Star Wars Marathon: Rebuttal: Star Wars (Special Edition, 1977)

I promise that this rebuttal won’t get nasty, well, no, I won’t make that promise because much like Darth Vader my hate fuels me as the Star Wars Marathon rolls on!

First things first, to make sure you know what I’m talking about head over to Between The Seats and check out Edgar’s review of Star Wars.

When you and I talked about doing a Star Wars marathon I knew this day would come, the day when you and I were in almost complete disagreement over one of the films. I think you had an inkling this day would come, because for as long as you have known me I have never shied away from letting you know my rather unique feelings towards Star Wars (once again for the purpose of this rebuttal from this point on any time I refer to Star Wars I am speaking of the film and not the franchise). Still, I’m not sure if you were quite ready for the vitriol with which I went after Star Wars, or that I had so many areas in which I would attack. From my end, your review was also a bit different from what I expected, I knew that you would like Star Wars, but I always figured you’d fall in line with the masses and lavish so much praise upon the film that I would want to throw up. Instead you were even handed in your praise, and that makes this rebuttal all the more interesting.

The first point you made in your review creates a bit of a quandary within me. On the one hand I agree with you, Star Wars does breeze through too many events. This goes back to the idea of weight or importance and if the film doesn’t feel the need to allow its important moments to resonate on screen then why should they resonate in my mind? The quandary comes into play with your take on Star Wars as both a simple film and one that moves at a brisk pace. I can’t agree with either of those sentiments at all. Star Wars wants to be simple, and it’s core story is simple, but it loads up on so much exposition and needless backstory that the end product is far from simple, it’s actually far too complex for its own good. This in turns creates a hulking beast, a monstrosity of a film that moves at the speed of a slug, and not a skinny slug either, but a fat one that just finished eating dinner. I don’t know where you see a brisk pace, because I see a film that slogs from moment to moment with each minute feeling like an eternity and the run time of two hours feeling like it never wants to end.

On the subject of the climax, I again disagree and agree at the same time. Yes, the corridor weakness in the Death Star is stupid, but I expect that kind of stupid in my pulp from time to time, so that has never been a big deal to me. You do raise an interesting point about Vader and his squadron, a point I’ve never thought about. I always assumed that Vader and his squadron either had some sort of stealth or were simply that much better than the Rebel pilots, but there’s nothing in the film to suggest either of my extrapolations so you may be on to something. I can’t, however, say you are on to something with the exterior shots of the Death Star. I wouldn’t call those shots revolutionary or anything, but to my untrained eye they look more than adequate, and after going back and taking another look at that sequence I still fail to see anything in those exterior shots that stands out to me as bad. Hmmm….

I do believe there was a bit of a communication error in my review of Star Wars as it pertains to the characters around Luke. It’s not that I didn’t find them interesting, I did, it’s that I didn’t find the story taking place around them all that interesting. So with that in mind I can’t add much to your piece on the interesting characters, other than to say that while I also don’t think much of Mark Hamill as a physical actor, he is a truly great voice actor. His Joker is the best Joker ever and is a million times better than any other Joker, yes, even Ledger’s.

Your remaining points are all ones that I agree with, from James Earl Jones to the life that Lucas infuses into the background of every scene in Star Wars. I know I should be disagreeing with you, but I can’t, what you say in your final couple of paragraphs is pretty spot on. My problem comes in those facets that work not being able to overcome the facets that don’t work. I know it’s not much, but at the end of the day I think that’s the best way for me to end this rebuttal. A lot of what worked for you didn’t work for me, and in a major way. That is where the large gulf comes between us I think, little things bugged you about Star Wars and they remained little nuisances, but for me every little problem was magnified and made into a major hurdle by my lack of interest in what I was seeing on screen. I’m not going to say we will agree to disagree, but this is clearly one film where I don’t foresee you and I ever seeing eye to eye, oh the awesomeness of my wit.

And that’s it folks, another rebuttal is in the books and that’s another round you can chalk up to Bill. There’s no denying it Edgar, once again you were beaten down by the mighty sword of my wit, choked by the hand around your throat that is my power. You fought well, but on the sands of Tatooine there can be only one man left standing, and I am that man.

You can read Edgar’s rebuttal to my review at Between The Seats.

Cheers,
Bill

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6 responses to “Star Wars Marathon: Rebuttal: Star Wars (Special Edition, 1977)

  1. The force is strong with this one!

  2. Doing a rebuttal is just like shooting womp rats back home

  3. Yea, Mark Hamil is the greatest Joker.

    I think it’s funny that one of you finds the film too simple and fast and the other finds it too slow and dense. For me, the film is in the middle. Slow enough to fill us in on all we need to know but fast enough that the film moves along at a nice pace.

  4. I haven’t had the opportunity to visit our blogs for a couple of days now, just in case you were wondering why I hadn’t posted anything here yet.

    No, I don’t think we’ll see eye to eye for this film. We were affected in completely different ways by the pace. Of all the Star Wars films, it’s the one with the most straightforward plot. Exposition? Bah-humbug!

    The final battle sequence? I always felt it looked as if the rebels were attacking a lego land platform. Imagine my surprise when on the special features it was revealed that they used a ping pong table for my of the Death Star shots…

    By all means, you can stay alone on the sands of Tatouine, I won’t stop you. I’ll be chilling out at that cantina with the hip cats.

  5. Steven – Indeed, it is.

    Ross – i;d like to think so in my mind where I am delusional about my talent.

    James – Respect for Hamill as the Joker is always appreciated.

    Edgar – You can be a hip cat all you want, my outside status suits me well. :)

  6. Pingback: Review: Annie Hall (1977) | Bill's Movie Emporium

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