This Date in Star Wars History
The Constancia Affair ends its run in the Sunday comics. Remember that, do you? Maybe this will jog your memory (or inspire you to go deeper into it):
Life on “Tweet”-ooine
Let's hear it for the sandcrawler The perfect droid & trash hauler Tho based on its size You might surmise The drivers would be a bit taller
— Star Wars Limericks (@StarWarsLims) June 27, 2014
Star Wars Swag Bag
Star Wars Light Up Chop Stick Sabers – click the pic!
Yesterday’s answer: Han Solo
Today’s question: Who described the transmissions from the Hoth probe droid as “the best lead we’ve had”?
Okay, so I know a lot of people out there, and particularly a lot of people of a certain generation, think the prequel movies are terrible. I listen to the Star Wars Minute podcast, for example, and co-host Alex Robinson and their guests always apologize to co-host Peter Bonavita, aka Pete the Retailer, anytime they feel compelled to mention something about the prequel trilogy.
And you know what? The people that complain are kind of right. There’s a reason why Lucas never wrote or directed a decent movie after the original Star Wars. He doesn’t have a good ear for dialog, and he’s not big on emotional development. He’s great at archetypes, but we need more now. Star Wars belongs to you and me now, and we needed better that what he had to give. But that’s okay. Lucas CAN’T spoil it, because it’s yours and mine to love in our own ways, you know?
So let’s talk about Phantom Menace. Lucas had three main jobs for the prequels: The rise of the Empire, the fall of the Jedi, and Anakin’s transformation into Darth Vader. And, certain milestones have to be hit: Anakin has to train under Obi-Wan, and the Clone Wars have to happen, and Anakin has to have babies, for example.
Beyond those, the story parameters are wide open. Lucas found his way in with Phantom Menace using a government corruption scandal and the Sith manipulating greedy outside forces like the Trade Federation to make it worse. I may be in the minority here, but I’m totally okay with that. It’s VERY realistic to me, and I thought it tied back in nicely to Star Wars, when they do that thing about the Emperor dissolving the Senate, and putting the regional governors in control. This is a galactic EMPIRE, man, of course there’s gonna be a bunch of bureaucracy that ultimately brings it down!
But I’m not an apologist for the movie, either. There’s SO much that’s wrong with it! Honestly, I’d need a whole week of episodes to get into the things that drive me crazy about Phantom Menace. Splitting the action into four separate spaces at the end was a lot to take, but it was handled pretty well overall (except for Anakin in the fighter, ugh). And nothing since was that fragmented at the end, which is a good thing.
For me, a Star Wars movie is like pizza – I’ve rarely met one I didn’t want to eat again. The things I like best about the movie are things that have their origins in the original trilogy, so to speak. You can’t tell me you weren’t psyched to see Obi-Wan as a padawan. Or that your heart didn’t leap when R2 fixed the queen’s spaceship. I welled up during that scene, because of COURSE R2 was the one who fixed it, and I was so glad to have him back. That one scene, I can watch over and over again.
And an excellent, EXCELLENT lightsaber battle, with the best ever scoring by John Williams over it. Even more amazing, points where there’s no music at all. That kind of restraint only comes from a master music maker. Such a rare and valuable commodity, silence is. His role in the success of the Star Wars movies can’t be overstated.
But what do YOU think? Chime in about Phantom Menace in the comments!