A New Hope?


Rewatching Star Wars is an odd experience.

It's surprisingly dirty, grimey and grotty.

It doesn't introduce the hero until about 15 minutes in.

Loads of the first reel is one-sided bickering, followed by silent wandering around in the desert.

Han is really very seedy... and a murderer.

Leia is a sarcastic, bossy, combative dominatrix; a far cry from the sexual-harassment-victim / soppy-girlfriend she later became.

The tone suddenly veers from deadly serious to comic/quippy as soon as the Falcon arrives at the Death Star.

The Stormtroopers hang around and chat.

The Rebels are an unprepossessing bunch - skinny, scrawny, tubby, greasy-haired, snaggletoothed, etc.

The droids are CLEARLY slaves to the humans.

The Sandpeople are CLEARLY evil Arabs.

The backstory as explained by Ben is much better than anything in the sequels, let alone the prequels: Ben and Annakin go and become Jedis, their protege Darth kills Annakin, Ben buggers off home. Clear, simple and emotionally resonant.

Darth is clearly a first name and is clearly NOT Luke's dad, no more than Leia is Luke's sister.  Luke and Leia clearly fancy each other.

The funny thing is that, if we take the prequel canon as applying to the original film (which can be done without inflicting emotional damage upon oneself as long as its only a temporary thought experiment) then the lovechild of Luke and Leia would be absolutely LOADED with midichlorians... thus making it, in all probably, the most powerful Jedi in history. The only problem is that a lightsabre would probably be harder to wield effectively with webbed fingers.

Darth Vader, by the way, is a henchman to Tarkin... and god only knows how he comes out of the whole let-Leia-escape-with-the-plans clusterfuck with a PROMOTION!

Also... isn't destroying an entire planet, just to make a point, a bit of a fucking waste? Did Alderaan have no resources, no wealth, no strategic value, no military, industrial or economic significance to the Empire? None at all? It's a bit like Hitler saying: "just to prove how powerful I am, I'm going to completely destroy Belgium".

And ponder Luke's lack of concern over the slaughter of his adoptive parents - "ah, fuck 'em, they made me do farm work" - not to mention Leia's brusque dismissal of the destruction of her entire planet.



vitaminbillwebb 9 years ago

That first reel is a western, isn't it? Should the Sandpeople be Arab-inflected American Indians?

Also: I have never heard anyone suggest that the original "Star Wars" has a better backstory than the one put forth in "Empire."

That said, I agree with everything else. The Vader-as-henchman bit is really good. I'd never thought of that.

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Roobin 9 years ago

Hold your fire, what are we paying by the laser now?

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