Late Night Open Thread: Bad Ideas Never Die


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While we’re on the topic of geriatric performers, the Guardian claims that “Mark Hamill [is] set for talks to reprise Luke Skywalker“:

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Mark Hamill was plucked from obscurity to play the lead in one of the most popular film franchises of all time. Now the actor looks set to wield his lightsabre once again, after confirming that he is set to have talks to reprise his role as Luke Skywalker in the series of films planned by Disney, the new owner of the Star Wars universe.

Hamill, 61, played the farmhand turned Jedi knight in the first three Star Wars films to be released, between 1977 and 1983.

In comments that will doubtless whet the appetites of the films’ legions of fans, the actor told the ET Online website: “They’re talking to us. George [Lucas] wanted to know whether we’d be interested. He did say that if we didn’t want to do it, they wouldn’t cast another actor in our parts – they would write us out.”

The confirmation that he may appear in the series follows widespread rumours that Harrison Ford, now 70, who played gunslinger Han Solo, was also in negotiations to appear in the new series. Hamill’s use of the word “we” implies that the talks could include others from the original films’ cast, which also included Carrie Fisher, 56, who played Princess Leia….

Okay, I’m prejudiced: I loathed the first Star Wars movie, and managed to avoid the rest of them until the one where Darth Vader dies horribly. (The Spousal Unit persuaded me to go with him on the pretext that I’d never have to do it again. No, I didn’t believe him, but every longterm relationship requires compromises.) Mine was a minority opinion in 1977, and there’s at least one generation since then that considers SW as a pillar of fond childhood memories, like the Wizard of Oz. Too also, I liked J.J. Abram’s Star Trek reboot a lot better than I expected. But if this isn’t just an out-of-work actor trying to hype his own chances, I hope The Original Skywalker has a voice-only role, because even Disney can’t afford enough CGI to make Hamill look anything but geriatric.

141 replies
  1. 1
    opie_jeanne says:

    Hamell did not age gracefully. Heck, five years after the third film he looked terrible, as if he’d been very, VERY sick for months.

  2. 2
    Xenos says:

    I was twelve when StarWars came out, and was terribly disappointed with it. Then again, I was already reading hard science fiction and had a rough idea how the genre should work. Nice visuals, some fun characters, but a fantasy tale in space. Ick. Anytime you scramble genres like that you are going to piss off fans tremendously.

    My kids love it, but then, they have terrible taste.

  3. 3
    srv says:

    > voice-only role

    Hamill was widely regarded as the best Joker (animated) ever until Heath hit it out of the ballpark.

    Given the state of the art CGI, all these actors may only be voice.

  4. 4
    JGabriel says:

    Anne Laurie @ Top:

    I loathed the first Star Wars movie …

    Don’t sully our collective Jungian memory of Star Wars!

    Okay, seriously, I’m with you on this. I don’t loathe the first Star Wars, but I think it, and the rest of the series, are all mediocre — except for the second film, which is genuinely pretty good.

    But the rest? Meh. (IMO.)

    .

  5. 5
    It's Not The Fall, It's The Landing says:

    While it’s true that Hamill is not seen onscreen that much any more, he’s hardly out of work. He stays busy doing voice acting for animation, and is quite good at it.

    The dozens and dozens of entries on his IMDB page for voice work suggest someone who’s actually in demand for his particular specialty: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000434/

    Animation voiceovers are not as glamorous or as lucrative as being a big film star, but the people who work a lot in the field still make a very nice living and also enjoy favorable working hours compared to most jobs in film or TV. It’s pretty much a 9 to 5 industry – very little overtime, no spending weeks on location, no working nights or weekends, etc.

  6. 6
    TenguPhule says:

    Okay, I’m prejudiced: I loathed the first Star Wars movie, and managed to avoid the rest of them until the one where Darth Vader dies horribly.

    Heretic Rebel Scum. You shall roast in the Special Hell of a Thousand Eternal Singing Gungans.

    But if this isn’t just an out-of-work actor trying to hype his own chances,

    Madam, Hamill has been all over the place in film, games and voice acting.

    You’re on a one way trip to the eternal Star Wars Christmas Special.

  7. 7
    JGabriel says:

    With Hamill in his 60’s, Fischer in her 50’s, and Ford in his 70’s, I’m looking forward to the Star Wars Domestic Melodrama, where Han’s and Leia’s kids are all fucked up druggies, cuz o’ their violent divorce, and the grandkids are all using the Force to terrify their teachers & classmates, where Chewbacca’s an old drunk in a bar sexually harassing the waitresses, and Luke is a New Age guru who, for some reason, urges all his followers to transcend personal failings by exploring their unresolved incestuous desires.

    .

  8. 8
    TenguPhule says:

    @opie_jeanne: Well being in a car crash that almost kills you can have that effect on people.

  9. 9
    Ruckus says:

    What there can’t be any SS retirees in space? Sit around and talk about old times. Reminisce about how swashbuckling they were. About how they saved the universe. About how the younger generation just doesn’t get it. How many aches and pains they have. How the universe has gone to hell.
    Come on, space needs old farts. Otherwise how would we know it’s real?

  10. 10
    JGabriel says:

    He’p me, I been modereratered!

  11. 11
    Yutsano says:

    @opie_jeanne: Between the first and the second movies Hamill was in a very bad car accident that scarred his face. The scene where he gets mauled on Hoth was written in just to accommodate that. More than likely the scarring has gotten worse.

    @It’s Not The Fall, It’s The Landing: Then there are Canuckistani unicorns. Also. Too.

  12. 12
    Sly says:

    @srv:

    Hamill was widely regarded as the best Joker (animated) ever until Heath hit it out of the ballpark.

    Ledger’s Joker gets points for originality, and pushing the horrific elements of the character to probably their maximum breaking point, but Hamill’s Joker is still better; he’s nearly as psychotic as Ledger’s, but without sacrificing any of the Joker’s true comedic elements.

  13. 13
  14. 14
    NotMax says:

    Mark Hamill was plucked from obscurity

    Only if obscurity means “while successfully acting in a key role on a hit TV series.”

    @srv

    He’s s bit long in the tooth now, but still my #1 wishful choice to play Joker is…

    …David Bowie.

    Can but imagine the level of unhinged creepy elegance he’d invest into the character.

  15. 15
    Joseph Nobles says:

    Episodes 7-9 shouldn’t be focused on Luke, Leia, and Han. Let the big three be beloved elders and let the kids swashbuckle.

  16. 16
    Baud says:

    Given current pop culture trends, future Star Wars episodes should be musicals like Glee or Smash.

    Maybe get Bieber to play Luke’s grandson.

