Some thoughts on a couple of movies I haven’t seen

Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. Haven’t seen it. Not planning to, either, at least not until I can rent it on DVD. The reviews I’ve read are mixed: some have completely blasted it, some admitted that, though different from the original material, it’s pretty good. The thing is, though, I’m too much of a purist. I’m afraid to go see this movie and find out they’ve hacked it all to pieces, at which point I’d have to go on a murderous rampage to avenge Douglas Adams’ honour.

Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. Haven’t seen it. Not planning to, either, at least not until I can rent it on DVD. The reviews I’ve read are mixed: some have completely blasted it, some admitted that, though different from the original material, it’s pretty good. The thing is, though, I’m too much of a purist. I’m afraid to go see this movie and find out they’ve hacked it all to pieces, at which point I’d have to go on a murderous rampage to avenge Douglas Adams’ honour. No, I think I’ll stick with the books. All the books, that is.

Revenge Of The Sith. Now that one, I’m planning to see. Not on opening night, though. You may be thinking, why? If I’ll pass on HHGTTG, why would I spend my precious time and money on a franchise that’s been less than stellar lately? Well, that’s the point: I’ve already lost all respect for George Lucas and the Star Wars franchise, so I can just relax and enjoy the special effects and lightsaber fights. Besides—no, I’m not getting my hopes up—I heard it’s actually a lot better than Episodes I and II. Which, really, isn’t that hard to do. But Lucas better come up with something amazing to wash away the bitter taste of the latest trilogy. Let’s tally up his sins, shall we?

  • Jar-Jar. Why? No, seriously. Why? Was it to show off some snazzy CGI? For comic relief? It sure as hell wasn’t to add anything to the story, because Jar-Jar doesn’t do squat. The tiny plot points where he becomes mildly relevant could easily have been rewritten to exclude him—and, except maybe for the last big battle at the end of Phantom Menace, the entire Gungan people. So all Jar-Jar did was join the evil Triumvirate of Most Incredibly Annoying Animated Characters, right up there with Scrappy-Doo and Gleek the space monkey.
  • The continuity porn. Did we really need C-3PO? R2-D2? A backstory for Boba Fett? No, we did not. C-3P0’s appearance was especially unbelievable. First, why the hell would Anakin make a protocol droid? The kid seemed more interested in tinkering and racing than translation and diplomacy. Besides, unless he was doing it on his own time and with his own resources, I bet his owner (whose name escapes me) would rather have a droid that can help around the shop. And I can just about buy that Anakin built 3P0’s body, but what about the mind? Did he program his knowledge and skills himself, or did he buy some off-the-shelf protocol droid AI?
  • Midichlorians. Fuck me blind, why the hell are we getting a pseudo-scientific explanation for the Force? In the first trilogy it all was very mystical and New-Agey, “energy field” this and “trust your feelings” that. Fine. I was perfectly happy with that, why wasn’t Lucas? Why did he have to rip off an actual scientific term in scenes that—again—could have been easily ignored or rewritten?
  • The romance. What the hell? Why would this smart, independent young woman fall for this whiny, self-centered little putz? Sure, he’s cute and all, and he’s got these nifty Jedi powers, but he’s arrogant, reckless, talks back to his teacher, has boneheaded politics, and has nursed the same creepily obsessive infatuation for the last ten years. And he’s a multiple murderer. Why isn’t Padme running far, far away? And why should we the viewers care? What are we supposed to feel about Anakin, aside from a violent urge to reach for the Mace™ or bitchslap the dweeb? Which brings me to…
  • This is Darth Vader? Hell no. Darth Vader was a badass. A controlled, commanding, scary badass who seemed evil to the core but found redemption in the end. This kid is just an ass, not worthy of our respect, and I see nothing of the tragic villain he’s supposed to one day become.

On the bright side, there’s this blog. Hilarious and insightful, and I’m sad to say it gets us inside Darth Vader’s head better than Lucas ever could. It’s almost making me excited about Star Wars and Revenge Of The Sith. Almost.