Friday Five: A New Hope

Friday, May 21, 2010

1. Without at first realizing that today is the 30th anniversary of the release of The Empire Strikes Back, I'd planned to blog today a little about the original three Star Wars flicks, which I've just watched in rapid succession thanks to my recent birthday gift. That was a long sentence.

Empire, as we all know, is the best of the three. Jedi is the worst. A New Hope, as we now know the original Star Wars movie, doesn't get a lot of credit either way. Sure, it gets quoted plenty ("But I was going to Tashi Station to pick up some power converters waaah," for example), but its strengths as a film and tale are not so often discussed. I'm here to tell you, it's really good. It's a freakin' awesome fantasy YA, is what it is. Imagine, if you will, a novel version of A New Hope. We'd have third-person POV, natch, with alternating close third for Luke and Leia's convergent arcs. Both characters do quite a lot of "meeting the world," in my mind the foremost quality in good YA. And, if not for -- let's face it -- Mr. Hamill's catastrophic acting and whining, both characters would be insanely sympathetic to adolescent or arrested-adolescent viewers. LIKE ME.

As for Jedi, it's as bad as you remember, or possibly worse. I found it was worse. I found the Ewoks more annoying than I thought they were. I was happy when one died. Also, Luke is STILL freakin' whining. Han, once a scruffy-looking dangerous man, is endlessly slapsticking around with his goofball sidekick Chewie. Poor Chewie. I ask you, would Chewbacca of A New Hope fall for the old meat-on-a-branch trick? No freakin' way.

But I've said too much.

2. It's also the 30th anniversary of Pac Man, in case you haven't noticed.

3. What else? BEA is what else. For me and the good people at Carolrhoda Lab (and the rest of Lerner), it starts on Monday night with the big to-do. I'm not remotely nervous!

4. Did I mention finals are in? Lookit.


5. And finally, as if I wasn't already a nervous wreck, today Sam, Beth, and I visited a pre-school. In the fall, my tiny baby boy will very likely join a two-year-old, two-day-per-week pre-school. I can hardly stand to think of it. Luckily I have the whole summer to get used to the idea.

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3 Responses to “Friday Five: A New Hope”
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Angela said...

I *liked* the ewoks, but I was a nine-year-old girl, so whaddaya expect. Still, I hold a place in my heart for the fuzzy little bug-eyed guys.

May 21, 2010 at 1:16 PM
storyqueen said...

Dude, how can you dis Jedi????

Okay, so maybe it was a little cheesy...but not horrible.

Have you seen the Lego star wars trilogy in 2 minutes on youtube? It might even be better than the actual movies!

Shelley

May 21, 2010 at 6:42 PM
Kangaroo B said...

I'll try not to be verbose, because if I don't watch myself, I can end up writing a comment three times longer than your post, and that would be rude.

(1) How were we not best friends in high school? I think we feel exactly the same way about everything that ever existed except for classic rock. If I ever get a hold of a time machine, I'm going to tell the young me to hang with you more.

(2) To this day, whenever I watch Empire, I find myself trying to imagine what it would be like to see it through the eyes of someone who had only seen (and very much liked) A New Hope. My sister tells me that I saw ANH when it was in the theaters, but I would have been three. So my earliest Star Wars memory is watching Empire on Beta Max, over and over. But I imagine that had I been old enough to have liked and understood ANH first, Empire would have made my head explode. The moment of combustion would certainly be at the first full shot of the AT-ATs.

(3) Everything you say about RTJ is true. (Sorry Shelly!) In addition, I can't get over how absurd the plan to rescue Han from Jabba is. You have a small army with an armada of ships. Send a detachment of 500 troops to surround Jabba's palace! Also: Boba Fett's deserved better than that. Also: did we really have to re-live the death star battle? And How did Lando go from being so cool to being a dork? After the amazing locations for the Empire lightsaber duel, the Emperor's throne room seemed really boring. Also: the sibling thing was absurd; they could have found some other way to motivate Luke. And another thing: I didn't mind the Jedis conversing with a ghost in Empire, but in RTJ the damn ghost sits down on a rock! Need to take a load off? Really? You have no mass! How can you be tired?

May 22, 2010 at 7:57 AM