Monday, January 16, 2012

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope – The Musings of the Modern Yoot.

With the advent of the 3D re-release of The Phantom Menace looming in the near future, I have taken the opportunity to assist a bunch of lads ranging in age from 13 to 17 who have never seen any of the films in taking their first steps into a larger world.

And for world read galaxy; one that is far, far away.

This is not going to be a blog about the merit of re-releasing the films in 3D, nor is it taking a stance on the OT/PT debate, I am merely going to recount some (not all) of the comments made during and after the film by these ‘saga-newbies’.

I’ve decided to show them the films in ‘flashback’ order so that we don’t have to wait 5 or 6 years to watch the whole lot in 3D – so the order is IV, V, I, II, III, VI – this makes a lot of sense and preserves some of the more exciting reveals (although this is a moot point. Read on…)

Special Edition on DVD.
The film starts: Their eyes glaze over, so I read the crawl for them. “Was it called this when you saw it?” Me: “No. It was just Star Wars.”

The Star Destroyer reveal: Genuine shock and awe from the kids. This never gets old.

Stormtrooper attack: “Are those the bad guys?” “Darth Vader’s going to come in in a minute.” “Stormtroopers are pretty cool.”

3PO and R2 avoid the lasers: “How did they not get shot?” “This is dumb.”

R2 in the canyon: (At Jawas) “Who is that guy?” “Oh, there are more of them.” “They’re pretty scary.” “What do they look like?”

Droid sale: (At 3PO) “He’s pretty dumb.” “Why didn’t they buy R2?”

Twin Sun shot: “Two suns. That’s pretty cool.”

In Luke’s workshop: “Hey, that’s what your one says.” (I have a large R2 D2 that plays Leia’s message upon command).

Tusken attack: “Those guys are freaky.” Genuinely alarmed during attack scene.

Obi-Wan reveal: The kids were actually surprised at Ben’s revelation.

In Ben’s hut: “Lightsabers are pretty cool.”

Entering Mos Eisley: “They’re going to find Han Solo.” Laughter during the ‘spec-ed.’ addition of the droid who hits the little one and the jawas on the ronto. “What’s that (ronto) called?” (I tell them.) “How do you know that?” How indeed…

Cantina scene: Shock and delight at Ben’s arm slicing. “He’s cool!” Laughter “Look, no-one cares.” “17,000? That’s a lot!” (Despite not knowing what currency they were talking about.)

Shoot-out in docking bay: (At Stormtroopers) “They are useless!”

Remote training: “Why is his lightsaber green?”

Onboard the Death Star: General excitement during the rescue. Laughter at mouse-droid.

As Ben deactivates the tractor beam: “They’re going to fight here.” “I hope he doesn’t die.” For the most part, the kids were fairly quiet during this portion of the film.

Trash compactor: “Where did Luke go? That water isn’t deep; it only comes up to their knees! Is he lying down?”

Han chases the troopers: “This is dumb. There’s 10 of them and only one of him.” Lots of laughter at the “Close the blast doors! Open the blast doors, open the blast doors!” scene.

The shaft shoot-out: “Stormtroopers are useless.” I explain how they’re not clones anymore but sub-standard recruits. The kids shrug this off as the desperate excuse that it is.

`Ben and Vader duel: “Vader is Luke’s dad.” (So much for that surprise). I explained how they were old men, so their saber skills were different, a bit slower etc etc. “It’s still cool!” “Where did he go?” I tried to explain that Ben had merged with the Force. “So he can’t come back in another body? That sucks.” 

TIE Fighter battle: (as Han blows up the last fighter) “That was a massive explosion. What was on that ship?”

On the 4th moon of Yavin: “This looks like Earth.”

In the hanger: “Why are their ships so bad?” “Why can’t Luke have a better ship?” “(When Han says ‘May the Force be with you.’) You can see he doesn’t mean it. He doesn’t believe in it.”

The Death Star attack: “They’re all going to die.” “(As Wedge leaves) He’s going to get shot.” “Where is Vader going? The Death Star is gone.” “Is Ben in Luke’s head?”

The medal ceremony: “This is the end?”

Post-viewing comments: “That was pretty cool.” “You can tell it’s an old film.” “If they remade it now with better effects it would be awesome.” “In the next one, Darth Vader will tell Luke he is his dad.” Thanks, kid.

Next time - The Empire Strikes Back.