  17. 17
    Warren Terra says:

    A lot of things about the first Star Wars don’t hold up very well; the worst are probably those involving Luke, followed by those involving Leia.

    Even so, I still maintain it’s a hugely important, very watchable film. The use of special effects, set designs, costumes, etcetera was revolutionary – and the music, and the integration of the music with the action, was incredible.

    Sadly, the bad writing and bad acting just got worse from there, especially but not only in the prequels. George Lucas lost his damn mind, or just stopped having to listen to anyone.

  18. 18
    Nick says:

    It’s highly likely that the upcoming Sequel Trilogy will simply be set a generation after the Original Trilogy, just as the Prequel Trilogy was set a generation before. There’ll be new, suitably young protagonists whom the film will actually revolve around, and Luke will presumably be an older mentor figure. Just as Obi-Wan was a main character in the prequels and an older mentor figure in the originals.

    At least, that’s a lot more plausible than what Anne assumes.

  19. 19
    Linda Featheringill says:

    Loved Star Wars when it first came out. The Trilogy, anyway. The allure has faded some with time and progress but then my allure has faded too.

    Old folks in space? Depends on the purpose of space-based fiction. Is it just another excuse to get laid, as in Debby-does-Jupiter? If so, then you better stick to young adults, with no children and no oldsters.

    But if the purpose of the art form is to examine the human condition against a background of alien life, or perhaps no life but us earthlings, then you need stories of folks in every stage of life coping with the mysteries of the universe.

  20. 20
    Bostondreams says:

    @JGabriel:

    Well, if they are using the Extended Universe stuff, then one of Han and Leia’s children becomes a new Dark Lord of the Sith, so that’s pretty screwed up.

    I do think they will be using the EU canon quite a bit here. There is way more to Star Wars these days than the movies.

  21. 21

    Luke as a Jedi Master, who is training a new generation of Jedi younglings? Why not? Alec Guiness wasn’t exactly young.

  22. 22
    WereBear says:

    The really annoying part of the fourth Indiana Jones movie (far worse than the fridge!) was the way the camera avoided Karen Allen’s face, as though a woman in her sixties, still attractive but not passing for twenty, was the most hideous thing on earth.

    Still, as long as the seniors had a real role, not just a walk on, it could work fine. I would assume in the future, people would still get old. They could play people in their nineties, to allow for better tech & such.

  23. 23
    MrSnrub says:

    @It’s Not The Fall, It’s The Landing: Hamill also spent a lot of time on Broadway. He credited his landing of The Joker to his prior run on Amadeus. He varied his Amadeus laugh from time to time and built up a huge library of laugh styles to choose from for The Joker.

  24. 24
    Geoduck says:

    @WereBear:

    I would assume in the future, people would still get old.

    “A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away..”

    And yeah, if the original had Obi-wan, a sequel can have an elderly, battle-scarred Luke.

  25. 25
    Another North Carolinian says:

    Old farts in space… exactly! It’s another advantage of belonging to that baby boomer population bulge. We get good arthritis care AND we continue to star in space opera fantasies.

    And, this: “Well, if they are using the Extended Universe stuff, then one of Han and Leia’s children becomes a new Dark Lord of the Sith, so that’s pretty screwed up,” may be spot on. Maybe it’s all a several-hundred-million-dollar set up for one line to be delivered by some young whippersnapper of a Sith, “Luke. I’m your son.”

  26. 26
    Skippy-san says:

    Not like Star Wars? That’s un-American!

  27. 27
    jon says:

    http://bit.ly/ZwJ0Uf is always available to remind anyone how entertaining the original Star Wars was. It’s not the best thing ever, but it was fun. Remember fun? That’s what Star Wars needs to be. Adventure and a side of mystical bullshit.

    Most signs are pointing to the idea that Disney knows what it’s doing. I expect total media saturation bordering on insane. Haters will hate, but I’m hopeful. How could it be any worse than the Phantom Menace? Jonas Brothers as the Fett Clones, Mark IV? Miley Cyrus on a musical journey as Princess Jaina Solo? Okay, Disney will find a way to anger me, but I think they’re doing the films correctly even if the do own and will destroy the franchise somehow.

  28. 28
    Suffern ACE says:

    Please let Shia be Han Jr. Maybe Robert Pattison can be young Luke Jr. Oh, I do hope it is true.

  29. 29
    magurakurin says:

    What’s with the Mark Hamil hate? That’s just uncalled for. For starters he isn’t that old and doesn’t look THAT bad. The level of slagging you let lose at the end there really should be reserved for people like John McCain and Rmoney. Mark Hamil doesn’t seem like a bad guy at all. For one, anyone who was involved with Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is okay in my book. And he said this in 2012

    If you don’t vote for Barack Obama, you’re insane. ‘Cause without him, I think the middle class will completely disappear. And you look at Romney and I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but he is like The Thing, he only imitates human behavior, he’s not actually human himself. (…) So God bless him, I’m enjoying him running for office but I just came out as a lifelong Democrat

    And I never really got into the Star Wars series very much, but when I saw the first movie in the theatre. way, way back…it was pretty damn awesome. There really hadn’t ever been many movies with scenes like that prior. I’m sure the fact that I was only in junior high made a difference, but it was a great film experience for its time.

  30. 30
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    Is it the hip thing to denigrate happy pop culture memories? “Blah, blah, blah movie/TV show hasn’t aged well.” Or maybe you haven’t aged well you cynical SOB.

  31. 31
    Barentw says:

    They had 207-year-old Christopher Lee doing flips in the last movie, I’m sure they can make Hamill look good.

  32. 32
    Gus says:

    I didn’t loathe the first move (or the next two), but I never figured out what all the fuss was about. I went to all three of them in the late 70s-early80s, but I only saw each one once, and haven’t been interested in revisiting them. I haven’t seen and don’t intend to see the prequels. This makes me almost a pariah at the software company I work at.

  33. 33

    Nobody’s quoted Weird Al’s “Yoda” yet?

    The ending, to the tune of the Kinks’ “Lola”:

    Well, I heard my friends really got in a mess
    So I’m gonna have to leave Yoda I guess
    But I know that I’ll be coming back some day
    I’ll be playing this part ’till I’m old and gray

    The long-term contract I had to sign
    Says I’ll be making these movies till the end of time
    Oh with my Yoda
    Yo-yo-yo-yo Yoda Yo-yo-yo-yo Yoda

  34. 34
    dan says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe: Ha! That will be my response as well from now on!

  35. 35
    Cassidy says:

    It works well if they start a new franchise with new stars based on the books. They can have the old beloved characters in the background, but craft a new story.

    Honestly, I wish they’d do the bold move and just reboot the whole damn property. Start over.

