Over the weekend, one of the upper tier cable channels (I'm thinking it was HBO, but I'm not sure) ran a Star Wars marathon that featured all six of the Star Wars movies in chronological order, from the annoying Jar-Jar Binks mistake to the improbable stone age Ewoks decimating an entire legion of the evil emporer's finest troops.
And of course, I had to watch, bleary eyed, at least twice. After all, I am of the Star Wars generation. I owned (and still own, somewhere) a few dozen of the original Star Wars action figures, including a couple of the snow fortresses from the Empire Strikes Back, and even the Ewok village, which is a little embarrassing to admit. So, I was required by little-known Star Wars law to sit through all six episodes, back to back.
And you know what? I have to say, I have some serious problems with the movies now that I've seen them all in order, tweaked as they've been by George Lucas's warped sense of the Force. First off, as pretty much any hardcore Star Wars fan will tell you: Greedo did NOT shoot first. If you don't know what that means, well, there's nothing I can do for you.
But all Lucas quibbling aside, there's something far more fundamental about the Star Wars series that's bothered me for years. Namely, I really think Anakin Skywalker got off far too easy in the end. Oh, sure, he died and got all frizzled by the emporer's finger lightning, but that's about it.
After a couple of decades gorging himself on the excesses of the Dark Side power as Darth Vader, Anakin's given an "awww, shucks, welcome to the glowy trio party! All's forgiven!" greeting by Obi-Wan and Yoda. All because he finely, FINELY decided to throw an elderly crippled man down a ventilation shaft. Hey, I could do that after work; there's plenty of elderly cripples walking around the Mayo Clinic to choose from. At least one of them must be evil. If I push one in front of a bus, do I get a "Get Into Heaven Free" card?
I mean, come ON! Isn't there, at least, some sort of Force purgatory? Shouldn't Anakin have had to work off a couple hundred years of pennance, you know, for slicing and dicing a temple full of younglings? Shouldn't he have had to sit in the corner for a few centuries to really think about that one before he could join the Glow Force Trio?
Or, you know what? Hey, didn't he just stand idly by while Grand Moff Tarkin ordered the blowing up of an entire freakin' planet? He just stood there and watched, clutching his daughter. He didn't even consider putting a little Force pressure on Tarkin's trachea.
Shouldn't there be some penalty for allowing "millions of voices to cry out in terror, and then be suddenly silenced," all for the sake of TESTING a battle station's firepower? I mean, that's some pretty hardcore apathy, even by our standards. Yet, Anakin's given a pass on that, all because he suddenly realized that, maybe, just maybe, that was wrong. "Oops, my bad! But, I killed a geezer, so all's forgiven, right?"
As an additional "you know what?," I feel I should point out that he also went and sliced off his own son's hand. Now, child abuse in our galaxy, right now, is pretty solidly frowned upon, so you'd think that long ago, in a galaxy far, far away that was far more technologically-advanced than our own, there would have been some sort of child services agency that had a ban on lopping off a child's hand. Granted, Luke was considerably older than a mere child, but if I went home over the weekend, and my dad came after me with an axe, intent on lopping off my hand, I'd have the cops over there putting on a serious beat down.
All of this just means I watched way, way, wayyyyyy too much Star Wars over the weekend.Posted by Ryan at November 16, 2006 12:33 AM | TrackBack