Saturday, June 5, 2010

Episode I: The Menace

Ok, so I lied. This will not be a two part blog. It turns out that I have a lot more to say about the prequels than I had previously thought. For now, let's just call it a series of indeterminate length. Now, allow me set the stage for the most horrific event in motion picture history.

May 19, 1999. A day that will live in infamy. Nerds across the globe had been counting down the days, some going as far as to camp out in front of theaters months in advance. The Internet was literally on fire with spoilers and production photos. (Sorry, I love grossly misusing the word 'literally.' I'm fairly certain the Internet is noncombustible). From my own personal experience, being 17 and totally unpopular, I can tell you that I had never been more excited for anything in my entire life (and I hadn't had sex yet, so that's saying a lot). I'll never forget sitting in that theater when the movie started. I'm actually currently getting goosebumps thinking about the goosebumps I got back then. About 10 minutes into the film, I started having questions. If this is supposed to come before the other films, why are all the ships so much sleeker and shinier? Why is that green guy a stereotypical old Japanese man? Who the hell is Qui-Gon Jinn and how come I've never heard of him before?

The questions kept coming, but there were no answers. Why is Natalie Portman wearing kabuki makeup? Are we really not supposed to know that Senator Palpatine and Darth Sidious are the same person? Who the hell is Darth Maul, and did they make him look like Satan just to ensure that we'd know whose side he's on? I could feel myself losing my mind, but I couldn't leave. After all, this was a new Star Wars movie! I had waited almost my entire life for this! It just had to get better, I hoped. But then it happened...

"Meesa called Jar Jar Binks!" I actually felt something in the right side of my brain pop. The biggest question of all...WHAT THE F#@$!?!?

This was immediately obvious as a horribly inappropriate stereotype of 19th century African-American slaves. If you want to portray a character as down-trodden, do it with creative storytelling and intricate dialog, not with an offensive, stereotypical accent. Jar Jar Binks is the biggest waste of computer processing power ever, and considering the amount of websites dedicated to Justin Bieber, that's really saying something. "Ok, just try to block out Jar Jar," I told myself. I couldn't was Star Wars!

"Are you an angel?" Yep, time for the "romance" section of the movie. I realize that between two adults, a ten year age difference is not a big deal. But seriously, she's like 20, and he's like 10, and that's gross. However, I will say that Padme and Anakin's romantic chemistry is better in this movie than the two that follow. That's pretty gross, too.

Ok, I admit it! The podrace was cool.

And now, a short letter to the writer/director:

Dear Mr. Lucas,
So, you think you can just take the word mitochondria, change it a little, describe it as what it actually is, and expect us to believe that that's where the Force comes from?
Up yours,

Finally, after the giant battle between computer-generated robots and computer-generated fish people, and the painful to watch lightsaber fight, it was over. I left the theater, feeling like my soul had just been put through a meat grinder. A part of me died that day, and it's something that I can never get back. I have met a few people who, although they grew up with the original trilogy, love this movie. To you people, I have one thing to say. This is America, and you have the right to think and say whatever you like. Just keep in mind that you're wrong.

Trivia question: Do you know the name of the last movie George Lucas directed before Episode I? That's right. Episode IV. 22 years earlier. Therein lies the answer to all of my previous questions. 'Because George Lucas is an idiot who forgot how to write and direct.'

Join me again tomorrow for the amazing story of how I didn't learn my lesson and went back for more punishment three years later.

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