Saturday, 5 November 2011

Alec Guiness in a Dressing Gown

This was going to be a post about humanity hitting the 7 billion mark however after
reading through what I had just written I have realised that you must never see this.

It is so relentlessly grim, self-righteous and judgemental that you would never look at me in the same way again. It would damage this fragile, beautiful thing that has grown between us and I can’t bear the thought of losing you.

So I locked this post away in the darkest recesses of my laptop and instead decided to re-post of the very first things I ever put on this blog, back when I had 0 followers.

And let’s never speak of this again.

When I was ten years old my parents took me to see Star Wars when it was first released. They made a special occasion of it and we got the train to Bradford and went to the Odeon, this was an impressive structure back then but like so many city centre cinemas it is now it is boarded up and has trees growing out of it’s roof.

Just before the film started the cinema went dark and a spotlight shone on a glitterball hanging from the ceiling, filling the auditorium with rectangles of light. Then the deep, mahogany voice of James Earl Jones boomed out ‘May the Force be With You’.
This was going to be special.

And it was. I spent the next couple of hours with my jaw hanging open, watching something I had never seen the like of before.

Jump forward 20 years and I am in another cinema with my girlfriend watching the digitally re-mastered version of Star Wars with new added lizards and shiny bits.
About half way through I realised that I was mentally compiling the weeks shopping list and yawning. Star Wars was boring.

When it was first released back in the 70’s the special effects were ground breaking and blew everyone away and George Lucas said he wanted to recreate the Saturday morning kids shows like Flash Gordon.

I enjoyed those shows as well when I was kid and that’s my point, I was a kid.
After the wow factor of seeing planet-sized spaceships the faults start to show, like the one dimensional characters and the massive coincidences such as half the main characters being related to each other like a bunch of space rednecks.

Or the teeth grindingly annoying ‘comedy’ characters like See Threepio or that frog thing with the ears, who talk in amusing foreign accents, bicker with each other then fall over then sit up looking dazed with something stuck on their heads at a funny angle.

As for Darth Vader, apart from looking fairly cool he isn’t much of a villain. He swishes about in his cape, wheezing like an asthmatic and making mild threats. At one point he stabs Alec Guniness’s dressing gown so I suppose that’s criminal damage. Other than that he is just a big bloke in a helmet.

Getting annoyed about Star Wars is as pointless as sitting here writing about it. It is a multi-billion dollar industry that will steam roller on. Millions will go to watch the films even though most of them seem to come away feeling disappointed as though they thought they might re-capture their youth but instead watched a two hour commercial for Star Wars merchandise.

I won’t be joining them.


Stephanie D said...

Nice post, but I'd love to see the one you originally had planned!

Al Penwasser said...

I had trouble compiling (NOTE: Fancy-schmancy writer's term for 'writing') a response to this post because I couldn't get past that picture. It's hysterical!
Anyway, my 'Star Wars' story:
My ship had just pulled into the port of Palma de Mallorca for a little sightseeing, community relations (yes, this is a euphemism), sharing libations with hail fellows well met (another euphemism), and vomiting (okay, no euphemism there).
I saw that the local theater was playing 'Star Wars,' a movie I had not yet seen because we'd been at sea (with other men-yeesh!!) for seven months. I tried to convince a friend that we should go see it (before the libations). I recreate the conversation:
Al: Hey, let's go see 'Star Wars' out in town.
Friend: What, are you kidding? It'll be in Spanish!
Al: No way! It'll be in English with Spanish subtitles.
Friends: I don't know......
Al: Okay, at the very worst, it'll be in Spanish with English subtitles.
Friend: Well, all right. THEN we can get a couple beers?
And so we left.
Sadly, it was in SPANISH with NO subtitles.
The only one I understood was Chewbacca. Plus, I was almost positive that gold robot was gay.

The Angry Lurker said...

A bit dated now but the opening scene of rhe star destroyer will remain me forever.

Britta said...

