Tomorrow I'll be set up at the Iowa Comic Con at the State Fair Grounds in Des Moines-- come on by if you're in the area I'll be doing sketches for as little as $20 (they're little) all the way up to $60.
I don't remember how I heard about STAR WARS but I remember the lines that went around the block at White City Cinemas in Shrewsbury which was the ONLY place the movie was playing in the Summer of 1977-- and that didn't stop my friends and I from seeing it, a lot. I think I saw it something like 40 times. It just so happens it came out at a time where going to the movies became a thing my friends and I could do without our parents so we'd go often. We'd pay for the first showing and then sneak back in to see it again and again in the same day. We'd start at the first showing and we'd be there for several after and I remember vividly one time we hadn't arranged rides back and when we walked outside it was pitch black.
The image above is a program that they gave away or sold at those first showings-- and I can tell you for a fact that the original Star Wars was NOT called A New Hope in the credits-- it was just Star Wars, it wasn't Episode Four because George Lucas just barely got this thing made.
Even though I like EMPIRE STRIKES BACK slightly better this first film is really the best one because it stands alone and its before Lucas muddied the whole thing up by connecting all the characters in a ridiculous fashion. Darth Vader is much more threatening when we see him as a former student of Obi Wan Kenobi who hunted down and murdered all the other Jedi rather than a father who is mad at losing custody of his twins. The concept is better if Luke isn't Leia's brother-- that's just creepy and honestly it's kind of stupid.
Anyway, I loved that first movie, I collected as much Star Wars merchandise as I could and that was hard-- for Xmas '77 they didn't have any toys out yet-- instead they had a card from Kenner that you could set up with the promise of action figures to come. Amazing when you consider the merchandising today.
My favorite aunt got me this that year...
He was known as the KNIGHT OF DARKNESS and he was an interstellar Space Villain, or at least that's what the packaging said. He was Darth Vader as far as I was concerned and I thought he was the greatest thing ever.
Ironic that he was created on the body of a Captain Action which was a toy I also had a few years earlier.
When EMPIRE came out three years later I was a little bit older, now in my teens, and I thought it was great despite the guy in line behind me revealing that Luke was going to lose his hand in a light saber fight and telling us Darth Vader was Luke's dad-- we all thought he was just making it up so it really wasn't much of a spoiler.
Three years later the sequel to that came out and I was older still and I thought it was an absolute piece of crap. In this one, RETURN OF THE JEDI, Luke is revealed to be Leia's brother-- which caused me to roll my eyes but worst of all were the little monkey like Ewok's that were able to fight (and win) against Imperial Stormtroopers using just rocks and sticks.
Even more insulting, Darth Vader see's the light and decides to give up his evil ways because of his love for Luke-- think about that. Darth Vader in the two films prior to this is hell bent intent on destroying the Rebels, he's HUNTING DOWN what we now learn is his own daughter. He cut his son's hand off and now all of a sudden he's like "You know what? I think I'm a good guy now."
It was like my ten year old self, playing with the Knight of Darkness, was making this story up. It was garbage and the way it tied all the loose ends up in the storyline just made the whole thing seem contrived. The Empire has built ANOTHER Death Star and this time Lando Calrissian, the only black guy in space, is the one to swing in and save the day? Didn't we see this before?
When the first set of new movies came out and they were prequels I wasn't excited. Prequels are extremely hard to pull off because we already KNOW the fates of these characters. Things like BETTER CALL SAUL are the exception, Vince Gilligan is a good writer.
I sat through it, but I didn't like it. I was bored by the whole thing. I ended up renting the last movie in that trilogy so I could fast forward to Darth Vader's first appearance in the suit and it was embarrassingly bad. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Then came THE FORCE AWAKENS or whatever the one with Daisy was called. It was clear my ten year old self had struck again and written this one too.
Just way too many silly plot holes. Han Solo is a legend in the galaxy and Daisy's even heard the tales of the Millenium Falcon yet this famous ship sits in a junkyard on the other side of her house and she never knew it? Wouldn't it be roped off and Jabba the Hut Jr would be selling tickets to see it?
Daisy has lived her whole life in the dirt and yet when given the chance she's an expert pilot when she steals the Falcon. It belittles the skill Han Solo had if just anybody can fly it. Worse yet we spend the whole movie waiting for the return of Luke Skywalker only to find him standing on a cliff contemplating jumping off so he doesn't have to make more sequels and then the movie ends.
Now since that movie there have been other Star Wars movies, I don't know if there's been more than one-- it feels like there were-- and I've not seen them.
There's another one and this one has Luke in it but I'm out. I can only plunk down $30 to sit through drivel so many times before it starts to hurt.
So if you're excited to see it-- good for you. I wish I could overlook bad writing and plot holes and awful CGI creatures and effects and just enjoy it but I can't.
I'll rewatch the original ones instead, at least the first two.