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Saga Jar Jar Gets Laid (or "You've turned off your targeting computer.")

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by StampidHD280pro, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. StampidHD280pro

    StampidHD280pro Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 28, 2005
    This thread is about how American Graffiti relates to Star Wars, and how life imitates art.

    About a month ago, while contemplating alternate viewing methods of the Star Wars saga, it occurred to me that Dex's Diner felt quite out-of-place in the films. Indeed, it was unique in its referencing of an explicitly Earth-bound era, the era in which Lucas's second film, American Graffiti, takes place. In my mind, this meant that this piece of the visual/thematic tapestry of the Saga was incomplete without its larger counterpart. Without American Graffiti, Dex's Diner ws the miniature of... nothing. Whether I liked it or not, my THX-infused Star Wars viewing order was about to make room for another movie, and I was actually going to have to watch it this time.

    Now, I've been a Star Wars/Lucas fan for years, but the story of American Graffiti:
    A) Never seemed to get off the ground, even when I did attempt to watch it.
    B) Never appealed to a fairly non-social nerd-boy like me.

    Well, until this past month anyway. You see, American Graffiti is about the teenage mating ritual of "cruising" in the early 60's. I may be a 21st century city boy in my mid-20's who's never really driven a car, but the scenarios in the film are especially relevant to any young man looking for experience with girls. Watching the main characters go through many of the same motions and emotions I'd been going through was highly cathartic. I smiled ear to ear and felt tremendous love and good cheer for ALL of the characters. They were having the time of their lives, and so was I. Seeing the characters turn their anxieties and uncertainty into excitement and fun, I was moved by the Spirit, brothers and sisters, and I followed suit. Within less than two weeks I had my "first time" with a lady.

    The trick? It's in all the Star Wars films. But it's pretty explicit in American Graffiti when Terry "the Toad" attempts to pick up a girl on the sidewalk with a bunch of lines, desperate to start conversation. She completely ignores him. Forgetting his intentions, he yells out an observation that she takes as a compliment. "Did anyone ever tell you that you look just like Connie Stevens?" And she finally hears him.

    "Try not." That's the trick. "Let go your conscious self, and act on instinct." If you're a young guy, and you still haven't had any luck with women, as backwards as it sounds, do not attempt to make it happen. It WILL happen. Just be comfortable, be patient, "turn off your targeting computer", watch American Graffiti (hey, it couldn't hurt), and be yourself.

    Yeah, yeah. I know. "Be yourself." How original. Just like my old Prequel forum "everyone is beautiful and deserves to be loved" topic. It's so trite. But it's true. It's all true.

    There are other things I want to say, like how the character of Jar Jar Binks recalls Terry "the Toad", how young Anakin and Padme's relationship mirrors John and Carol's, how the innocence of the era depicted in American Graffiti matches perfectly with the pre-war Republic, or why the poorly-received sequel to American Graffiti is just as wrongly-judged as the Star Wars prequels. But I could go on and on, and I'm getting tired.

    My current Saga-viewing order goes:

    American Graffiti
    Prequel Trilogy
    THX 1138
    Original Trilogy
    More American Graffiti

    And you should try it too!

    Weclome back, TFN boards. And welcome back TO the TFN boards. And may the Force be with us all!
    obi-rob-kenobi4 likes this.
  2. obi-rob-kenobi4

    obi-rob-kenobi4 Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 17, 2007

    Excellent post! I couldn't agree more. Lucas's films are among the most human works of art ever put on the silver screen.

    I love American Graffiti as well and think it is just as special and meaningful as THX-1138 and anything else lucas has done. I finally got the blu-ray off amazion and I love the commentary. I remember when I was 12 years old (around the time AOTC was released) and I saw American Graffiti and fell in love with it. I was this 12 year old kid watching American Graffiti over and over, renting it from blockbuster all the time. Something about it just spoke to me, i think because it was so genuine and fun. It felt like it was me and my crazy friends messing with the police, ducking the farrows, and getting life changing wisdom from the mysterious wolfman jack late at night. You can almost SMELL the summer air when you watch that movie.

    And the drag race at the end....OMG. John Milner is one of the most underrated badasses in the history of film! He is right up there with Han Solo and Anakin Skywalker in my book. I love how Anakins speeder in AOTC is based on his car (as well as anakins podracer in TPM and his jedi starfighter in ROTS).

    Timeless, brilliant, classic film. <3

    I wish more Star Wars fans would try to realize the heart of SW is in Lucas's films and not just petty trivia and random EU material. I wish more SW fans would look to the films first and maybe they would/could start to realize all this.

    Stamped, this was an excellent post. You made me remember why this site is so important to me. It was a rough 5 months lets just say.