  36. 36

    Today’s upstart young heroes become tomorrow’s wizened old men and women who teach and inspire the next generation of upstart young heroes.

    Circle of life and all.

    So if Hamill comes back, I’d expect that Luke be the old wizard this time to some new, young, whiny brat starting on his hero’s journey.

  37. 37

    @Suffern ACE: Why do you hate America?

  38. 38
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Alec Guinness was 63 when he played Obi-Wan in the first Star Wars film. Of course there’s no possible way that Hamill’s part in the new movie might be something similar.

  39. 39
    PurpleGirl says:

    @TenguPhule: And also not having the money for cosmetic surgery to fix some of the injury damage. The car accident occurred after Star Wars was filmed but before it was released and before he was getting money from the film.

  40. 40
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @Baud:
    A Star Wars musical, you say?

    @The Other Bob:
    Luke’s role in the Star Wars novels was exactly that; with the Solo kids and other Force-sensitive people who came out of hiding after the fall of the Empire, Luke was working on a new generation of Jedi. However, he didn’t have centuries of tradition to draw from and some of his students fell to the Dark side of the Force, rediscovering the Sith traditions. Thus the cycle continues…

  41. 41
    Nerull says:

    @Xenos: When did Star Wars ever pretend to be hard sci-fi? MOST Sci-fi is fantasy in space.

  42. 42
    Citizen_X says:

    @MrSnrub:

    He varied his Amadeus laugh from time to time and built up a huge library of laugh styles to choose from for The Joker.

    So, Evil Laughology is a real thing then, eh?

  43. 43
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @Nerull:

    I envision millions of miserable precocious 12 year olds milling around in the 70s, lamenting the popularity of Star Wars and Superman. Why, oh why, they cried, are their classmates seduced by such childish fantasies? When will they grow up and discover the amoral, psychotic, Jungian universes of Alfred Bester and Phillip K. Dick? Sorry guys, we can’t all be that precocious.

  44. 44
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    “Vorga! I kill you filthy!”

  45. 45
    Nora says:

    Thank you, thank you, for being brave enough to say in public that you loathed the original Star Wars! I saw it the year it came out, when the hype was high (though not as high as it’s become since), and I hated it with the passion of a million suns.

  46. 46
    Pee Cee says:

    Jaws was never my scene, and I don’t like Star Wars.

  47. 47
    artem1s says:

    not worried so much about Hamill. I think he has a decent grasp on his importance to the project and won’t insist on it being all about him. Something along the lines of taking up Yoda’s training camp for obnoxious Jedi wannabees.

    Harrison Ford though, that’s the train-wreck waiting to happen. Geriatric Han Solo swinging from god know what, bossing his kids around and trying to steal camera time from everyone else on the set? Egads, Indiana Jones with light sabers. Bleh!

    Leia, I’m pretty sure dumped the sucker early on for Chewbacca. They’re quietly in retirement harvesting fine Chewie Wool™ and making some of the finest sweaters in the galaxy.

  48. 48
    maus says:

    Hah, are we now responding to rumors by adding our own? I haven’t heard anyone even joke that Ford and Hamil were going to play twentysomethings.

  49. 49
    maus says:

    Hah, are we now responding to rumors by adding our own? I haven’t heard anyone even joke that Ford and Hamil were going to play twentysomethings.

    And yeesh, poor Hamil. Forever getting ragged on for horrible accident scars.

  50. 50
    Cacti says:

    I think they should reboot the series.

    That would be fresh and totally not predictable.

  51. 51
    Persia says:

    I was hoping y’all would spring to Hamill’s defense. Most boring character in the movies but my favorite of the actors at this point.

    Anne, check out these creepy laughs before you dismiss Hamill as a one-note has-been. The man’s a delight.

  52. 52
    kuvasz says:

    Ms. Ann. Let me give you a piece of advice. If you call yourself a journalist you might want to write about things that interest you, as opposed, as in this piece, to write about something you dismiss.

    ps: your piece sux.

  53. 53
    Redshirt says:

    This thread is BLASPHEMY! I can’t even believe what I’ve read.

    I need brain bleach, stat.

  54. 54
    Mike S. says:

    Somebody recently suggested that Jennifer Lawrence would be perfect as a young Han Solo. That will never happen so the next best thing is to cast her as Han and Leia’s kid.

  55. 55
    Cacti says:

    @kuvasz:

    Ms. Ann. Let me give you a piece of advice. If you call yourself a journalist you might want to write about things that interest you, as opposed, as in this piece, to write about something you dismiss

    Anne’s got to keep up her hipster cred by crapping on things that people actually liked.

    “Everybody loved Star Wars but me, because I’m so refined.”

    Congratulations. You want a cookie?

  56. 56
    Mike S. says:

    Oh yeah, also? Mark Hammill was brilliant in the audiobook of World War Z.

  57. 57
    Cacti says:

    I hear that 70-year old Han’s wheelchair can do the bathroom run in less than 12 parsecs.

  58. 58
    Patricia Kayden says:

    I’ve never watched a Star Wars movie and see no need to start now. I like Mark Hamill based on his politics so good for him for getting back into the gig.

  59. 59
    Chris says:

    @Bostondreams:

    I do think they will be using the EU canon quite a bit here. There is way more to Star Wars these days than the movies.

    I really hope that’s true. I’m one of those fans who likes the EU as much as the actual movies (at least until the New Jedi Order, they start to suck after that) – anything by Timothy Zahn especially easily knocks the prequels out of the ballpark. A big part of the reason I’ve been groaning at the prospect of a Disney/J. J. Abrams reboot is because I figure they’ll probably just brush aside the entire EU, which in my view really doesn’t deserve that.

  60. 60
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    When will they grow up and discover the amoral, psychotic, Jungian universes of Alfred Bester and Phillip K. Dick?

    When, oh when, do we get the epic 3 hour movie version of “Tiger, Tiger”?

    I’d pay to see that, even in 3D.

  61. 61

    Not much of a Star Wars fan. The prequels were much worse than the original movies. Also Star Wars to me feels more like fantasy than science fiction. I am more of a Star Trek fan, especially the DS9 saga. Have no opinion on Hamill per se.

  62. 62
    Cassidy says:

    @Cacti: Actually, if you’ve read any of AL’s posts re: sci fi and fantasy, she’s a huge fan of both genres. As a long time sci fi fan myself, while I loved Star Wars as a child, it doesn’t hold up well as time goes by. The stories and characters may be epic, but i all reality, George Lucas sucks. He is a wiz with technology, but his storytelling and scriptwriting are subpar. Star Wars succeeds in spite of him, not because of him. So again, my preference, is that they reboot the whole franchise, much like the new Star Trek. I want to see a new Luke and Han and Leia. I want to see a new, fresh take on the Star Wars universe and I want a tighter story that starts from the beginning and goes into the expanded Star Wars universe of the novels.

