12:00 pm EDT, December 17, 2015

I lost my Star Wars virginity in 2015: 7 days, 6 movies, 1 epic review

‘Episode I: The Phantom Menace’

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  • I’m told you can leave off Episode I from the Machete Order, but I’m both an obsessive completist and a huge Ewan McGregor fan, so I kept it in.
  • Mistake.
  • This is really… not a good movie, is it.
  • The pacing is just terrible. I found the introduction very hard to follow, and every action scene – the battles and, oh God have mercy, the pod race — drags on for way too long.
  • Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi is a gift and the only reason this movie is worth sitting through. His imitation of Alec Guinness is uncanny, with delightful added sass levels. No wonder he’s in so many memes.
  • You guys, Jar-Jar Binks is really not as annoying as everyone makes out. Where’s the beef? His buffoonery causes just as much (or as little) nonsense as C-3PO’s in Empire, but I haven’t seen anyone hate on that so viciously. Jar-Jar is fine. Let him be.
  • I guess, to give credit where credit is due, this movie has some important groundwork about like, why droids make the world’s worst army, and why Ani and Padme make the world’s worst couple, and stuff.
  • Why don’t the other Jedis notice the Force in Palpatine? That would have saved them a lot of drama later on. How does one identify the Force? Obi-Wan had to test Anakin’s blood, but in other moments, various Jedis seem to be able to sense each other.
  • The Sith and the Dark Side in general really aren’t explained enough — like what, exactly, is different? How does it work? Is it just using a different emotional “fuel” for your power? Does the use of it actually warp your mind, or do you have to be a dick to start with?
  • I remember Darth Maul being on so much merch in 1999. He was like the face of the whole franchise resurgence. Yeah, turns out he’s literally a nothing character. Is he the titular “phantom menace?” I guess? Well, he’s dead and I can’t recall a single line of his dialogue.
  • OH MY GOD ANAKIN IS JEDI JESUS. WHAT. NO FATHER. HIS BIRTH WAS THE IMMACULATE FORCE-CEPTION. ARE THEY SERIOUS WITH THIS.
  • Knowing the reveal in advance, Padme’s playing swapsies with her maids wasn’t hard to follow, but I don’t understand if, upon the film’s release, we were meant to realize the whole time that Handmaiden Padme was Queen Amidala, or if we were meant to be shocked.
  • Well, either way, that white dress of hers at the end looks like something President Snow forced her to wear.
  • ‘Episode II: Attack of the Clones’

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    • Anakin Skywalker needs a good smack to the back of the head, he’s such an arrogant little shit and really bad at being a Jedi — behavior-wise, not power-wise, I mean. I understand that this is the entire point of the prequel trilogy, but man, it’s tough to deal with. Like, this is his story — he’s, in a way, the hero — but they couldn’t make him too sympathetic, and that certainly worked out, because oh my god, shut up, Anakin. Find your chill.
    • Like, your floor length black cloak is really not subtle.
    • It’s a good thing we’re not actually meant to root for Ani and Padme because as annoying as they are solo, they are utterly intolerable together. I cannot believe that someone actually approved that script and allowed those scenes to be filmed and put out in the universe. I’m embarrassed for them.
    • Anakin’s romantic declaration is the worst — not only is it horribly written and acted, it puts the blame on Padme for his feelings. Like, she flat out rejects him, but apparently she just changes her mind because that’s what happens in Star Wars. Unlike Leia and Han, this isn’t a matter of people missing the point. She really does just change her mind.
    • Natalie Portman, you have an Oscar. I’m so sorry this movie happened to you.
    • Like, that picnic scene. You should sue. I’m serious.
    • “Be mindful of your thoughts” = “Keep it in your pants.” Nice. Also, if Yoda can sense all of Anakin’s rage, does that mean he can also sense all of his… other emotions?
    • Aside from showcasing the worst love story in the galaxy, this movie is actually pretty good with a lot of complex and unexpected twists.
    • I very much enjoyed Obi-Wan’s interplanetary detective adventures, also his beard, diner buddies and increased sass level. “You want to go home and rethink your life.” Ben, please.
    • The entire big ending battle in the arena was great, and Padme finally got to do something competent instead of sitting around being ineffectual. That poor girl. She’s meant to be this very prolific politician, and she doesn’t get to show any of that off. At least here she gets to prove that she’s better than the boys at getting out of handcuffs.
    • Count Dooku’s double-bluff gave me whiplash, as did the discovery of the Stormtrooper origins, and watching Palpatine beginning to groom Anakin is so sinister and so creepy and so much more interesting character-wise than anything else in this series.

    • I get why they did it, but using CGI for Yoda and R2 instead of puppets was actually quite jarring. I’m glad to hear that The Force Awakens will feature a good amount of animatronics.
    • No idea why they felt a need to give Boba Fett (who people seem obsessed with for reasons that I’ve totally missed, because from what I saw, he does barely anything in the originals) an emotional origin story, but there you go.
    • I feel like the Jedi are very bad at keeping or checking records. Like, if Dooku was an actual Jedi who ordered the clones and then defected, how did they not know where he ended up once he left the Jedi order?
    • Same deal in regards to Anakin and Padme’s ill-advised marriage. If it’s official, is that not on a record anywhere that might throw up a red flag, like, hey, we have this guy registered as a Jedi who’s also registered on a marriage certificate?
    • What else happened… Oh, yeah, they went back to Tatooine. I have questions about Ani’s mom getting bought by that dude who married her. Was she like a sex slave or was it legit? Also, there’s the future Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru. Sorry you’re going to die horribly!
    • In conclusion: ‘Revenge of the Sith’ and ‘Return of the Jedi’

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