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First steps into a larger world

In response to To Make Star Wars Great Again Bring Back Black Markets and Oppressive Government:

Love the video, both for what it said, and how it was said.  That was more entertaining than 80% of the Prequel Trilogy.  

I would add a few more suggestions to the list:

1. Star Wars is supposed to be FUN.  Even the notoriously dark “Empire Strikes Back” is fun.  Nothing in that film is dreary or plodding.  Part of the reason the finale works so well is that the sense of high adventure comes to such an abrupt halt at the hands of Darth Vader.  Luke – and, I suspect, a number of the young people watching the movie – did some high-speed growing up when he realized the good guy doesn’t automatically win, just because he’s the good guy.  I still remember feeling more shocked at Luke losing his hand than Vader’s “I am your father” line.

2. The Star Wars universe should be filled with PEOPLE, not slick CGI cartoons and lifeless exposition machines played by human actors.  Even the aliens, like the Jawas you described, are relatable.  You get a sense of the life they lead, the reason they do what they do.  Chewbacca is a rich character who never speaks a comprehensible word – it was pure genius not to saddle him with subtitles.  The audience understands where the main characters are coming from, even with some stilted performances in the original Star Wars.  Farm boy, rogue smuggler, determined revolutionary… got it.  

A generation of kids grew up wanting to be those characters.  Nobody wants to be anybody from the Prequels, although as I advance into my curmudgeon years, I confess the occasional daydream about being Emperor Palpatine.  Ian McDiarmid was the only actor in the Prequels who appeared to be enjoying himself, which I guess goes back to Point 1.

3. The Star Wars universe should be HUGE.  The Prequels made everything seem so small and limited, in part by recycling so many locations, but also because they had an agonizing tendency to over-explain everything.  The very existence of those movies was a criminal effort to over-explain a backstory that was fine as it stood.  The “Clone Wars” were a far more intriguing concept when they were a line of throwaway dialogue.

Part of the genius of the first “Star Wars” was a result of budgetary and technological limitations.  They had to throw a lot of stuff together, it tended to look well-worn and battered, and much of the setting was developed through implication and tangential references.  Even when there was more money and tech for “Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi,” the sense of a larger galaxy was still conveyed very well, and some nifty ideas were left to ripen in the imagination of the viewer.  You can actually feel a bit of this magic draining away in “Jedi,” which unfortunately recycles a couple of locations for the first time in the series, although the Jabba sequence is so much fun that deserves a pass.  

I can’t get over how flat most of the aliens and settings in the Prequels fall, from the hated Gungans to the who-gives-a-damn bug creatures in “Attack of the Clones.”  I was ten years old when “Star Wars” came out; my young mind spend years exploring the vast universe its creators were able to imply with some dialogue and cobbled-together junk props.

4. Take it easy on the CGI, okay, fellas?  No doubt there will be some, especially during the space sequences.  But put some people in costumes to play the aliens.  Give the actors something to react to.  Dazzle us with your creativity and costuming ingenuity.  Hell, call the Farscape team and get some of those awesome freaking puppets on the set.  I never want to see anything as fake and unengaging as Jar-Jar or that silly alien short-order cook in “Attack of the Clones” ever again.

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