Am I the only geek who doesn't like Star Wars?

By | 2010/06/10

I really dislike Star Wars. Not just one or two of the movies or the travesty that was the prequel trilogy, but all six of them. That’s not to say I haven’t seen them all – growing up I watched episodes IV, V and VI ad nauseum, and I also watched the prequel movies a few times to make sure I wasn’t misjudging them. So you can’t say I never bought into the franchise – I just realised over time how much I dislike the movies.

So since I’ve now lost the attention of a lot of Star Wars fans by clumping all six movies together in one pool of dislike, I’ll explain my reasons, in order of original movies – but with one prefacing comment that I honestly believe George Lucas may be one of the worst and most formulaic producers in Hollywood:

  • Episode IV – Star Wars: The least dislikable of all the franchise to me, my main complete is Luke being a whining prat even before his relatives are killed, and the overwhelming hickness of him. And don’t get me started on Grand Moff Tarkin. Tarkin exemplifies Lucas’ inability to create three dimensional characters, with the failing even worse when it comes to the “bad” characters. Tarkin is so one dimensional it’s amazing he was actually visible on screen.
  • Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back: OK, this one is fairly easy to nail – Mark Hamil’s acting. Mark’s acting is pretty bad in all three original movies, but it’s at its worst in Empire Strikes Back in that infamous scene where Luke has to scream “No!” in emphatic denial of Vader’s proclamation of parenthood.
  • Episode VI – Return of the Jedi: Ewoks crying. C’mon. Thousands of kiddies forever lost their happiness over that scene. But on top of that, the entire “Princes Leia as a pseudo bondage slave” probably explains why the average geek loves Star Wars, but struck quite the opposite chord with me.
  • Episode I – The Phantom Menace: Everyone jumps to the conclusion of “Jar Jar Binx” here, and they’d be somewhat right, but other failings include “Annie” (#FFS) and that entire pod race scene. Queen Armadillo’s costume changes in every scene (including, I’m certain, when running behind a tree) were impractical to the point of stupidity, as were the notion of a bodyguard pretend queen who actually made seriously important decisions. Then there’s the Natalie Portman factor.
  • Episode II – Attack of the Clowns: Continued “Annie” (#FFS). Count Dookie really carried the Tarkin torch and presented yet another excellently one dimensional villain. Then there’s the Natalie Portman factor.
  • Episode III – Revenge of the Sith: Palpatine. If every star in the heavens were to explode and the energy of that explosion was turned into bad facial expressions, you’d still not get worse facial expressions than those pulled by Palpatine during the green-screen fight scenes. Then there’s the Natalie Portman factor.
Palpatine's Constipated Facial Expressions

Palpatine's Weirdly Inappropriate Facial Expressions

I’ve mentioned for each of the three prequel movies the “Natalie Portman Factor”. If you’re wondering what this is, it’s very easy to explain: these movies were my first exposure to Natalie Portman, and they made me think she was as bad an actress as Hayden Christensen and Ian McDiarmid were bad actors.

Then I saw “V for Vandetta”, and I wept – and I still cry like a baby every time I get to the end of that movie. While the story and the cinematography in “V for Vandetta” is superb, the true hero of that movie was Natalie Portman. That she was done such a disservice in her role in the Star Wars prequel movies is the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

I may be a geek, but that doesn’t mean I have to love Star Wars.