Star wars

Yesterday night I saw Star Wars again, for the second time in my life. The first time it was one of the first ‘big’ movies I ever went to, after years of birthday-party Disney-movies. I couldn’t remember a single bit of it, apart from it being a very long film, and me being very impressed by it. So it was with no little bit of nostalgia that I sat down to watch it again.

I might just as well have gone to bed with a good book. What a miserable movie. No wonder I couldn’t remember anything, where a film like 2001 A Space Odyssee, which I saw at about the same time, keeps on running through my head at will.

What bothered me most was the plot. It is very simple: lonely loser gets two robots, one of which carries message from princess-in-distress; hears from old neighbour (turns out to be space knight) he possesses a very old Universal Force; goes out in wreckage of space cruiser run by adventurer with big intelligent dog; gets caught by bad guys; gets out again with princess; goes to rebels; destroys superweapon of bad guys without destroying worst guy (sequel!). It all fits on the back of an envelope, and that is probably where it started.

Oh well, technically it’s not that bad, although I’m always stunned by the sound of passing space-ships (in a vacuum)—an error shunned in 2001. But it is so… tame. There is e.g. a scene in a pub that is supposed to be very rough. This is illustrated by two murders during the scene. But any pub I know of is rougher—on a Tuesday night.

It is no so bad when a film is not entirely convincing. I don’t really mind that this so-called superweapon is vulnerable because there is an open shaft from the central reactor right to the outside—we all make mistakes. Especially in science fiction one should be lenient about such things. But to blow up the back of an envelope to the size of a two-hour movie is strange, and then to have this film have a certain cult-status is unforgivable.

Give me Spaceballs instead, the Mel Brooks parody on Star Wars. Yes, I think that is what I’m going to do: get me a video of Dark Star. May the Farth be with you!


This text was published previously in the By The Way…, volume 49.

© Roelof Ruules