Friday, September 16, 2011

5 Scene Challenge: Star Wars IV-VI

Post by the Hawthorne Hawkman, image from Bryan Thao Worra, videos from varying sites.

I try to keep topics on this blog specific to north Minneapolis, but this is one exception.  My good friend and former Hawthornite Bryan Thao Worra was back in town recently, and we as die-hard Star Wars fans lamented the nonstop tweaks that George Lucas makes each time he releases the Star Wars classics in a new format.  (Today is a dark day for us as it marks the release of all six movies on Blu-Ray.)  This round of changes includes Darth Vader yelling "Nooooo!" as he kills The Emperor in Return of the Jedi, reminding viewers of Vader's cringe-worthy close to Revenge of the Sith.  Oh, and R2-D2 hides behind even more rocks.  Really?  That's what kept George Lucas up at night, thinking "You know what Tatooine needs?  I've got it!  More rocks."

So BTW and I agreed to do our own dueling blog posts about what five things we would add to improve the original trilogy.  The prequels weren't worth mentioning, as fans have pretty much edited those movies already.  The Other Side of the Eye has its top five here.

And now for Star Wars:  The Hawkman Edit...

5.  Put CGI to practical use and make the Death Star schematics in Star Wars (yes it's supposed to be A New Hope, but it will always be Star Wars to me.) in line with other movies.

It always bothered me that the computers in Return of the Jedi were much more sophisticated than those used in Episode IV.  I explained it away by saying that the rebels must have had limited access to current technology when they first mounted their campaign.  But upon seeing the advanced gadgetry everyone had access to in the prequels, this was no longer believable.  It would be like saying the Libyan rebels overthrew Gadhafi using the old brick cell phones, floppy disks, and battle schematics that ran off of MS-DOS and ASCII animation.

4.  A little diversity please?

Star Wars was groundbreaking in how it dropped viewers right in the middle of a universe with all sorts of new creatures around.  The Mos Esiley Cantina scene goes down as one of the great moments in sci-fi history as a result.  Furthermore, having strong women like Princess Leia and Mon Mothma in leadership roles pushed science fiction gender barriers as well.  The prequels show us a multi-racial, multi-species government and Return of the Jedi keeps it up, but in Episodes IV and V we're left with white male humans as the leaders and fighters of the campaign.  I'd fix that by adding footage during the space fight scenes to show racial and species diversity.

Plus, can you imagine having Jar Jar Binks in an X-Wing, exploding in a panicked yell?  "Meesa can't shake him!"  Now THAT would be satisfying.

Honorable mention goes to this short clip of the unintentionally hilarious Jek Porkins.

3.  Showcase Luke's piloting skills.

We do get to see Luke prove himself with the Millenium Falcon's gun turrets, but the only other piloting he does is the hovercraft on Tatooine.  No matter how desperate the rebels were, putting Luke into an X-Wing always felt like the equivalent of saying, "You've ridden around on a Segway?  Great!  Now fly this F-16."

2.  Give Chewbacca a medal!

To add insult to injury, when Chewbacca finally DID get an award, it was at the MTV movie awards.  Really.  (Ok, that was actually pretty awesome.)  The other scene I've always wanted to see was what made Han change his mind and go back to help the rebels in Star Wars.  I pictured Chewie as the one who basically called Han a thoughtless, inconsiderate jerk, and convinced him to go back.  In the movie Chewie was first presented as basically a primitive pet mechanic, and a scene like that would have added depth to his character and his relationship to Han.

1.  Bring back "Lapti Nek."

I know, I know, the glaring omission is the whole "Han shot first" controversy.  But "Lapti Nek" wins out because we all know Han shot first.

"Lapti Nek" is the disco-themed alien song in Return of the Jedi, and it fit perfectly precisely because it sounded discordant and otherworldly.  Its replacement, "Jedi Rocks," sounded like a sci-fi riff of a mid-90's pop song and included  a horrible CGI muppet taking over lead vocals.  But what really put this scene over the top is that there is a Lapti Nek Preservation Society.  And the preservationist in me can't help but be drawn to the fact that a fictional song has such dedication.

Bryan Thao Worra and others, feel free to weigh in with your nerdiness.

1 comment:

  1. Extended sequences with many of the rebel pilots, and a diversity among them would definitely be among the best and easiest to integrate. And the more I mull it over I definitely stand by Wampa Rampage when C-3P0 gains a certain level of autonomy and tricks the stormtroopers into unleashing a pack of wampas.


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