Thursday, June 01, 2006

Star Wars - Part 6 of 6 (Yippee!!)

Well for the first time since the 1st of the Star Wars movies came way back on Memorial Day Weekend 1977. I am finally all caught up!

This past weekend I plopped down on the couch, put on my Yoda watch, and tossed in the Return of the Jedi DVD. After giving out 4 bladders to Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back and liking the 2nd and 3rd movies from the first part of the trilogy (but not the first) I was eager to see how this was all going to end... considering I had started watching these epics back in November when I started this blog, and had already written 5 columns about movies I had never cared to see in the pre-blog days.

Return of the Jedi was released Memorial Day Weekend 1983... after having been filmed in the Fall of 1982. Ah.. the fall of 1982... if only Coach had put me in... we woulda been State Champs!.... Oh excuse me.. I just mind melded with Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite!

Return of the Jedi picks up where the Empire Strikes Back left off. Our pals, Luke, Leia, Chewie, r2 and c3 launch a rescue mission to extricate Han Solo from the clutches of Jabba the Hutt. Jabba.. who very much resembles a blind date I was set up on back in my single days.. had frozen Han solid in some carbonite... and it is time for his friends to rescue him! Princess Leia sneaks in to his fort disguised as a bounty hunter, but after de-freezing Han.. gets captured herself.

Ol' Jabba had other ideas however.. instead of freezing her solid... he forces her to strip down to a skimpy bikini and chains her to him. Not only does the movie have a sado-masochistic sub-text, but George Lucas was keenly aware that the little sci-fi fans who padded his pockets with millions of dollars in 1977 were now a bit older in '83 and were very interested in seeing some skin in their flicks. And boy does George deliver! Once this movie came out…the teenage boys ripped down their posters of Farrah Fawcett Majors and Cheryl Tiegs, and gallons of drool came from their braces-filled mouths as they spent a good half hour watching Leia chained to Jabba.. Ultimately, she turns the tables on him and wraps the chains around HIS neck.... giving the young teenage sci-fi fans something to act out once they hit their 20s and started going to Hellfire and other S and M clubs...

Incidentally, with all of these battles going on... none of the media in the Star Wars era felt it necessary to embed reporters on the warfront. Of course not.. it would have been too dangerous with asteroids zipping by, or armed clones shooting at you from every direction! Yet as I watched this on Memorial Day weekend, there was never ending coverage about the injuries sustained by Kimberly Dozier, and the deaths of her cameraman and soundman... and it makes you wonder why they just don't learn that we don’t need to embed the journalists on the warfront! Helloooo its too freakin dangerous out there! Didn’t they learn their lesson from Bob Woodruff? Four months after his injury, he is virtually out of the picture at ABC News as he recovers from injuries that are so severe he isn’t even well enough to record a podcast from his house!

Anyway... the theme of the final movie in this 6-pack is taking care of the the last piece of unfinished business.. Can the Emperor Palpatine convince Luke to join the Dark Side? Or will Luke resist the temptation and remain a Jedi? Ian McDiarmid’s acting in this movie is not quite as good as Star Wars III where he stole the movie in a remarkable performance. Keep in mind in Star Wars III,, he was playing the same character even though he was more than 20 years older but he was playing the same person… 20+ years younger!

Luke is the lone Jedi capable of toppling the evil empire. He lovingly refers to Darth as "Father" and flashes him those innocent little sweet puppy dog eyes as if he just spilled fruit punch on a white tablecloth and doesn’t want to get yelled at. Does he treat his father lovingly for any other reason besides the fact that playing nice with Darth will help bring down the Dark Side? Who would be nice to a father who tried to kill him? Would Joel Steinberg's adopted son who he beat so mercilessly be nice to him if he happened to run into him on the street? I would hope the son carries mace and a baseball bat just in case he happens to run into Steinberg so he can give Joel the can of whoop-ass he has had coming to him since the late 1980s.

But the battle for Luke to put aside his animosity towards Darth while being egged on by The Emperor becomes the focal point of this movie. The Emperor stands on the sidelines rooting on the Darth-Luke battle reminded me of Rowdy Roddy Piper and Mean Gene Okerlund egging on wrestling adversaries in the early 80s.

