I was wrong about Star Wars

It was something I used to whisper, embarrassed, ashamed, feeling as if my opinion would see me cast out as a social leper – I don’t like Star Wars. Now, this might not sound like a big thing in the grand scheme of things, but I’m a nerd. Most of my friends are nerds. I adore sci-fi, I’m in my 30s, I am essentially the exact person they’re marketing at, one step short of turning up at comic conventions dressed as a stormtrooper.

But I don’t like Star Wars. I never have.

The first time I remember watching it I was perhaps 12 or 13, told by my brother that it would be the greatest thing I’d ever seen. I was bored. I think it was at that moment that he gave up any hope he might have had for me.

The next time I suffered through them was in the build up to the release of the first prequel in 1999. Caught up in the excitement that surrounded the first new Star Wars film since the year I was born, I watched the original trilogy again and was bored again. Nothing about them grabbed my attention and I began to think that Luke Skywalker was the most irritating, whiny character ever committed to film. The only way they gained any merit was in comparison with truly terrible prequels (I still have no idea why I went to see Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith at the cinema, other than morbid curiosity).

The last time I watched them was over a decade ago, while at university, when I was browbeaten by my flatmates to sit through them again, told for the thousandth time that I was wrong and would enjoy them. I didn’t. I was done.  Me and Star Wars were not for each other. After this final viewing, I became more confident in my opinion. I wasn’t wrong, everyone else was. A dreadful script, awful dialogue, acting so wooden it could be serviceably used as kindling for a fire, upon which all its awful merchandise could be burned. I took it as something of a personal mission to tell every fanboy I could find that their trilogy was shit.

But as we are again caught in the midst of a storm of publicity regarding The Force Awakens, something has been bugging me. What if I was wrong? Let’s face it, I was something of a dickhead in my early 20s (I knew all the words to Ice Ice Baby and Jump Around) and I like to think that in the last ten years my critical faculties have improved to the point where I could watch them again and try to find what it is that I’ve been missing over the last 20 years that everyone else has been so taken by. That was the challenge I set myself.

So last weekend I settled down with freshly purchased blu ray copies of the trilogy with and an open mind. Some 380 minutes later I emerged with everything I thought I knew shaken to the core. This won’t be news to the vast majority who are reading this, but Star Wars is really good. I mean, really, really good.

It was around the time when the Millennium Falcon arrives at where Alderaan should have been in A New Hope that I realised I was being sucked in, I was enjoying the story, along for the ride. By the end of the film I had a grin on my face which lasted all the way through Empire and Jedi, each of which had me equally engrossed.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have a number of issues with the films, not least of which remains the dialogue. The terrible, cringe-inducing, truly awful dialogue. Alec Guinness’s line that “I just couldn’t go on speaking those bloody awful, banal lines” sums it up pretty well and I remain impressed at just how dreadful Mark Hamill’s acting is at times, but these quibbles now seem to pale in comparison to just how much fun, how entertaining the films are.

I’ll never claim as some do that The Empire Strikes Back is the greatest film ever made and I’ll never take it to my heart in quite the same way that so many other have, but I make a full apology for ever having called them shit. Great entertainment is not to be sniffed at and now I’m just ashamed it’s taken me 20 years to realise that these films hit that note perfectly.

Originally posted 2015-12-16 14:15:05. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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