A Prairie Home Companion, Big Bang Theory, Black Beauty, C-3PO, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, Garrison Keillor, George Lucas, Harrison Ford, Indiana Jones, James Cameron, Karate Kid, Kristen Wiig, Luke Skywalker, Number 5, Obi-Wan Kenobi, One Direction, Pete's Dragon, Princess Leia, R2-D2, Short Circuit, SNL, Star Trek, Star Wars, Target Lady
For anyone that’s ever gone out on a first date, you know the list of tried-and-true first date conversation topics. There’s work, then home location, then favorite restaurants, and then — wait for it — favorite movies. And, without fail, I always hear my dates mention the exact same film — Star Wars.
What is it with men and Star Wars?
I’d love to give you an answer, but alas I’ve never seen the flick. What? Gasp! How? Why? Yep, I’ve heard all these reactions. So much so that recently a co-worker brought in all three of the original Star Wars films on DVD for me to borrow because, apparently, “they will change my life.”
So tonight, in an joint effort to further delve into the mysterious minds of men and also find out what I’ve been missing all these years, I am watching the first Star Wars film (later tagged “A New Hope“). And I’ve decided to “live tweet” my experience along the way to give you each a front row seat to my pending metamorphosis.
Here goes nothing!
[0:30] Okay, I definitely recognize this theme song. Sweet trumpets.
[0:59] What is all this rolling text? And why is it floating at an impossible-to-read angle?
[2:16] Oh my goodness, these special effects. I probably should’ve watched this when it came out… I might’ve been more impressed at negative three years old.
[2:58] It’s hard to understand these robots because I can’t see their mouths moving. It’s like trying to follow dialogue during a surgery scene on Grey’s Anatomy.
[3:47] Oooh, lasers!
[4:36] Darth Vader! We used to call my brother Steve “Dark Vader” because he’s got some pretty dark skin, and we always joked that he was adopted. (Kids are so mean.) But then I looked in the mirror one day and realized I look exactly like him.
[5:30] Princess Leia has got some serious buns. Oh, get your minds out of the gutter, people.
[8:55] Okay, so far I’ve established that Darth Vader is the bad guy. Too bad. James Earl Jones is really just a big teddy bear!
[9:44] Gotta love some dry robot humor! Gold robot to R2-D2: “Don’t get technical with me!”
[10:30] When is Indiana Jones gonna show up?
[11:37] How does R2-D2 roam around the desert for hours without needing to be recharged? I could use that technology now for my iPhone.
[12:36] WHAT are those little gremlins in brown hoods? This is getting ridiculous. But they have captured R2-D2, which I’m assuming is important to the storyline.
[14:09] R2-D2 is thrown into a room with lots of other captured robots of sorts… and a walking trash can. Did I just see Number 5?! Now that is an epic movie.
[15:42] Okay, now an enemy soldier is riding a giant lizard in the desert. Is George Lucas serious? And people say romantic comedies are unrealistic.
[17:15] Hello, Luke Skywalker! What a cutie. Now I see what all the fuss is about. He started Bieber hair before Bieber was a Biembryo.
[20:33] Oh! Gold Robot is C-3PO. Got it.
[21:42] Luke sees a hologram of Princess Leia and calls her beautiful. Ooooh, I sense a romantic storyline coming up! There could be hope for this film after all.
[24:26] Just found out Luke is an orphan. I can only assume the popular “Luke, I am your father” quote has something important to do with this. I sense a Maury-Povich-esque reveal in the works!
[25:46] Luke has his very own “gazing into the smoldering sunset” moment long before Jack and Rose ever did. Take that, James Cameron.
[28:10] A wooly mammoth with huge ram horns!
[29:50] Luke has been hurt! But the cloaked man that is checking on him seems nice enough. I think he’s on the good side.
[33:25] The nice old man is Obi-Wan Kenobi. He used to know Luke’s mystery father. He gives Luke a gift — a lightsaber. I’m having flashbacks of every kid I’ve ever babysat chasing me with those darn things as I helplessly ran around the house. Oh, what I did for five bucks an hour.
[36:20] Obi-Wan challenges Luke to come with him, to learn about The Force, to fight the evil Empire. But Luke says he’s got chores to do and can’t go.