  63. 63
    Nicole says:

    I was a little kid when Star Wars came out-it’s one of the first movies I remember seeing in a theater. And I loved it. For little kids, it completely took over our worlds for awhile. I remember going to a birthday party and four of us brought Princess Leia action figures as gifts.

    I like the first series, both for what it was to me as a child and also on its own merits. Yes, the second is the best (thank you Lawrence Kasdan), though as a child it was my least favorite. And I can see the flaws in them, of course.

    But as a girl growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, Princess Leia was the shit. She was tough, she didn’t scream and she wore an outfit a seven-year-old could copy for Halloween without her parents freaking out. For all that the Leia Slave Girl outfit sparked a million Ross Geller fantasies, she was a lead female in a sci-fi saga who wasn’t sexualized. In fact, that slave girl outfit came across to me, then and now, as Jabba deliberately trying to degrade her. And she responded by killing that fat fuck.

    Marion from Raiders was also amazing. For awhile, Lucas really could create great lead female characters.

    And of course, without Star Wars, there would never have been this awesome Star Wars/Magnum PI mash up:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEigvdbzia8

  64. 64
    Alex says:

    They likely want the original actors to reprise the roles to connect a new Star Wars franchise to the original. Sort of like that Star Trek movie where new and old crews commingled in a craptastic epic intended to hand over the thing to the newer, younger cast.

  65. 65
    Cacti says:

    @Cassidy:

    So again, my preference, is that they reboot the whole franchise, much like the new Star Trek

    A reboot?

    How imaginative.

    Is Daniel Craig available? Maybe he could bring “gritty realism” to the new, fresh, rebooted franchise.

  66. 66
    Chris says:

    @Nerull:

    MOST Sci-fi is fantasy in space.

    I’ve never really understood the distinction people make between “hard” sci-fi and space fantasy. Is it the realism? If so, I’d argue that Star Trek’s “KEPTIN! A proper application of tachyons after rerouting all power to the Jeffries tubes and reversing the polarity on the warp nacelles SHOULD be able to repel the singularity!” is a far worse offender than Star Wars’ “Here is a lightsaber. It is a sword with a blade made out of solid light. Just go with it, OK?” Yet people generally seem to rank Star Trek as “proper” science fiction.

    (I say this as a huge fan of both franchises, mind you).

  67. 67
    David in NY says:

    @JGabriel: The second one, Empire Strikes Back? That was the only one I saw, and I loathed it. Lots of noise is all I really recall all these many years later.

  68. 68

    @Chris: To me the Jedis, the force, the dark side etc come across as magic, much more than the Star Trek technobabble.

  69. 69
    Cassidy says:

    @Cacti: Ahhhh…you’re one of those. Got it. Why don’t you go quietly listen to some David Bowie sung in Portugese.

  70. 70
    PsiFighter37 says:

    I’m wary of the whole thing. I hated PT less than most (although Jar Jar Binks was inexcusable), but my main worry is they blow up EU and do a completely new story. Lucas himself screwed up the Death Star mythos in AOTC, so I worry that a new owner/director will be even more willing to do so.

  71. 71
    kindness says:

    A new Star Wars would be interesting so long as everyone agrees JarJar Binks gets killed in the first scene and is never mentioned again.

  72. 72
    daveNYC says:

    I’ve also heard that Ford is looking to come back to give Han a baller death. Going out like a champ, which I’ve heard was the original plan for Return of the Jedi until Lucas changed it.

  73. 73
    Maude says:

    @Nora:
    Same here. Now there are mystery books based on Star Wars characters. Seems like fan fic, but people read them.
    The movie was a Space Western.

  74. 74

    @Nicole: Cinnamon buns is what I remember when I think of Leia.

  75. 75
    Cacti says:

    @Cassidy:

    Ahhhh…you’re one of those. Got it. Why don’t you go quietly listen to some David Bowie sung in Portugese.

    Or maybe to throw a real twist into the new, fresh, gritty, exciting, reboot, they could make Luke…

    A girl!

    Wait, he’s got a twin sister, never mind.

    They could make Darth Vader…

    A woman!

    No one’s ever thought of switching the gender of a well-known character.

  76. 76
    Chris says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I think the only difference is “it’s not magic because we don’t call it magic.”

    Even if you forget the technobabble, you still have things like Vulcan mind-melds, Gary Mitchell’s superpowers, that time Kirk switched minds with a woman… not to mention everything Q’s ever done… which don’t strike me as any less magical than telekinezing a starfighter out of a swamp.

  77. 77
    YellowJournalism says:

    Nerd herders, all of you!

  78. 78
    Cassidy says:

    @Cacti: Pretty sure all that was done in the expanded SWU in the novels, but don’t let your derision and ignorance get in the way of looking things up. I know, I know, it’s the cool kid thing to mock Hollywood and reboots. I’m sure you’re one of the choads who thinks your witty by saying “Bayformers”.

    ETA: Oh well, not worth arguing about. It’s cleaar you came here just looking to be insulting and pick a fight. Go do a shot and jerk off.

  79. 79

    Thanks for posting this video. I couldn’t get it to play on the news site where I first saw it .. BBC I think.

  80. 80
    daveNYC says:

    Yeah, Trek is basically fantasy where the technology substitutes for magic. It wouldn’t be so bad if the ST:TNG writers hadn’t used it so much. Trek works much better when the technology is something that they can’t understand (Guardian on the Edge of Forever or any of the ‘Q’ stories) but they set the stage for a good solid moral dilemma.

    The whole midichlorian fiasco from the Star Wars prequels is probably the best example of how less can be more in storytelling.

  81. 81
    kindness says:

    OK, I’ve gone back and read all the prior comments now.

    It seems many here were mere tikes when Star Wars came out. Yea, I can see that a 1977 movie viewed years after the fact when CGI has improved so much might be considered less important by some who were born later. You have to understand though, prior to the original Star Wars the gold standard for SciFi CGI up until that point was 2001 Space Oddyssey. Compare the two and tell me Star Wars wasn’t a huge improvement. It was. And true to the (then) Lucas it really was set in the spirit, the interplay among actors and scripting as more of American Graffiti in space. It was fun.

    I will admit the first time I saw Star Wars that summer of ’77 I was hugely dosed. So much so that I went to see it the next day just to make sure I saw what I thought I saw.

    It may not be The Illiad or The Oddesy but it is still a classic. Feel free to piss all over it but that is more a statement of you than of the movie.