Dear Tony,
I never watched Star Wars (being not amused by science fiction - other than Husband or Son - I remember walking through Munich with my little son by my side wearing proudly a golden-black sort of T-shirt, must have been something from 'Enterprise'.) But I can imagine your disappointment when seeing at last something one was enthusiastic about as a kid later as an adult. Even things we have seen as adults can change: in Germany we have a very good crime TV series called "Tatort" ("Site of crime"), where alternating federal states of Germany have "their" police team, with regional differences of course. And Husband an I were raving about the Custom Investigator Kressin (an actor they fired after a while - sex, drugs and what do I know) - well: and when we saw nowadays an old version from the late '70 (I think), we were heavily disappointed... it was not that witty!
I wonder if I would appreciate the beloved British series "Z-Cars" as much as I think till now - one can get no DVDs. Sometimes it is just as good (as in some other cases of life :-) not to refresh old memories but keep the dreams!

Pat Hatt said...

I just want Star Wars to DIE already. All of it is just a bunch of crap now, not like it ever was the greatest. As you say as a kid yeah, but now not so much. People just put their past love for it on a shelf and refuse to admit it's way overrated. Lucas is nothing but a hack now too. Making star wars crap after star wars crap, not able to do much else. Sucking back the money though and hiding a post? Not much could scare me away.

Belle said...

Star Wars still excites children, which was Lukas' main target audience anyway. I loved it, my kids loved it, my grandchildren loved it. My daughter's step-son has all the toys and watches it all the time.
I figured fans wouldn't like his new trilogy because nothing could live up to the excitement of the first three. But I am still glad he made them to finish off the story.

Interwebs Fails said...

Nice post. (:

Orang3 said...

great post, as always

YeamieWaffles said...

Nice post as usual buddy, I love your stuff. Star Wars is still awesome in my opinion anyway, I'd even welcome another trilogy of films, honestly!

SkippyMom said...

I have to agree with everything you said about Star Wars. I was so fascinated and thrilled to watch it as a child, but now? Meh. I have to laugh at the campiness of it all.

Hope you are having a good weekend.

Craziness abounds said...

Aw you value our relationship! I'm touched. lol But it up pansy.. We don't care what you write. I'm hurt that you think we are so weak minded and have no intestinal fortitude. Boo. :)

Nightgaunt said...

I've found at this point that Star Wars is kind of like "Pern". It keeps chugging along, but at this point, the only reason people really seem to have anyhting to do with it is to get the initial flavor. After that, it's ind of just become a giant jumping point for other peoples creativity by using the universe as a base ((for stuff like roleplaying and the like.)) Hell; I HATE Anakin and Jar Jar... and Like really annoyed the hell out of me even when I was young, but I've seen characters created by other people than the Lucas Design team ((Like Quinlan Vos)), Who are just fun. They're allowed to have the depth that Lucas just doesn't seem to be capable of creating.

Ditto with McCaffery's works: I've seen some really well created characters... and NONE of them were by her. I mean even aside from her absolutely horrifically bad grasp on human behavior, homosexuality, and pretty much anything else you can name, she made an interesting base for a universe, and other people who loved that idea did the fun stuff. ((Hell: Todd McCaffery's taken over the franchise and his stuff is arguably even more crappy.))

Or anyway that's my experience. It makes me sad for the original creators on some levels, but at the same time, proud for the people with the creativity to run with the universes, flaws and all, and give us geeks something fun to play with.

Tony Van Helsing said...

Stephanie: No you wouldn't.

Al: Senor Threepio was indeed gay. And annoying.

Angry: Can't argue with that, it is a great opening for any film.

Britta: Exactly. You can't re-create how something affected you years ago, it will never be the same. I think Z Cars is so old they can't put it on DVD.

Pat: I read a biography on Lucas once and can't remember a thing about him, it was just dull.

Belle: As a kid I loved the first the films. Maybe I've just got old and jaded.

Interweb: Thanks man.

Orang3: Ditto.

Waffles: I bet you have a lightsabre.

Skippymom: Campness of it all, excellent. Camp is exactly what it is. I'm having a great weekend, hope you are too.

Craziness: You are right, I'm treating you like kids. And of course I care.

Nightgaunt: Is Pern the stuff about dragons? I hate dragons, they are just stuck up dinosaurs with bad breath.

Poetry of the Day said...

great post mate

Al Penwasser said...

But not nearly as annoying as Jar Jar Binks.
And it's sad that I even know that.

Nightgaunt said...

Pern dragons tend not to be stuck up normally, it's McCaffery's riders you have to worry about. XD her dragons are more like giant firebreathing goldfish. Pretty and about as deep as a wading pool. ;)

Jimmy Fungus said...

