U: The Unknown (the force)
In a round about way that’s taken me nearly 34 years, the StarWars sixtology (technically the StarWars Film Series) has come together. From IV, V and VI to I, II and III, I finally get you, Darth. Luke and Leia – I feel your pain. And I still want those braided buns.
After my 6-yr-old son’s Halloween 2011 obsession with Darth Maul and the dual lightsaber, I succumbed to the fact that I should probably familiarize myself with the modern-day addition to the series of I, II and III that would be Phantom Menace, The Clone Wars and Return of the Sith respectively. Calvin had brought home books from his school’s library and pleaded to buy the full-blown Star Wars Visual Dictionary (only $13.40 online). I had a mental block as I tried to accept all of the characters prior to the first and original film. I could barely get through any of the StarWars books with him.
But he remained so persistent that by January 1, I had agreed to the Netflix rental task of ordering I – III, otherwise known as the prequel trilogy. Lucky him – he still had the blank slate to watch these in order and see the story unfold, not remain fixated on the wars of 20 plus years past. Naturally, we started with I, the Phantom Menace. By the end of III, I am not claiming I fully comprehend the series’ magnitude, nor do I know who inhabits which planet and why only Jedi can operate a lightsaber. It’s probably about the force.
In watching the newbies to the series, you can certainly appreciate what Lucas and team were able to achieve in 1977. The old school Star Wars had the perfect amount of dialogue and action. There is so much action and special effects going on in the prequel movies that it’s difficult to take in. My kids might not agree. I feel an Avatar and even Shrek-like vibe inserting itself. Intro the most controversial character in our household – JarJarBinks. Adults: cannot stand. Kids: love.
We watched I and II twice, then had a month-long hiatus before the final prequel arrived on Friday. It was highly anticipated. Finally the saga of Darth would come full circle. It was a mess of hot lava, lightsaber-sliced body parts and then the deep, breathy voice of Darth as his eternal mask is sealed. I thought it a bit unsettling for a 6 and 8 year-old. Ava, my 8-yr-old, wept for Padma. Calvin rolled through the action and drama no problem, having successfully learned the disordered verb/noun sentence structure (follow @yoda on Twitter you must) for the language of Yoda. I see now the dark side you have turned to.
And because it’s commonly thought that the prequels didn’t live up to the originals, we all understood that they would soon all be digitally remastered and come to a screen near us in 3-D. I think we won’t partake. The chilling sound of a lightsaber still conjures up a shiver. No 3-D necessary. The force – – from 1977 – – is still with me. What about you?