  82. 82
    Chris says:

    @daveNYC:

    I think sci-fi in general works best when you don’t understand the technology… which is Star Wars’ approach to things like lightsabers and hyperdrive. The audience just assumes “okay, they’re way more advanced than us, somehow they figured out how to make that shit work, the same way we figured out how to use radio, how to fly, and how to make computers.” If you stop to try and explain it, the average audience member will just be bored because that’s not why they’re watching, while the more scientifically inclined nerds will go “wait, that doesn’t make SENSE! That’s IMPOSSIBLE!”

  83. 83
    Redshirt says:

    @Nicole: Leia kicks ass. Consider the dynamics of the first movie – Leia is a leader, brave and bold and with no fear. She loses her entire planet and fights on.

    Luke, by contrast, is a whiny kid who’s completely destroyed by the loss of Obi-Wan – some dude he just met a few days earlier.

    Consider the scene on the Falcon after they escape the Death Star – Leia is consoling Luke. It’s kinda weird once you think about it.

  84. 84
    Rafer Janders says:

    @WereBear:

    Still, as long as the seniors had a real role, not just a walk on, it could work fine. I would assume in the future, people would still get old. They could play people in their nineties, to allow for better tech & such.

    Um, first, it’s not in the future — it’s a long, long time ago.

    Second, we already know there are old people — Alec Guinness, remember? Uncle Owen? Grand Moff Tarkin? The Emperor Palpatine?

  85. 85
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    To me the Jedis, the force, the dark side etc come across as magic, much more than the Star Trek technobabble.

    What did Arthur C. Clarke say about technology and magic again? Were the proto-jedi in Frank Herbert’s Dune magicians too?

  86. 86
    ruemara says:

    1. Mark Hamill, Obama supporter and proud comic book geek, is a wonderful guy. And the first adult male to try to hit on me, at least adult male who could have had a chance if I knew what hitting on a woman was at the time (17-don’t blame him, I was dressed up to see him in the Jerk on Broadway).
    2. He’s an amazing voiceover actor, so don’t be hating on him.
    3. I loved ALL THINGS STAR WARS. I’m guessing the loathed part was your version of clickbait. Not that you didn’t hate the movie, but that you made sure something controversial was in the content so enough outraged fanboys and girls would voice something. It’s ok, you had us at Han Solo and Luke Skywalker.

  87. 87

    @Chris: I am not that familiar with Kirk era Star Trek. However the mind melds and the dilithium crystal are not central to Star trek like the whole Jedi-Force mythology is to Star Wars. Its the moral dilemmas and ethical dilemmas that form the core of Star Trek with some magic thrown in. The magical elements are the icing on the cake in Trek while in Star War that is the entire cake.

  88. 88
    ruemara says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I would say you are wrong about that being the entire cake of Star Wars. It’s essentially an adventure story with some magical elements thrown in.

  89. 89
    WereBear says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Now, that one. Utterly made of awesome.

    The Stars My Destination

  90. 90

    @ruemara: I can see that. I found Star Wars enjoyable (not the prequels) I just find the Trek Universe more engaging that’s all.

  91. 91
    patroclus says:

    Mark Hamill is a liberal Democrat who has been on the Stephanie Miller show occasionally and they liked him so much that they wanted him back in the studio semi-regularly like Hal Sparks. I don’t see how anyone – other than Rush Limbaugh types – can dislike him.

    As for the Star Wars movies, A New Hope was good, The Empire Strikes Back great, Return of the Jedi bad, The Pod Race starring Jar Jar Binks terrible and virtually unwatchable, Attack of the Clones, starring Mannequin Skywalker, confusing and filled with bad acting and wooden dialogue and the Light Saber Duel on the Lava Planet halfway decent; especially when Darth Vader ruthlessly murders the younglings.

    Mark Hamill reprising Alec Guinness seems appropriate, but I wouldn’t want him to do Guinness in a remake of The Bridge Over the River Kwai or Lawrence of Arabia.

  92. 92
    handsmile says:

    @patroclus:

    Thankfully, we’ll be spared those impersonations, but Lucas’s own debt to David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia was hugely evident in the first Star Wars film.

    (And it’s good to see several late commenters here pointing out Hamill’s liberal bona fides.)

  93. 93
    ruemara says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Fair enough. I love any of it.

  94. 94
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Nicole:

    But as a girl growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, Princess Leia was the shit. She was tough, she didn’t scream and she wore an outfit a seven-year-old could copy for Halloween without her parents freaking out.

    Still — why couldn’t Leia be a Jedi? She was Darth Vader’s / Anakin Skywalker’s daughter, after all, so should have inherited all those sweet sweet midichlorians. Why was her twin brother a Jedi and not her?

  95. 95
    Chris says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Because she’s too busy being one of the main leaders in the Rebel Alliance, e.g, once they restore the Republic, one of the people who actually gets to order Jedi around. I’m not a woman so maybe I shouldn’t talk, but I never got the impression she was getting short changed; she always struck me as being by far the more adult of the twins. It takes Luke until the third movie to catch up to the level of maturity and responsibility she has all along.

  96. 96
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Why was her twin brother a Jedi and not her?

    Sexism.

    Okay, I’m kinda joking. There is that hint in Empire that Leia could become a Jedi if she wanted to (“There is another”) so, for all we know, part of the new sequels could be that she does get the training and become a Jedi.

    Also, IIRC Lucas decided pretty late in the process that Luke and Leia are brother and sister, which is why you have the now-squicky kissing scenes in Empire — he didn’t make the final decision until Jedi.

    And on a slightly different note, it’s pretty interesting now to watch American Graffiti and Star Wars back-to-back, because it really jumps out at you that Mark Hamill is doing Richard Dreyfuss’s voice as Luke (Dreyfuss was Lucas’s first choice as Luke but didn’t want to do it). No surprise that Hamill became an acclaimed voice actor.

  97. 97
    MaximusNYC says:

    [T]here’s at least one generation since then that considers SW as a pillar of fond childhood memories, like the Wizard of Oz.

    Lucas actually lifted quite a bit from The Wizard of Oz. Kid raised by aunt and uncle on a farm meets strange old “wizard”, gets swept off on big quest, gains magical companions including big furry guy and mechanical man, faces arch-villain with sinister fortress and legions of evil underlings, etc.

  98. 98
    MaximusNYC says:

    Adding: I’m 1 of the minority of Gen Xers who was never terribly impressed by SW. The 1st movie, while shallow, does have a certain flair, and the 2nd movie (the best of them all) actually approaches profundity. But, altho I’m not a hater, I generally think there is less to SW than meets the eye.

