By Sanders Fabares
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday Feb. 25, 2002
I want to look forward to "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones" I really do. George Lucas is making it pretty hard, though.
As a child of the early '80s, my boyhood was consumed by such captivating entities as He-Man, G.I. Joe, Transformers, Legos and Nintendo. All of these interests, however, fell under the shadow of "Star Wars," the biggest fascination of all. I had everything "Star Wars," from the bed sheets to the coffee mugs, to, of course, the figures. I had 113 figures, not counting the unopened ones. I was an 8-year-old junkie.
Now enter the next generation of "Star Wars" - the digital generation, where stupid, bumbling creatures called gungans speak in Jamaican dialects and teen models are the movies' main characters.
Photo courtesy of starwars.com
After I saw "Episode I: The Phantom Menace," I liked it. Upon reflection, I know that I was obviously in a state of denial. Now that I have the DVD, I can't watch it all the way through. The dialogue is just so incredibly bad. The story is lame. The aliens are ridiculous.
I think one of the biggest reasons that the old movies succeeded was their characters. I hear it all the time - Mark Hamill was good-looking, but not exactly a teen idol. Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams - they were all great actors who made viewers sympathize with their characters.
Now, if there is a decent actor in the series, he or she just serves to make the other performances look worse.
I accepted that George Lucas had a moment of weakness in making Episode I, and so I forgave him. Then I saw the preview for Episode II. No longer, George, no longer. Never has a preview repulsed me so much. With lines like, "Annie, look how you've grown up," I almost started laughing. Not one person in the theater clapped like they did after the "Spiderman" preview.
Picking up a copy of this month's Vanity Fair, I see Hayden Christianson and Natalie Portman gracing the cover. They are sitting in a field of grass, looking very loving. I tried to quiet the inner screams. What was George Lucas doing? Any director who would consider putting 'NSync into his or her movie needs to be dethroned. He's totally off his rocker.
It seems that in the prequel trilogy, Lucas is trying to give us all the answers to our questions, like: Where were C3P0 and R2-D2 60 years before?
Was Obi Wan a stud? What was Darth Vader like as a boy? Who is Boba-Fett?
Who was Luke's mother? What is the force (the biggest mistake of them all)?
Why do we need these questions answered, Mr. Lucas? It was good not knowing. It let us use something called an imagination. I liked not knowing.
Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there used to be some mysticism, some depth. Now, it has about the depth and feel of a "Power Rangers" episode. There is nothing, besides a remake of "E.T.," that could make me feel so violated, ruining something I once held dear.
One can only wonder in what other ways Lucas will defile his franchise. The rumors abound. Chewbacca might make an appearance! We might see another pod-race! Anakin and the Queen get lovey-dovey! Boba-Fett's daddy, Jengo Fett, is an accessorized Batman rip-off.
I'll still be there on May 16, in the theater, but I may bring a box of Kleenex. There's nothing quite as sad as seeing a good horse being beaten to death.