Tuesday 26 August 2008

Star Wars Has Finally Made Me Frown

I declared recently that I would never watch The Clone Wars on the big screen.

Yes, I know; I need to work on my willpower.

And you know what? After all of my apparent distaste for it and after hearing so much negativity?

I absolutely HATED IT.

This is a first time with me. I've had ongoing "debates" with a friend about the quality of the prequels, varying as they are. I saw Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure in the cinema as a kid. Rented Ewoks: The Battle for Endor. Watched the Droids and Ewoks TV shows. I've even sat through the infamous Holiday Special more than once (ironically, the animated bit in it is good fun).

But this. THIS...

Snips. Ahsoka. Padawan from hell. Worse than Jar Jar. I never want to see or hear her again. "Skyguy". It made me squirm in my seat. Seeing as she isn't in Revenge of the Sith, I expect her dispatching to be of amusement to me.

Jabba's son. Appalling. Another needless cutesy insertion and appallingly rendered - it seemed flat and featureless most of the time, like a character in a computer game 10 years ago.

Ziro the Hutt - tolerable but only barely.

General Loathsom - who the fuck names these characters? And he was Scottish?!?!?! I'm not a proponent of the "George Lucas is racist for giving villains different accents!" camp, but this just seemed plain odd and out of keeping with everything else.

Why didn't they get a NZ or Aussie to do the Clone voices instead of the Dick Van Dyke impersonator? They were awful.

Action - well done, but counts for nought if the rest of the story, you know, the important bit, isn't executed well. I remember a particular filmmaker in the 80's saying that a special effect with a proper story is a pretty boring thing. Well, particularly during the first battle on Christophsis (who the hell named that?) I was bored out of my mind. Utterly. "Get on with it!" was my prime thought. Yoda was actually irritating to me. I can't believe that. No lines he had to say were of genuine import and half of Ahsoka's lines about "stinky" (!! being ill were endlessly repetitive and redundant. And they give him a pill! A MAGIC BLOODY PILL! Big deal! "He's dying!" "Here, this convenient pill on this strange ship will completely cure him!" "Yay!" A pointless obstacle overcome too easily. Terrible, simple minded and lazy writing.

But my biggest bugbear was the simple fact that this looked and felt like a TV show. It should not have been released in the cinema. Period. All of the lines practically crashed into each other as often happens on TV when running time can be at a premium and a lot has to be explained or squeezed in. The story itself seems obviously like 3 episodes cut together - sitting in a cinema, there is a kind of subconscious need for a decent screenplay - no matter what a person's knowledge of that kind of thing; beginning, middle and end, not beginning kind of end, another beginning, middley bit where a character suddenly appears out of nowhere to save the day (Padme) before a pretty sudden end. Split the film into it's 3 parts and those parts would probably work as TV, but not as a movie. This induced real tedium in me and made the film a 2 pee movie. It felt like someone less talented had hi-jacked Star Wars, like Doctor Who in the 80's.

Sorry, rant over. But I now know how a lot of people felt when they came out of the prequels (which I mostly liked. Mostly). I left the cinema with a frown on my face, something I was completely surprised at. A Star Wars film did that to me? This is Star Wars for the High School Musical generation. It's just further removed from the original intent and feeling than ever before for me.

Star Wars has finally made me frown. I've never been so disappointed in Star Wars in my whole, long, smelly life.


  1. When Lucas does something well, he does it bloody brilliantly. But when Georgie fucks up....

    Remember Howard the Duck! And he had a hand in Return to Oz!

  2. Yep. Funnily enough, my friend who depises the prequels loves Howard the Duck.

    Go figure.

  3. Return to Oz is the most terrifying kids' film ever! Kudos!

    But it's about time you smiled at Star Wars. I have a nagging sense of missing the boat for not having frowned hard enough at Return of the Jedi when it was new.

  4. Smiled? I meant frowned! Must be feeling happy as I'm off on holiday tomorrow!

  5. I was 10 when Jedi came out and so only just tolerated the Ewoks. But it still has a lot going for it.


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