The film is filled with one adventure after another leading up to the ultimate battle. After the daring rescue and escape from Jabba the Hutt… our heroes continue on to meet up with the cute little Ewoks. The Ewoks communicate with each other by blowing shofars! I was half expecting them to deliver a Yom Kippur appeal and sell me some Israel bonds! While the gang lands at Ewok-land… Luke gets sidetracked bidding farewell to Yoda.. one of two major characters whose death totally surprised me… (The other was Darth Vader… I had no idea!!)

After the demise of Yoda.. Luke meets up with his pals at Endor… where at one point, Han professes his love to Leia.. who sharply replies “I Know”… exactly as Solo said to her when she told him she loved him in The Empire Strikes Back…

Simultaneously. an incredible Space attack gets underway.. Led by Lando Calrissian and some characters that look like goldfish. The pilots are divided up into teams based on color.. I wonder if they argued about their colors like the characters did in Reservoir Dogs. Its time once again for another 24esque 3 wars at once… this time a ground war with the Ewoks using their primitive weapons, a much more advanced brilliantly shot space war, and the war to end all wars.. The battle to convert Luke to move to the Dark Side… which ultimately will mean the end of either The Jedi or The Bad Guys!

By the way I noticed some Star Wars themes that were stolen by Lost… The scene where “The Others” appear from out of nowhere in the woods when Jack goes to confront them is right from Ewok-land,… the traps in the forest where they end up in a net in a tree.. And ultimately “the signal” our pals give each other when they look like they are in danger only to bail themselves out. Hmmm… didn’t Jack give Kate such a look in the season finale?

So what did I think?. Well I’m happy I’m done watching these movies!… I liked this film for the most part. But I didn’t like that they edited in Hayden Christensen in the finale where Luke sees the Ghosts of Jedi Past.… It immediately caught my attention, and I knew it had obviously been changed from the original…. (Hayden who has a fine planetarium was just a little pisher when this movie was made in the Fall of ‘82 while Uncle Rico was warming the bench). He just didn’t belong there.. and who got to break the news to Sebastian Shaw's family that he would NOT be in the DVD version.... That took as much guts as the CBS guy who had to tell Bob Barker that Rikki Lake would host The Price is Right for Game Show Marathon!

As usual the early 80s special effects were years ahead of its time.. And the musical score was outstanding. It was not quite as good as Star Wars 4 and 5….so therefore on a scale of 1 to 4 bladders meaning how less likely you would be to leave in the middle to go to the bathroom… Return of the Jedi gets 3 bladders.

So now that the Star Wars movies are finally done.. What is next? Well this summer we are moving on to our next anthology… another group of movies I have never seen….. The Godfather trilogy!! And if you have any suggestions for future anthologies for this blog, please leave them in the comments section.


May the Pump be with you said...

I wonder if they argued about their colors like the characters did in Reservoir Dogs.

Interesting comparison, Nate.... especially considering how body parts are generously sliced off in that film, too! Anyway, call me when you have "The Godfather".... I want to try and imagine Marlon Brando cast in the role of Emperor Palpatine... "Lord Vader, may your first child be a masculine child, and may the cannolis be with you!"

mattanother@aol said...

Here is a comment posted by that has been edited by yours truly:

I know you bloggers like to run on your "stream of consciousness" but do you know the Ginsbergs? If you don't know the people and/or circumstances surrounding a family situation keep your mouth shut. At the end of the day what did your comments about the Ginsbergs accomplish or prove? Its pretty typical to see another liberal douche chime in with his two cents and offer nothing of value. So my question to you is what value do your comments have to anyone?

Nate said...

Uh who are Ginsburgs? Do you mean the Steinbergs? I betcha I know more about the Steinbergs and his ex wife than you do weisenheimer...

And by the way.. word out to the other bloggers.. I edited some of the other nastier comments in that posting, but this is the prime reason why you must screen the postings to keep the riff raff out!

How is a douche liberal? Does it lean to the left when being used?