[38:16] In the serious conference room, Darth Vader’s staff members look a lot like Star Trek characters. Just sayin’.
[40:08] Sweet hovercraft! I want one! But, I won’t get my hopes up. I’ve been waiting on flying skateboards since Marty McFly blew my mind in 1989.
[40:28] So, are Luke’s aunt and uncle dead? Just like that? Well, this is just sad. Twice an orphan. I will adopt you, Bieber!
[44:50] What on earth mars is happening right now? An alien bar? Lizards drinking shots? George Lucas is nothing if not creative.
[45:30] Oh, Chewbacca has arrived! That reminds me… yep, I met him once. At the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, Tennessee. Apparently, he’s a big fan of Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion.” Who knew?
[46:30] So, it’s the lizards, aliens and crazy characters versus the robots (A.K.A. Droids)? Have I got this right so far?
[47:56] Jones!!! Oh, sorry… Han Solo. What a little stud, all young and fresh faced! Love it. He wants to charge Luke and Obi-Wan $10,000 to chauffeur their trip to wherever they’re going. Obi-Wan counters with $17,000. Someone needs to enroll in “Negotiating 101.”
[50:12] Apparently Han Solo can speak Alien Japanese.
[52:45] Just when I thought the characters could not get more ridiculous, in walks squirms slugs Jabba the Hut. I have no idea what’s going on. Not bad special effects, though!
[54:39] “What a piece of junk!” says Luke when he sees Han Solo’s spaceship. This might be my favorite quote of the movie.
[58:00] Seriously, how many bobby pins do you think Princess Leia goes through in a given week? She must have stock in Goody.
[59:37] Is it bad that I’m nearly an hour into this and I have no idea what “The Force” even is?
[1:01:11] Aaah, I spoke too soon. I can see those rumored biblical references now. Luke to Han Solo: “You don’t believe in The Force, do you?” Han Solo’s doubts revealed: “Kid, I’ve flown from one side of this galaxy to the other. I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff. But I’ve never seen anything to make me believe there’s one all-powerful force controlling everything. There’s no mystical energy field controlling my destiny…” Not exactly Narnia, but I’m intrigued.
[1:03:29] What exactly is Chewbacca? Possibly the mysterious Jersey Devil I spent my teenage years searching for in the pine barrens of The Garden State?
[1:04:51] Uh oh. Problem with the spaceship.
[1:09:00] Oooh, nice move, guys! Han Solo and Luke dressed as the evil white robot-soldiers to trick everyone. They’re now successfully inside the enemy camp.
[1:09:55] Before Obi-Wan leaves, he says to Luke: “Your destiny lies along a different path than mine. The Force will be with you… always.”
[1:11:00] Luke learns that Princess Leia is “scheduled to be terminated.” He wants to save her! Cue the hero music.
[1:14:43] Laser tag breaks out while Han Solo and Luke are fake-transporting Chewbacca inside enemy territory. The enemy knows they’ve been invaded.
[1:17:34] Princess Leia is freed from her cell. Luke seems a little more nervous, like he’s on a first date.
[1:18:48] Han Solo talking about Princess Leia: “Wonderful girl. Either I’m gonna kill her, or I’m beginning to like her.” Sounds like most of the relationships I’ve experienced. Who knew Star Wars would be such an insight into my dating life.
[1:20:09] Just when I thought the storyline couldn’t get any crazier… now they’re all standing in a septic tank fighting off a one-eyed giant eel. I’ll never forget (never, ever, ever forget) that one time my dad opened the septic tank in the backyard of my childhood home. The smell still haunts me to this day.
[1:21:14] So when does the “Luke, I am your father” quote come into play? I swear, if it’s not in this first film, I will lose it.
[1:22:45] They are locked in this septic tank, folks. And the walls are closing in. Eeek! And Han Solo thinks now is a good time for jokes? “One thing’s for sure: we’re all gonna be a lot thinner.”
[1:24:51] C-3PO saves the day!
[1:26:17] Princess Leia is clearly PMS-ing as she points to Chewbacca and says, “Will someone get this big walking carpet out of my way?”
