Is there anyone out there who does not know what this photo depicts? Anyone? Anyone?
In case you have spent your entire life under a rock or in a cave or on a distant planet, it's Star Wars of course. Even I know that and I do NOT keep up with what's going on with regard to movies, music, famous people etc. Because clearly I do live under a rock or in a cave or on a distant planet. (much like Tatooine!)
And the reason I bring this up is because way back in May of this year, (May the Fourth be with you) one of our local TV stations did a marathon of Star Wars movies. I wasn't actually looking for it, but as Tim was cruising through the televised guide at lightspeed, I noticed it and asked (probably more like begged) him to please please please record it for me. I honestly only expected one of the movies to be recorded. I didn't care which one. Just one of them. For old time's sake. I guess I was feeling nostalgic.
And then we proceeded to completely ignore the fact that we had something Star Wars related in the queue and got on with our busy lives. That is until six weeks ago. It was a Saturday night when there just wasn't anything to watch on regular TV and it was kind of miserable to be outside. So I suggested that, rather than watch yet another rerun or JAG or NCIS, we watch the Star Wars movie that he recorded. "Which one?" he asked and scrolled down to that section. It was quite a way down by then. Mercy! There were six different Star Wars movies! My cup runneth over.
Ok now I have to backtrack a little bit. When the Star Wars franchise began it's reign over America, it was 1977. In 1977 I had 1 toddler and, unbeknownst to me, another baby on the way. I was working, taking care of a baby, an apartment, a relatively new marriage and well, the fact that this blockbuster movie came out, barely even touched the outskirts of my radar. When the second movie hit the screen, it was 1980. At that point I had 3 children, ages 3,2,1 and had moved to a farm outside of town even though I still worked in town, and on the farm and of course was a busy Mama too. Star Wars meant nothing to me that year. In 1983, when the 3rd film was released the boys were just starting to be old enough to be interested in these movies. Wait, they were not just interested, they were beguiled by them. So it was at that point I became aware of the mystique of Star Wars. I was, as they say, late to the party.
But once I became aware, we were all over it. Star Wars rocked. We, the boys and I , absolutely loved it and we watched VHS versions of it over and over and over again.
By 1999 when the next trilogy began to be released, while I was plenty familiar with the original Star Wars, and I didn't have time to care about, learn about, or see the new films. They were not even peripherally in my life. I couldn't be bothered to learn all this new Star Wars stuff. I was relatively newly married for a second time, with a house, a full time job and mostly grown kiddo's. So life went on, with no more Star Wars information for me.
Until now. And I am looking at the queue and there are six movies. How are there six movies? The last time I knew about Star Wars, there were three films. Three awesome films. How on earth did this happen? I had to look it up to see what the proper viewing order was. And it sounded something like this:
Movies 1,2 and 3 are actually movies 4,5 and 6. Movies 4,5, and 6 are now movies 1 ,2 and 3. Except that between the new 3 (not the old 3) and the new 4 (which is the old 1) there are two other movies. Chronologically. And then after the old 1,2,3 which is the new 4,5,6 there are three more movies so far, one of which hasn't even been released yet. What's that again?
It's very confusing. Tim found the two missing movies (between the new 3 - which is the old 4 - and the new 4 which is the old 1). Yay! We decided that, to understand what the heck was going on in the story, our best course of action was to watch them in chronological order. One movie a weekend for, apparently the rest of our lives or the end of the Star Wars movies, whichever comes first. Which means we started with "Phantom Menace" (1999) which is the fourth movie made but the first movie in the story. With me so far?
Ok. We settled in and watched, We found ourselves spending a lot of time saying, "who is that?" and "the lady with the red spot on her lips...why doesn't someone tell her she has a spot on her lip so she can wipe it off?" and "what the heck is the deal with JarJar Binks?' Eventually we figured out the little blonde boy was Baby Anakin, the lady with the spot on her lips was making a fashion statement and we still do not understand why they created the JarJar Binks character because he brought NOTHING to the table. But over all we were mostly entertained (JarJar aside). Didn't care much for Darth Maul (majorly creepy) but mostly it's was okey dokey.
in fact, it was okey dokey enough so that with no prompting from me at all, the following Saturday we saw the second film, which is the 5th one made. "Attack of the Clones" (2002). This time, we followed the story better and were happy to see some of the faces from the previous episode. The lady with the spot on her lips no longer has the spot, JarJar has settled down some and that one guy in the senate bugs me. I just don't trust him. Anakin is still a hothead but Obi Wan Kenobi is a Good Guy. It was nice to start to see some foreshadowing but the CGI was downright stupid. Sorry but it was just ridiculous.
Still bad CGI was was not enough to deter us and the third Saturday found us watching, "The Revenge of the Sith" (2005) The senate guy IS a bad guy...I KNEW IT! And Anakin is an idiot. I expected there to be a lot more psychology about him being lured to the dark side. I really did. It was more, "oh well, dark side here I come." And there was that one part where Anakin is supposed to be frustrated with the Jedi's not promoting him and even though his words expressed his frustration, his face did not, his body language did not, his tone did not. There was not one single bit of heat. That was disappointing. But still, there is enough going on that we kept watching. Watching. Watching.
So the next two weekends found us getting exciting about, "Rogue One" 2016 and "Solo" 2018. I was so tickled to finally get Han Solo's backstory. He was always my favourite character and yay! Han Solo! Also more gaps were filled and more foreshadowing. I will say that the writers did a wonderful job at both of those things. They may have dropped a few balls here and there, but filling story gaps, answering questions and leading us forward...awesome job!
Then finally we began re-watching the ones we had seen before a Very Very long time ago. We enjoyed both "A New Hope" (1977) and "The Empire Strikes Back" (1980) just as much now - so very many years later, as we did something like 35 years ago! Holy Cats! That is a long time ago. Not only did we still enjoy the story, there were parts I had completely forgotten about so that was fun :)
Next weekend we will watch "The Return of the Jedi" (1983) and if we can find them, the following weekends will watch "The Force Awakens" (2015) and "The Last Jedi" (2017). The Last Jedi is apparently a misnomer because that would lead you to believe that it is the last film of the series. You would be wrong. It is my understanding that sometime later this year another Star Wars film, "The Rise of Skywalker" will be coming out.
And it is my best guess that as long as people love them, Hollywood will keep making them. And we will keep watching them.
Soon we will be all caught up and then maybe when the new films are released we might see them in the theatre instead of far after the fact on TV. We are no longer the only two people in American who hadn't seen all of the Star Wars movies. Woohoo!
May the Force Be With You!
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.