  99. 99

    @Cacti: No one’s ever thought of switching the gender of a well-known character.

    In the event you are being facetious, heh.

    In the event you are *not* being facetious, Starbuck, Battlestar Galactica.

  100. 100
    MCA1 says:

    @Cassidy: A “reboot” of a fantasy/epic/quasi-tragedy opera is just a reshooting, though. It’s not Star Trek, where you set up the conceit that a bunch of people will travel around the universe and you can write endless stories with endless character permutations to capture the philosophical zeitgeist of the moment. Star Wars isn’t sci-fi, and the storyline, generally speaking, cannot be changed. You must have the callow youth meet the old master and grow into a zen warrior hero, confront pure evil in the form of his own father and redeem him in order to overthrow the powers of darkness. Can’t change that basic plotline, so why bother reshooting the same story to fiddle around the edges and update the CGI?

    Anyway, back to the original point here – I saw Hamill recently on some talk show, and it wasn’t that he looked particularly old to me, it was that he wasn’t especially, um, svelte these days. He’ll need to get in shape if he’s to reprise Skywalker.

    And I’m with those wagging their fingers at the folks in here trashing the original Star Wars series. Jedi is almost universally agreed upon as sucking, but the original Episode IV was mindblowingly original in 1977, utterly unlike anything seen before in the movies. And Empire Strikes Back was and still is a pretty damned good film, well directed, very tightly paced, with a good script covering a lot of thematic ground, and with a number of iconic scenes and lines of dialogue that anyone between 33 and 45 can rattles off. All y’all’s bad impressions are just colored by the absolute dreck of the prequels and the fact that we’re all a lot older and wiser now.

  101. 101
    Cassidy says:

    @MCA1:

    is just a reshooting

    1) Nothing particularly wrong with that.
    2) You can still have the basic story with different character interpretations, acting, etc.

    The rest is meh. Like I said, I loved Star Wars as a kid and it’s something I’ll have my kids watch. That doesn’t mean you can’t criticize it.

  102. 102
    Peter says:

    I count myself as part of the minority that actually prefers RotJ over ESB and has never understood why Empire Strikes Back is so acclaimed.

  103. 103

    In related news, today is the 20th anniversary of the best TV show ever:

    http://io9.com/5985727/the-str.....-babylon-5

    In celebration, the SO and I are going out to see the Looney Toons festival at the Brattle Theater.

  104. 104
    McJulie says:

    I enjoyed Star Wars a lot, but I didn’t take it to heart quite as passionately as a lot of my cohort did.

    Empire I loved, though. Love-loved-loved. Couldn’t get enough.

    Then I loved the first part of Jedi — but after the epic fight on Jabba’s barge — something goes kinda wrong. I didn’t notice it so much on first viewing, where I skipped class to see it in downtown Seattle at the Cinerama, but repeat viewings really made it obvious.

    Then the prequels. FSM preserve us, but they were bad, and I watched them anyway, because I’m just that kind of a nerd.

    They were so bad that the last time I watched Empire, it seemed like some of the magic had worn off. Nooooooo….. (sobbing)

  105. 105
    Anoniminous says:

    100 comments in and one has mentioned the John Williams music score?

    Star Wars (The Original) marks the line between old film tech and new film tech. It’s the Beginner’s Bible of action/adventure special effects. Watch the film shot by shot for character placement, shot timing, tracking, & etc. and you’ll start to see how Lucas initiated the ‘grammar’ and ‘semiotics’ of the science fiction (sic) action/adventure genre.

    Lucas also ‘enabled’ strong females in action/adventure. Up to then the usual thing for a female character was to scream, run away from the monster, and fall down. There’s a epic scene in New Hope where Lucas sets-up that up, only to have Leia grab the blaster from Luke (? been a while) and start shooting. And, as others have commented, Leia is the only three dimensional character in the flick, everybody else is a cardboard.

  106. 106
    Mike E says:

    Star Wars IV was such an incredible example of serendipity that many mistook Lucas as a pure genius, when really he was lucky, flawed genius at best. His best trait in the mid 70’s was an almost inane obsession with details that took him away from meddling with a cast who really did him a solid by taking the silliness (& their careers) seriously. He was too busy chasing after suitable optical effects to fuck up anything else. He would make up for this later on (plus rip out my heart for spite during the Indiana Jones saga–ugh). Timing, plus Fox idiocy re: marketing made him a gazillionaire.

    Probably the biggest stroke of luck/genius was having Johnny Williams conduct the London Symphony Orchestra, which had the power to transport movie-goers to another world, even if they never opened their eyes the whole time.

    ETA: Anoniminous, I had a feeling…

  107. 107
    Chris says:

    @Peter:

    Middle acts are always “the best” because they don’t have to waste any time explaining the characters and universe, or wrapping them up in a way that makes sense and satisfy the audience. All they have to do is move the plot forward. Not that that makes them any less good, but it’s a lot easier to please the viewers like that.

    I also liked ROTJ just fine.

  108. 108
    jon says:

    Han Solo/Harrison Ford is the reason Star Wars worked. He was the smarter half of the audience who was in on the joke that this was a goofy adventure film where sometimes running around like a kid and shooting at stuff was not necessarily the best plan but it was at least something to get things to happen. And he was cool. Can he still do that kind of thing? He better. Will Disney try to make someone the new Han? It would be better than trying to get a new Jar-Jar. But if the old Han is still around, he should give it a go.

  109. 109
    MCA1 says:

    @Cassidy: No, there’s certainly nothing “wrong” with it, and I don’t hold the original Star Wars films as sacrosanct or anything. But I do maintain that it would be generally pointless, somewhat interesting tweaks to character personalities, acting choices, etc., aside. Those things are nice, but they don’t add up to much, from my perspective.

  110. 110
    Nicole says:

    @Rafer Janders: See acting careers of most siblings of movie stars. Same DNA doesn’t mean same skill set.

    For what it is worth though, in Empire, when Dead Obi Wan despairs about Luke being their last hope, Yoda says “No, there is another.” I’m sure he didn’t mean Chewie.

  111. 111
    handsmile says:

    @Hillary Rettig:

    How heartening to read that the Brattle Theater is still in operation! Many, many happy hours were spent in the dark there during my years of exile in Cambridge/Boston.

    Your comment prompted me to check its website; glad to see that it’s still a repertory cinema, though that appears now to have a diminished role in its overall programming. Have a wonderful time with the Looney Tunes!

