Rants & Raves: The force, much like the Star Wars universe, is very unbalanced.
Rants & Raves is an opportunity for writers to express opinions, wax poetic and share thoughts about entertainment, politics, life, or whatever else they feel like talking about. These are strictly writer opinions and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of INFLUX Magazine, but rather provide an outlet to express one’s ideas.
Yes, I loved the original Star Wars (the first one before it was Episode IV). And, yes, I thought, The Empire Strikes Back was a masterful work of filmmaking. However, my love for the Star Wars universe began to subside with Return of the Jedi. My anticipation for the prequels, was immense, and my disappointment greater.
Here is a list of 6 things I abhor about the Star Wars universe.
Keeping it simple, the Ewoks, as cute as they may be, are one of the worst things about any of the movies in the franchise.
They add a light-hearted feel to what should have a more of a Saving Private Ryan-esque sensation to the final battle sequence.
Lucas bounced back and forth between violence and cuteness and never found a balance. In my memory, I recall Ewoks getting crushed by Imperial walkers. When I watch the movie now, I do not see this happening.
Did it happen? Or was it just wishful thinking that the Ewoks could be stamped out of Star Wars existence.
“Without the midi-chlorians, life could not exist, and we would have no knowledge of the force … when you learn to quiet your mind, you’ll hear them speaking to you,” notes Qui-Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace in one of the worst bits of dialogue explaining one of the most useless pieces of exposition in modern cinema.
All discussions with the midi-chlorians reinforce the inane dialogue Lucas gave his actors to verbally vomit with total seriousness.
4. Anakin Skywalker
Old Man Anakin
So far, all incarnations of the lighter side of Darth Vader have been a disappointment.
The character development is nonsensical, and all actor portrayals thus far have been mediocre at best.
Even the old man Anakin in Return of the Jedi was disappointing. I wanted to see a bad-ass, not a middle-aged dude who didn’t look remotely Jedi-esque! And, of course, Lucas even removed this guy from new releases of Return replacing him with Hayden Christensen!
3. Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman
Three great actors who were not allowed to act. Part of the appeal of the original Star Wars was that Lucas let his actors overact.
In the prequels, however, Lucas contains them with near-career killing performances.
Portman has even publicly noted that following the prequels, it was assumed the actress could no longer act and it was then difficult to get roles.
2. Unintentionally Corny Dialogue
In the 1977 movie, the dialogue is (at least seems to be) intentionally corny and the actors were allowed to have fun with the silliness. However, by the time the prequels came out, the dialogue was self-indulgent mumbo jumbo that quelled the actors and flattened the movies.
Unforgivable lines of Lucas-isms:
Anakin to Qui-Gon: I saw your laser sword. Only Jedi carry that kind of weapon. Nearly every line of dialogue from Anakin is unforgiveable.
Jar-Jar: Oh, mooey, mooey. I love you. Jar Jar is so awful that I intentionally left him off of the list. I think we all agree with the horrid reality that Jar-Jar binks is one of the worst characters ever.
Qui-Gon: It was possible he was conceived by the midi-chlorians. An example of the mind-numbing, tongue-tying nonsense Neeson was forced to mumble.
Qui-Gon to Shmi: I didn't actually come here to free slaves. Uh, okay, then Mr. Peacekeeper Jedi. What the hell is your purpose then?
Shmi to Qui-Gon: There was no father. I carried him, I gave birth, I raised him. Apparently Anakin is Jesus.
Anakin to Padme: And now that I'm with you again... I'm in agony. The closer I get to you, the worse it gets. I am in agony hearing the Star Wars love dialogue.
Anakin: I killed them. I killed them all. They're dead, every single one of them. Too bad you didn't kill your lines.
Padme: He said... you turned to the Dark Side. That you... killed Younglings! No wonder people thought Portman couldn't act. How can you say this at all, let alone with a straight face?
1. George Lucas
Selling LucasFilms was the best move the auteur could have made. He created a perfect mythology with Star Wars then tore it apart with each successive film.
Outside of Star Wars and American Graffiti, Lucas has not actually shown any ability to tell much of a story with his direction.
Updated: What about Jar-Jar?
Yes, the beast should top any list, but he was so beyond awful, he couldn't even make this list. But here, to appease the universal (mine included) hate for Jar-Jar: