STAR WARS: Obligatory Long Shot rev.

IS THAT GROVER?

Okay, I don’t like Star Wars. I can’t accept George Lucas as my personal lord and savior, and parts I-III, and V-VI suck. Re-title the series: Cliché Bores.

The special effects (eye-candy) are storied, superior and endless. Never have I been bored to death by more wonder, except maybe in a church crawl in Europe, a mosque crawl in Cairo, or camping out in Room 5,212 in the Louvre. Too much of a good thing?

Well, in the midst of all this mind-boggling clutter: our heroes and heroines, villains and villainesses (not too many of those – George doesn’t handle the female element very confidently or sympathetically – doesn’t seem to understand it). This is my major complaint with the whole second series: characters are as flat as cardboard cutouts, motivations as thin as tissue, dialogue as transparent as wax paper, drama as heavy-handed as wood chips in a roll of toilet paper. Lucas just does not understand either human psychology or actual human emotion; he’s a middle-class privileged guy from the Valley. He’s obviously read about them though, and borrows feelings one is supposed to have, according to his research, but it comes out so leaden, so slowly, tediously – just like the humor in Howard the Duck (was that supposed to be a comedy? I really don’t know. Howard makes my skin crawl).

And, although I shouldn’t expect unnecessary logic in a fantasy work, I find it utterly impossible to figure out why all the alien peoples have absolutely human earthbound attitudes, senses of humor, and even get hot for human women – isn’t there any sort of cross-species disinterest in outer space, or is the entire universe just get-anything-that-moves horny? Oh, yes, something else would require imagination, and might actually estrange audiences who only understand the just-what-they-know obvious – such as folks who go to Nascar (the kid in the flimsy-jack pod racer. Worst roadworthy design EVER). I know, picky.

However, I do find myself drawn to the enormous energy, will to succeed, and effort to achieve that Lucas demonstrates; he’s a pure work and win example of Horatio Alger proportions. He deserves his reputation for technical wonders, and for bringing the length and breadth of CG I to film. He is deservedly considered a pioneer genius of the technical side of film. So on that level, I totally GROK Star Wars. The cityscapes, et al are the best eye-candy without – I’m fairly sure – real rival. In this race, George is the one to beat.

And I just like to look at Natalie Portman – period. Sorry, women friends, I’m a guy – not dirty, just worshipful, watching a rare and unusual talent and charismatic feminine charm. She captivated the screen in her debut with Jean Reno in the Professional and has held it ever since.

I would gladly throttle the little kid in Part 1. Perhaps he was just playing the part of an insufferable little creep, in which case, he’s a fine actor.

In Parts 2 and 3 I kept hoping Hayden Christensen would misjudge those stories-falling leaps of his and hit an awning or a balcony. Something. Anything. Hated his hair, it blinded me to the rest of him. He does sullen and near clueless very well.

Someone should have given Ewen Mac Gregor something to say – he looked simply out of place, hard-working, a fine actor, but utterly wasted. He was supposed to be Alec Guinness later? Gotta say, there was a whole lot of learning to achieve Old Obi-Wan’s level of wisdom between Parts 3 and 4 that we obviously didn’t get to see. Maybe there should be a Midquel (bite my tongue, must not invoke the Force).

I could go on, but it would only be more of the same snarky thing.

Loved her, hated him. The eye-candy par excellence. Lose the kid.

George, hire a scriptwriter and let him/her come up with the storyline, character development and dialog. Stop pumping out your boyhood dreams and high school theme books, before we’re consumed by Star Wars the Postquel Parts 7-8-9 – suggested titles: The Republic Goes Rotten; Return of the Sith Lords; and Hell’s Bells, We’re Right Back Where We Started!

O, no, I said it aloud! Now the Force has been invoked! O, no! Scotty, beam me up!

The DOOM PATROL (det.)

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