  112. 112
    Michael says:

    A couple thoughts:

    (1) Isn’t quite obvious that any new Star Wars movies would have to either (a) reboot the franchise (lame), (b) do some weird parallel stories that don’t involve anyone from any of the movies, completely disconnected from the larger plotline of the other 6 movies (bad idea), or (c) take place after the first 3 movies? And if they’re going to take place after, doesn’t it make sense to have the original characters, in their twilight, passing off the figurative torch to the next generation? This seems painfully obvious. I would be worried if they weren’t bringing those guys back…

    (2) The third prequel–Revenge of the Sith–gets undeserved hate. It has a uniquely dark feel for a Star Wars movie (slaughter of younglings??) that adds a new layer of evil to Darth Vader IMO. Has some actual nice not-so-subtle subtext about the state of politics in the US at the time of its release. Plus Yoda is awesome and has a big role.

  113. 113
    Cassidy says:

    Oh well. I still say start the whole damn thing over. The new Start Trek was much better than any of the various series and most of the movies. I think Abrams can do better with Star Wars.

  114. 114
    Chris says:

    @jon:

    Ford was also the guy who told Lucas “you can write this shit, George, but you sure as hell can’t say it.” And was able to spice up his character a little, giving us among other things the immortal “I know” line. The prequels had nobody like that, or more likely, Lucas simply had so much clout he didn’t have to listen. A lot of the resulting disaster came from that.

    Yeah, I like Harrison Ford. Speaking of George Lucas just being insanely lucky, one of the reasons I respect Ford so much is that I came across an interview of his from the 1990s where he admitted “you can’t get to where I am without bags of fucking luck. You can be as good as I am or better and still not get here for no reason other than luck.”

    It’s such a breath of fresh air in a world where people at his income level constantly bombard us with mewling about how the world doesn’t understand or respect their specialness.

  115. 115
    It's Not The Fall, It's The Landing says:

    @Yutsano: Tara Strong manages to stay pretty busy with the voice acting, too, and deservedly so. I heard her on a podcast, I think with director Kevin Smith, in which she went right from one voice to another to another, several times, with no glitches or hesitations. It was impressive.

  116. 116
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Nicole:

    For what it is worth though, in Empire, when Dead Obi Wan despairs about Luke being their last hope, Yoda says “No, there is another.” I’m sure he didn’t mean Chewie.

    I just took a screenwriting seminar and the speaker pointed out something I’d never noticed before — after Yoda says that line, the next person you see is Leia. It’s a little bit disguised because there’s a flying sequence in between, but that’s your hint right there if you know to look for it.

  117. 117
    opie_jeanne says:

    @TenguPhule: I didn’t know about that. Was it that soon after the third film?

  118. 118
    opie_jeanne says:

    @TenguPhule: Yutsano explained it, and I didn’t know anything about it at the time even though I lived near LA.

    Seven hours in surgery to repair a cheekbone and broken nose is no light thing.

  119. 119
    Mnemosyne says:

    Amusing quote from Hamill’s IMDb page:

    “I’ve learned that the movies [Star Wars] will never finally end. It just goes on and on and on and on. I mean, it’s going to be in 3D, then it’s going to be smellivision, then it’s going to be a ride in an amusement park, then they’ll come to your house and perform it with puppets on your lawn … it’ll never end! I accepted that a long time ago.”

  120. 120
    Darkrose says:

    @Mnemosyne: As I’ve heard it, Luke and Leia became siblings because Hamill didn’t want to work that closely with Carrie Fisher, who was stoned or high most of the time. Harrison Ford was like, “Eh, whatever,” so retconning happened.

  121. 121
    Darkrose says:

    Mark Hamill is awesome. I never watched the Batman series, but as Fire Lord Ozai in Avatar: the Last Airbender, he was amazing.

  122. 122
    JWL says:

    The first SW episode had been out a few months by the time I saw it in Berkeley, Ca. Unfortunately the mostly student audience knew the plot and dialogue, and ruined it for me by interacting Rocky Horror-style through the whole film. I wasn’t driving that night, and had to sit there and take it. Even so, I thought it was pretty cool movie, although nowhere as good as its rave reviews. I’ve never seen any of its sequels, and that’s OK with me.

  123. 123
    John says:

    @Anne – you do realize that if you saw the first one, and then saw the one where Darth Vader dies, you actually only skipped one movie, right (ignoring the prequels, which came afterwards anyway)? And, not coincidentally, that one movie is the one that is generally considered the best in the series.

    @Sly:

    OT, but one thing that is definitely true is that Conroy’s version of Batman is the best we’ve seen on screen. I don’t think any of the movie actors has really gotten the role right. That said, I think a big part of the problem is that the Batman concept is one that works better in a TV show than a movie framework.

    @Michael:

    I agree with your first point, but couldn’t disagree more with the second. “Revenge of the Sith” is in fact a terrible movie that has been given a bit of an easy ride because it was still nowhere near as bad as the first two prequels. It’s a movie that sounds compelling when you write out the plot summary, but that is actually horribly executed – bad dialogue, bad acting, bad direction. The final light sabre duel goes on forever, to the point where it becomes dull. It simply is not a very good movie.

  124. 124
    MCA1 says:

    @Chris: See Cranston, Bryan for similar levels of legitimate humility regarding how fortunate he is to have gotten the chances he’s gotten. He sounds like a guy who just wants to work, and enjoys doing so.

  125. 125
    JustRuss says:

    My brother once gave Hamill a Sharpy so he could sign autographs in a taco joint. Why my brother walks around with a Sharpy in his pocket, I don’t know.

    I was 14 when Star Wars came out, loved it. Watch it 3 or 4 times in the theater. I’m not such a huge fan anymore, I still haven’t seen the 3rd prequel. After Episodes 1 and 2, I had enough.

  126. 126
    stormhit says:

    @Redshirt: Not that it’s high drama or anything, but Leia is still an important and privileged person even with her planet’s destruction. Luke is some guy with nothing who in addition to recently having his adoptive parents killed, just lost the guy who finally took him off planet and was the only person who could teach him to be a space wizard.

  127. 127
    Redshirt says:

    @stormhit: It’s a strange emotional focus once you think about it. Luke didn’t really seem to give much thought/care to Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru getting burnt up. He’s devastated however by Obi-Wan’s death. Leia just watched her home planet of billions of people get incinerated, yet she’s consoling Luke over the loss of his 5 day long buddy.

    I think it might be sexism, as Luke and not Leia is the focus of the story, and thus his feelings are the focus, not hers.

  128. 128
    Michael says:

    @John: I’ll take 1 out of 2.

  129. 129
    FlipYrWhig says:

    IMHO the problem with the “prequels” is that Lucas is trying to have them be About Something. He’s basically trying to do an ancient Roman-inspired “how do republics become empires” thing, with aspects of the rise of Hitler and the rise of George W. Bush. But then he also wants to do car chases and shootouts because that’s more fun for everyone to watch, and involves fewer scenes of stationary declamation and parliamentary procedure.

