Up until very recently I was part of a rare minority of millennials who had never seen the original Star Wars. With the final three of the nonology coming to theatres this week, I decided to hunker down and watch the original three. I’ll get to the prequels when I have time, but according to most fan’s standards,they don’t really count anyway.
What follows are 12 things I learned from watching Star Wars for the first time as an adult. Spoiler alert, if you’ve never seen Star Wars either, this blog will ruin it all.
1. . My Reading Comprehension Is Too Low To Follow The Writing In The Beginning
Guys, it’s all there, and yet, at the begining of every film I found myself going, “but who is that?” “why are they here?” “why is everything white on this planet,” and “what happened to Han Solo?” Maybe it’s the pace of the scroll, but I retained exactly zilch with the exception of “in a galaxy far, far away.”
2. . I Already Knew Pretty Much Everything That Was Going To Happen
Luke, I am your father…there is no try…I love you, I know… so much of Star Wars is engrained within our culture that I was rarely taken off guard by any of the movies’ twists and turns. There was no mis-direct when we landed on Yoda’s planet and met a funny little elf man where a Jedi master should be. I knew Jabba the Hut was going to be gross. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed the ride. I mean, we all knew The Titanic was going to sink, and that film still broke records. I chalk it up as a compliment to Lucas’s storytelling that the films did not lose their sense of suspense even though I knew exactly what was going to happen.
3. . Racism Is Real
One of the only things I didn’t see coming was the character of Lando Calrozian. Before watching the films, I had never seen him on a shirt, as a Halloween costume, on anywhere on a ride at Disneyland. Yet, he saved our heroes more than once and played a fairly integral role in two of the three films. I don’t want to say it’s because society’s racist, but if it isn’t, than all of my friends definitely are because I knew more about the Ewoks than I did about Lando.
4. . Sticks And Stones May Break Our Bones But Profanity Isn’t The Only Way To Curse
Scruffy Lookin Nerf herder, scoundrel, mop head, stupid lump, goodness gracious me! These are only a few of the gems used throughout the film. Sure, sometimes you need a good olf f-you, but not all the time. Listening to the characters insult one another brought me an endless amount of joy because they weren’t limited to the confines of four letter words. Sure, it was a little bit kitch, and I bet they would have sworn more if the censors were down, but I wouldn’t mind seeing a little more creativity in the writers room in modern action flics no matter what the era. Profanity is the poverty of expression, after all.
5. . The Design For 'Darkwing Duck' Is Blatantly Based On The Destroyer
I have zero basis for this assumption, but, come on! Look at this! Just one of the many cultural landmarks that I suspect is secretly inspired by Star Wars.
6. . The Hair Designer In Charge Of Princess Leia Was Like, “But What Else Can I Do With Braids!”
Braids, braids, braids! I knew about the buns, but I didn’t know that all of Leia’s look book was Rapunzel/Renaissance Fair-inspired. I dig it, though. I read on the internet that George Lucas had initially toyed with the idea of making Luke Skywalker’s character a woman. Though neither perfect in its racial politics nor in its feminism, I applaud Star Wars for being fashion forward enough to have a female lead was more than just a love interest, which is more than most current action movies can say. Here's hoping for the female Jedi in the new trailers.
7. . C3P0 is my spirit animal
Here’s a guy who speaks six million languages, and the number one is sass. This guy is a regular comeback a minute! He gets physically destroyed and put back together, like, a billion times, and yet somehow is able to keep his snark throughout. Killin it, C3PO. Just killin it. Shantay, you stay, girl.
8. . My Dog Doesn’t Like The Voice Of Jabba The Hut
She barked whenever he spoke.
9. . The Crappy Puppets > CG
I know I’m not the first to say it, but I much preferred the puppets to any computer effects, not because they looked “real,” in fact, they often looked pretty much like busted muppets. I prefer the puppets because I think it forced the writers to rely on on story, not the shock and awe factor of what they could create inside a computer. You can create a tidal wave the size of a city skyline, but if you can’t put a couple of characters in the city that I care about, it doesn’t phase me to watch it crash.
10. . In Life, It Is Better Never To Know The Odds
When Han Solo is navigating through the asteroid field, C3PO says, “the odds of survival are exactly…” and then Solo shuts him up. Great move, Han! It is easier to act with confidence when you don’t know how stacked the odds are against you, which pays itself forward by increasing the odds in your favor. Also, did I just make a Hunger Games reference without even trying?
11. . I Am Jealous Of An Era In Which Actors Were Allowed To Have Pores
Was I the only one who watched this movie and reconsidered my desire for a chemical peel? Everyone looked fabulous, and they also looked human. Totes jelly of those days of yore.
12. . I Probably Won't See The Prequels
In conclusion: If I may offer one hope, it is that the new Star Wars movie tells an interesting story, not just one of twists and turns. I am fine with sparse dialogue as long as it is strong as it is sparse. The Star Wars saga is a pretty cool cultural landmark, and though I no longer have the party trick of being the only person in the room who can say she hasn’t seen Star Wars, I do have the street cred of one who can sincerely say, “I haven’t seen the prequels.”