone who’s scared. Luke seems really dumb in Star Wars, little bimbo boy. Chewbacca is like some retarded guy on a community work integration scheme. Han rules. Darth Vader is evil. And Obi Wan is mystical yeah, cool. Plus all the storm troopers on the Death Star are worthy of respect.

The Empire Strikes Back

Well hello goddam, if this ain’t one of the best movies in the entire universe. It’s dark, evil and it feels good. The Empire strikes back and keeps striking back and the Rebel forces only just manage to keep a little bit ahead. I thoroughly enjoy the noise that R2-D2 makes when he gets thrown out of the swamp. The thing I like best about the film is how there’ll be a bit with Luke and Yoda in the swamp doing that force thing, then it cuts to the Empire dudes and to announce it the evil empire theme thing gets played. That is such cool theme music. I really like the torture device that Han gets tortured with (not that I want to try it, or anything) and when he can be heard screaming in the background, it is so very special. There aren’t as many imperial storm troopers, but when they do appear it is mighty. The thing I like about the storm troopers is how they are dressed mainly in white, but there’s the black underneath. That black is evil. So much bad stuff happens, Luke discovers that Vader is his father and gets his hand cut off, Han gets frozen in carbon, and C-3PO gets blown up (by a storm trooper) and the film ends with the bad guys more or less winning.

Return of the Jedi

Lots of storm troopers, so that was pleasing. It seemed like the movie was mostly full of cute fluffy Ewoks and storm troopers crashing into trees. Leia and Han find true love, happy happy. But the bit that really annoys me is that Darth Vader ends up being good. No! This is wrong. Everyone knows that Darth Vader is meant to be mean and evil. He is not susceptible to goodness. Life’s like that, full of people who appear to be and say they are mean and evil but end up being really nice. I could kick Vader’s arse.

I think I’m on my way to becoming a fully-fledged Star Wars bitch. I’ve been thinking of seeing the original version on video. I was in Real Groovy Records and almost dairy-whipped myself when I saw a giant cardboard cut-out out of Darth Vader and an armed Storm Trooper. I walked between the new releases and hip-hop sections several times just to check them out. I was tempted.

But I can’t see myself doing something really dorky like buying a Star Wars t-shirt, or over-analysing the film like a character in a Kevin Smith movie. I saw the Star Wars trilogy and I enjoyed it. Now all I need is my own personal storm trooper.

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