Friday, January 4, 2008

Top Ten Films: Part Six

It is a little difficult to admit to being a fan of the original Star Wars trilogy now days. That is how negative the impact of the prequels has been. In spite if that, the originals (or at least “The Empire Strikes Back”) deserve a place on this list. The cultural impact of these movies cannot be overstated. Lucas did not invent the archetypes that appear in his story, but he created today’s definitive examples of them. While “Empire” shocked audiences with Vader’s revelation, today people jokingly expect almost every villain to be the hero’s father.

So, why so much hate for the prequels? We find out that the Jedi were clueless and incompetent. Darth Vader is revealed to be not the ultimate bad guy, but a whiny pain in the butt that Obi Wan should have killed when he had the chance. And most of all there is no cool character like Han Solo to role there eyes at all the cheesy, nerdy characters they are surrounded by.

Because it must be admitted that there is a lot of cheesy dialogue here. Yes even in the originals. When the original audience saw these as kids, they loved how cool they were. However, as grown-ups they cringed at Jar Jar, and shuddered at how annoying Anakin was. Never mind how cheesy C3P0 was or how insufferably annoying Luke could be, and those Ewoks…

The truly groundbreaking element in the original trilogy though, is in its straightforward introduction of religion into fantasy films. The problem is that it is a confusing mix of eastern philosophies, and when in the prequels there are more hints of Christianity, they merely serve to show the corrupt and failed nature of the establishment.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you on the trend of having the villain become the hero's father. When the Cigarette Smoking Man revealed himself to be Fox Mulder's father, I cringed at the cliched nature of it. And I totally think its ok to call yourself a fan of the Original series. Save for a few redeeming moments in Episode Three, the prequels did their best (or should I say George Lucas did his best) to destroy the name of eps. four through six.


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