[1:27:57] Definitely not Oscar-winning performances here, folks. When Luke and Princess Leia are stuck in that tunnel trying to figure out how to extend the bridge, she sure sounds an awful lot like Kristen Wiig as SNL’s “Target Lady”: “They’re coooming throoough!”
[1:28:36] I’ve got a sudden hankering for a game of laser tag. Who’s with me? I think I saw a Groupon…
[1:30:13] Darth Vader vs. Obi-Wan Kenobi. The moment we’ve all been waiting for. The scene re-enacted over and over by Star Wars fanatics and 5-year-old boys across the land. I vaguely remember my sister and I staging a similar battle with two hairbrushes instead of lightsabers. Fascinating.
[1:32:15] Luke shows up in time to witness the battle. Obi-Wan sees Luke, makes a funny face, and then lets Darth Vader chop his head off. “Noooo!” yells Luke. Then, more laser tag.
[1:33:37] The gang escapes and makes their way back home in the spaceship. Princess Leia comforts Luke, who is sad about Obi-Wan’s death. (But is he really dead? He seemed to have disappeared just as Darth Vader was lasering off his head. Hmmm…)
[1:34:29] Luke could easily be one of those British boys from One Direction.
[1:35:14] The spaceship is under attack!
[1:35:53] Oooh, got a good side-view of Princess Leia’s bun. Looks like a cinnamon roll.
[1:37:01] Finally! We find out why the robots are so important. R2-D2 is carrying the technical read-outs of the battle station! But of course!
[1:37:36] Just before landing, Han Solo and Luke share the greatest exchange of dialogue in the entire film. Here they are (talking about the girl, of course!):
Luke: So, what do you think of her?
Han: I try not to, kid.
Han: Still, she’s got a lot of spirit. What do you think? You think a princess and a guy like me–
[1:38:24] Oh my goodness. Is this almost over yet?
[1:39:46] A group of people that I don’t recognize plan to attack Darth Vader’s battleship using the information found in R2-D2. Luke is on board for the battle. Han Solo is a wuss and wants to take his 17 G’s and run. He leaves Luke with a half-hearted, “May The Force be with you.” Clearly, he’s still struggling with his belief.
[1:43:01] Princess Leia just kissed Luke Skywalker on the cheek. Aaaand she’s pregnant.
[1:45:00] Luke follows the voice of Obi-Wan that echoes in his head, and sets off to attack the battleship! Gooo Luke! Be aggressive, B-E aggressive!
[1:50:07] Well, this is a long battle scene.
[1:55:12] Wondering how the DVD manufacturers decided that listing the film’s running time as “Approx. 123 minutes” was even remotely accurate.
[1:57:54] Apparently Luke wins the battle. I may have drifted off there for a moment. But Luke, Princess Leia, Han Solo and R2-D2 are all friends again. They should form a band! Like Zack Attack!
[1:59:08] So I guess Princess Leia really is an actual princess. Who knew? There’s a big ceremony and she awards the guys with medals of honor, her hair now in one large, braided cinnamon roll with an additional braided rat tail. Classy.
So, I’ve reached the end of this film, not as eternally transformed as I’d been promised. I am eternally disappointed that the ever-famous “Luke, I am your father” quote is not, in fact, in this first film. And, I guess Obi-Wan is actually dead? Sad day!
My official review: All in all, this was a super creative film. I’ll give George Lucas two thumbs up. As for becoming a Star Wars fanatic, that won’t be happening anytime soon. I doubt I’ll be able to sit through the next two films, let alone the three prequels. And that’s saying a lot, considering I have yet to find out if Princess Leia will choose Luke or Hans Solo. Cliffhanger!
But at least, if nothing else, I can say I understand men a little better. I’ve come to several conclusions. Men are weirder than I thought. More Sci-Fi, less realistic. Really into guns and lasers. They love long battle scenes and creepy looking creatures. And they get very turned on by a solid hair bun (or two). Added bonus: I’ll now understand more of the jokes on Big Bang Theory.
So for all those who urged and begged me to watch Star Wars, now it’s your turn. Yep, you heard me. It’s your turn to watch one of the films that shaped my childhood, one of my cult favorites. Take your pick of the following: Pete’s Dragon, Black Beauty or Karate Kid I.
Oh, and may The Force be with you.