Wednesday, August 08, 2007
I Reject Episode I-III's Right to Exist Part I
Posted by Johnny Sweatpants
For too long I've kept my mouth shut regarding Episodes I-III out of respect for Lucas, the Star Wars franchise and my fellow Star Wars fanatics. After Jordan's recent How-to-watch-Star-Wars post, I decided to give the prequels one last chance before finally speaking my mind. After all, I'm not the kind of guy who likes to stir up trouble but when common sense is under fire then I cannot back down. My suspicions were confirmed and my stance is now official: Episodes I, II and III have no more credibility than the Ewok Adventure, the Droids cartoon or Bea Arthur pouring drinks in the '78 Holiday Special. It would serve us best to ignore their very existence.
I know what you're whining right now; "But Lucas envisioned the series as a whole!" Bullshit. I'm sure he had some vague notions of the lore but frankly this claim is dubious because his integrity has been wholly compromised by the recent trilogy. To suddenly decide that what was in his head all along could NOW be brought forth is absurd. I find it absolutely IMPOSSIBLE that, as a geeky sci-fi grad film student at USC, the one and only George Lucas sat in film class dreaming of a day when he could generate a spindly, klutzy, half-gay-and-black, googly-eyed CGI character with a learning disability named Jar Jar Binks. And don't tell me that Attack of the Clones didn't evolve from the negative response to Phantom Menace. (Exhibit A: Jar Jar's diminished role.) Clearly Revenge of the Sith was a last ditch effort to appease the cranky fans who didn't get what they wanted out of the first two. Like Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney and countless other visionaries, George Lucas had it – then he lost it. His creative juices dulled and eventually drifted off into the abyss. The spark of inspiration was replaced by sterile studio wizardry.
Before I tackle these 3 insults to our intelligence individually, I'd first like to address the inherent evils in the word "prequel". Prequels by definition stifle rather than capture the imagination. Part of the magic of the original Star Wars was being dropped into the middle of a saga. It wowed us with spectacle but still inspired the viewer to formulate the backstory. Divulging my own (far superior) origin of Darth Vader misses the point: Lucas gave us a beautiful gift, only to take it back like a bastard 16 years later.
THE PHANTOM MENACE IS A COMPLETE AND UTTER DISGRACE
I'm assuming I won't get any (legitimate) opposition to this claim. In retrospect we should have seen it coming. 20 years of being worshipped and declared a genius would have an adverse effect on most people. In George's head he could do no wrong. There was no need to cloud his vision by seeking the approval of others. For better or (much, much) worse, George decided to let his movie live or die on its own merit.
The result? The creation of the most overbearing, obnoxious and atrocious looking fictional character of all time – Mr. Jar Jar Binks. Blinded by his obsession to stun the audience with the first fully CGI character, George failed to see the dangers of creating a character geared towards 3 year olds. I won't waste too much time skewering this detestable Gungan because every word he ever uttered and every idiotic expression he ever made has already been mocked. (Alright one more dig – it's impossible to come up with a more irritating name than Jar Jar Binks. Try it – Mish Mash Spatula? Not even close.) And after all, his legacy of ruining Phantom Menace is grossly exaggerated. The truth is that there are many reasons this movie fails and Binks is not the cause, only a result of Lucas's over-eagerness to pander to drooling pre-schoolers.
Other atrocities in Phantom Menace include Jake "Are You an Angel" Lloyd, the complete squander of the only exciting character - Darth Maul, the opening scroll that has the nerve to include the words "trade embargos" and well, everything that's not Ewan McGregor. But we all know this. Let's move on.
at 7:34 AM