Would George Lucas REALLY rape Indiana Jones? I’m starting to wonder.
The man is clearly brilliant, albeit a total narcissist, but I’m really starting to think he would forcefully have his way with Indy.
I bring this up because Star Wars Ep. I: The Phantom Menace comes out in theaters Friday in (heavy echo effect) 3D!!!!! I swore I would never buy the blu-ray and I won’t, as painful as that is for me. Yeah, I’m one of those old guys who remember seeing the OT (Original Trilogy; get with the program) in the theater and thinking it was the coolest fucking thing I’d ever seen. That includes internet porn. Well, MOST internet porn.
I didn’t even mind when GL re-released the trilogy in ’97 (even though my tombstone will read, “HAN SHOT FIRST, YOU PANDERING MOTHERFUCKER!!!!!”). I thought the new scenes were pretty decent, especially the conversation with Biggs prior to the battle of the Death Star. I loved that Lucas didn’t screw with Empire Strikes Back much and there was absolutely no reason to. At all. At. Fucking. All.
Then came Return of the Jedi and all of us original fans should’ve known right there George was losing his shit. I went to see the re-release on a first date and I really thought I had a shot at closing the deal, so I wasn’t paying the kind of attention I normally would. (BTW, yeah…totally got that. For basically the first and only time in my life, I was THAT guy and it was fucking awesome…even if she WAS batshit crazy). Two things stood out: the musical numbers. The Sy Snootles song in Jabba’s palace, originally, was pretty cool. And realistic looking. GL doesn’t seem to realize the reason he’s considered a god is not only the story lines, but the fact he made his movies look realistic WITHOUT over-the-top special effects.
Well fuck me running if he didn’t ruin the palace song with, well, I don’t know what the hell that was. But it was awful. To make it worse, the worst special effects of the entire OT was the Rancor scene. I figured, well, I can suffer that if at least he fixed the Rancor scene. Nope. Still looked like total shit.
The second musical number was the finale. The Yub Nub Song. The team is on Endor. It makes sense that the songs would be Endorian. Wasn’t good enough for GL. He had to change the song to some kind of Enya adult contemporary bullshit. Don’t get me wrong, the additional scenes showing the celebrations around the galaxy was pretty sweet (even though it’s hard to figure out just how the hell word traveled that fast, but whatever), but that damned song was retarded.
And then there was Anakin. At the end, we see the newly-redeemed Anakin Skywalker take his place with Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi as Force ghosts. And Lucas wiped out the elder, fatherly Anakin for that whiny little douche fuck who was Anakin prior to becoming Darth Vader. That made ZERO fucking sense.
So THAT was the first round of changes. I won’t get into the blu-ray business right now because there’s no point. Haven’t seen ’em; ain’t gonna. Fuck it. But then there was the new trilogy. I stood in line to get my ticket. I literally had tears in my eyes when John Williams’ music hit and the famous scroll starting with “Episode I” appeared on the screen. I had waited since late spring of 1983 to see this.
And it was OK.
I, like most others, thought Jar Jar was over the top and clearly aimed at kids, the same mistake Lucas made with Jedi. Apparently, he hadn’t learned his lesson. But that wasn’t the part that really got to me. Loved the pod race. Loved the emotions between Anakin and his mom. Loved the relationship between Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Won. The lightsaber duel between the two Jedi and Darth Maul? Yeah, fucking epic, especially with “Duel of the Fates” playing beneath it.
I just couldn’t get past Anakin destroying the Trade Federation ship. I know, it’s supposed to be a sorta callback to Luke destroying the Death Star, but at least Luke was 18 and had some pilot training and had the Force on his side. Anakin was, what, 10? Really straining my ability to suspend disbelief.
I won’t really get into the other two right now, but I’ll say they were a lot better. I thought Episode II was pretty strong and I honestly put Revenge of the Sith in my top 3. Anakin killing KIDS? Holy shit, that’s dark! The opening battle? Hells. Yes.
But Episode I. Man. As I said, I didn’t hate it as much as a lot of other people, but do I really want to get sucked into this latest ploy to re-paint the Mona Lisa? Do I really want to condone GL’s insanity by paying for this attempt at wresting away the top-earning film series of all time from Harry Potter? And you KNOW when A New Hope comes out, Lucas is going to kick out the jams to make every effort to slingshot his way past Avatar. You KNOW he is. Let me put it this way: I didn’t see Attack of the Clones in the theater. Phantom Menace left me so disillusioned (I saw it four times in the theater just to ensure that it wasn’t some kind of joke), I didn’t see Ep. II until it came out on DVD. And I didn’t even buy it right away. Waited a couple weeks. Episode III? Different story. Saw it 10 days before the official release as part of a media screening. I was a god on the StarWars.com message boards for a few days. Yeah. Dig ME.
I guess I’ll just have to play it by ear, but I really think I’ll give it a pass. Probably won’t start hitting the 3D flicks until Revenge of the Sith. Then I’ll see the remaining flicks. Maybe not Jedi. Hated those fucking songs. But we’ll see.
Unless, of course, he rapes Indy. Then it’s over.
Alright, I’m probably going this Friday. Fuck you, George.