Yeaaaah, we can never seem to recapture the impact movies like Star Wars had on us as a child. Also, such dazzling special effects were relatively new in the 70's. For example, the original Superman was the first time we had really ever seen a man fly in the movies without it lookin' super cheesey... and the Exorcist, tame by today's standards, had people fainting in the aisles of the movie theater...

Margaret said...

I remember being ten and sitting in the theatre with my mouth hanging open too. But, I have to admit, I'm still pretty geeky about Star Wars. said...

Lucas has every right to revise his work...but give us a blu ray of the originals and we all go home happy... In the end the franchise isn't for everyone, like most movies...

Tony Van Helsing said...

Poetry: Thank you kindly.

Al: You should be ashamed of yourself.

Nightgaunt: 'Giant firebreathing goldfish', great image.

Jimmy: I always thought The Exorcist was terrifying. My wife had never seen it until recently and she couldn't see what the fuss was about.

Margaret: Do you dress up as a stormtrooper?

Brad: Too true, I don't expect everyone to like the same stuff I do.

Jimmy Fungus said...

Thank you for the helpful comment on my blog. I don't use the word "hero" very often...but you, sir, are a HERO!

Juliette said...

7 billion. Whoa. Maybe Darth could sort this out.

M Pax said...

I think the new Star Wars diluted some of the magic of the old. It was fabulous when it came out.

7 billion is a lot.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Okay, first, LOVE that picture.

We recently borrowed Star Wars for family movie night. Only my husband enjoyed it (nerd). The rest of us were bored within thirty minutes. My daughter might have appreciated the one with the Ewoks. :D

Bart said...

i think im older than 3 billion people. thats pretty awesome eh

My 2 Pesos said...

I like Star Wars. >:3

Timon said...

I can see here very long comments :D your blog is very nice, your posts are very interesting, I like it!

FOLLOWED of course

Hannah {Culture Connoisseur} said...

I feel like you should be awarded a special medal... a man who recognizes how ridiculous Star Wars is?!

Some men would confiscate your man card. I say your man card should go platinum. :)

Tony Van Helsing said...

Jimmy: Not many call me hero, but yes I am.

Juliette: About time he did something useful.

M pax: Yes, they were piss poor.

Stina: Aaargh! Don't say Ewoks.

Bart: Did you do that thing online that tells you what number person in the world you were when you were born?

Pesos: Many millions of people do, I do not.

Timon: Thank you, I will return the compliment.

Hannah: You don't need a man card to like Star Wars, you need a big kid card.

p said...

What? Nice post

Vapid Vixen said...

"He swishes about in his cape, wheezing like an asthmatic and making mild threats".

Not sure if this was meant to, but it made me burst out laughing.

And for the love, give us the chance to prove you right and post your original post so we can judge you mercilessly then unfollow you!

Samantha VĂ©rant said...

I'm think your girlfriend should dress as Princess Lea. THAT might re-spark your interest. You may even find yourself buy one of those lightsabers.

Amy said...

OOOh, when I was a little girl I want the Princess Lea cinnabons for my hairdo so bad I could taste it! Then I hit the ripe old age of ten, and found many other things far more interesting. I'm with you, I don't get the appeal!

Tony Van Helsing said...

P: Short and sweet, I like it.

Vapid: That's what I'm afraid of. If everyone unfollows me I cease to exist.

Samantha: She'll probably dress in the grungy camo gear from Return of the Jedi.

Amy: That hairdo never really caught on, did it?

JM Tohline said...

Did the original post go like this:

"7 billion people; that's 6,999,999,999 too many. I rule."

I would have applauded that.

Susan Fields said...

I haven't watched the Star Wars movies in a while, but they sure were fun way back when!

Craziness abounds said...

Your killing me smalls! Write something new for me to read. Deep sigh. Your comment yesterday had me rolling.. To answer your question... Yes I did bite him. Did you miss that he was antagonizing me ALL day? lol A good bite keeps things spicy sometimes.

MRanthrope said...

I agree, even as a child I thought Star Wars: A New Hope was pretty eh. Empire Strikes Back was where it's at though! That movie still rules even as I watch as an adult.

Padded Cell Princess said...

Ugh, the newer Star Wars just created an emo Vadar and an excuse to be racist to annoying aliens.

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