Discussion in 'Star Wars Community' started by Son of the Suns, Jan 25, 2001.
Thanks for upping this, or else I would have never seen it. I'd write about what SW means to me, but I'm holding back the tears just long enough to write this.
Holy cow, this is one heck of a thread, it's a shame how I kept missing it. Hell, I'm glad I found it just the same.
Anyway, I've never really paid a whole lot of attention to SW until I was in the 7th grade (which was over 6 years ago). Up until that point, I thought of it as a "spacey, hi-tech adventure" type of series.
I saw my friends read EU, and I thought that it would be cool to get into SW, so I sat down for the first time to watch ANH. I was mystified, it wasn't just a space battle, it was an adventurous epic and after ANH, I knew I had to watch ESB and ROTJ.
After watching those films, I knew I was hooked for life. I started reading EU, and I pretty much threw out everything that interested me and replaced that vacancy with Star Wars.
To this day, I'm a big-time SW fan. TPM was the first SW movie I saw in the theatre, and although it took me a while, I came to treasure it equally as much as the classic trilogy. I don't have much SW memorabilia, but I have it where it counts - SW is a big part of my heart and soul, just like any of you guys.
As far as trying to relate to SW characters, I can't associate myself with other characters as well as some of the others that posted earlier.
For real life, I suppose I'd be a cross between Han Solo, (pre-Jedi) Luke Skywalker, and Jar Jar Binks. I'm a fairly adventuruous, rugged kind of person, but I also spend a lot of time pondering my future, trying to "get off this rock" and have a better life than what I have now, and of course, I can be kind of clumsy yet funny at times (although Jar Jar does put me to shame in those categories!)
For this place, I'd be like Lando Calrissian. I started out to be an ok guy, but before long I started acting like a dork and got myself into trouble, and a while later I made amends, and although I have an occasional hissy-fit, it's been pretty much a smooth sail for the past two-plus years.
I can really relate to that first message in this thread. I was all worried and bothered with pre-conceived notions when TPM came out, but when the logo and music started it all melted away.
To me Star Wars is a lot about my childhood. The movies and toys came out when I was young, so it really shaped who I became.
Fondest memory is one christmas when I was 9 or so. My parents had done very well finacially that year. I came down Christas morning and the floor was littered with Star Wars toys. Action figures hanging off the tree, Falcon all set up...I was overwhelmed!
Wow, thinking of this...I wish I wasn't too old to play with toys...
The TPM DVD has, like the soundtrack and the film itself did before, reenergized my love for Star Wars. Thus, I feel that I must bring this up once more.
...and up you go!
Whoa. A most impressive thread, this is. My admiration goes out to Yoda & kudos to Son of the Suns, as well.
I agree what a lot of others have already written, & in order to avoid redundancy, I think it would suffice for me to say this much:
Star Wars is, at least, a wonderful story. Simple to understand, yet laden with complex characters & motivations (and deep, philosphical quandries for those who wish to recognize and explore them). At most, it is a vast work infused with allegories, allusions, ideas that one may associate with and understand in relation to other ideas & situations in his own life. As Emerson so eloquently articulated, "one must be an inventor to read [or, in this case, watch films] well.... when the mind is braced by labor and invention, the page of whatever book we read becomes luminous with manifold allusion."
Another reason that may be attributed to my affinity for Star Wars is the fact that the villains--or Vader, at least--are not simplified. They are not merely plot devices, designed to catapult the hero to some sort of contrived victory over evil. You dig? Shades of gray exist! The Star Wars films were some of the first I saw to address villains in this fashion, & as such they mean that much more to me. (You know the Mexico song by The Refreshments...? "The good guys and the bad guys/ they never work past noon around here/ they sit side by side in the catinas, talk to senoritas and drink more beer")
Eve now, I can still put Star Wars on the video/DVD, watch Luke and Vader duking it out in Cloud City, Vader's soul searching as he looks between Palpy and Vader, Luke gazing at the twin suns on Tatooine, the Star Destroyer chasing Leia's ship, or the nail biting tension of the Trench Run, and still derive immense enjoyment for them.
Given the choice, I would sooner save one old worn copy of the trilogy than all the EU books ever published. There's a magic to the films in their simplicity and beauty that no book can ever come close to recreating.
I love reading repost threads like this. Wow, I wish I had seen it earlier on...
What does SW mean to me?
Going back to the child I was and somewhat still am...
Star Wars was always, to me, much more than just good vs. evil. It was the underdog rising from nothingness to a great destiny. It was Bilbo Baggins, it was Elvis Presly. It was a very personal thing for me. Growing up in a small town where no one dreamed of seeing the stars or of being one, the concept of Luke leaving Tatooine to become a galactic hero was very appealing. SW was something I shared with my friends and something we knew inside out while the rest of the world was memorizing football statistics. It was about the believer and the cynic, it was about love and war, good and evil, all the best aspects of storytelling over the ages. Star Wars was the one thing that survived my teenage years and re-emerged full force in adulthood.
While the EU and TPM somewhat cheapened my view of the SW franchise, it never scathed my view of the OT in the slightest. SW was and is still a wonderful experience. It was and is so much more than a movie (I know....it's 4 movies...hardy har har).
