Why Not This George?

The day has arrived.  Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens kicks off the dominion of Disney over the Star Wars empire.  Here on the west coast, operation Box Office Domination officially kicks off at 7pm, when theaters are cleared to roll the first sitting.   A long and profitable reign it will likely be.  The movie has made more than $100 million already.

Seriously, who throws $100 million at something that isn’t even released yet?


I mean, I barely saw any ads for the movie itself on television… there wasn’t any room for them with all these other companies throwing money at Disney so THEY could do a Star Wars commercial featuring their products.  It was a bit difficult to tell exactly what, for example, Dodge cars had to do with Star Wars, though I did like the black and white cars representing Vader and Storm Troopers version they ran at one point.

We’re caught up in the excitement at our house… somewhat.  We are fans, though not perhaps huge fans.  I own three versions of the original trilogy (VHS, DVD, and BluRay), which represent, if nothing else, three different Han and Greedo encounters.

Part of the warm up for the new movie has been to go back and watch some of the previous ones.  We skipped the first two (the Cinema Sins review of Episode I and Episode II were enough for me), opting for what is arguably the best of the prequels, Episode III –  Revenge of the Sith.  Also, probably the most difficult to script, since it had to start where Episode II left off and end with everything lined up nicely for the original Star Wars.

But it was watching that classic, Episode IV, so called, that I started to cringe a bit.  The extra additions, the CGI pasted on to the original movie, really hasn’t worn well with me.  I was “meh” on it when I first saw it, and it grates a little harder with each time I see it.  Even my wife said that she didn’t remember the movie having quite so much bad green screen in it.  I could see cleaning up the frames and where you could see the matting, but the extra dirt on the storm troopers or having them ride fat beasts that somehow leave no tracks in the sand, that just seems like a waste.

All the more so since there are some things in the movie that really make it show its age.  Why couldn’t George Lucas have gone after that?  No, I am not talking about the horrible range of side burns that seemed to be so popular in a galaxy far, far away.

But on you it looks good!

But on you it looks good!

Bad taste transcends time.

I am more on about the computer graphics effects.  I can attest that the read out of the death star plans was the state of the art back in 1977, but by the time George Lucas decided to wreck remaster his originals, he could have done a lot better.  I am especially surprised he did not opt to change the targeting computer readouts during the attack on the death star.  You know, this bit:

All together now, "Stay on target!"

All together now, “Stay on target!”

I could see that maybe redoing the horrible old “the death star approacheth!” table display might have been some challenge, what with people being on screen and the angle changing, but the targeting computer readout is literally on screen by itself.  Something super up to date and swishy could have been injected into there.  Yes, the die hard fan boys would have screamed about that, but given what else George was bent on changing, I think this might have been forgiven.  Instead we have CGI road traffic in Mos Eisley trying way too hard to be comedic.

Anyway, that was my heretical thought for this day.  And it is all in Disney’s court now.

6 thoughts on “Why Not This George?

  1. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Shintar – We’re hoping to get into a Sunday morning show.

    @HZ – Oh, yes, I like that holo of the planet, moon, and death star on the tactical table. I am actually surprised something like that didn’t get put in give GL’s love of holos. (Brought up in the Cinema Sins episodes I linked.)


  2. zaphod6502

    We’re seeing it tomorrow. All my friends and close associates that have already seen it have loved it and mostly think JJ Abrams was a good choice to direct the film.

    I was watching the original Star Wars with my wife to refresh her and I think the worst scene was Solo stepping over the CGI Jabba. :)


  3. .xyd

    I saw it last night and I thought it was outstanding. (No spoilers here.) For me it felt very modern and “updated” — the light sabers were my favorite special effect. No particularly wild plot swings or surprises, but that’s Star Wars.

    As Aaron will attest, I abhor the movie theater “experience”: no pause for a bathroom break, random people talking, cell phones, no rewind/replay, dirty floors, who-knows-what on your seat, etc. I’d much rather wait for the DVD release than spend $15 per person – plus the popcorn ransom – for these “features”. That said, I would see it in the theater again. It’s that good. For me, at least.


  4. Pingback: Old Star Wars, New Star Wars, Old Republic | Tremayne's Law

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