Star Wars: Episode 3

a non-review by Michel Gagné

May 22nd, 2005 - I saw the original "Star Wars" back in 1977 and it had more impact on me then any other film. Quite simply, it gave me a direction of what I wanted to do with my life.

Now, the saga has come to a close, and my first thought is:

Thank you Mr. Lucas!

I loved episode 3.

I almost feel like the "Star Wars" saga was made for me. Everything I love about fantasy and science-fiction is in those films: the vastness of the universe; the fantastic creatures; the fanciful technology; the amazing environments.

I love the storytelling with all its varied elements: intriguing politics; exhilarating chases and battles; cliff hangers; romance; mysticism and heroism.

I love the famous "Lucas wipes" (actually borrowed from the Flash Gordon serials) that brings us magically from one corner of the galaxy to the next.

I love the fact that there are no fart jokes and stupid anachronisms, as in most animated or family films these days. Lucas sets trends, he doesn't follow them.

I love the cheesy dialogue, which sounds almost like the Flash Gordon's serials from the late 30's early 40's (my favorite set of serialized short films). If it sounded any other way, it wouldn't be Star Wars.

Is there anything I don't like about Star Wars? Yeah sure, there's some stuff I'm not crazy about. But who cares? Why should I even talk about that? I'm not a movie critic. The last thing I want to be is a critic or a garbage man (not that there's anything wrong with that). I'm an artist and I'll stick with that.

If I'm looking at a painting, should I start analyzing all the brush strokes so I can make a list of the ones I like and the ones I don't like? I don't think so. Art affects me on a gut level. I either connect or I don't. I either love, like, dislike or hate. Everything else is pointless nitpicking and a waste of my time.

Now here's another point I'd like to make:

The current backlash on Mr. Lucas makes me sick. I have nothing against people hating the films, but what I don't understand is how personal the attacks are. I must be from another dimension because I have nothing but admiration for Lucas. He's inspired me with his vision. He's paved the way for independent artists. He's the ultimate example of the "independent economy". I swear if I ever hear the line "the man who raped my childhood" one more time, I'll vomit.

Here's the most intelligent on-line post I've seen so far about the whole travesty. It's from Lightwavedave from AnimationNation.com.

"Lucas has amassed an increasingly larger core audience at every turn. It's easy to be confused by the legacy of the guy. With each film he surpasses past records and earnings, yet engenders increasingly harsher criticism, all delivered by people who still slavishly consume his product, bitching all the way.

The emotional investment in Star Wars by generations of the audience is unprecedented. The abuse he absorbs personally is unprecedented. And yet, the loyalty to his product by the very people who most harshly criticize him is astounding.

I know dozens of people who proclaim that the SW series "sucks" and every one of them were there on the opening night yesterday. Some people literally hate him for not preserving a feeling they had in childhood. Many of them don't take into account that they've grown up.

I saw the original SW at age 21 in 1977. I thought the acting was a bit wooden, the droids annoying, and the whole thing a bit too British for my tastes *but* the look was astounding. I had been waiting all my life for scifi that looked right...credible. It made Lucas' universe so much more real than any other film of it's type.

Marcus Moore pointed out to me (rightly so) that visually, that reality is gone. The digital age and it's many benefits have had one unfortunate side effect. Things in the movies don't look particularly real. It's a visual candyland to be sure. A breathing coffeetable scifi art book. But it doesn't feel real anymore. To me they are perhaps even more "fun" than they were in the beginning....but less real. Lucas made a consious decision in that regard. I respect his choices, because I respect his ownership of what he created. Many fans absolutely do not respect his ownership of what he has created, they think they own it, and they want it back. I never had that emotional investment in the franchise that the average 13 year old in 1977 had. It's why I can respect the guy and enjoy the films.

If there is one thing the world owes George Lucas, it's an apology for loving what he made so much that they've grown to hate him for not standing still."