As for TPM...in many senses it is, regardless of midichlorians and immaculate conceptions, faithful to the meaning of SW. It is again about the underdog rising from nowhere..even more so, as Anakin's social status is even less than Luke's. And though GL seems to have turned down the maturity level somewhat, the new movies have the potential to add something the OT lacked somewhat...the path to evil and a lesson on how to avoid it.
Relating to the initial post: I was majorly spoiled before seeing TPM. I read almost all of the novelization by Terry Brooks. In fact, I was still reading it and was on the final battle when I set the book down and went to the theater. Oddly enogh, I believe I appreciated the movie that much more since I had a better insight into what the characters were thinking and feeling. Especially what was running through Anakin's head when Quigon died. (that was still a surprise to me. hadn't read that far.)
After that, I went back and read the OT, then watched the movies another few times. Again, there was a whole new level of appreciation. The emotional insight I glean from the books is just one of the aspects of the whole SW universe that I love. The whole human factor.
Another would be all of the cultural parallels that can be drawn about the GFFA and our own; literal and symbolic. My favorite is comparing the idea of "the force" to technology in our world. They can be used for good and the bettermant of mankind. They can also be used to gain power and control over others and ultimately lead to destruction. It all depends on whose hands do the wielding. Of course there are the direct relations. Imperial uniforms closely resembling WWII era Nazi uniforms, politics becoming circuitous and self-serving, good vs. evil, etc. etc. etc...
I truly enjoy watching all of the movies. They are great entertainment. I really never appreciated the true artistry of Star Wars until I started reading SW books, though. Now the movies just mean that much more to me. Say what you will about the special effects and CGI being overbearing. The movies are simply fun to watch. I've lost count of how many times I've seen them, but they never get old.
Repost from another thread: (This is what I feel I missed about the point of TPM, and why I now like it that much more:
The innocence. True, when it first came out I didn't appreciate this, and said that TPM didn't quite feel like SW... but the replacement of Yarael Poof on the Jedi Council (he may be dead ) made me realize just what George was going for in TPM. Innocence. Everything is pretty much black and white - Jedi vs. hideous Sith Lord, etc...
(True, Palps is manipulating things behind the scenes, but... that deosn't count, as the characters don't know it.)
That's why everything in the movie is so 'happy'.
It may also be why I may not like AotC as much, even though it will probably have more of the 'SW' feel.
Lucas was trying to show us a pristine universe, one that was not yet torn by war of any sort, as in AotC. Everything was the same (or progressing in the same way) as it had been for centuries, until the Neimoidians took over Naboo.
a very deserving, up
Harry Knowles still hasn't read my e-mail
Thanks for reposting this SOTS. Amazing it has survived. Perhaps we will be saying that about SW itself in thirty or so years.
What is more amazing is that the people who come here all share from this experience. Whether they like the prequels or not, I think they can still all agree that it is Star Wars. It may not be the SW they wanted to see, but it is still SW.
It is the same galaxy. It is the same emotions. It is the same characters that we identify with.
It is the same myth that was gifted to us. It remains one of the greatest works of the modern age. History will prove that not to be an overstatement.
Hopefully the repost in the TPM forum will spark some more interest in reading the full extent of this old thread.
Uppers for those who would enjoy this old piece of JC History.
wow YTAP makes an appearance, good to finally see you....this is quite possibly the best thread in the history of the Jedi Council, and i do not say that lightly
Well, every other post may be by me, but so what? I shall keep this thread alive as long as I continue to post here.
Wow, this thread is like, old or something.
Good observation. It's the special effects.
There is no better time for this thread to be around than now. Up!
It needs to stay up. Otherwise we will lose it all.
Even though I had kept track of YTAP's original, and SOTS' subsequent revival thread, I honestly still had a hard time stepping back from TPM to post in this thread. And this thread ultimately is very reassuring to read as a Star Wars fan, which further frightens me when I attempt to explain why I feel different about the OT and PT.
I don't consider myself a basher, but there I do feel a serious amount of disappointment from TPM (and to a lesser degree, the PT). When I think of why I have loved Star Wars so much from childhood, I think it ultimately comes down to three things, the music, the universe, and The Force. John Williams' music remains glorious, and I am grateful for the PT scores. A lot of others have written eloquently on how the SW world is one where out imagination can just step inside, and I completely agree.
But what did The Force mean to me? I think it meant the idea of personal transcendence, to reach within and beyond (at the same time) oneself to do amazing things. The emphasis is not on amazing things; rather, it's the attempt that becomes the essence. As a child, this is what makes me in awe of the series, that yes, we can actually do great things if we try. It's reaffirming, individually and communally.
If I don't respond as strongly to the PT as the OT, it's partially because I don't sense the difficulty in reaching out to the Force. The Force in the PT is more common place. Following the [will of] Force becomes more important that reaching out to it. The difference is Luke gathering all his concentration to pull his lightsaber out of the ice and Qui Gon simply force pushing droids away. This is not be the fault of Lucas and co., but my personal engagement to the first is much stronger.
Reading what I just wrote makes me sound sour again, but I don't mean it to be. As I wrote above, the music and world of Star Wars still enthralls me. But perhaps the Force was the thematic idea that really resonated with me, and I wish the PT had more of that.