    If you treat the prequels as one long “Roman play,” like _Coriolanus_ or something, the plot starts to make sense.

  130. 130
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @stormhit: Without Obi-Wan Gandalf, what is Frodo Skywalker supposed to do?

  131. 131
    Heliopause says:

    Okay, might as well.

    IV was not a great film but was great filmmaking. On a very limited budget Lucas gets you to think you’re watching a much more expensive movie. The story itself is silly comic book stuff but well-executed for the money.

    V is for me the second most overrated movie in the history of cinema. Far too much screen time wasted on idiotic, third-grade romantic pablum, and the beginning of the descent into Lucas’s worst instinct: pointlessly filling up every square inch of the screen with special effects, just because he can. Bad filmmaking, but most people think it’s OMG the greatest of the series, so what can I do.

    Also might be the only person in the world who thinks VI is the best of the series. While it has a couple of glaring faults it’s also the only one in which the characters exceed their farcical one-dimensionality and you actually start giving a damn whether they live or die.

    I and II sucked, III was a bit better and perhaps I find myself in agreement with the rest of the world on these.

  132. 132
    Redshirt says:

    @FlipYrWhig: The stories behind the Prequels are great. The execution of these stories was pretty much terrible.

    For the best proof I can provide, read the novelization of “Revenge of the Sith”. It’s fantastic. The movie – meh. Not so much.

    Lucas is the best example in my lifetime of the dangers of success to an artist. He’s got great ideas, but given his power, he no longer had any critical filters or people who would tell him something didn’t work.

  133. 133
    Chris says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Oh, the “fall of the Roman Empire” angle was a great idea. The entire notion is that they’ve got a decaying, incredibly weak-ass government where private entities are allowed to run amok to the point of total breakdown of law and order… hence the loss of faith in the system, which drives people to embrace radical alternatives (first the Separatists, then the Empire) under the notion that “anything has to be better than this.”

    In better hands (e.g. someone who knew how to stand back and let better people write the scripts and pick the actors), it would’ve made for a really good story. Even the Anakin concept fits into it; his backstory is that he was raised on a fringe planet that the Republic no longer polices anymore, and he’s been exposed to all the evils of that sort of lawlessness (first slavery, then his mother’s murder). Ergo, while the rest of the Jedi still see the Republic with rose-tinted glasses, he sees it as indifferent and incompetent. I’d have found it a lot more interesting to watch him embrace Palpatine because of things like that than the goddamn love story that was inflicted on us.

  134. 134
    Tehanu says:

    In the mid-1990s my son and his college friends, all born around 1976-1980, stood in line literally for a month (they actually had a rota so people could get food, go home and sleep, and go to classes without losing their places) to get first tickets, then seats, for the re-issue of Episode IV. This was at the Fox Village theatre in Westwood, next to UCLA, which holds about 1600 people. My husband and I went with them to the first screening, so it was just us and 1598 screaming college kids… and we never saw or heard anything like it. It was like a giant religious revival meeting where everybody got saved by Jesus himself. The entire audience recited every single line of dialogue along with the actors. The cheering when Darth Vader showed up was so loud I had to turn down the gain on my hearing aids. Those of you on this thread who keep saying things like “I never liked it” are just out of tune with something that had a profound effect on millions of people. You have a perfect right to not like it, of course, but you must realize you’re in a minority.

  135. 135
    DaddyJ says:

    Lay off Mark Hamill. He was and is a competent actor playing a brash young teenager (BYT). BYTs are *supposed* to be annoying. And compare his BYT in V and VI with the BYT in II and III. Not that I blame the actor — for Pete’s sake, even Samuel L. Jackson acts like he’s got the flu in III.

  136. 136
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Chris:

    In better hands (e.g. someone who knew how to stand back and let better people write the scripts and pick the actors), it would’ve made for a really good story. Even the Anakin concept fits into it; his backstory is that he was raised on a fringe planet that the Republic no longer polices anymore, and he’s been exposed to all the evils of that sort of lawlessness (first slavery, then his mother’s murder). Ergo, while the rest of the Jedi still see the Republic with rose-tinted glasses, he sees it as indifferent and incompetent. I’d have found it a lot more interesting to watch him embrace Palpatine because of things like that than the goddamn love story that was inflicted on us.

    Ooh, I actually really like this idea. Better yet: Weimar in space!

  137. 137
    Redshirt says:

    @Tehanu: I forget the name of the theater, but I went to a large movie theater in mid-town Manhattan to see the Episode IV re-release and my experience was similar to yours – it was magical. Maybe my most favorite movie experience.

  138. 138
    Ecks says:

    @JGabriel: The internets, sir, you have won them.

  139. 139
    Ecks says:

    @Chris: I don’t follow these things at all closely, but I half remember Asimov’s (or someone like him’s) rule of science fiction which was: It’s like normal reality, but you get to change one thing. You get one technology or principle that you can change or make work.

    Star Trek doesn’t even come close to that, or course.

  140. 140
    Sourmash says:

    Hamill starred in one of the best WWII films ever: The Big Red One.

  141. 141
    DavidTC says:

    SPOILERS FOR THE STAR WARS EU:

    So, let’s assume that they actually the character have aged correctly. It’s been 30 years since Return, so they would be thirty years older. And coincidentally people in the universe date from the end of Return also, which they consider year 0 ABY. (ABY=After the Battle of Yavin) In the EU, it is ‘now’ 45 ABY, so it’s slightly too far in the future. (OTOH, humans do live longer in the SW universe, so it’s not much of a problem.)

    Buuuuut…the problem with the current EU is it brings a lot of baggage. In the present of the EU, Luke has a living kid and a dead wife, Han and Leia have two dead kids, Chewie is dead. Etc.

    …but they could put it back from ‘the present’ a bit, and set it during the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, which happened in 25 ABY, which would give villains and let the Solo twins be the heroes. And bring in the Imperial Remnant as a sorta possible fake villain to start with, but then in the second movie they show up as big damn heroes, which also brings in Jagged Fel as a love interest for Jaina Solo.

    It’s probably the most interesting and galaxy-threatening EU story in approximately the correct time frame. You’d have to simplify a lot of stuff, it’s probably best to pretend Anakin Solo never existed, perhaps age Ben Skywalker a bit so he can participate also. (And if you don’t, _leave him out_. The last thing this franchise needs is another damn kid running around.)

    I know a lot of purists will be pissed with EU canon being screwed up, but, hell, the prequels also did that to a large extent.

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