First of all, a quick review of Episode III: meh.
Thumbs-up for the Frankenstein rip-off (erm, “homage”) and the sheer comic effect of the freshly-gimped Anakin shrieking, “I hate you!” (now that I think of it, Gimp-akin bears a striking resemblance to the gimp in Johnny Got His Gun (or Metallica's cosiderably shorter - and improved - MTV version, One)). Also, thumbs-up for the Wookies. But thumbs-down for everything else.
Having been raised a Bible-believer, I’m perhaps more prone to spotting (and justifying) narrative inconsistencies than the average viewer, but these six movies, the most recent three particularly, are saddled with some incredible whoppers (relax: I won’t enumerate – that’s what Google was created for). I know Lucas wearily protests he didn’t make these movies for anal-retentive nerds, but remove them from the scene and who’s left? Considering how lavishly they’ve rewarded Lucas, why didn’t he just hire one particularly vocal, articulate nerd to go over his first draft with a red marker? Should Lucas change his mind about this being the close of the Star Wars narrative, I nominate this guy.
Then there’s the universally acknowledged issue of leaden dialogue, which I’ll get to in a minute. I think a good idea might be to give the galaxy a 20-year vacation, then let some young up-and-comer re-tool and re-tell the entire epic – a Planet Of The Apes makeover, if you will, only this time making improvements.
Alright, moving on: if we push this light gloss of disappointment aside, we have to acknowledge that Lucas has provided the world with the best Lego kits ever.
The angles & curves of Star WarsLego
Lego being prohibitively expensive, this is one aspect where, had I been a less-responsible adult-type-person, I could have dropped some serious coin. As it is, my collection is a delightful dog’s breakfast. I’ve been given several of the “miniatures”, including an Ewok-stomping Imperial AT-ST which my daughters have affectionately dubbed “Mr. Pa-Ping”, after the noise its armament makes. I also bought the land-speeder when it first came out at an affordable $6. My sister recently gave me Jabba’s Palace for my birthday; my mother retrieved an Ewok kit from a bargain bin (perfect for Ewok-shredding fun!). My godson gave me the Luke/Vader/Emperor face-off. And the crown jewel in my collection is an X-Wing I scored with a conservative bid on eBay (a feat that couldn’t be repeated with the Millennium Falcon, alas).
I was never much for “mint condition” collecting when it actually counted for something (i.e., my childhood), so I’m not about to start. With the eager help of my daughters, I’ve assembled and disassembled (insert W. joke here) my entire collection several times. The girls are of course keen to play with the kits, and I let them. I find their stories not just delightful (I’m their father, after all), but strangely promising. Who knows? It could be my kids who save the Star Wars galaxy.
For proof, I present the following snippet of dialogue:
Princess Leia: Why, Mr. Pa-Ping – we haven’t seen you in such a long time! How are you?
Mr. Pa-Ping (in sonorous baritone, with faux British accent): Not well, I’m afraid. You see, I’ve lost a leg...
Be sure to mark your movie calendar 20 years from now.