Now, at this point, I’ve more or less eschewed the notion of May the 4th, or Revenge of the 5th/6th (whichever pun is better), and decided that May is Star Wars Month. George Lucas was born in May, and all of his Star Wars films (including Empire and Jedi) came out in May. That being said, when the Star Wars Prequel AppreciationSociety dubbed this Friday “Prequel Appreciation Day” (traditionally May 19th, the release date of Phantom and Sith, but moved a day over so people can celebrate on a Friday) and called out to friendly bloggers to share the love by posting their Top Ten favorite things about the films, well I felt inspired to write about Star Wars for the first time in many months. Now it goes without saying, I will be repeating myself here, and these are going to be mostly subjective to my experience. But as I said in my previous post those many weeks back, we need positivity now more than ever.
Like any self-respecting list-maker, I’m going to be counting down from ten:
10. I keep noticing new things every time I see them
|"Like that guy in the back there."|
There’s so much going on in nearly every frame of Episodes I-III that even today I find new things I never noticed in nearly each viewing. It keeps it new and exciting for me. The Galaxy Far, Far Away really came alive to me through these films.
9. The Political Commentary
|"I hate election years."|
As I get older and learn just how needlessly complicated and self-serving politics can often be, I appreciate more just what these movies say about how easy it is for governmental systems can rot from the inside when checks and balances either don’t work correctly or are nonexistent. One of the more chilling and relevant lines in the films is Padmé’s exasperated “So this is how liberty dies: with thunderous applause.”
8. Curved-Hilt Lightsabers
|"Now THIS is Podracing!"|
Not only does it feature one of the few Star Wars vehicles I actually care about (and my favorite at that), but it shares a distinction with Quidditch and Calvinball as one of the only sports I would ever be interested in. Unless you count Heroes of the Storm as a sport, which I don’t no matter how many time you call it “ESports”.
6. The Music
No picture here. Just listen to it. John Williams at his finest.
5. Great Casting
|"I wish he was...still alive."|
Qui-Gon to Watto, Dooku to Bail, Grievous to Padmé, Anakin to Palpatine, the actors all did a fantastic job bringing these characters to life and making them memorable (whether people will admit that or not).
4. The Production Design
|"Speaking of Elegant..."|
Now I feel this applies mostly to Phantom, which is without a doubt the most beautiful movie I’ve ever seen in my life. But even with the other two, the set/costume/creature/effects/sound designs were some of the most unique and wondrous in cinema, and one thing many newer films sorely lack. Speaking of which…
Coolest. Alien. Design. EVER.
2. Anakin’s Journey
|"I believe that you have made a critical error in your assessment of the level of my overall energy, strength, and potential, in that you have come to the conclusion that it is far less than it's actual value."|
I am almost ashamed to admit it now, but I was just as confused as many people by the story George Lucas was telling with Anakin when I first saw the films. But when it clicked for me, it clicked hard. It is one of the best and most complete character arcs I’ve ever seen in a fictional work. And what makes it so tragic is that, even with Anakin’s mistakes and the mistakes and machinations of everyone else around him - if just one thing had gone any differently at any point until Anakin walked in on Mace and Palpatine, things would have turned out far differently and far better for everyone.
And the Number One Thing I Love Most about Episodes I-III is…
1. This Guy
|"The shocked gasps are deafening."|
You know why.