February 15th, 2007


I’m not going to do that thing where I tantalize you with an intriguing title and then don’t reveal my blasphemous thoughts till the very end. Nope—I’m going to tell you right here, right up front, so if you find the revelation too repulsive, you can just click elsewhere, instead of suffering through my entire post.

So here we go.

I have never yet managed to stay awake through all three of the original “Star Wars” movies.

[insert shocked gasp here]

This is one of those in-the-closet things I don’t share with many people (just all of cyberspace who chooses to land on this page, I guess), but it’s been on my mind lately because a recent magazine assignment is requiring me to watch not only the original three, but the new three as well.

Well, that’s not exactly true. My editor explicitly told me that I didn’t have to watch the movies to do the assignment (which is about exotic locales where some scenes were filmed), but being me, I feel compelled to watch them before writing the piece. Otherwise I’d worry that I was leaving something out simply from pure ignorance.

So Monday night I watched “Star Wars.” I stayed awake. I groaned a lot. There is some bad acting in that movie. Also bad lines, such as, “Let the wookie win.”

Tuesday night I watched “The Empire Strikes Back.” Another movie I found decidedly ungreat. Han Solo is so full of himself, it’s a wonder he doesn’t walk around with a mirror in front of his face. Luke is somewhat less whiney than in “Star Wars.” Leia's hairstyles show some variety. C-3PO is still a pompous ass. (Speaking of droids: if your favorite character is not even human, not even animate in fact, does that not mean that there is a problem with the characters in the story? If a little hunk of metal bits like R2-D2 shows more authentic emotion than the orphaned would-be Jedi, is that not a bad sign?)

And last night (yes, the most exciting Valentine’s Day on record), I popped in “Return of the Jedi.” And I was pleasantly surprised. It felt almost like everyone involved in the production had learned so much from the previous two films that this one was kinda good. Leia rocked, of course. Luke was pretty cocky, but then he did have Jedi skills to back up his healthy self-opinion. Han was less self-absorbed. Ewoks were entertaining.

Then I blinked.

Next thing I know, Luke and Darth are battling it out as the red-eyed emperor watches.

Blinked again.

More Ewoks.

Blinked again.

Darth’s body is on fire, the main characters align themselves conveniently group-portrait style, and the credits start rolling.

That’s right—I did it again. I managed to not stay awake during all the “Star Wars” movies.

So now I have to go back to the halfway point of “Jedi” and try it again. I have some vague hopes for watching Episodes 1-3, as I have no history of falling asleep during them, never having attempted to watch them.

And how about you? Any world-famous, record-breaking films leave you cold? (I can’t be the only one!)

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