A newcomer’s look at Star Wars: “It felt slow and meandering”

James King , A&E Writer

I like Star Wars, But I didn’t like Star Wars. Let me start out by saying that I like Star Wars as a franchise. I enjoyed the Clone Wars Movie and TV show, I enjoyed the amazing mini-series by Genndy Taratokosky of Samurai Jack and Hotel Transylvania fame. I just had never seen the original Star wars movie. In fact I haven’t seen most of the Star Wars movies.

I know that in and of itself is a feat, one that I had wanted to correct for a long time. After buying the Blu-ray collection I finally set out to fix the gap in my cultural knowledge. My thoughts after finally sitting down and watch the movie classic Star Wars episode IV: A New Hope? I liked it. It was okay, I wasn’t blown away by it. Good, but not great. I was honestly kind of shocked.

Star Wars is considered one of the greatest movies ever made by many. While I did enjoy what I saw, it felt slow and meandering. It felt weirdly paced. I know some of this isn’t the movie’s fault as many scenes have been added on to it, but taking the movie as I have seen it didn’t feel like the added scenes did anything to enhance the experience. Even many of the characters felt overly generic. The only place where the movie shined for me was in the design and in the dialogue.

I liked how Star Wars never explained the world it was set in. Many modern movies will make entire sections of their movies dedicated to explaining how the world or its mythology works, Star Wars doesn’t. Sure there’s the vague explanation of the Force, but the rest of the world feels lived in and real. The dialogue feels real too. Han Solo feels like a legitimate jerk, and Leia, while needing to be rescued, never feels like a damsel in distress.

The design of everything really sells the world as something real and lived in. Every alien feels unique like the evolved in some far off planet. Spaceships range from barely held together rust buckets to crisp, new behemoths of technology. That isn’t to say all of the special effects and design were great, the version I watched had some poorly implemented CGI. A lot the characters couldn’t really match the graining feel of the footage, and it dragged down much of the CGI.  Though there was something that surprised me about the movie and that’s how many scenes no one seems to talk about or pass over.

I felt that I had picked up the general story of Star Wars because It has been integrated into, parodied, and talked about at length so many times, to the point that it’s a movie that is impossible to avoid being spoiled on. We all know the story of the farm boy, who yearns for adventure in space and then gets dragged into fighting the evil empire and he triumphs because they never expected him to win the day. Though what NO one talks about is the little scenes that set the stage for the movie, Luke talking his future with his uncle, buying the droids, the little droid graveyard the Jawas have in their vehicle. Characters doing the kind of mundane things that you never see a character doing in modern movies. Most parodies or abridged versions I’ve ever seen I’ve jumped straight to the action where the movie starts to gain momentum. The first third of the movie is almost completely skipped. I know they may not be the most interesting, but I do feel they help set the world up and the characters in an organic way.

I liked the movie, but I didn’t love it. I feel if I had a history with it, or if I watched it at the right time in my life I would have had a deeper connection with this movie. I also feel that the movie was hyped up so much for me that, it may have never lived up to the lofty praise it has received. It’s a franchise I do enjoy or at least the parts I’ve seen of it, but the movie that I watched, that started it all, felt a little boring at parts and felt like it got by on the strength of its characters alone. I look forward to watching the rest of the movies, but this one didn’t hook me. 

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